“I never really use it.”
“I only got it as a joke.”
“I just think the pickup lines are fun.”
Yeah, yeah. You can dish out as many excuses as you want as to why you have Tinder on your phone. Either way, you downloaded it, probably in a time of desperate horniness, and you haven’t deleted it. It might just be a fun way to pass the time, but everyone knows that feeling of pride when you match with someone super hot. If you’re going to live in denial, you might as well make sure your profile game is strong to maximize your matches.
1. Pick a Brand
No matter what form of social media you use, your profile needs to send a cohesive message about you. Every picture you choose and every word you write in your bio should be deliberate. If you can’t explain why you used it to a match, then don’t use it. But no pressure.
2. Be Friends with the Bio Section
I don’t care whether you think you’re America’s Next Top Model—you can’t have enough steamy pictures to be able to say nothing about yourself. Even if you just throw in your school and graduation year, it not only says a fact about you—it says “Hey, I’m a person, not a robot!”
3. Keep It Simple
On the flip side, while you want to utilize the bio and pictures, don’t be overwhelming. No one who’s reduced romance to right swipes wants to read your entire life story. Throw in a few fun facts: school, major, an interest or two and maybe a joke if you’re confident. Don’t make you hookup intentions no as that’ll probably just drive away all your potential matches. Your matches should be able to read your full bio without having to scroll at all.
4. Order Wisely
Since Tinder is linked to Facebook, your profile pics are automatically your most recent prof pics from there. This doesn’t mean you need to stick to those—in fact, you shouldn’t. Your Facebook friends know who you are and what you look like, but your Tinder matches don’t unless you show them. Leading with three groups shots in a row is a major no-no and will certainly lead to a left swipe. Reorder your profile pictures so that your potential baes can tell who you are right off the bat with a clear solo picture. Then follow it up with group shots, sports pics and other fun photos you want to include, even though they don’t prominently show off your face.
5. Know the No-no’s
All those “I-can’t-believe-I-even-have-say-it” rules of the Internet still apply on Tinder. Don’t use a shirtless gym pic as your main photo. Remove evidence of past relationships. If you’re swiping past his profile and that picture of him holding a 12-pound bass makes you say yikes, make sure yours is entirely clean of anything that might make someone say the same about you.
6. Follow the Mom Rule
Your dear sweet mother didn’t spend nine months carrying you in her womb for you to message explicit pickup lines to strangers online. If you wouldn’t want your mom reading your initial conversation with a romantic interest, then you’re not doing it right.
7. Be a Little Ruthless
Chances are, you’re going to encounter a lot of people who don’t follow the Mom Rule. Luckily, the Internet makes it extremely easy to cut off trolls. There’s no left swipe limit, so if someone seems even a little shady, don’t give him the chance to prove it. If you accidentally let someone skeevy into your matches, unmatch and report the perpetrator for inappropriate behavior. There’s no need to engage with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable.
8. Be a Little Quirky
It’s super easy to fall into a formula on Tinder, especially if your profile is unappealing. Mention a few unique hobbies in your bio, or throw in a conversation-starting photo. When in doubt, try to shake it up when messaging someone by asking a fun get-to-know-you question instead of the classic, “Hey, what’s up?” Pay attention to her bio and pictures and ask a question about something that sticks out to you. Does she have a dog? Ask her about the dog. Women love dogs (who wouldn’t?).
9. Crowdsource Some Feedback
Even though you don’t want to admit your Tinder addiction to your friends, you’re not the only one who uses it. If you’re unsure about featuring a picture or nervous about messaging someone cute, ask your friends for feedback—especially your friends of the sex you’re pursuing. They’ll know surefire ways to make your profile appealing and your messages intriguing without stepping into weird or creepy territory.
10. Have Fun!
Don’t try to take Tinder too seriously. After all, it’s just Tinder. Not everyone you swipe right on will be your match made in heaven, but it’s just a new platform to meet and talk to new people. You might not meet the love of your life or even your next hookup, but you’ll sure come out of it with some funny stories.
Tinder is the definition of playing the dating game, so make sure you’re playing to win.