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Using Tinder? Avoid These 8 Common Mistakes

Megan Ellis Updated 08-12-2019

Tinder has changed the online dating game. But even as one of the most popular dating apps, there are some mistakes that way too many users make.


From falling for fake profiles to sabotaging your chances of getting matched, here are some common Tinder mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

What Is Tinder and How Do I Use It?

Tinder is a dating app for smartphones that lets you swipe through people’s profiles 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. Liking a profile is also referred to as swiping-right, while swiping-left is a rejection. If you and someone else on Tinder both swipe-right on each other, the app notifies you both that you’re a match. This allows you to contact each other using the app’s messaging platform.

On the surface, Tinder might appear to be a bit shallow. The app’s primary focus is aimed at featuring profile images to swipe through. Few details besides a first name, job, and age are visible at first glance. Luckily, you are able to find out more by looking at the user’s bio.

To use Tinder, you simply need to download the iOS or Android app and set up a profile. Since 2018, users can also use the app on their PC’s internet browser by visiting the Tinder website.


Now that you know how Tinder works, you’re probably ready to get started. However, you should make sure to avoid these common Tinder mistakes…

1. Falling for Fake Tinder Profiles

Tinder can be a great place to find a romantic partner, but it’s not uncommon for users to stumble across fake profiles. Fake profiles are often used by bots and people running scams on Tinder The 5 Worst Tinder Scams: Tips for Dating Safely on Tinder Here are Tinder scams, like the verify account scam, that you should look out for, along with advice on how to avoid them. Read More .

Fake profiles usually have a few warning signs to look out for. These include very little to no information in the bio, with only one picture that looks like a stock image.

You can’t always tell from the profile, however, whether the user is fake. But if you receive links to alternative services and games, messages that seem automated and unrelated to context, or overly forward romantic messages; the profile may be fake.


Make sure you’re up-to-date with all of the warning signs of an online dating scammer How to Spot and Avoid an Online Dating Scammer: 8 Red Flags Do you date online? Here are several tips and red flags to help you spot and avoid scammers on online dating sites. Read More . It’s better to err on the side of caution when matching up with people on the app.

2. Sharing Too Much Personal Information on Tinder

While Tinder apparently no longer shows mutual Facebook friends, there are still other profiles that can be linked to the dating app. For example, you are able to link your Instagram account and Spotify playlists.

However, if you’re not careful about what you link, you could share too much personally identifiable information with strangers. Reverse image searches, location tags, and other common tools can be used to identify you.

While you should include some information about yourself (or risk being considered a bot), you should also make sure to protect your privacy on Tinder Tinder Privacy: 8 Things You're Doing Wrong We've gathered all of our Tinder wisdom to give you some privacy tips that will help you avoid problems when using the Tinder dating app. Read More . Don’t share your home address, your work address, or other private information with matches.


3. Choosing the Wrong Tinder Profile Picture

Many users swipe pretty quickly on Tinder. They won’t necessarily take the time to look at multiple photos and your bio unless your first picture makes an impression. Therefore, you need to make sure that the first photo on your profile is your best.

You should also make sure it only features you rather than a group of friends. Group photos make it unclear who the actual profile belongs to and requires people to view all your photos—something that is more of a deterrent rather than an incentive.

A few other primary profile picture mistakes you should avoid are:

  • Photos where your face is obscured by sunglasses or hats
  • Photos taken from far away (making you difficult to see)
  • Photos that don’t have you in it, such as memes or pictures of animals
  • Photos where you’re not smiling

You can include these types of images elsewhere in your profile, but if you include it as your primary image or only image, you’re less likely to attract matches. Tinder’s own statistics show that certain types of photos reduce the number of right-swipes that users get.


4. Bypassing the Gems

If you’re looking for more than just a casual hookup on Tinder, you should take the time to check bios before swiping. Every once in a while, you might find someone who has written something clever on their profile or genuinely interesting photos.

So don’t miss out. It’s really easy to focus just on appearances. But if you want more meaningful connections, take some time and get to know the person behind the photo. It’s easy for profiles to come across as generic, so if something stands out to you, take a chance with a right-swipe.

5. Having Unreasonable Expectations on Tinder

Using Tinder is definitely a great way to meet new people and potential romantic partners. But you will also need to manage your expectations.

Users on Tinder are there for a variety of reasons. This means that not all people you match with will be looking for the same thing as you. Surveys by Tinder show that most users are there to find love, but a significant number say that they’re there for casual flings, meeting friends, or just validating their self-esteem.

While you may be there for love, you may very well end up matching with users looking for a fling or just a chat. It’s going to take some time and effort to find people you like on the app, so make sure you’re not expecting instant success and connections when you use the app for the first time.

6. Lying on Your Tinder Profile

While we all want to put our best foot forward on dating sites, there’s a difference between making sure your selfies are flattering and telling outright lies. If you want to have a pleasant experience on Tinder, don’t lie about yourself.

Be clear with what you’re looking for from the experience. This will enable you to find people with similar goals, such as those seeking a potential long-term partner.

Don’t use heavily edited images that don’t look at all like you. Also avoid old images that no longer reflect how you look. This causes more problems than its worth.

You should also make sure to use your real name on Tinder, or at least your nickname. A match will become suspicious if they find out you’re using a fake name on the app. After all, it’s something that scammers or cheaters tend to do.

7. Not Checking Your Tinder Match’s Actual Age

Tinder is limited to users who are 18 years of age or older. While the app tries to prevent underage users from accessing the service, this isn’t always possible.

Furthermore, people are able to hide their age on Tinder with a Tinder Plus account. There are also users who don’t put their real age on the app. Some users go so far as to list their age as over 100 years old.

When setting up a date, you should make sure to check your Tinder match’s actual age.

8. Swiping Right Too Much or Too Little on Tinder

The way the Tinder algorithm works is not altogether clear. However, the company itself has confirmed that it prioritizes active users on the app. This doesn’t mean swiping right on every single profile, however.

Anecdotal reports from Tinder users on Reddit claim that swiping right on too many profiles lowers your number of matches. However, Tinder also recommends on their Swipe Life blog that you should not limit likes to only one percent of the profiles you see.

Even if there’s no penalty in the algorithm, swiping right on every profile can clearly reduce the quality of matches that Tinder is able to provide. After all, Tinder’s algorithm is unable to learn your preferences if you don’t seem to have any at all.

Other Dating Apps That Aren’t Tinder

Tinder can be a great way to get back into the dating game and meet new people. But it’s not for everyone. And at the end of the day, online dating will only be successful if you’re a likable person. Check out these tips on how to be a more likable person.

If Tinder’s setup and focus on appearances doesn’t appeal, you may want to use an alternative dating app. To get in the dating game using another platform, check out our list of alternative dating apps that match you differently Better Than Tinder? 5 New Dating Apps That Match You Differently Tinder can be superficial with its date matches. Try these new dating apps if you want a different dating experience. Read More to Tinder.

Related topics: Online Dating, Online Privacy, Personal Safety, Tinder.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  3. D. Bag McGillicuddy
    January 5, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    @Alexander Rose ... I've been fascinated by your comment and problems regarding Tinder and I've been researching your problems in depth since I read your comment just over 6 months ago. But the answers have fallen in place over these months and I will now share these insights with you.
    1) On Hot or Not pretty much 95% pretty female profiles are fake (ballpark estimate).

    2) Regarding photos.
    I've identified key areas you might wish to improve:
    a) Background pictures. You're looking for women, but you're already showcasing the woman you have in your life.... well, not really, but come on now.
    b) Hair. Hey, I'm not judging peoples hairstyles. If you want a mohawk, have a mohawk. If you want the front swept hair, have that. But have it in a higher quality than "black blob".
    c) Hand gestures. I mean... I mean a lot, just take my word for it, ok? The 2-in-the-pink, 1-in-the-stink hand signal would probably give you more matches.
    d) Shirt logo says Fantasia, right? At first I thought it sounded like a strip club, but a google search says it might be referring to the 1940's Disney movie.... Either way, take it off. Doesn't matter what you look like underneath, either it's better or it's better because hey, at least they now know what to expect.
    e) I don't really have an e, I just think e is not used often enough in these sorts of lists. Maybe not a picture from you alone in your room in front of your computer on a webcam in dark lighting and looking slightly creepy?
    f) Oh wait, I did have an e. That whatever-you-call-it on your bottom lip. I'm avoiding calling it beard on purpose.
    g) That small black spot on the neckline of your shirt.. Weird patch of hair or beginning of a tattoo? Don't let people even begin to imagine this question. Nothing wrong with tattoos generally, but when people first have this question in their head, the game is lost. (Hey, you just lost the game, too by the way.)

    3) Moral police? Besides being respectful of other peoples lives, you're clearly not going to understand that angle, so let's make this about you. Stalk up some girl on FB, who you've said approximately 2 sentences to on Tinder and then write to her on FB and see how that goes. It doesn't matter if she blocked you or not before you write to her on FB, most will wonder why or how the hell you got their FB.

    4) I could probably stretch your technical issues about it to 3 points, but I'll just say it real quick: They have a FAQ page that explains all of your issues and exactly how to resolve them and that you haven't lost your matches or messages unless you delete your account. You can even uninstall and reinstall the app, as long as you don't delete your account.
    Oh wait, you DO lose your messages when someone blocks you. Tough luck there, buddy!

    5) Another key area of your troubles identified in my research: You have an Apple watch. This is not me android-fanboying it up, I actually find iPhone really enjoyable to use and missed the simplicity of it when I used one, since I've never been really fascinated or all caught up in mobile technology. But back to the issue: I'm not saying an Apple watch is silly or costs way too much (though it does). Sure it's a fun gadget and I'm sure many people are interesting in seeing it just to know what it actually is like. But it's just not sexy, no matter how much it costs. Just tape a wad of bills around your wrist and display it proudly. Hey, make it thick enough and it may even be able to cover up the Fantasia logo in case you don't have other shirts to put on instead.

    6) If you can see her messages and replied back, what exactly were you complaining about? Maybe this one just flew over my head, since I might've become blind to things making sense after staring at your comment for a while. About losing message history? You just said you can see her messages. About losing matches? You just said you can reply back. I really don't know.

    7) About the tech person, I agree actually. They could at least have sent you the link to the FAQ page. Although they may have thought it obvious to try those solutions first and thought that's what you had done already, which only leaves one option: they might have unmatched or blocked you. Obviously, they could've written both solutions and let you try it out for yourself, but that could get complicated real quick, right? :)

    Have a nice day.

    Sincerely yours,
    D. Bag McGillycuddy

    P.S. Just out of curiosity. How many of those TONS of 10's on HotOrNot have you actually met? Or even had a rational talk with where she actually answered questions with something that made sense? I mean, OK you match with them all the time, but... come on now. I just... I mean... Come on now.

  4. Anonymous
    June 27, 2015 at 1:21 am

    I honestly don't believe that Tinder even shows half the girls I swipe yes to my picture.

    Here's why: On Hot or Not I match with a TON of 10s. Super hot girls. On Tinder, I only match with borderline unattractive/fat women. WTF? and I'm a Tinder Plus subscriber.

    I have sometimes 3-4 matches a month from super hot girls on Hot or Not, but not on Tinder, with the SAME PHOTOS.

    Anyway, on to the deal of finding peoples' profiles. Don't do that? It's disrespectful? Good for you moral police. How about yeah I will do whatever it takes to make a connection with someone I like.

    I have actually unmatched people in Tinder to be totally shocked when THE ENTIRE MESSAGE HISTORY IS GONE. Deleted. It's one thing to not be able to contact them anymore, it's another to not see their messages.

    And just thought of this, here's another problem I have with Tinder: Everytime I update the app it seems like my matches ARE ALL GONE.

    And yet another issue-- Their tech support either doesn't care about you, or are sub-human brainless idiots. Since most tech people are not sub-human brainless idiots let's see.... hmm..

    I noticed on my Apple watch whenever I would get a Tinder message from a girl in a conversation, it would pop up with a notification "Kelly sent you a new message!" then I look at the message, and it shows her picture with the LAST SENT MESSAGE I SENT, but when I go to the app I see the correct message from her, and the list of messages.

    I did a bug report on Tinder, I get back "Go search for her name because she might have unmatched or blocked you" .. Umm.. no.. did you even read what I wrote? I just ended it saying that I can see her messages and I replied back. You CANNOT do that if they unmatched or blocked you.

    I reiterated this to the tech person, and they replied with the SAME MESSAGE reworded. I think I will be quitting Tinder since now Hot or Not actually has a lot more people in my town.

  5. Anonymous
    May 17, 2015 at 6:58 am

    Just another way of finding people's real profiles is to make a screenshot of their tinder, crop square photo and upload it to google image search. Not every time but it works. And yep, it's usually makes people very scared so even if you've done that don't tell your math about that :-)