Tinder dating in 2017: carries less of a stigma but still as much of a mindfuck as before. Different people have different reasons why they’re on Tinder, so it’s not just a matter of matching with someone, but with someone who’s on the same wavelength.
And if you don’t have an account yet, it can be pretty daunting to distill your entire being into six photos and 500 characters (spoiler alert: you don’t have to). Here, a few tips on everything from setting up your profile to turning an online connection into a real-life one.
DO: Write something on your bio. It’s 88.57874 percent more likely that she’ll swipe right if she sees that you have similar interests or reasons why you’re on Tinder. Something short (no one wants to read an endless block of text) that shows your sense of humor and good grasp of grammar is your best bet. Words to avoid: “real women only” (doesn’t make you look manlier), “if you don’t look like your photos, you have to buy me drinks until you do” (w o w), “sapiosexual” (Just don’t. PLEASE.).
DON’T: Just stick to selfies. Variety is your best friend—choose photos of you doing what you love: surfing, playing an instrument, breaking the world record for most tacos consumed in one sitting. Group photos are fine as long as you establish what your face looks like in the first few photos. As for the shirtless gym-fie? It—just one, max!—can be a plus if you can somehow show that you don’t take yourself too seriously.
DO: Message your matches. You can only message the girl if she likes you back, so you know she’s interested. You don’t have to read her body language or ask her friends if you’ve got a shot with her or not. You have nothing to lose by making a move.
DON’T: Under any circumstance, give your drunk friends access to your Tinder inbox. It’s one thing to ask for their help in drafting a message, it’s another to give them complete creative control while they’re under the influence. Believe us, you’ll only regret it in the morning.
DO: Put in some effort when messaging. With the way Tinder is set up, the old practice of asking for someone’s NASL has evolved into the generic hey/hi/hello. These three Hs are okay but won’t have your phone buzzing with replies. It’s not rocket science: Does she have beach photos on her profile? Ask her about her last beach trip. Did you go to the same college? Use the “Remember when...” card. Is she actually into rocket science? Let your geek flag fly. The key is to show her that you paid attention to what’s on her profile.
DON’T: Ask for sex right away, like you’re just ordering food over the phone, unless her bio explicitly says that’s what she’s looking for. If fast food joints can’t guarantee an X-minute wait, you can bet that every girl has her own timeline. Women have to field unsolicited advances all the time—don’t be the jerk whose crass messages end up on @tindernightmares. Now if you are looking for a hookup, work up to it and mind your manners. A simple way to check yourself: If you can’t say it in person, then you shouldn’t be messaging it to a complete stranger.
DO: A bit of humble-bragging. Dating involves selling yourself, so go ahead and talk about that adorable puppy you just adopted, that time you backpacked across Asia, that job you genuinely love.
DON’T: Ask if she’s “open-minded.” She asked you what you did for a living, not for a sales pitch.
DO: Manage your expectations. Not every Tinder date will lead to a happy ending (in every sense of the term), but it’s a great way to meet new friends, with and without benefits.
DON’T: Badger a girl with repetitive messages until she gives in—or blocks you. And no, saying you’ve been stalking her for a year already (true story) will not win her over.
DO: Ask for her number. You don’t want to be running late to your date and have no other way to contact her if the app crashes.
DON’T: Give her number away. She gave you her digits as a small sign of trust, so it wouldn’t be right to betray that trust, would it?
DO: Ask her out. That’s why you’re on Tinder, right? To go out with someone?
DON’T: Ask for her hand in marriage. It should go without saying, but you’d be surprised by how often it happens!
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