Tinder. It’s the current go-to name for standard speed-dating apps and the next generation of online dating and romance. Some may consider it to be a shallow usage of technology. Others may consider it a way for true love. Others yet, like myself, see it as a way to meet new people while not looking for much more.
Those of us who are looking for a little companionship may find Tinder to be an easy way to get back in the game. However, even Tinder has its own rules of online dating. If you do happen to use Tinder, I highly recommend taking this advice which tells you what not to do.
Wait, What’s Tinder?
Tinder is an app for Android and iOS that allows users to swipe through several photos of people in an effort to find a potential romantic partner.
You can provide the app with a distance you are willing to travel up to 100 miles, and from there, you “like” or “pass” people. If you and someone else both like each other, then you are able to contact them using the in-app chat feature.
On the surface, it’s a bit shallow: everything is seemingly based on appearances, and few details besides a first name and age are provided. Users do have the opportunity to gather some extra details if they want to look at the person’s other pictures. These extra details include mutual Facebook interests and friends as well as a brief “about” section.
Ready to get started? Make sure you do it right.
1. Don’t Fall for Fake Profiles
One of my first shameful experiences using Tinder was the time that I — naively — stumbled upon a fake profile. The situation was rather innocent:
Oh, a girl who’s slightly easy-on-the-eyes? I’ll swipe right. Not a problem. Whoa! A match? Alright, alright, alright. She’s messaged me… She’s not exactly responding to my statements… She’s – oh, dear Lord, what is she saying? Nope. Not into that.
Fake profiles. They exist. How do you identify them? I hate to say it, but in many situations, they may just seem too good to be true. If not that, then your conversations with them will start out nonsensical and then quickly lead to inappropriate verbal advances (for the situation, anyway).
One of the main draws of Tinder as a dating site is the fact that all profiles are generated using existing Facebook accounts. In most situations, since Facebook does a fairly decent job of keeping spam accounts at bay, there’s not problem. But yes, they are out there, and it’s unfortunate. Beware!
2. Don’t Try to Find Someone’s Real Profile
Full disclosure: I’ve done this myself. But then I realized something — it’s disrespectful.
Tinder allows you to see your mutual Facebook friends when perusing profiles. That said, it’s really easy to go over to said mutual friend’s profile, browse their friend list, and find the person you’re interested in. Not cool.
The beauty of online dating sites like Tinder is the ability to express interest while remaining somewhat… safe. This is an unfortunate byproduct of the pseudo-social generation, but at the same time, it’s important to respect this. While this is incredibly easy to do, it might be best not to.
3. Check the Actual Age!
While Tinder exists for some people, like myself, simply as a means to find members of the opposite sex who are interesting and fun to talk to, we all know that there are some users, maybe you (and there’s no judgment here), who want to get things moving rather quickly. We get it.
However, before you hit someone up, check the “about” portion of their profile. While Tinder displays the age of each person rather prominently on their page, sometimes they get it wrong. Sometimes — and this is annoying — there will be young’n’s who slide by because they lied about their age on Facebook. Sometimes they will write something to the effect of, “LOL I’m actually 16 sry!”
Is there anything you can do if someone lies about their age and continues to stick to that while on Tinder? No. Of course not. People lie on the Internet. This is not going to be a very common problem, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
4. Don’t Bypass the Gems
Every once in a while, you might find someone who has written something clever on their profile or has photos that are genuinely interesting. This says a lot when half the profiles you see feature the chorus of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’.
So don’t miss out. It’s really easy to focus just on appearances, but instead of swiping every other second, take some time and get to know the person behind the photo. While it isn’t much, it might be worth seeing what they have to say (if there’s anything at all).
5. Have Reasonable Expectations
People, this is essentially speed dating. And it’s based primarily on appearances. There’s a 99% chance you aren’t going to meet Prince Charming here. Doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, though.
You can download Tinder to your iPhone or your Android smartphone. Unfortunately, there isn’t a web version of the app. And it can be difficult to get started, so check out these hilarious Tinder pickup lines that worked.
Image Credit: David Martyn Hunt