One of the most common things people ask me when they find out what I write about for a living is, “Have you tried Tinder?” They’re usually shocked to learn that I haven’t tried the app that’s become ubiquitous in modern online dating. I refuse to count that time when, after a few too many Pisco Sours, my friend let me play around with her Tinder account & I got a little too trigger happy with swiping right. This resulted in a very interesting conversation with a guy named G-Dawg69 from Seattle (one the “matches” I chose for my friend.) File that under: “sorry” and “let’s pretend that night never happened.”
People have been asking me to write about Tinder for awhile now. However, since I have very little first hand knowledge, I decided to bring in an expert. My British dating blogger friend, Tinderella is here today to share her Tinder knowledge, while Joe the Intern and his friends provide the visuals. Take it away!
I’ve been Tindering furiously for a few months now, so I suppose I could consider myself a veteran Tinder junkie.
Between laugh-out-loud experiences, drunken one-night stands, and sloppy first-date kisses, Tinder has taught me a lot about men and the world of online dating.
Below are 5 of the most important lessons I’ve learned from Tinder (in no particular order):
1. Be Open About Your Intentions
Tinder™ is a curious little dating app. Unlike Match.com or Christian Mingle, it’s geared mainly toward hookup culture rather than finding your soul mate/ life-long partner. Yet, some people (both men and women) are on there in the hope that they might meet someone special.
On the flip side, there’s also lots of individuals on there merely looking for a speedy sexing. Not being clear about what you want out of you Tinder experience is a rookie mistake. Being vague about your intentions (one-off sex vs. romance) may actually hurt you or the other person in the end. This actually leads me into the second thing I’ve learned from Tinder …
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Brutally Honest
Most people are weenies. They are afraid to say what they mean for fear of rejection, backlash or disappointment.
Don’t be that person.
As a woman on Tinder, I can tell you that there have been countless guys who just. don’t. get. the. hint. that I don’t want anything to do with them. Similarly, some just can’t fathom why I wouldn’t want to have sex with them after one measly date.
It’s important therefore, to be honest with your Tinder matches. I’ve told guys who have invited me to their houses, that I straight up don’t want to have sex with them. While this approach may seem uncouth or too intense for some, trust me – it works. These guys respected me more in the end, and some have actually told me that they appreciated the fact that I didn’t play games.
For the sweethearts who I just can’t see myself with in the long-term, I’ve also had to be brutally honest and let them know that “while the conversation was great”, and “they’re very witty”, “I just don’t see this going anywhere”. While it sucks having tell some nice guy that I don’t want to see him anymore, letting your matches know that this isn’t going to work is the mature, honest and right thing to do.
Ultimately, you want to date someone who wants what you want, and the best way to find that out is to be truthful with every individual you meet.
3. Beware of Shirtless Pics
Now, this may seem totally obvious for some, but be wary of guys with shirtless photos on their Tinder profiles. The same goes for men seeking out women: beware the ‘duck faces’ and pushed-out boobs. By striking these poses, these individuals are priming themselves for sex. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing since some people are on Tinder merely for a late-night rendezvous…
The reason I’m telling you to take these online dating pics with a grain of salt is for the following reasons: If you’re looking for a relationship out of Tinder, someone who bares their body parts [even if they look amazing] in an online dating profile for the world to see, is probably kind of vain and waaaay too into themselves. So I’d stay clear.
Alternatively, if you’re only looking for sex, you may still want to be sceptical of the shirtless and boob pics. These photos represent a specific moment in time. Who’s to say that that person even looks like that now? Exactly. So. Beware ladies and gents.
4. That Cute Dog Photo? Yeah, That’s Totally Intentional.
Even though they totally work on me, men who upload photos of themselves with their dogs or cats (squee!) are totally aware of what they’re doing. In fact, that might not even be their dog. Don’t rule out them borrowing their neighbour’s Fido for the photo op.
Pay close attention to the animal’s face in the image. If it looks distressed, then your Tinder match may not be the loving person you make them out to be. Conversely, if the pet looks like it’s loving life and is comfortable and at ease in its owners grasp, then your match may be a softy at heart.
On the other hand, STAY AWAY from matches who have been photographed next to wild animals. Tourist hubs in places such as Mexico, South Africa and Thailand sometimes have lion or tiger cubs drugged up and on display for the masses. Anyone who is willing to take advantage of these poor animals’ exploitation for personal gain is a douche-bag (or at the very least has no worldly experience or empathy) and should be avoided at all costs!
(So in other words, follow this guideline for animal shots.)
5. Always Have Your First Meeting In A Public Place
Once again, this may sound obvious to some, but it’s extremely important for your personal safety – both physically and emotionally. Without ever having met him, I’ve had many a dude message me asking if I want to come over. Even if you’re just looking for sex, and it seems too good to be true that this hottie is only 2 miles away, it’s always best to scope them out in a public place before you go home with them.
Meeting your Tinder™ match in a bar, café, restaurant, even a busy park, will ensure that you get a ‘feel’ for who they are and what they want from you. Your gut instincts when you meet a person face-to-face are the single most-important indicator of whether or not you should/want to go home with them later.
When online, people can craft themselves into exactly the person they want to be perceived as because they have the time to do so. In the flesh, one needs to think on one’s feet, and you’ll know within minutes if a person is creepy or genuine.
So folks. There ya have it – the 5 most important things I’ve learned from Tinder (so far). I’m sure as I continue the pleasure of Tindering I will encounter more lessons, which I will of course share with you if given the opportunity!
This article was written by yours truly, Tinderella. I’m a 20-something sex and relationship blogger based in the UK. I love to make people laugh with my terrible sex and dating stories, but occasionally I do also have some sound advice to offer about the realm of dating, sex and relationships.