A Tinder Survival Guide For Swiping Newbies


It’s pretty clear that Tinder is here to stay, and with it the “new world of dating.” Now, before you throw yourself on to this wonderful app, there are a few things that you need to consider. This is a step-by-step guide for how to become a Tinder professional like myself. (Really, I have a certificate of accreditation and everything.)

Rule number 1: Be yourself.

To begin, I should probably give you an outline of my own Tinder profile. I’m 23. I like an outrageous amount of pages on Facebook. I’m cute in the “girl-next-door” type of way, though I am no beauty queen. I have several pictures depicting me from all angles, always smiling, usually crazily, one depicting my back tattoos and another standing with the Stanley Cup for a few examples. My description is “I am looking for someone to share in an adventure. Have you ever heard of the term ‘fangirl’?”

Rule number 2: Don’t feel pressured.

I use Tinder purely out of amusement. I hate how it’s labeled as a “dating” or “hookup” app, as I am actually looking for someone to share in my amusement. I find this helps take the pressure off. I in no way feel like I am obligated to go on ANY dates with these people. It’s just interesting to be able to be so blatant in our basic liking and disliking of the opposite sex (or same, or both, or whatever). It’s rather animalistic. And it’s fun.

Rule number 3: Be picky.

Now, I am in no way shallow. Well, okay, maybe a bit. But I start my process by looking at a person’s eyes and smile. If I can imagine myself looking in to their eyes and smiling at them in return, then I move on to look at the profile in depth. However, this is where I get picky…
First impression:

  • Not smiling? No.
  • Less than 3 pictures? Catfish.
  • Dark haired and blue-eyed? Can I have your babies??
  • If you’re wearing a d-bag tank top in every picture, you’re being shown to all of my friends before receiving a prompt “no.”
  • 16 people in your profile pic? I am much too lazy to try and deduct who you are from your other photos.
  • Dog in the profile picture? Definitely gives you extra points. Not so much with a kid. (Sorry to all of you wonderful single fathers, just not my time.)
  • Every girl, and most guys that I know, has a name, or a list of names, that will automatically disqualify any potential suitor. Mine are Robert (I have like, five uncles by that name), Erik (no one wants to date someone whose name is the same as their dad…) and Matt (they’re all douchebags).
  • Smoking in a picture? Nooooope. Especially in the profile picture. I don’t mind if you smoke, but there is no need to take a picture of it.
  • DOPE. YOLO. Any Tupac or Eminem quotes in your description, etc… Nope.
  • However, having a blank profile is just as useless. I mean, you have 3 pictures, we have no likes or friends in common, and you can’t even put in a simple “I’m a student” in the description? Have some courtesy.
  • Redhead?! 99% chance of HOLY GOD YES. (Blame the Queen Rowling…)
  • And after that point, if we have Harry Potter, Emma Watson, JK, or really any nerdy page in common, it’s a yes. Always. Until the very end.

Create a list with requirements on it. I’m not saying it has to be as extensive as my own, but have some standards. If you’re just looking for a hook up, that’s fine. But still be picky. We don’t need Tinder to get sued because someone is blaming them for contracting an STI.

Rule number 4: Have fun.

If you somehow manage to match with me…

A. You’re going to have to message me first. It’s just how it is. I’m a terribly shy person, and I like to see what you’re going to come up with to woo me in one sentence.

However, I realize that this stereotype of a guy having to approach the girl is worn out, so keep in mind that if I’m really interested, I will message you.

Side note: I also know that many men use the terrible technique of “like-every-single-girl-without-looking-and-only-check-or-block-them-once-you-have-a-match” and so this saves me from the humiliation of wasting a cheesy pick-up line on them.

B. Building on the last one, if you only send “Hey” or “Nice picture” I. Will. Not. Answer. I’m not asking for a paragraph declaring your everlasting love for me, but don’t be dull. Make us feel special, as if you actually looked at more than just my profile picture. (However, the declarations of love will always get answered, they’re much too amusing.)

C. If I do swipe right and we match, do not feel as though I have an obligation to answer you. I have had guys see that I have been online since they messaged me (thanks for that little addition Tinder), and then send me another message two hours (or even two minutes) later, calling me a snob or a bitch or some other incorrect, degrading term. Most times I just block these children, but others I feel the need to point out a few things to them, such as:

  • I am obviously out of your league if you think I need to respond to your every command like a machine.
  • I sometimes just like to go on the app and not talk to anyone. Including not text anyone. TBH, sometimes I’m just here to judge, not to socialize.
  • I am now going to report them to Tinder and that they will have their profiles blocked. I usually wait a few minutes before blocking them, so I know that they have seen the message, but this process always makes me obscenely happy. (Maybe I am a bitch… Hm.)

D. I am not going to give you my phone number in the first 10 minutes of speaking to you, no matter how much “the messaging on this app sucks.”

E. Nor am I going to go to your place to “chill” anytime soon. Ignore anyone who attempts to make the first meeting anywhere but a public space. This may seem obvious, but I know way too many people who have forgotten the “don’t go in to a stranger’s car” rule.

While this Tinder process is a long and arduous one, it does create results. In my first few attempts with the app, I hardly ever responded to people because I was sure I would never have the confidence to meet them in person. However, when I re-downloaded Tinder a few weeks ago, my ego was at a high and since then I have met several, wonderful new people, and have a great deal more friends. Most of them will stay just that, friends, and I can’t say just yet if I would actually date any of them. But I do very much enjoy their conversation and company and am glad to have met them.

Oh, and one more rule for good luck: Don’t be ashamed of being on Tinder. Power to you for reaching out to new people.

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