Boys of Tinder: What NOT to Do

I'm a self-proclaimed Tinder expert. At one point in time I had a Tinder blog where I forced myself to go on dates with boys I met online and write about the experience. I've since given up the blog, and this is why: I've left swiped nearly every boy in the Kansas City metro area.

This is infuriating for a number of reasons, the first being that I don't know how to meet people. In person, I'm pretty quiet and shy, which can sometimes come off as bitchy. Mostly, I don't know how to generate conversation unless someone initiates it with me. Trust me, I've tried. I can never figure it out without making it awkward, and silence is just preferable at that point. I need Tinder to get me out of my shell, but there is a very specific type of boy I find more often than not on Tinder.

Second, all of my friends have met their S/O's on Tinder. How? Tinder is stereotyped as being for classless one night stands and endless messages with the same content: "u up?". And yet, my friends are all finding true love on this app. Why not me? I defer to Cher Horowitz:

There are a lot of boys I left swipe to, and I mean a lot. Your Tinder profile says a lot about who you are and what sort of energy you're putting out into the world, and honestly a lot of it i'm not buying. I've discussed this issue at length with my fellow ladies and a lot of us are coming up with some common issues, and so I have decided to save the day and give you a how-to guide on getting that coveted right swipe.

Choose the right photos

This is of the utmost importance, I cannot stress this to you enough. First impressions are literally what you're banking on.

I have a list of photo types I refuse to swipe right for and they are as follows:

  1. Pictures with fish
  2. Party pics
  3. Lots of group pictures
  4. Shirtless photos
  5. Mirror photos
  6. Shirtless mirror photos
  7. Shirtless mirror photos of a group at a party holding fish

Just kidding on that last one but honestly, it's ridiculous. All your profiles look the same and I get it, you're outdoorsy. But what boy isn't? And honestly your abs are beautiful and I know you've spent a lot of time sculpting them, but you just look like you're showing off. I can already envision me falling asleep at dinner while you eat your chicken and broccoli talking about your degree in personal training. It's so cool if you're into fitness and you have every right to be proud, but there are other ways to go about letting us know that. 

And mirror photos are just so 2007, I don't feel like I should have to explain to you why this is a turn off. It's fine if it's a little tongue in cheek but if you've got your cutoff tank off for the sole purpose of showing off your tribal tattoos, I'm just not interested. 

My other left-swipe photo pet peeve? Party pics. We're in college! I know you're a mess! I'm a mess! In no universe am I going to see you posing as The Captain with a bottle of rum in each hand while a half-dressed frat boy vomits into a trash can in the background and think I can't wait to get you near my loins. It's just not realistic. 


It should be so simple, but for a lot of guys it's so difficult and I don't understand. Tell me something interesting about yourself! I'm so over "gym rat, strong arm emoji, winky eye emoji with its tongue out, snapchat is 420swolejayhawk". What are your passions?! And if your passions are generic, at least make fun of yourself a little bit. 

This is a rule I follow myself and for an example, I'll use my own bio.

"Journalism and creative writing double major. I want to know your lamest self. A lot like Anna Kendrick but not as cute and with less Oscar nominations. Firm believer in feminism, ghosts and the Grassy Knoll shooter. If you're talking to me at 1AM it's because I stayed up too late reading a book." 

I just told you I want to be a writer, I have a white girl crush on Anna Kendrick, I'm feminist, a nerd and into some slightly weird stuff. There are so many openings for that! I had a guy once start messaging me by asking my feelings on the moon landing. I was so excited about it! It's something I can automatically discuss and debate you about. It was wonderful. But How can I choose to swipe right to you if I don't know we have anything in common? If your bio is blank I think you're just being shady, and then baiting me into being superficial by only uploading photos of yourself. 

You know that game you play on the first day of school where you have to come up with a really weird fact about yourself? Play that game. And then play it again. Then make it your Tinder bio because you're going to get my attention and make me curious. Your dog's name is Darwin? Why? After the Charles? The babboon in the Wild Thornberrys? I need details to that!


I want to know what you do. Are you a wine seller? A feline taxidermist? An accountant? Fill that ish out when prompted. How old are you REALLY? What do you look like on a day to day basis? Show me on your Instagram. What things capture your attention to the point of you wanting to upload it on social media? What music are you listening to? You can link your Spotify and show me your top artists and current jam. The more I know about you the more I can suss out if I'm going to want to talk to you in the first place, which means I'll actually manage to swipe right for you! 

Whatever bullshit they've been selling you on being mysterious is a lie! I want stability! I want knowledge! I want honesty.

Reaching out

This is really broad. We're about to cover a lot of ground here. 

When you say hello, do so creatively. And please, for the love of God, remember you catch more flies with honey than with "u lookin 2 hook up?". Some girls are down for hooking up, some girls aren't, but in no circumstance have I ever heard of a girl going, "I just want to have sex with someone I know absolutely nothing about in a really shady area I've never been to with no guarantee of my safety or the prevention of STDs." 

Those of you who have just gone straight to asking for sex, think about how many times that has worked for you. Probably not a lot, right? You need to small talk. Sorry, sucks that you have to talk to me like an actual human being and not an object for you to use for your own physical pleasure, but you do. Let's build a repartee and then figure out if I want to invite you over. And don't be afraid to ask a girl directly what she's on Tinder for. It means neither of us waste our time when I say, "Oh, i'm just trying to meet people and hang out" and your answer is "I want to find girls to take home for a night". I'll wish you good luck on your endeavors and leave you be! But don't take a girl who is looking for something other than hook ups and try to talk her into sex, or trick her into your bed by pretending you're in it for the long haul. You're the worst person and the reason feminists have a reputation for hating men.

Getting what you want

And finally... getting what you want out of this app. If you're looking for a date, a hook up, a new friend or what have you, take your time. A lot of people are freaked out by someone who immediately wants to meet up. I know Aziz Ansari wrote in Modern Romance that the max amount of messages to be sent through an online app should be limited to six, but let me tell you I have taken that advice and ended up in Topeka with a kid who never left his basement and took control of my aux cord to sing the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack to me. 

Screw Aziz Ansari and what he thinks he knows about dating apps, okay. The more you know about someone before a date the better off you are. I mean, we've all heard horror stories not only about bad dates, but about abductions and rape. It's just safety at this point. Don't let your pride get in the way of making a girl feel comfortable about you before agreeing to hang out. You'll also skip that awkward "Sure, I'll go out with you" and the "Oh, no! My cat got sick I can't go anymore!" excuse the day of. 

Now go forth and match, my brethren. Today you become men.