An Anxious And Eager Twenty-Something’s 10-Step Guide To Using Tinder


1. Download Tinder. You will probably be extremely hesitant at this stage. It is very possible that you might download the app for a hot second, only to uninstall it a few seconds later. That’s typical behavior, right? Putting yourself out there in the world to be judged by potentially thousands of people is something you have to think deeply about. After a few attempts, however, you will resign yourself to keeping the app. You’re in.

2. Update Your Profile. The app will ask for permission to link to Facebook, and you might have a mini-heart attack about whether this will show up in your news feed. Don’t worry, it won’t. You will agonize about which photos to use for your profile. They will all seem terrible and ugly even though they aren’t really. If obsessing about your photos wasn’t enough, you then will realize that there is a blurb of text that you have to fill with something. What do other people do with this mess? A witty quote? Song lyrics? A legit description of yourself? You might write something generic and wholly meaningless such as “I like Netflix!” Of course you do. Everyone likes Netflix. Everyone likes going out “sometimes” and staying in “sometimes”. Everyone likes cuddling. These are the things you will write though. They will be palpable, though always seemingly underwhelming.

3. Start Swiping. Analyze each profile scientifically. Weigh physical appearance with the measly list of interests and the profile blurb. Physical appearance will always trump anything remotely substantive. That’s normal. Maybe throw caution to the wind and just start swiping right on a few dozen randomly. Maybe obsess over every calculated decision. Find a user you just can’t make up your mind on. Right or Left? Hmmm. Think about it. Think about it more. What if you swipe left on your potential soulmate?? Cause your friends concern when you ask their opinion about a Tinder profile. Remain indecisive. Restart the app and hope it opens up with someone new.

4. Get a Match. Push the “Keep Playing” button quickly. Close the app. Throw your phone in a corner of your room. Leave your room; maybe accidentally slam your door. Find an excuse to talk to someone. Anyone. Even your landlord, despite the fact you owe him two week’s rent and he’s sure to bring it up in a slightly-less-nicer way than last week. Go back to your room. Pick up your phone and turn on the screen. Exhale. Nothing. No message. Should you message? What should you say? What if he’s just looking for sex while you’re looking for a date? What if he’s looking for a date while you’re just looking for sex. Don’t message but keep swiping. Repeat process for next match.

5. Get a Message. Freak out. What did they say?? Read it a few times. The message definitely says “hi”. What does that even mean? What does anything mean? Freak out some more. Go make some fettuccine alfredo (maybe) or a frozen pizza (probably) and think about the message. Watch House of Cards on your laptop and forget about the message. Never respond.

6. Send a Message. Get drunk. This first step is probably crucial. Go out with friends; see them all with their partners and start to feel lonely. By this point you might have uninstalled Tinder once or twice already. It’s okay; it is easy enough to redownload. Redownload it while your best friend and his girlfriend make out on your couch. Reply to that message you ignored a few days ago. Have embarrassing tinder convos with a few people. Hopefully pass out quickly.

7. Unmatch ALL the People. Wake up the next day and (unfortunately) remember everything. Regret everything. SOS. SOS. SOS.

8. Hold a Conversation. Be proud of yourself for actually talking to a member of your preferred gender. Then remember that it’s Tinder. Suddenly become less proud of yourself. They might ask for your phone number to text. Shit your pants. Maybe unmatch them immediately. Maybe give it to them. Maybe go on a date. Maybe hook up with this stranger. Probably not.

9. Uninstall Tinder, Delete Profile. Meeting people on social media is bullshit anyway, right? Tell yourself that it is far better to socialize in real life. Commit to going out next weekend and meeting people. Feel liberated, young, and free all at the same time.

10. Download Tinder. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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