All right, I’ll admit to it: I am a Tinder virgin. Swiping right, swiping left—man, I’m getting dizzy just thinking about it. But here’s the truth of the mobile matter: Tinder is taking over the dating scene, gents. Maybe it’s because you’re choosing dates based on appearances (because first dates are all about physical attraction, obvs) or maybe it’s because you decide with whom you want to engage (no more randos!). Whatever the reason, peeps are macking on dates like never before, thanks to the app.
For those who were once living under an analog rock like myself, here’s some basic info: Tinder pulls data semi-anonymously from your Facebook profile and allows you to like or reject people in a certain kilometre radius from yourself. To pique your initial interest, you’re shown a name, picture and the age of your prospective fling/girlfriend, but if you want to know more you can have a quick perusal of their Tinder profile which will show any mutual Facebook friends, interests, other photos and a quick bio, including the all-important tagline. If you both like each other, you’re matched and can start chatting it up.
With most new phenomena—especially one that’s pretty high on the vanity knob — there’s been an equal amount of backlash and support for the dating app. I’ve tried my best to hear all sides of the issue, from both male and female Tinder-ers (or whatever they’re called), so here’s what I’ve come up with how to do Tinder like a man.
Put Some Effort Into Your Profile
Tinder is like any other online dating website: it’s all about the window dressing. Set yourself apart with interesting tidbits that make you quirky and unique. Take pride in your profile. If you want someone of value to date, your profile should reflect that.
“Men hardly ever write anything at all which tells me, ‘I don’t give a fuck,’ so I usually swipe those left,” says Laura, 30. “Or they write ‘Want to know anything, just ask!’ That one is a personal irk of mine. Obviously I can ask.” Don’t be a lazy asshole. Spruce up your profile and take it easy on the shirtless gym pics, brah.
It’s Okay to Have Fun With It
Consensus says that a lot of people on Tinder are there for shits and giggles, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“I like it because it’s pretty easy to meet people and go out have some fun,” says Cory, 31. When you’re home alone on a Friday night with a cold pizza and “Murdoch Mysteries,” what’s better than swiping right on your smartphone for a date with a hot woman (because that’s why you swiped right), right?
Women feel the same way, too. “I don’t take it very seriously, mostly because nobody else does,” admits Laura. “It is also really entertaining to swipe left/right. It’s like a little video game.” But just like anything in life, communication is key. If you’re there for a laugh (or a lay), be upfront about it.
People Aren’t Disposable
Tinder offers the average single person a high number of dating opportunities that we’ve never experienced before. It’s like drive-thru dating. Swipe right and bam! You’ve got a date. And if that one doesn’t work out, then there’s always another one, and another one, and another one—all at the touch of your fingertips. People just don’t seem to be investing the time and energy into dating anymore based on the squalid mentality of ‘there’s always more where that came from.’ It’s okay to have fun with the app, but try to be respectful, too.
“It’s hard to keep girls attention,” says Sohrab, 32. “They chat a bit, but then get bored. That might be more of a reflection of me, but I suspect my experience is not unique. Or at least it creates an attitude of disposability.”
And the women feel it too. “I get the same feeling [about feeling disposable],” says Laura. “It’s so easy to not care someone who you’ve never met, or who you don’t know very well. There are no repercussions.”
Solution? Remember that there is a human being on the other side of the screen who has real feelings and is just as insecure and self-conscious and awkward as you. Show the same respect towards her, as you would like to be shown. Even if there isn’t a love connection made, you can still be a decent person.
Change it Up a Bit
Because Tinder knows where you live, it automatically matches you up with people within your ‘hood. But if you’re striking out in your hometown, or you’re up to exploring your options outside of city limits, you might want to hit it up while you’re on vacation or away on business.
“Interestingly enough, I’ve found I’ve had the most ‘luck/matches/whatever’ on Tinder when I travel,” says Sohrab. “My strategy is when I’m in a new city, I spend some time swiping like mad. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that the more you swipe, the more likely you are to appear in other people’s apps. After a day or so, I start getting more matches.”
You’re Going to Get Laid (But Don’t Be a Dick About It)
When I asked people about their Tinder success stories, Laura said she dated one guy for two months that ended for “non-dramatic reasons”; Cory said he slept with five women “but that’s as serious as it got,” and Sohrab did meet someone, but nothing long-term (“Full disclosure: we met up and banged.”). This gives me the impression that Tinder is basically a fuck-fest.
Of course, every experience is what you offer to it: if you’re looking for a long-term relationship and you’re open and communicative about that, then, chances are, you’ll find a woman who’s looking for the same thing. Eventually. Hopefully. In the meantime, if you’re up for enjoying casual, consensual, and good sex (and who isn’t?) then Tinder seems to be your go-to trawling spot. My advice: be upfront about your desires, don’t send an unwarranted dick pic and make sure that she knows you’re not a serial killer a.k.a. exchange polite pleasantries.
If you’re still not sure about Tinder (I hear you, bro), then consider this: over 100 million matches have been made since its launch, including 50 marriage proposals (and don’t forget about the millions and millions of people who got laid).
Brianne Hogan is a freelance writer based in Toronto, something of a humorist, and considers herself more Bridget Jones than Samantha Jones. Though she won’t reveal which parts, she will admit to liking emotionally unavailable men and drinking lots of wine. You can follow her on Twitter @briannehogan.