Summer Goodwin image on Tinder
Love letters

The Tinder Trap

I haven’t blogged in a while – partly because I’m busy studying online, but also because I have a new distraction. Tinder is my latest social media crush. This addictive little game-changer is now the fastest-growing mobile dating app in the world. I’ve dated online before through popular websites, but never had so much fun. Sean Rad – you are a genius.

A quick intro for those not yet acquainted…

Tinder is based on the old-fashioned concept of meeting people in your local area. It’s a location-based app that uses your Facebook data to create your profile of images (you can change them) with an optional bio.

You select your desired gender, age range and maximum distance for potentials. Tinder searches the area and delivers you a neat card-like stack of possibilities. You flick through and anonymously select nope (swipe left) or like (swipe right). If two people like each other, you’re a match and you can private message within the app.

If you’re single and haven’t tried it yet, do. It’s fun. Plus you can play Tinder at home, in your pajamas, with a nice cup of tea. Bonus!

Six ways to win at Tinder

1. Don’t take it too seriously

It’s astonishing what men think women will find attractive. A standard male profile generally includes at least one of these images:

  • Me with a beer
  • Me with a fish
  • My car / boat / motorbike
  • My dog
  • Me without a shirt on
  • Me with a tiger (yes, really)
  • Beach / sunset / random arty shot seemingly unrelated to anything

When you realise that most men have no idea what is attractive to women, you’re halfway there. Just choose the most normal looking men and cull or keep after you chat. Have some fun getting to know new people and see where things go.

2. Be yourself

While we’re on the subject of profile pics, I’ve surveyed a few male friends … and the number one gripe? Women using photos taken when they were much younger. Ladies, if you pretend to look better than what you really do, the guy will notice when you meet. You’re setting him up for disappointment. Isn’t it better for him to think, ‘wow, she’s more gorgeous in person than in her photos’ rather than ‘wow, this is awkward’? Here are a few pointers:

  • Don’t use images taken more than five years ago (you have visibly aged since then, sorry)
  • Don’t use heavily Photoshopped images (false advertising)
  • Don’t use images of other people and pretend they are you (yes, this has actually happened)
  • Do include at least one image of yourself taken in the past 12 months, without makeup if possible (yes, this is what you really look like)

3. Know why you are here

People on Tinder are generally seeking one of three things:

  • A hook-up (ideally tonight)
  • A casual fun thing (the extended hook-up)
  • A relationship (AKA I’m secretly hoping to meet the man / woman of my dreams here)

Know what kind of Tinder person you are and establish what kind they are ASAP. Simply ask the question. Sometimes you won’t need to – an opening message of ‘hey hotness, are you DTF?’ generally gives it away. Don’t waste your time with someone who is not seeking the same thing. Find someone who is and chat to them instead.

4. Be smart and safe

If you are on Tinder to hook-up, please ladies, have a coffee with the gentleman first. If he does happen to be a psycho, you’re having coffee in a public place, not sex in a hotel room with a psycho. Some people are crazy and dangerous.

You might want to have a phone conversation before meeting. If not, I’d suggest sharing your phone number after you’ve met in-person and definitely want to see them again. Some men may suggest exchanging numbers before you meet the first time, ‘just in case’. There is no need. While, admittedly, messaging via Tinder can be a little slow and clunky, it is just like SMS. Bonus point: they don’t have your number. But you can always block phone numbers too, so don’t stress.

5. Unmatch or block people as necessary

If you want to end the connection with a match – for whatever reason – you can unmatch. When I first started using Tinder, you could only block (not unmatch). If the person is being a total douchebag, I’d still block now. Tinder is a game and not everyone will play nice. It’s like being in an online bar. Some people will be sleazy, inappropriate or annoy you. No words are necessary here – simply unmatch or block and move on.

6. Keep your options open

Tinder is a numbers game. Out of every 80-100 matches, I’ll have good conversations with about three people, but will only really connect with one person. That’s about one per cent. Go on dates with people who sound interesting. That said, I went on the worst date this week. He turned up drunk and talked non-stop about his ex-wife. I ended up saying thank you, goodbye, and walking out. I’m meeting a different guy for lunch tomorrow. Hopefully it will be a better date (it really couldn’t get much worse) but if not, then … NEXT! Just have some fun, be yourself, and don’t settle for second best. Good luck!

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