Dating has become really, really weird. While in the past the world was content with passing affectionate notes and blasting the Outfield‘s “Your Love” beneath your loved ones bedroom at 5 in the morning, technology has made these humble approaches obsolete. Nothing short of threatening a charming murder suicide combination will motivate the tentative steps towards a loving relationship, unless you give up and look to apps like Tinder.
Tinder is either the worst or the best thing to happen to our sex lives in the last century, but it is certainly effective enough to have become a pillar of our day to day pastimes. It takes out the awkwardness of forced conversations and thousands of pounds worth of lukewarm drinks bought out of desperation, condensing the dating experience into a straightforward and manageable set of choices. Swipe right to form a bond of everlasting companionship (should they agree that is) or left to condemn the hopeful love seeker to a world of bitter loneliness.
Its fast, brutal and requires more forethought than you would you would assume. We may not be masters of romance, despite how traditionally knowledgeable technology journalist tend to be in that area, but we want to share with you some tips on how to make your romantic trials manageable.
So before you begin the troublesome journey into the depths of an open dating market, heed our advice, lest you find yourself adopting 7000 cats to replace an empty love life. Here’s our top 5 dos and don’ts of navigating those choppy Tinder waters.
1) DO: Choose your image wisely
Your photo will make or break your chances at netting a good match. But in reality, this isn’t entirely down to how attractive you may be to other users, it’s all about trust. The worst Tinder profiles don’t include an image, which means it will never, ever get a match. It might seem like a foolish oversight, but there are hundreds of profiles that bet on their descriptions alone, and it just doesn’t work. Tinder is a place of caution and vanity that requires you to appeal to both, and the image is the first step.
Showing your face is an act of honesty and confidence that allows people to judge you on two fronts; if you are approachable and more importantly, if you are real (more on this later). Most users are just as nervous and low on confidence as you might think you are, so the whole approach should be like dealing with a small house spider…if one you want to make out with.
Try not to look terrifying in your photo, despite how much you want to show off your collection of machetes. You would be surprised how much a neutral, straight forward shot of your face will accomplish in the long run. You are more likely to meet like minded people if you just show yourself naturally. Equally, a photo of you enjoying a hobby will make it easier to attract others with similar interests.
Do not, we repeat, do not use a photo of yourself within a group of people. We get it, you want to look social, but others need to know who you are before they are willing to commit to meeting up. You aren’t Jason Bourne, so stop trying to hide. If you are Mr Bourne, why in the hell are you using Tinder?!
Present yourself respectively, avoiding showing off whatever nightmarish appendages you might have hidden beneath your clothes. A man with this gentleman’s hammer out on every photo will likely scare off most viewers, and a lady with the same modus operandi will attract a certain kind of less than reputable suitor. Seriously, save it for the bedroom people, it’s like a minefield of penis out there.
2) DON’T: Ignore your description – it won’t matter to most people, but it matters to the right people
Lets face it, people will make a decision on you without reading your perfectly worded autobiography you set as your description. But it’s important to note that the one who does might just be the person you are looking for.
There are a huge number of people just looking for a quick ‘rendezvous’ rather than anything meaningful, so those who take the time to learn something about you want more than just what you physically flaunt. Making an effort to get to know more about you means that they have plans beyond a quick shag in a phone booth, and shows they are taking the time to work out if you are compatible. These people are the ones you should seek out, so your choice of words is vital.
Keep it short and simple. Who your are, what do you like and what are you looking for are essential to having a good experience. Simply typing the words “the trousersnake thunderlust beckons…for you!!!” won’t exactly inspire confidence in your ability to hold a relationship together, so try and give as much information as you can in the smallest space possible.
People will read your bio before attempting to talk, at least most of the time, so give them something to talk about. Its more important than you think.
3) DO: Exercise suitor discernment
Tinder is full of fake people. No, not armies of plastic body snatchers looking to steal your skin in order to infiltrate the common populace, but people who don’t present themselves realistically. People lie, use heavily edited photographs and may even be hiding behind a false profile. There is a specific term for this: Catfishing.
There are horror stories of people going on a date to find the six foot tall, blonde, muscular kickboxing heart surgeon they have fallen for turning out to be nothing more than a Sainsburys bag full of millions of spiders. Okay, we might be stretching the truth here, but the message remains the same.
This is less about being disappointing than it is about your safety. Never agree to meet someone outside of a public space, never share personal information and never trust the words of someone who is still a stranger no matter how many times you have spoken.
If they look too good to be true, they might be too good to be true. If you think there is something off about how they talk to you, there might be something off with them. And if they want to meet in the abandoned textile factory where that group of mystery solving teens went missing 30 years ago, try and convince them to come along to the local Harvester instead.
4) DON’T: Think, swipe right!
This might be a controversial opinion, but we feel thinking too much about who you want to match with means you might miss out on the best people. We have previously warned you about the terrors that lurk deep within the apps userbase, but the truth is that Tinder is meant to be fun. You can worry and grumble about every choice, but once you become accustomed to the tell tale signs of a bad match or a potential liar in your collection you’ll be able to start enjoying yourself.
Finding someone on Tinder is only the beginning of what could be an amazing life with that perfect partner, but you’ll only know when you get out there and meet them in the non-digital world. Being picky will only lead to disappointment and the aforementioned cat avalanche that threatens to ruin a promising life.
Don’t expect every date to be perfect, or that you’ll even like person you meet. Use Tinder as a tool to meet people who could be friends, loved ones or even mortal enemies, if you are into that whole Mortal Kombat thing.
Tinder is a social platform, so to cut off everyone who gets close is just using it poorly. Use it as a way to meet others you would have never have had the chance to know.
So get swiping, get talking and get out there. Just please avoid posting even more willy shots, the world has more than enough.
5) DO: Be confident – start the conversation ASAP!
Hooray! You matched with someone! You feel powerful, able to take on the world once again. So why aren’t you bothering to talk to them?
This is the most nerve-wracking part of the whole ordeal. You may have got their attention, but now you have to seal the deal. There is a problem with Tinder that seems to be almost universal, which is that women will almost never start a conversation. Forget that nonsense, no matter your gender you should always try and get the first word in.
Being the first to strike up a conversation shows two important things: interest and confidence. Proving that you want to get to know them and displaying a raw willingness to get the job done improves your chances of actually meeting by a huge amount. It makes people feel good about themselves and breaks the thick barrier of awkwardness that prevails before first contact.
Starting with a question is the best way to go, usually one that revolves around their interests. Try not to begin with lines like “Hey, lets do this! Unleash the beast! Bring the ruckus! TO THE DEATH!” because you might end off coming across as overeager and just a little bit insane.
Its also important to be quick because you are not the only interested person using app, unless you are reading this in the future where man has been wiped out and you actually are the last person on earth. At that stage you might want to think about adopting those 7000 cats after all.
If you like someone, you better make sure you make your moves before someone else does. This can happen in seconds, so don’t waste time.