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Sex + Relationships

A Guide to Tinder (Based on My Mistakes)

Persistence pays off.

You have to weed through a lot of profiles to find people that you find attractive and intriguing. Hang in there!

Stick to your standards.

Yah it may be a dating app, but that doesn’t mean you should disregard your standards. Treat people the same as you would in real life. It’s good to give people a chance, but don’t get caught up in trying to get matches. It’s not going to work if you’re not attracted to the person or if you have extremely different personalities and values. Tinder is used for finding friends, one night stands, casual dating, and long term relationships. All options are great and valid, but try to find someone who’s looking for something similar to you.

Make a profile that reflects what you’re looking for.

There are definitely good people on Tinder. I know because I’ve met some. However, you won’t find them if you succumb to thirst traps or leave out your personality in your profile. Consider what qualities you are drawn to when making yours.

The Golden Rule! Respect people and their time.

My personal rule is to talk to no more than three people at a time, but you should find a system that works for you. All that really matters is that you give each match a solid effort to connect. Make sure that you’re able to focus on the person you’re meeting up with or talking to. It’s ok to take a break from swiping and then pick it back up when you’ve decided other options won’t work.

It’s ok to go on dates with multiple people.

I know this may seem obvious considering it’s tinder we’re talking about, but I kept finding myself hesitant to pursue multiple options at once. I felt like I would catch feelings with multiple people and end up with a hard decision. I also felt like it wasn’t fair to the person I was going on dates with. The fact is, with tinder, or any dating app, there is no obligation until you have communicated exclusivity with your partner. Also, as much as I might hope, most dates don’t turn into anything more, so there’s no need to stress. As my roommate said, “dating is like buying a surfboard. Normally, you can’t try out multiple ones before committing, but if given the chance, you definitely should.”

Cutting people off will feel terrible, but it’s got to be done.

Say you go on a date, you get along well, but you don’t feel a spark. The next day, the person texts you saying how wonderful it was and that they would like to see you again. Leading them on is cruel and unusual punishment, and ghosting is not good form. Like it or not, you should rip off the bandaid as kind as possible.

Dating takes time! Get your priorities in check!

For me, the time commitment is the biggest struggle. I want to give everyone a chance, but that’s hard to do when you’re also juggling school, work, friends, and fun. If you find yourself getting too distracted or no longer giving your responsibilities and friends the time they deserve, it’s probably time to hit delete.

Think hard before swiping on friends and acquaintances.

You can swipe on friends if you really want to. It’s often really funny. But, it can also lead to big misunderstandings. I unintentionally lead on a friend this way. Even with acquaintances, take a moment to anticipate any possible awkwardness matching might cause.

If it feels overwhelming, don’t do it. 

Always keep in sight that tinder is just for fun, and your life is good with or without a special someone.

None of this is rocket science, but sometimes we need to hear it from someone else. Hopefully your tinder experience will be a bit more positive if you follow these nine tips.

Wendy McCullough is a fourth year English major and Graphic Communications minor at Cal Poly SLO. She is the campus correspondent of the Her Campus Cal Poly chapter. Wendy is pursuing a career in publishing and design. When she isn't writing for Her Campus, she's surfing, hiking, jamming on guitar, and watching cheesy romcoms.
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