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That time of year is creeping upon us once again, and if you’re single you know exactly what I’m talking about: Yep you guessed it, Valentine’s Day.

Back in high school, I used to loathe this day as a single lady. The angsty teenager in me resented seeing the dramatic love letters couples would publicly share with each other on Instagram that sat comfortably below an image of them from the time they went on a date to see Christmas lights. 

But you know what, not anymore y’all. I have decided to flip the script and now, I see it as a day to celebrate and have fun. This is the one day of the year that you can shamelessly hook up with anyone you want; what better way to do that than swiping right on Tinder.

Being swiped off your feet is no easy task, and trust me I would know. I have deleted and redownloaded Tinder about 5 times…just since quarantine began. From my experience, I have noticed there are a lot of unspoken rules that everyone should be aware of before swiping right on the guy who claims he wants to teach you how to skate. Here are some helpful tips I have picked up from my days on the app that should guide you in the right direction towards being a successful Tinderella.

Curate Your Ideal Profile
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Represent yourself in the best way possible, but without being a catfish. Have a friend take nice photos of you, or have a date with your ring light and take some cute selfies to make sure you are putting your best foot forward. For supplemental pictures, try to have more solo pictures than ones of you in a group. People will assume you’re the least attractive person in the group if all you have are group photos. Sad to say, but true.

Another important part of your profile is your bio! Bottom line, just be genuine. If comedy isn’t your thing, then make your bio an actual bio by giving a short quick description of yourself. Nothing is worse than seeing a bad joke as a bio on tinder. Not only because it’s not funny, but because it shows that the person is trying to be someone they’re not.

Know What You Want

You shouldn’t shame yourself for just wanting to hook up with someone. Having sex with someone because you want to and feel like it is completely valid and part of the human experience. With that said, casual sex isn’t for everyone. Many people prefer to get to know the person they’re about to be intimate with, and that is also valid. Either way, know what you want going into it. You will spare yourself confusion and heartache later.

Don’t Lead Your Match On

If you can tell the interaction isn’t going to go anywhere, but the other person involved thinks otherwise, don’t lead them on and give them your socials, or even worse…your number. Although you may want to just be nice to them because you don’t want them to feel rejected, it’s in the best interest of both parties just to leave it on the app. This way you also won’t have to worry about them lingering around and bugging you later asking to hang out.

Chat!

There are a lot of horror stories out there about Tinder dates going from a nice casual meet up to a murder mystery. When meeting strangers online, it’s essential that you get their vibe before you meet up, especially if you plan on getting intimate. If there are red flags while chatting, in their bio or pictures, those flags won’t turn pink if you decide to meet up in person. I highly recommend gaging the situation through talking, at least until you feel comfortable enough to hang out in person. If you do feel comfortable enough to hang out in person, we’re still in a pandemic so always bring a mask!

Don’t Text/Facetime for Too Long

You have to go out sometime. Speaking from experience, texting and facetiming for months on end when you have the resources to meet up just makes you lose interest unfortunately. It eventually starts to fizzle out because your relationship, whatever it may be, becomes monotonous. So to combat that, ask them out! The worst they can say is no, and by the time you feel you are ready to see them in person, they will most likely want to see you too because you’ve been talking for a while. 

Make Concrete Plans

Congratulations! They said yes to hanging out! But now you have to fill in the blanks of what you’re going to be doing during the said hang out. Even if it’s something casual, it is still crucial to make solid plans that you intend to follow through on. Noncommittal statements like, “wanna hang sometime?” or “I’m free next week, let’s meet up”, are super unhelpful. They also say a lot about a person’s ability to communicate, show integrity and intentions. So if you actually plan on hanging out with someone from Tinder, make actual plans set up with a time, date, and location. Trust me, the other person will really appreciate it. 

This guide should help you navigate your way through all of the rigmarole that comes along with the world of virtual dating. And remember, always be genuine on apps like Tinder, especially if you’re using it for actual romance. You shouldn’t change your vibe to fit what you think other people want to see. Be you!

Alexa Kushner

Cal Poly '22

I am a fourth-year journalism major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I am currently writing for KCPR and Her Campus at Cal Poly. Some of my favorite things to write about include pop culture, entertainment, arts, and music.
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