It’s been almost three weeks since my 30 tinder dates in 30 days challenge ended and people have been asking me to write about how to get dates on tinder, because apparently it’s not as easy as it seems. Well, the truth is, it wasn’t that easy for me either, I had to work hard to get dates. I had to be consistent, persistent and build up to 145 matches, just so I could meet 24 guys. That’s a little bit more than a 16% success rate. This is way lower than my original 1 in 3 ratio guess. Yeah, it really does take a lot of frogs and some snakes…
Anyway, I’m happy to share some advice regarding this app, but you should know that I’m probably not the biggest tinder fan. Having reflected on my 30 days of living the tinder life I’ve realized that it’s a gateway for bored and creepy people who are awkward in real life. Yes, there are MANY exceptions to this, and definitely some decent and genuine people on there as well. I’m just not sure I want to spend any more time looking for a meaningful connection over a few pictures and a two-sentence profile. But, for those of you who want some tips on getting dates on tinder here are the three most important FACTS you should know about tinder before you start:
1. If you want a relationship, don’t look on tinder
I know, it’s a very matter of fact statement with no real scientific backup, except for the small 30-day samples I took while I was using the app. However, I’ve yet to experience a relationship longer than several dates, or more than some new friends, out of tinder. It seems most people on tinder are not even paying attention to their matches. There is a lot of trivial swiping going on, aka: 1st category of tinder types. I saw too many crotch shots, shirtless pics, and fake names on there. I’ve asked around and most of the people I know who have tried tinder will tell you the same thing. People are often flaky, disengaged, uninterested and just looking for something to do. If you get lucky you might meet someone who is genuinely looking to make new friends or meet new people, which was my primary goal, and I know several of the guys I went out with are in this category as well. But, as with any online dating service, you have to be prepared for a less than desirable outcome.
You know that urban legend we all hear about? The woman who turned the player into a good man? Yeah, we all know that NEVER happens because people inherently don’t change. If they do, it’s by their own decision and certainly not because someone made them. Well this is something similar. I’ve heard the legends of tinder as well, and they go something like this: “A friend of my friend’s cousin’s sister, met her husband on tinder!” Uh huh, I’ll believe it when I meet this person. But until then, if I were you, I would look at tinder as a way to meet lots of people quickly, while keeping your expectations in check, or you will be disappointed.
2. Tinder is for cowards
Yes, it’s true that approaching a woman or man in an uncontrolled environment could cause severe anxiety and embarrassment for most people. You never know if they’re single, married, on a dating hiatus, wearing a chastity belt, or just not interested in you. The percentage for rejection is probably somewhere in the 60 – 80% range, given all the unknown factors. Hold on… that is a completely unsubstantiated claim I just made up, and the only evidence I have is from my own dating experience. Give me a couple hours while I scour the internet for reasonable trustworthy sources on this topic…
Okay I’m back, and I’m sad to report that no reputable scientist has done any research on this matter. Maybe I used the wrong search terms??? Whatever, the point is, I found a lot of discussion threads where men stated they get rejected a lot when asking out women they don’t know. That kind of makes me feel bad for assuming the success rate is higher. On women asking men out, I found nothing about success rates, with the exception of many articles discussing whether or not it’s “ok” to ask a man out. Within the discussion threads some men also say they rarely get rejected, but that’s only because they wait until they get to know a woman before asking her out. So this must be why so many of my tinder matches text me for days before they would make a move, which leads me to my next point…
3. It’s an excuse to be dismissive and text too much
Seriously, who has time to answer 90 questions during the work day? I assume someone who doesn’t work or do anything interesting at work. While I was on the dating challenge, I would only answer one or two questions while eating lunch or after work. I wanted to send a clear message to the guys I had been matched with, that if they wanted more information, they would have to ask me out. I plainly said that to some who didn’t exactly get the hint. Once the message was received, their next question would be to ask me out.
So my advice is, don’t get caught in a text relationship, it’s the worst thing you can do for your dating life because it sets the expectation that you’re okay with communicating via text all the time. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional: “hey I hope you have a good day.” text, but if you text too much, it will become his or her crutch to avoid intimacy, as in real face-to-face conversation. Trust me, this is a proven fact. I’ll try to find a scientific article to back this one up…
Now for some tips that might help you go from text to date…
How to Get a Date on Tinder:
1. Post only recent pictures of yourself, meaning nothing older than a year.
2. Write something on your profile, even if it’s short. Make it clear that you’re not on tinder to play games, text incessantly or “hook up”. This also gives your matches a good starting point for conversation.
3. Text sparingly and with a goal in mind. Don’t let the conversation run for longer than three days, without any plans being made. Unless you decide that you don’t want to date the person, then just say that and move on.
4. If you want to meet this person and he/she is not making the first move then just ask! You can try writing: “Hey, I’d love to continue this conversation, but I would rather do it in person, so let me know if you’re interested.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that!
5. Be polite but also direct in your responses. If you have a child, then you might want to make sure that your potential date knows this ahead of time.
6. Your pictures should be varied, most by yourself, a couple with friends, and limit the selfies for Gods sake! Also, a couple full body shots don’t hurt.
7. Don’t fall for the people who make general and ambiguous statements about themselves. For example: “successful and smart”, “motivated and healthy”, “educated and nice”. If you match with someone who has any of this on their profile, ask them direct questions to find out if they are real or posers. One of the guys I matched with defined himself as “successful and hard working.” So I asked him: “What is your definition of success?” And he couldn’t answer the question! Come on dude!