I feel like I have to preface this by saying I’m no Tinder expert, but since I started using the app a little over a year ago, it has brought so many amazing people into my life. Because of apps like Tinder and Bumble, I began my last two serious relationships, had my fair share of brief interactions with exciting and interesting people that I’m still in contact with, and just flat out made connections that have developed into great friendships.
I was initially turned off by the thought of joining what I thought to be a “hookup app”, primarily because my high school sex life consisted of 2 awkward years post cherry-popping where even though I was sexually active (if you can even call it that), I was uncomfortable with my sexuality. A lot of this was due to being walked in on by guys’ parents the first couple times I attempted the act and my mother grounding me for a month when I told her I finally slept with my boyfriend of 6.5 months. Oh, and who could forget when I came out as bisexual at 13 and my mom told me it was “completely normal to have ‘those feelings’ at my age” and “everyone questions their sexuality for a period of time”. Needless to say, I graduated high school with very little experience under my belt and a slightly unhealthy view of my own sexuality and orientation.
Then I decided to join Tinder and that quickly changed. My eyes were truly opened to the world of dating and my wonderful support system of friends was very encouraging from the start. For the first time, I felt like I could stop worrying about the societal rules and standards that I had been taught from a young age and I could actually enjoy connecting with others and truly learning to love myself. I love that Bumble even has a setting where you can find potential friends near you.
My mom has even started using Tinder too and met amazing men all over Europe during her trip there shortly after dropping me off at college. She’s actually writing a book about how she finally became comfortable with her own sexuality in her 40’s and how she got her “mojo” back through Internet dating.
Needless to say, dating apps have urged both of us along on our journey to self-love and I encourage all of you single people to join if you haven’t already. But, instead of sending you on your journey empty handed, I wanted to provide a simple guide to navigating the crazy world of online dating.
- Be open-minded! Trust your intuition! If you are drawn to someone and you can’t exactly figure out why, talk to them and find out!
- Follow my formula for the perfect set of pictures:
- Your first pic should be a good, clear picture of your face, no exceptions
- One should be of you smiling/having fun (good to show you have friends, but no more than 2 other people in your picture and ask yourself if they’re significantly more attractive than you before you post it) also dogs usually get a lot of attention, duh
- Include a full body picture, nobody wants the awkward “you-look-nothing-like-your-pictures” encounter
- Show a passion of yours! Do you love cooking, hiking, music? Find a way to say that in your pictures. Except if you like hunting, fishing, or killing things (more on this later)
- Travel pictures are great conversation starters. *Bonus points* if you have pictures of yourself volunteering somewhere.
- Something to do with your school or career is always good, looking important and respected in your field is hella sexy, i.e. every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.
- Your bio should be short and sweet, funny but not offensive, and just personal enough that you express something you feel is interesting about yourself, but not your entire life story summed up in a couple sentences
- Use the share with a friend feature. It’s easier to let a friend see their whole profile than to take a bunch of screenshots and send them
- Make your intentions clear! If you’re just looking for a one night stand, say that! It may be awkward at first, but people will respect your honesty, and y’all can move along if you’re looking for different things.
- Don’t feel like a bad person if you aren’t attracted to most people you see, you’re not shallow, you’re just a human with preferences
- Don’t always wait for them to message you first. Messaging goes both ways, its 2017 people. (unless it’s Bumble and the female has to message first within a period of time)
- Don’t feel like you have to meet in person right away. I’ve talked to matches for as long as 2 weeks before agreeing to meet with them in person. The more comfortable you are and the more you get to know someone, the easier it is to meet a complete stranger in person (esp. if you’re an introvert like myself)
- Don’t take dating too seriously. If you’re reading this, you’re likely young and single and my biggest piece of advice is to be yourself and have fun. Either you vibe or you don’t, plain and simple.
How The F**k Do People Think That Works:
- GUYS: STOP PUTTING PICTURES OF YOU HOLDING DEAD THINGS ON YOUR PROFILE! Or really anywhere except maybe a forum about said dead things.
- Stop putting “Entrepreneur” in your bio. You sound like a douche.
- Stop putting only pictures of you in groups. Nobody wants to waste their time swiping through to find the common denominator in 4 different pics with 5 people per pic.
- Nobody cares how tall you are, if they wanna know that badly, they will ask.
- For Christ’s sake, don’t use pictures of yourself with Snapchat filters, white girls, I’m looking at you
- If your Instagram is connected to your profile, don’t put it in your bio. Also, don’t put your Snapchat in your bio. I have never added/followed any of these people.
- Putting “420 Friendly” in your bio makes you look like all you do is smoke weed, so if you don’t want to give off that impression – leave it out.
- Same goes to ravers. If you have multiple pictures of you at raves, EDM shows, or music festivals you’re basically screaming to the world that you’re a bandwagoner that likes to do drugs and jump around to mediocre music with a bunch of other sweaty bodies in little clothing. No disrespect but it’s a major turn-off to the general public. Exhibit A.
- GUYS: Stop posting mirror selfies, esp. shirtless ones. If you wanna show off your body, take a picture at the beach or something a little more subtle.
I could go on forever and ever, but this post is long enough already. Basically, Tinder has changed the way people date and I would argue for the better. I’ve dated a pretty wide spectrum of people through Tinder; some with gold grillz, some Ivy League educated, some from the city, some from beach towns, some from way out in the country, a US Marine, and even a couple (God forbid) athletes. It really opened me up as a person and caused me to throw out any preconceived “type” I thought I should be looking for and focus on the connection I was feeling with another human being.
I’ve given you a guide, but it is merely that – there are no rules. Just have fun, hoe it up (if that’s what you’re into) and obviously be safe and smart about it. Oh, and ladies, remember to always take your Azo pills and pee after sex ’cause nothing kills the mood like a UTI.
P.S. Comment below or message me on my social media if you want to share any successes or horror stories you guys have, or if you think I’ve forgotten anything important on any of these lists.