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How To Tinder

Updated: Jan 20, 2020


Given the prevalence of dating apps amongst our generation, it is surprising how many people have no idea how to successfully use them. This guide is not the holy grail of Tinder, and I can’t guarantee that it will get you pussy for days, but it should help you avoid making the most common Tinder blunders. 

Choosing your pictures:

Rule #1: Your first picture should always be a solo pic. 

People are time poor and if someone swiping can’t figure out who you are quickly, odds are they are going to swipe left out of laziness. The only exception to this rule is if the other people in the picture are clearly not you. For instance, because they are of the opposite gender (unless you have an androgynous name and swing both ways. You can say BI to that match), or because they are a child or a pet. Pet pictures are a gold mine because no matter how uninspiring your looks or bio are, people will always be drawn in by the promise of meeting a cute doggo. Conversely, no one really gives a shit about the fish that you caught (looking at you, very bland white men).  

Rule #2: Variety is key

Your pictures should have a variety of people in them. If you have 5 photos and in 3 of them you are with the same person, it’s hard to figure out who you are. Also, it looks like they’re an ex or you don’t have many friends. 

Variety is also key to activities and outfits in your pictures. You want to show the different facets of your personality. If all your photos include beer or the gym, it reduces you to that single aspect of your personality. Similarly, you always wear a suit or go shirtless in your pictures you either look uptight or like a complete fuckboi/girl. 

Rule #3: Make sure your face can be seen

You may as well just not include a picture instead of including one that is so blurry your face can’t be made out. It is shocking how many people forget that the purpose of a picture is to help people figure out what you look like. Common errors are pictures taken from really far away, wearing sunglasses in every picture, horrible lighting, or pictures so pixelated that they look like they were taken on an early 2000s webcam. Also, framing. If you have taken a selfie with only half of your face in the picture it looks like you’re either trying to hide something or you don’t understand how to take a picture. Also, if all your pictures are selfies, you look like you don’t have any friends who like you enough to take your picture for you. If this is honestly the case, learn to use a self timer. 

Rule #4: Weird faces/gestures

There’s not much to say on this one. If you pull ‘funny’ faces or do ‘shakkaz’ or flip the finger in every picture it seems like your entire personality. Sure, people want to know that you are funny and relatable. They also want to know that you can carry a conversation like a normal human being. 

Writing a Bio:

Rule #1: Write one

Unless you are only interested in sex, you need a bio. In fact, even if you’re only interested in sex, I would still include a bio. People are attracted not only to muscles but to humour, intelligence and a variety of things that contribute towards sexual chemistry. Also, you’re competing with other people on tinder. In a weigh up between your muscles, and someone else who also has muscles but in addition has a personality, the other person is probably going to win out. 

Rule#2: Keep it short and snappy

You don’t need to include your whole life story in your bio. You can talk more after you match and no-one has time to read about your relationship with your mother.  

Rule #3: Try and be somewhat original

It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece but if your bio says that you love travelling, your friends and food, you come across as pretty basic because almost everyone likes those things. Additionally, bouldering is cool, but it’s not a substitute for a personality. 

Starting a Conversation:

Rule #1: Do it!

If you like them, why wait?

Rule #2: Don’t be a dick/creep

If you open with a page long extremely graphic sext or ‘come over’, chances are someone will be grossed out or you’ll come across as desperate. Wait a few messages. 

Don’t fetishize people. Don’t ask me how to pronounce my name. For one, it’s hard to explain over tinder and for two I wouldn’t ask you how to pronounce John? If you need to know, ask me when we meet in person. Also, don’t call people exotic, or describe them using weird words like chocolate. They are humans, not food or some weird fantasy. 

Rule #2: Keep it open ended

If you start the conversation by saying ‘Hi’ there’s really not much to respond to. There are lots of ways to start a conversation, ask about something in their bio or pictures or ask a funny joke. The key here is to give someone material to respond to and also a motivation not to just ignore your message.

Setting Up a Date:

Setting up a date as soon as possible is key. Studies show that the longer you talk online the less likely you are to meet in person and when you do you are less likely to have a good date. This is because the longer you guys talk the longer you, or the other person, has time to psyche themselves out of meeting up, and the less things you have to say to each other in person. 

If by the end of this article you are feeling very overwhelmed, don’t. No one has this stuff figured out and ultimately, all that you need to do is be clear about who you are and the rest will follow. Worst case, try Tinder in Sydney or Melbourne, there are way more options there! Protip, that private school only dating app has very low standards of verification. If you’re gonna go on bad dates, at least get them paid for..

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