How to Get What You Want Out of Tinder

A friend of mine asked me, “Isn’t Tinder just for hookups?” I told her that I’m sure there are people that use Tinder for hookups. Just like there are people who use UPS as a drug dealer but life is what you make it. The truth is Tinder is just an app. It’s an app that puts you in front of people that are active and near you. Just like any tool it can be abused but who says that something more can’t come from it.

Google “Tinder success stories” and you’ll find a whole heap of young love blossoming. You’ll even read some that lead to marriage as a result of a swipe right. How do you make the most of Tinder? How do you avoid hookupers, ghosters and total commitment phobes? Well, I have the answers. I have composed a list of my top Tinder tips to get what you want out of this marvelous app.

Making your profile

Your profile is the most important part to the beginning of your Tinder journey. Whether or not you match with someone depends on the pics you choose and what you write. It’s best to put your best foot forward and take this part seriously.

5 pics to begin your story

Tinder lets you put up five pics so you want to pick pictures that really showcase your personality and style. All pics need to be taken within the last year, preferably 6 months. Recent pics are the most honest portrayal of yourself. They leave no room for expectations or disappointment (at least looks wise).

Picture do’s and don’ts

Do pick a picture of your face (a selfie) that has good lighting. Select a pic where you are smiling and wearing natural makeup. Don’t post pictures with a ton of makeup on. Makeup is amazing but in pics you want to be authentically yourself. Unless you regularly put on tons of makeup, I would go for a more natural look. Do not post more than one selfie.

Do pick a picture that shows something you like to do. If you play poker and have a pic of you with a winning hand, post that. Showing a hobby in your pictures illustrates that you have things going on. You are showing that life doesn’t necessarily revolve around dating and that you like doing things.

Don’t pick a picture with other people in the pic (unless they are background people). Also make sure the picture is natural and not forced or staged. Do not post pictures of you topless or at the gym.

Do pick a picture that is a close full body shot. Be confident in how you look. Know that people find confidence the most attractive so hold your head high, arch your back, smile, find your lighting and snap some photos.

Don’t post pics with other people no matter what. Don’t post pictures of a full body shot more than 5 ft away. If you can’t tell that it’s you, then don’t post it.

Do pick a picture that shows you being silly. Whatever your version of silly is, show it in a picture. This shows that you are fun, light hearted and gives the other person an idea of your sense of humor.

Don’t be gross. Even if you find giant orange dildoes hilarious and have a great pick of you from a friend’s bachelor(ette) party wielding this phallus, don’t post it. Be silly and fun but don’t post anything that might get you kicked off Tinder.

Do pick a picture of you laughing. It shows you smiling but it also shows that you have a sense of humor. A laughing pic shows that you are fun and enjoy life. It shows that you are taking this Tinder thing more seriously than just posting one pic. And if your silly pic made them laugh, your laughing pic will make them feel like you are right there with them.

Don’t post a goofy laughing picture. Make it subtle yet still convincing enough that you are laughing.

What do you write for your bio?

People actually read the bio and if you don’t, you should. It helps you get a better idea (within 500 characters) of this persons character, writing style, dating focus and personality. Your bio should mention how tall you are (if that is important). Share what you are looking for as well as some fun things about yourself. I like to include something inspiring. Keep it short and sweet and just remember to be yourself. Keep your wording open, light and not obnoxious. I recommend telling them that you prefer talking on the phone before meeting. Also share what times work best for you for a phone chat. I recommend evenings because this will show them that night times are open and available for each other. Because of the ever growing spam/bot problem on Tinder I recommend writing “FYI I am not a bot”.

Swipe right and swipe left

It’s fair to say that women are a lot better at choosing pictures and writing bios than most men are.  So if you are a looking for a man, don’t judge too quickly on his pics. Pictures are merely 2-dimensional representations of ourselves and people are always (hopefully) a lot better in person.

Tinder Spam Bots

Unfortunately there is a lot of spam on the female side of Tinder.  I read somewhere that 75% of female profiles on Tinder are spam. That makes it difficult for men but it makes it really difficult on women. Before you even match with someone, they are already a tad bit pessimistic and paranoid.

How to Spot a Tinder Scam:

Weed out scam profiles by looking for the following warning signs:

They reply WAY too fast: Many of the fake profiles on Tinder aren’t real people, they are spam bots. Watch out for anyone who messages you immediately after being matched.

They quickly suggest chatting through text message or a chat program. Many Tinder users will move the conversation to text message, but spam accounts will suggest it almost immediately.

They don’t listen. The replies are canned, if the responses don’t make sense. Try asking questions, and if the answers continue to not make sense, move on. Try asking what the sign for gold is (Au) or the capital of Arizona (Phoenix).

They have a glamour shot. If your Tinder match looks like a model and is wearing a bikini, she may not be real (although, some reports say that scammers are being less overt and aiming for more of a “girl next door” look).

You’ve matched

A simple text chit chat back and forth about your day is fine. But once we start having full blown message conversations it’s time to get on the phone. If you are female you end up with a lot more matches than the men do. I recommend getting their phone number so you don’t get confused. Once they give you their number, send them a text right away so you know who they are for future references. “Hi Mike….it’s Mary from Tinder” Then send them a message on Tinder telling them you have texted them.  

Some people will start to try to have conversations over text but don’t let them. Set up a time to talk on the phone to have a conversation. If they can’t talk on the phone after 8 pm, they are married or they have a girlfriend. I understand that we all have lives. But if they aren’t ever able to set up a time during the evening then the facts are the facts no matter what they tell you.

Talking on the phone

Keep the conversation light and fun. This is technically your first date and you are in a perfect position to ask great questions. Be honest and have a good time. The best part about having these phone chats is that you didn’t have to get dressed up. You didn’t have to put makeup on or spend any money. You can also ask hard questions that you may be too intimidated to ask in person. The most important benefit of the initial phone date is determining your rapport and intellectual compatibility. If you can barely have a conversation or if the conversation is strained then you have dodged a bullet. You can politely tell them you are not interested and move on. The best part is you didn’t have to inconvenience yourself or waste anymore of your time.

How to get off the phone or say no to a date

On the phone, you can usually tell if it’s going to work out within the first 15 mins. Sometimes there may be one thing that turns you off or multiple things that you find unappealing. I’ve found that if you want to avoid getting cussed out, nasty texts and/or dick pics (yes men do that) the best way to handle the ‘let down’ is with respect and appreciation. I will usually ask them a few more questions about something trivial before I say….respectfully….”You know “Tommy” I don’t think we are a match but…..I REALLY appreciate your time.” They are usually shocked at first and say “Oh! Ok” To which you reply “Okie dokie. Take care”.

Handle the rejection head on. Respectfully nipping it in the bud and keeping it in your control is optimal. You can avoid their anger just by having the courage to tell them upfront that it’s not working out.

Ghosting people, whether you’ve never met or met several times, is NEVER ok. Ghosting is a cowardly, selfish and passive way to handle the ‘not going to work outs’ of dating. It can be intimidating and a little bit nerve wracking to be honest and straightforward with people. But life is full of opportunities to build stamina and confidence and this is one of them. Telling them honestly that you are not a match is the best policy and can attract the best karma.

Setting up a date

You’ve had a good long talk on the phone. You feel comfortable and confident this person is a possible match (no expectations). I recommend a drinking or coffee date. The idea is to create the least amount of pressure on your time and finances. Even though you’ve made it this far it doesn’t mean you are going to find them attractive in person. I’ve had men behave completely different than the man they were on the phone. I’ve been on dates with men who were rude to the wait staff. Starting with a drinking date allows you to feel each other out. If you do enjoy each other then you can always continue your evening. But nothing is worse than being stuck at a dinner table with someone you can’t stand knowing that someone is going to need to foot the bill.

Show up sober

Nerves can be pretty intense before a first date. But it’s super important that you both are on the same level mentally as the night begins. So, no pre-drinks. I also recommend keeping pace with each other. Unless they are slamming drinks at a record pace (deal breaker) you two can be on the same level together. Nothing is worse than a date who is drunker than you.

Drop the expectations

Just be yourself and don’t expect too much from this stranger. I’ve been on dates I thought went smashingly and never heard from them again. People are in different places, at different times in their lives. There is no way for you to know what is going on in someone life, head or heart. Don’t take anything personally that other people do. Their behavior, their interest, their personality, their demeanor has NOTHING to do with you. Have a good time. If they contact you for a second date, you have the choice as to what you want to do.

Chances are if you followed these tips you will find a better match. The sea is large and there are a lot of fish in it. Give things a chance, be honest and eventually, maybe just maybe, you might have your own Tinder success story.

Happy Dating!


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