The history of relationships has developed over the years. In the beginning, the only way you’d meet your potential soulmate was if you studied with them, or through public events like dances and social gatherings, or if your friend set you up. Even communication was difficult. Everything happened on a community level but then the internet was introduced and it completely changed the dating scene.
Online dating was the most revolutionary thing to happen since the introduction of telecommunication in relationships. Dating websites turned into dating apps and that’s where Tinder came into existence. With it, you’ll be able to connect with people on a global level. Your chances of finding your soulmate are now higher than ever. There are just a few basic rules regarding Tinder etiquette that you have to keep in mind, but don’t worry we’ll walk you through it.
Tinder Etiquette: 25 Do’s and Don’ts When Dating Online
Out of all the online dating apps available in the world, Tinder has proven to be one of the most popular. So, we’re going to introduce you to basic Tinder etiquette and give you a rundown of all the Tinder dos and don’ts for guys and girls.
Let’s go over the basics once. You need to download the app and create your profile. This profile will be accessible to anyone using the app and will serve as your introduction to potential matches. You will have access to profiles of people depending on your preference. If you like someone’s profile, you swipe RIGHT, and if you don’t then swipe LEFT. Simple as that.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into the 25 dos and don’ts of Tinder etiquette.
1. Do: Put in the effort and make it good
The first step on Tinder is to create your profile. This profile is going to represent YOU. It is what will tell people about your personality and this is what will be the deciding factor on whether you’ll get right-swiped or left. That’s why it’s proper Tinder etiquette to put effort into making a good dating profile.
Trust us when we tell you that you want to put an effort into the profile that you create. You’ll want to put some thought into each step, be it the photos, your bio, or answering the questions. So, take your time and do it right.
2. Don’t: Copy off the internet. Keep it original
You are one of a kind, so your online dating profile should be the same way, right? The profile is a reflection of you and that’s why the best online dating advice is that ‘originality is the key’. It may not be a written rule of Tinder etiquette, but it will always be in your own interest. Channelize your creative streak by whipping up a profile that shines amidst a sea of options. Things like “Die-hard traveler” or “Nature lover” are very common; instead, say something like, “Dreams of mountains and oceans while stuck in a concrete jungle.”
We understand that some of you may be new to Tinder and you don’t have the first clue on how to create a good profile. You’ll end up going online and looking it up and that’s alright. Use the results that you get as a guideline rather than just copying them as your own.
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3. Do: Define your personality but leave some room for curiosity
A friend of mine, who’s had a bit of success with Tinder, gave me some very good advice – he said that you should always choose things that you’ll be comfortable talking about in your profile. This way the conversation won’t fizzle out as soon as it begins, at least from your side.
The only reason someone will swipe right on you is if they want to get to know you better. So always create your profile in a way that keeps them guessing. Frame the sentences in your profile in a way that makes them want to know more. Something like, “Love french fries, but hate potatoes in any other form. Make of that what you will”, is pretty intriguing and funny at the same time.
4. Don’t: Make jokes that Tinder doesn’t like. Stay on its good side
If you want to know what should be avoided on Tinder, this tops the list. Putting jokes in your profile is fine, it’s actually encouraged but there are some jokes that Tinder doesn’t like.
Jokes that are about race or religion are a big NO-NO. The same applies to jokes that are offensive to certain communities. For example, you can’t say something like “People think I’m hot, even the blind.” You just can’t say things like that. Another area to avoid making jokes about is anything money-related. So, saying something like, “One night with me will make you want to empty your wallet”, is not okay. These kinds of jokes could lead to Tinder banning you. Be careful.
5. Do: Pick an awesome anthem
While trying to attract her attention your anthem is your secret weapon. If you feel that your profile is amazing but the number of matches that you’re getting doesn’t correspond to its awesomeness, then this specific Tinder etiquette will help.
A lousy anthem can be a bit of a left swipe attractor so be careful what song you choose. Whereas a good anthem has the power to attract people and get them thinking about you. Now by no means am I saying that you should just go with the ‘top charters’ even if you don’t like them. Your taste in music will tell her just as much about you as your profile will. So, go through your playlist and choose a song that has a nice beat to it. Also, make sure that it’s at least semi-popular. Like if you’re into Latin music, then choosing a song like ‘Despacito’ might be better than something like ‘Con Calma’. This way your anthem reflects what you enjoy while still being familiar.
6. Don’t: Hide your beautiful facial features
An important part of writing an online dating profile is adding photos. Always choose photos that show your entire face. The whole point is for potential matches to be able to see what you look like so a photo of you standing at the beach staring at the sunset may not be ideal. If people can’t see what you look like, they might left-swipe you even before going through the rest of your profile.
What should be avoided on Tinder are dull photos. Even if your photo shows your face perfectly if it has a dull color scheme it won’t attract that many people. The more contrast your photos have the more of a show stopper they will be. Having a pop of color like yellow or even blue will make the people linger on your profile.
Another thing to remember is to not use photoshopped photos. While these will make you look amazing, they will put you at a disadvantage when you actually go out on a date.
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7. Do: Add more photos but 9 is not a compulsory number
This is more of a tip than actual Tinder etiquette. So, Tinder allows you to upload a maximum of 9 photos on your online dating profile and we’ve already pointed out that you should choose photos that show your face. This does not, however, mean that you can’t still upload your fun photos. Your photos will tell your story, so always upload more than one photo.
While Tinder allows for 9 photos, we recommend that you upload 5-6 photos instead. Uploading all 9 has a way of seeming desperate, but fewer photos can create an air of mystery. It will leave room for that super important ‘curiosity factor’ to bloom as well.
8. Don’t: Upload group photos
Going back to our original point of ‘the person looking at your profile wants to know what you look like’, it’s very inconvenient if you upload a photo of yourself with your friends. How will your potential match know who you are in that group photo? So, not only is this point proper Tinder etiquette, but it’s also common courtesy.
To be clear there is nothing wrong with group photos provided that you’re careful about using them. If the photo shows your face properly, then uploading it is fine, just not as your first photo. It can be uploaded as maybe your 3rd or 4th photo. This way they will know what you look like before they reach the group photo.
9. Do: Think about who you want to attract
The next step of your profile is your Tinder bio. Your bio is your preview, it’s like the teaser that comes before the movie’s official trailer. Which makes it pretty important.
While writing your bio you need to keep in mind your ‘type’. We all have one, it’s basically referring to the kind of person that you get attracted to. For some people, it could be a brainiac while for others it might be a career-driven ambitious person. Either way, your bio needs to have things that will attract your ‘type’. For example, something like a sci-fi movie reference will surely attract a fan. In the same way, writing something associated with football will attract a game enthusiast.
Always remember that tying in your bio can be catastrophic. So, only write about the things that you’re interested in. You want to use your interests to attract like-minded people, not catfish someone you may not have much in common.
10. Don’t: Turn your bio into a grocery list
Remember that your bio is what will spark interest in the heart of a potential match which will lead them to read the rest of your profile. A boring bio won’t help you get matches.
Make your bio interesting, which means that simply listing the things that you like is a NO. In fact, for your bio, you don’t really need to stick to your interests, you can go with something more interesting. For example, “Master Top Ramen Chef but stuck in a normal job. Dreaming of the day when I can follow my culinary skills into disaster.”
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11. Do: Link your Instagram
Most people choose to skip this step. The way I see it is that if you’re on Tinder looking for a relationship, not just a hookup, then linking your Instagram is the best idea. Your Instagram is your virtual self, so the best way to get to know a person is through their Insta page.
You might find the idea of people who you don’t know stalking you online scary, but it isn’t as bad it seems. Think of it like this: if they’re visiting your Insta page, they want to know more about you. Besides, just because they see your page and send you a request doesn’t mean you need to accept their requests.
12. Don’t: Swipe before giving them a chance
Now, we come to the matching and unmatching part of Tinder. As mentioned before, a right swipe means that you’ve liked the profile and a left swipe means that you don’t. Based on your right-swipes, you get matched to people who right-swipe you back.
One thing that is proper Tinder etiquette is that you read the person’s bio before you swipe. Of course, because you’ll see the profile photo of the person you may want to automatically right or left swipe them, but this can be dangerous. We all know that the looks of a person don’t tell us much about their personality. Always read the bio, it will tell you more about the person and you’ll be able to make a much better decision. Besides, this will also help with your ELO score which determines your “standards” based on your Tinder etiquette and the ELO of the people who right swipe you. So, don’t be lazy.
13. Do: Save your swipe rights for those who deserve it
There’s this idea that the more people you right swipe, the more chances you have of getting a match. If you right-swipe 10 people, your odds of getting accepted are way more than if you’ve only right-swiped 5 people. This is a TRAP, don’t fall for it!
I’ve mentioned the ELO score before; this score is a determining factor on what kind of people you get matched with. Bottom line is, when you right-swipe too many people, you’re making Tinder think that your standards are very low. Don’t let this happen. Think before you swipe right.
14. Don’t: Ghost your matches
Part of good and proper Tinder etiquette is to remember the people who you’ve been matched with. Imagine if you go to meet someone at a café and they just forget about the entire thing and don’t show up. How would you feel sitting in that café alone? Every person who you get matched to but don’t talk to will feel this way.
If you’re hesitating because you don’t know the Tinder etiquette regarding who messages first, don’t worry about it. Just go ahead and take the first step. There is no rule that the guy has to text first. So, don’t ignore your matches, you don’t have to necessarily flirt with them but you can at least start talking to them.
15. Do: Be patient, you’ll get matched eventually
Have you been on Tinder for a while, but haven’t been matched yet? It’s tough and can chip away at your self-confidence. But this is a part of online dating. The WAIT, it’s by far the worst part.
This may not be Tinder etiquette per se but I’d still like to say – hang in there. Chances are that the reason you haven’t been matched yet is that your standards are high and you have a very unique type. There is nothing wrong with that. Just be patient, the wait will be worth it!
16. Don’t: Open with ‘Hey!’
Finally, you’ve gotten matched, what do you do now? Start a conversation, duh! So, there is no Tinder etiquette on who messages first. If you like them, then you can initiate the conversation, just keep a few things in mind. Never begin the conversation with “Hey!” While this works for friends and other people who know you, don’t use it when you start your Tinder conversation. Secondly, use an interesting opening line. Finally, Be friendly and not creepy.
Proper Tinder etiquette says that you should use a good opening line; a cheesy pick-up line works too. This is a lot more important than it seems. You’ve heard about how the first impression is the last? Well, while in a meeting, the way you carry yourself and your clothes create your 1st impression, on Tinder the way you initiate your conversation is that valuable 1st impression. Trust me, you want it to be good. To help you, beginners, here are a few Tinder greetings:
- Photo compliment
- “Biggest fear: snakes, bees or saying “you too” to the waiter when he asks you if you’re enjoying your meal?”
- “Do you want to build a snowman?” with a GIF of Olaf
- “Do I know you because you look a lot like my new boyfriend?”
17. Do: Flirt, but be classy
The ‘texting’ phase of your Tinder relationship is very important. Not only does it give you a better idea of the person you’re talking to, but you also get a chance to set expectations about each other before your first meeting. That’s why proper Tinder etiquette for guys would be to flirt with her for some time before asking her out.
A few things to remember about your texting dates is that she can’t see your face or hear your voice, which means that she has no way to understand your ‘tone’. You may have an amazing joke, but it can backfire if you don’t text it properly. Stick to paying cute compliments on the things that stand out to you in their profile… Even funny pick-up lines are a good idea.
Another important element in Tinder conversations is GIFs. Use them! They will bring a realistic element to your otherwise virtual conversation. A few things you need to be careful about are that you shouldn’t be creepy, come on too strong, and avoid being extremely sexual in your texts. Guaranteed turn-offs, will just push them away.
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18. Don’t: Lie. Keep it real.
Think of your Tinder conversation as a real conversation. If you were out on your first date with someone, what would you talk about? How would you behave? Everything that you’ve just thought about will apply to Tinder as well. Because you haven’t met each other before, your first Tinder conversation is pretty much like your first date with her. You need to remember this.
Putting things like ‘being polite’, ‘being respectful’, and ‘being funny’ aside, the most important Tinder etiquette for your conversation is ‘Don’t LIE’. The temptation to lie will be quite strong because you’ll be hiding behind a screen, but remember this – while lying will impress them, it won’t help you create a relationship with them. A one-night stand, maybe, but not a relationship. So, keep it real.
19. Do: Text them if you like them.
When you’re texting it’s very easy to overthink things because you have no idea what the other person is thinking. All the non-verbal hints that you get are gone when you’re texting. It’s one of the biggest disadvantages of online dating. So, the way you frame your sentences, what words you want to use, how much you should write – can all seem like huge decisions. Don’t let this pressure of framing the perfect text get to you. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out what they are thinking, you’ll just turn your texts into boring sentences with no emotions.
Secondly, when they finally reply, is not the scientific measure of how desperate they are. This applies to you as well. Most of us set rules of waiting before replying to a text that we’ve received. As if waiting for 3-5 minutes will change what they feel about you. This really isn’t carved-in-stone Tinder etiquette. So, don’t waste your time waiting nervously for the clock to cross 3 minutes before texting them back. Be spontaneous about it!
20. Don’t: Go overboard with emojis
Emojis are very important in conversations these days. You can’t see the person you’re texting and you have no idea what their tone of voice is. That’s where emojis come to your rescue. They help you understand the text better.
It’s tempting to use a lot of emojis to avoid any misunderstandings but DON’T. Avoid using more than three in a single text. Besides if you want something extra to help you express yourself, then GIFs are a much better option than emojis. They are super fun to use and you can have an entire conversation with them without having a single misunderstanding.
21. Do: Take an interest in her
Have you ever had a conversation in which the only responses you’ve given are “Wow”, “Really?!” or “I had no idea!”? It makes the conversation seem completely one-sided. With people you know these are pretty normal, but when you’re talking to someone for the first time it’s not a good sign.
While talking to someone for the first time, proper Tinder etiquette for guys and girls requires you to balance out the conversation. Talk about yourself, but remember to ask questions too. This way you’ll both get to know each other equally and you’ll come across as polite which is always good.
22. Don’t: Make spelling and grammatical errors
Texting revolves around shorthand, but acronyms aside, the words that you use need to be correct. If you get the spelling and grammar wrong, your text will make no sense, or worse, it will mean something completely different.
If you’re texting something cute like “You should know that if you date me, I’m going to end up stealing one of your shirts. So, I can wear it when I miss you 😊”. Now imagine if the word “shirt” has a typo and is replaced with the word “shit” instead. The text will become very disturbing instead of cute. Always check your texts before sending them. You’ll save yourself a lot of embarrassment.
Related Reading: 50 Cute Things To Say To Your Girlfriend Every Day
23. Do: Wait before asking her out. Take your time.
Now we move on to the next level, ‘The Tinder Date’. Most of you are under the impression that Tinder is for ‘meeting people’ literally. As soon as you get matched you immediately try to set up a date. Don’t do that. As we’ve already discussed, the texting phase is important. So, when do you ask them out?
Honestly, there’s no exact number of days you should wait before asking them out. Proper Tinder etiquette for guys would be to suggest going on a date once you’re comfortable talking to each other. It will help if you keep testing the waters by casually bringing up the idea of a date in your conversations. Something like, “For our first date we could test our beer-drinking theory with a competition, maybe? Who’ll finish their beer first, me or you?”.
A casual mention like this will show that you’ve thought about your first date so you’re serious. Additionally, it will make them consider the idea as well. When you do ask them out and they’ll say “Yes”. Remember to plan the date in accordance with that conversation, it’ll show them that you haven’t forgotten that ‘casual conversation’ you’ve had with them days, maybe weeks ago. Work out all the details and choose the time and place before the conversation ends.
24. Don’t: Run away from discussing relationship expectations
When you go on your first date with someone, your goal is to keep things comfortable; ‘no awkwardness’ should be your policy. I get it, but a Tinder first date is different. You’re essentially two strangers. This is why discussing your expectations and intentions are very important.
You don’t have to do this immediately. Proper Tinder first date etiquette is, to begin with, a simple conversation. Let the initial awkwardness disappear. Flirting will also help, say something like, “I imagined you a little differently but…reality is definitely better.”
Once you’re comfortable, then bring up your expectations about the relationship. There is no easy way to do it so just rip the band-aid off. Things might become a bit awkward but you’ll both be the better for it. Trust me, you don’t want to be together if one of you wants a casual fling, but the other a serious relationship. If things work out, good. If they don’t, we advise you to finish the date, say “Goodbye” and then walk away, it will be for the best.
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25. Do: Choose a public place
This one is a bit important, so pay attention. Your first date must be a public place. Online dating can be dangerous so it’s proper Tinder first date etiquette, especially for guys. If you suggest something like your house it may feel creepy.
Go with a nice restaurant, someplace that you’ve had a conversation about before, maybe even a place that she mentioned wanting to go to. You can always have a nice picnic at the park as well. Have a few options in mind, make your suggestions and see which one they like.