Being a college student, or even a young adult, chances are that you’ve heard about Tinder and how it works. But if not, let me give you some background to start out.
Basically, Tinder is an all-inclusive dating app where you view random profiles of your preferred gender and swipe the screen left if you don’t think you’re interested or swipe right if you want to get to know more about the person.
If you swipe right on a profile and that person swipes right on yours, you all match and then decide whether you want to carry on a conversation or unmatch said person. It can be used to find friends, hookups or even serious relationships.
In short, it has been the best thing that has ever happened to me!
I joined Tinder about two months after my first ever relationship ended because I’d been following the Tinder success story of one of my favorite millennial poets, Madisen Kuhn. After dreaming like the hopeless romantic I am, I decided to download it and see what’s outside my little, introverted world.
The truth is, Tinder is a hit-and-miss app. I have gotten into four relationships since joining Tinder in late 2016, including my current, and thankfully, final relationship. Some have been extremely beneficial for me and my growth as a person, while others have been, well, pure, toxic trash. But I don’t want that personal statement to turn you away from trying new and potentially wonderful things. Instead, I want to give some of you first-time Tinder users, and perhaps even experienced users, what to look for, according to your own relationship preferences.
First, it’s important to set your expectations when going into any dating app, but especially Tinder. It’s always helpful to state in your profile bio what you are looking for, whether it is something casual or more serious. Your profile should also include as much general information as you can give about yourself in 250 characters or less. This could include your hobbies, skills or a favorite quote.
When I used to use Tinder, especially as a woman, I paid close attention to the information that guys would include in their bio while making the decision of whether I wanted to swipe left or right. If you want someone to actually look at your profile, don’t leave a blank bio, because then how can others decide if you’re the right person to get to know?
Next, photos on your profile are a must, and the way they look or who they include are important too. Group pictures that you’re unidentifiable in could give your viewer unrealistic expectations right off the bat and could lead to a misidentified swipe on you when, in reality, they were interested in the person standing next to you. Pictures that don’t even include you are a big no-no too. Sure, a picture or two of your dogs is nice, but obviously you’re not your dog and this isn’t your dog’s profile. Instead, go for a casual-looking selfie or even photos that document you enjoying your favorite activities. It’s important for you to be real and truthful about who you are and how you look to potential friends or partners.
Lastly, communication is key. Besides stating what you are looking for in your bio and what your interests are, you will actually want to carry on a conversation with your interest(s) about what brought you to Tinder and establish how you would like to associate with them. Whether it’s looking for a casual bar buddy, a cuddle buddy or a relationship for life, let your matches know so that neither of you waste your time talking to the wrong person.
In terms of responding to your messages, it’s okay to choose one person to talk to instead of another. Tinder is all about meeting new people and creating new (hopefully healthy) connections in the virtual world. Daily communication on the app or through text may be needed to keep your match’s interest, and could even possibly score you a date or meet-up in the near future.
When using Tinder, use at your own discretion, remember the rules of internet safety and, most importantly, have fun and discover who you are. Like me, you may never know when you have found your partner or friend for life.