1. Pick great photos
You want your photos to showcase your best you. This means they are great, but realistic. Don’t use photos taken at an extreme angle or with a filter that makes you unrecognizable. And make sure you have at least one photo of your whole body — why waste time with someone who isn’t attracted to you? Put your best real photos up and work with the matches you get from there.
2. Be upfront about what you want
If you’re just looking to hookup you don’t have to worry about stating what you want, but if you’re looking for a Real Relationship you want to make that clear as soon as possible. There’s a big chunk of people on Tinder that aren’t looking for that, so you want to weed them out before you get sucked into someone.
3. Ask the person you’re talking to what they are looking for
At some point during your initial conversation you must, must, MUST ask, “what are you looking for.” Even if you say on your profile that you’re looking for something serious or long term, you want to cement that you are on the same page with this person. The luxury of online dating is that you can get introduced to tons of people, don’t get hung up on the ones that aren’t on the same page from the get go when there are plenty of others who are.
4. Don’t waste time on what you don’t want, no matter how fun it is
So you meet a hot, cool person who you want to hang out with… but you know he isn’t long term material. Either they aren’t looking for a relationship or you have big difference that won’t let itself to long term (one of you wants/doesn’t want kids, one of you is/isn’t religious, etc). You can’t waste your time with them. Wasting your time means you aren’t out searching for the one you really want. It means when they come along you aren’t available or you aren’t hungry enough to go after them. There’s nothing worse (or more common) people do when they are looking for love.
5. Don’t be afraid of having a bad first date
Bad first dates happen. They are inevitable if you are being vulnerable and truly searching. Learn how to say, “It doesn’t seem like we’re clicking, let’s just split the bill and go home” and not feel awkward about it. You’re doing both of you a favor by cutting it short and not dragging it out into something it isn’t. Don’t let that experience make you less open to trying again — unfortunately there’s no amount of vetting you can do online that is an accurate substitute for a quick in-person meeting. Suck it up and know it’s an essential part of your journey.
6. Keep an open mind
Think about the opposite sex friends you have in real life. Go on Facebook and look at a few of their photos, would you swipe right for them? Even though Tinder is 95% based on looks and initial attraction, you still need to interpret that loosely. Most people think people are more attractive when they know them and love their personality, right? So leave a bumper on what you swipe as attractive, knowing their personality could increase that.
7. DO NOT SWIPE RIGHT ON FACELESS AB PHOTOS
They are not looking for love! I promise!
8. Don’t swipe right on everyone
Some people say it’s best to swipe right on every single person because you can amass matches as quickly as possible. The problem with this is that your inbox because extremely cluttered to the point that it’s un-navigatable. You’ll miss messages from people because Tinder’s inbox feature sucks and sends you a “message” every time you match with someone and real messages can get buried. Plus, it’s just bad karma. Don’t waste people’s time, don’t waste your own time.
9. Be OK with letting a hot person get away
People who are just looking to hook up will compliment you and seem promising, but you know what they want even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself. You have to be OK watching them walk away for this to work.
Don’t worry about it, remember the old adage:
10. Remember the kind of person you’re trying to attract, and act accordingly
I work on the internet, so I use “u” and “r” as actual words and call everyone “bb.” However, I realize I am in the minority and to people outside this culture it comes across as uneducated and low class, so I never use it on Tinder or when I’m talking to men I hope to have a relationship with. I want them to think I’m educated and intelligent — which, I am, but how would they know that unless I acted like it? Consider your Tinder pet peeves and ask yourself if you’re just as guilty of them as your potential matches are.
11. Cultivate good karma
You are looking for love here and love isn’t owed to anyone. So, don’t be an asshole when you’re asking the universe for a favor. Don’t be a jerk to people in messages, don’t laugh and screencap people’s profiles to laugh with your friends around, don’t treat people disrespectfully. Basically, just treat people how you would want to be treated.