There is a lot to prove in the fifteen seconds people spend staring at your Tinder profile before deciding whether to swipe left or right. Here are our top tips for attracting the kind of matches you want, whether you’re looking for casual dating, a relationship, or just exploring the app.
Oh, Tinder. Love it or hate it, this app has revolutionized the way that online dating works. Instead of detailed profiles, Tinder features a 500-character bio. Instead of suggesting potential matches by perceived similarities in personality, Tinder offers you everyone within a set age range and geographic radius. With that being said, despite some Tinder safety concerns, the changes Tinder has brought to the online dating world aren’t all bad — instead of unlimited browsing and unsolicited messages, you are unable to message someone that hasn’t expressed their interest in you as well, hopefully increasing your success!
Tinder is best known for its reputation as a “hook-up app”, but that doesn’t mean that finding a lasting relationship through the app is impossible. In fact, that assumption is very far from the truth.
As Tinder has become more popular, a wider user base has begun to create profiles. This means that while a core group of users are still definitely using Tinder for casual dating experiences, there are also a significant number of people who are using the app’s popularity to search for a lasting relationship — and it works! My social circles include five couples who have been together for at least six months who met each other using Tinder.
Different Types of Tinder Users
So, how do you find the kind of experience that you want on Tinder? It all depends on what kind of Tinder user you are. Generally, Tinder users can be broken down into three major types:
- Casual Dating
- Seeking a Relationship
- To See What Everyone’s So Excited About
No matter which category you fall into, there are some general Tinder tips that you should keep in mind and common Tinder mistakes to avoid. Beyond that, however, you should be curating your profile so that it attracts people who are on Tinder for the same reason that you are. After all, if you really want a relationship, you don’t want to only be matching with other users who are uninterested in commitment (and vice-versa!).
General Dos and Don’ts for Tinder Profiles
Do Fill In Your Entire Profile
- When you first sign up for Tinder it’s tempting to pause only for a moment to post your profile picture before moving on to swiping. There’s a perception that filling out your profile completely is going to look too “try hard” – but this is one of the most common ways to keep yourself from getting matches. Taking the time to post two or more photos and a quick bio (even if it’s just a cheesy pick-up line!) gives other users confidence that you are a real person and not a Tinder bot, and offers opportunities for conversation starters.
Don’t Make Your First Photo A Group Picture
- You may very well be the best looking person in your group of friends, but your potential matches don’t know that and will often choose to swipe left instead of playing a game of “Guess Who?” to figure out which person is you. First impressions count on Tinder, and for this reason your first photo should always be a clear photo of you alone.
Do Use Proper Grammar
- Look, being overly condescending about other people’s grammar isn’t cool, especially when it’s in the form of a text message or quick social media post. However, on Tinder you’ve only got 500 characters to worry about, and those 500 characters are going to be representing you to everyone you’re hoping to impress – take 30 seconds to make sure you used the right “there”.
Don’t Be Deceptive
- It’s tempting to only post carefully edited photos and to take some creative license on your interests. Tinder, even more so than other dating sites, tends to result in meeting face-to-face with your matches – whether that’s through a mutual friend, a planned date, or due to an accidental meeting at the grocery store. It will save embarrassment and miscommunication if you are honest about yourself, your looks, and your interests and greatly increase your chances of finding someone who actually likes you – not a fictional version of yourself.
Do Have Interesting Photos
- Posting five very-similar selfies in a row (even if they are very attractive selfies) is not a great choice. Use photos in your profile that will interest other users in your life – photos of you having fun with friends, travelling, or involved in a favorite activity are a great way to start conversations and stand out from other profiles. Another great option for photos (as much as it’s a cliché) are photos with adorable pets or obscure animals — anything that will get your potential matches to take a second look!
Tips for Casual Daters
Users who spend their time on Tinder looking for casual dates and/or meet-ups remain the target demographic of the app’s functionality. For this reason, there are only a few things to keep in mind when setting up your profile. These considerations are important in making sure that you come across as someone interesting and worth meeting up with, and avoid being “that guy” on Tinder.
- Look Fun — if you just want to use Tinder to have fun, your profile should show that you are a person worth having fun with! Include photos of you being involved in activities you love with friends – anything that makes potential matches want to spend time with you so that they can have fun too!
- Look Safe — you want your Tinder profile to draw people to you, not send them away! Use photos of you smiling, and try not to be too intimidating with your messages or bio. This will greatly increase your chances of matching with someone who wants to meet up with you in person.
- Exude Confidence — people aren’t going to risk a meet up with someone who doesn’t seem confident enough to show up. Be sure of yourself in all communications on Tinder, and avoid posting any kind of self-depreciation in your bio.
- Be Creative With Your Bio — If you’re only on Tinder for casual dating, the content of your bio is generally less important. You should still definitely have something in your bio, but you can get away with posting a crazy one-liner or a great cheesy pickup line instead of personal details.
Tips for Relationship Hopefuls
While Tinder may not be designed with lasting relationships in mind, it is possible (and much easier than it used to be!) to find others who are also using Tinder in place of traditional dating apps. The best way to find your best potential matches is to have a profile that signals you are looking for something more than a casual dating experience. Here are some tips to get your profile sending the right signals to connect with other relationship hopefuls:
- Give Your Bio Priority — relationships are built on more than just a mutual appreciation of each other’s appearance! Dedicate your bio to giving some information about yourself and your interests. Not only does this give other users insight into your personality, but it also opens the door for a number of conversation starters!
- Avoid Potential Red Flags — it’s possible that every good picture of you just happens to include your ex, but that is what the crop function exists for! Any potential red flags or deal-breakers (such as exes, children that aren’t yours, or controversial hobbies) should be left out of the first impression you make on potential love interests.
- Imply, Don’t Restrict — it can be tempting to state upfront in your bio that you are “only looking for something serious” or that “those who aren’t interested in a conversation should swipe left”. However, instead of narrowing your pool of potential matches, this approach places so much pressure on that initial swipe that nearly everyone will choose to pass on your profile.
- Focus on Conversation — if you want to use Tinder as a tool for finding a relationship, the conversational aspect becomes much more important. Start a conversation with potential matches that is based on something interesting that you noted from their photos or bio, and respond regularly and with questions to keep the conversation going.
Tips for Tinder Explorers
If you are only on Tinder to see what all the fuss is about, there really isn’t much pressure on you to have a perfect bio or post the right kind of pictures. With that being said, there are still some important tips to keep in mind:
- You Aren’t Too Cool for Tinder (You’re on It) — The moment you download the app, you lose any and all opportunities to be condescending towards other Tinder users. If you’re choosing to use Tinder, even just to try it out, you might as well embrace it, and avoid saying anything condescending in your profile or conversations.
- Fill Out Your Profile — Even if you aren’t intending on meeting up with anyone you match with on the app, you shouldn’t be lurking (and swiping) with an anonymous photo or a picture of your car. Swiping without a profile photo or anything in your bio comes across as seriously disconcerting.
- Play Nice — When you are just using an app for fun it can be hard to remember that other people are using it seriously. Try to keep in mind in all of your interactions that behind every profile is another person, and don’t go out of your way to ridicule or manipulate others.
- Enjoy Yourself — Tinder is incredibly fun as an app — there are good looking people, and ridiculous conversations, and hilarious bios everywhere. Enjoy the opportunity to flip through your acquaintances, take note of especially witty pickup lines, and the chance to talk to people you might never meet otherwise!
Your Tinder Experiences
Tinder has quickly become one of the most popular mobile dating apps because of its widespread use and versatility. While there are several alternative dating apps to Tinder, it is rare for any other single app to allow for a comparable number of successes in casual dating, relationships and general entertainment. With that being said, in order to find success on Tinder it is key that you target your profile to find the kind of matches that you want.
What have you noticed on the worst Tinder profiles you’ve seen? And what kind of Tinder user do you consider yourself to be?
Image Credits: Naked Man Trying to Impress During webcam chat via shutterstock; A Couple having an online romance via shutterstock; “Celebration 64/365” by John Liu on flickr; “Love you to” by Craig Sunter on flickr; “i saw you on tinder” Trastevere 2014 by Denis Bocquet on flickr