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Sex + Relationships

The Tinder Chronicles: Everything you Need to Know

As a college student, something you’re bound to experience in your time at school is Tinder. If you’ve downloaded the app, there are some basic things you should know before you start swiping. Beware, not everyone is as they appear – and no, they’re not all serial killers. But a lot of them are sadly not the knights in shining armors we hope to find in university – most of them end up being either a quick conversation or a funny story you tell your friends over brunch. No matter what you want to use Tinder for, here’s what you need to know from the start. 

Photo by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash

Without fail, every time you go back to the app, you always come across the same types of guys:

Your ultimate fantasy, also known as the Desperate Wannabes.

They try to act cool with their half-assed, low angle selfies and witty captions, but underneath it all- they’re praying you’ll respond to their “Hello.” Be warned, it’s a double-edged sword. You respond, they spam you or they turn into 12-year old’s and insult you for not responding.

On the off chance, they might really be the guys you take home to your parents – just teach them good selfie tricks.

The ones you show off to all your friends because they’re so gorgeous, also known as the Possible Serial Killers.

You see them, and your jaw drops because you think “how can anyone so gorgeous still be on Tinder?!” You obviously swipe right, because the universe is finally throwing you a bone in the romance department. But there’s one thing: either they never message first, or they have no bio. So, either they’re a catfish, a serial killer, or a future endeavor to put you in a fit of dating despair. Take caution if they ask to meet you in person.

The ones who only share pictures of their dog, also known as the Wild Cards.

Maybe they’re really bad at taking selfies and have a good heart, maybe they still live in their mother’s basement at 26 and incessantly message you on Instagram – you never know. But hey, they have a dog.

The ones who scream, “Yes, my caption has a million emojis, but at least I have killer abs,” also known as the Beloved Jocks.

Either you love them or you hate them, but they’re always on Tinder. You can tell you’ve found one if their profile is filled with pictures of them and their squad posing in a questionable way, but the conversations will never be boring. Either you’ll fall in love or do a spit take over brunch because you’re laughing so hard.

The one who has five obscure indie bands in their bio, just so you understand how different they are, also known as the Hippie or Indie Cutie.

They’re cool, they’re unique, and they’re so difficult to talk to most of the time. Unless you’re into the same music or subcategory of pop culture they’re into, you’re banished to the Google search bar to continue the conversation. Otherwise, you can clearly hear the wedding bells ringing in the distance.

The one who says, “I’ll paint you in a cubist style and play Bon Iver for you on my guitar,” also known as The Artistic College Dream Boat.

They paint, sing, play guitar, write poetry: name anything artistic and they most likely do it. Entering college, you dream of meeting the mysterious, sexy artist who’ll make you his muse and take you on adventures. This is a rarity that they’re both artistic and genuine: hold onto them because we’re all dreaming of them.

The Ultimate F**kboys.

Yes, they’re always lingering throughout the Tinder profiles. They come in many forms: the ones who say they want a relationship and lead you on, the ones you push sexual advances right away, the ones who attack you verbally for saying “No”, the ones who have a girlfriend but promise ‘we’re ending soon’, and many more. Do yourself a favor and at the slightest inclination of this behavior comes out, unmatch them. You’ll be happier without a headache.

Your future husbands, also known as The Boys Next Door.

Oh boy, they’re here and they exist. A rare, beautiful needle in the haystack that is the Tinder nightmare. They’re sweet, adventurous, caring, loyal, funny: all the qualities you’ve been praying to find someone on this app. They’re there, you just gotta weed through everyone to find them.


Photo by Karine Germain on Unsplash

Now that we’ve determined through the different types of people you’ll find on Tinder, it’s time to talk about starting the conversation with your matches. While there are many ways to do it, here are four that will come up 99.9% of the time:


If you love puns, chances are you’ll love the punny DMs Tinder will offer.

A simple “Hey”. 

While in the real world, “Hello” is a common greeting, it seems to almost be a dying art form in the world of Tinder. Trust me, a simple “Hi” is refreshing.


One of the easiest ways to start the convo is to find something to compliment: a tattoo, hair color, selfie, taste in movies, anything. While it’s a nice ego boost, it’s also a great way to start a conversation.


Without fail, there’s always someone claiming they’ll ‘shower you with gifts’ or ‘treat you like a queen.’  This is when you tell them to slow their roll because it’s Tinder, not the Bachelorette.


Photo by Michael Prewett on Unsplash

Lastly, let’s explore the different types of dating within Tinder. Almost every person will ask you, “Why are you on Tinder?” Most people will respond in one of five ways:

Hook ups.

No shame in being upfront about what you want. If you want to have sex with every match you get and it’s consensual, go for it. Only advice: be straight with it – no one has time to play games anymore.

Simple dating.

Tinder is a sea of potential, and just dipping your toes in it isn’t a problem. Maybe it’ll lead to more, maybe it won’ t- who knows. That’s the fun of it all. (Sometimes you’ll run by a couple looking for a third person in their relationship – if that’s how you roll, then there’s a lot for you.)

Putting a ring on it.

Some people are truly working to find their future significant others on Tinder: they want the romantic adventures, dates, the whole nine yards. If it’s too much for you though, be honest about it.


There’s a stigma around using Tinder for finding friends, but who cares? Nearly everyone has Tinder in college, it’s not the worst way to meet new people.

Don’t forget that not knowing is okay, too! 

Tinder is confusing at first. Who the heck knows what they want this young?! If you’re in this category, don’t worry. There’s no shame in trying to figure out what you want, just be clear on that right from the beginning.

Remember, don’t ever define your worth by how many matches you get or how many people like you. Always put yourself first – you should never jeopardize your worth because of the off chance of losing a temporary person. Think of Tinder like another class: you have the people you want to talk to, the ones you hope never come near you, there are tests in the form of conversations, and a final in the form of a first date. But as long as you be yourself and understand what you’re dealing with, it’ll make it all so much easier.


Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash.

Cover Photo by Huy Phan on Unsplash.

Contrary to popular belief, Delilah Gray is not a fan of the song “Hey There Delilah.” Delilah Gray is the Founder of the Gray Times, a blog dedicated to career advice, plant parenthood, and sharing life lessons. She fell in love with writing when she lived in New York. She started because she wanted to help people, and she felt she could do that best by writing about what was happening in the world.  She has worked with Her Campus, Tokyo Journal, Carnegie Mellon International Film Fest, Platform Women, Queen V, and Long Island Weekly. She enjoys painting trippy portraits, watching dark cartoons, hiking, and spending all of her disposable income on her plants. 
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