The Do’s and Don’t’s of Tinder

Opinions_Wilson_-Have your awkward Tinder dates here- sign at Vaucluse Lounge - Hollywood, CA_Chris Goldberg_flickr

Flickr / Chris Goldberg

Brianna Wilson
Staff Writer

Many people have had the attitude that Tinder is not the app for self-respecting people to use, which could not be further from the truth. I previously believed there was no way to find precisely what you were looking for in a partner in the world of online dating. This belief was recently challenged when I made a Tinder profile for the first time.

We all want to show our best selves online; this includes when we use dating apps. While we often intend to be showing our best selves on Tinder, some of the things we put on our profiles give a different message than what we intended.

If you want to show your strength, show a picture of you building something, running, hiking or climbing. Do you know what does not show your strength? A photo of someone with an animal they just killed. What does this do for your profile? That is not sexy. It does not flaunt your male dominance and strength. If you hate animals, continue having pictures of the ones you just killed. It is gross, and it makes me sad. I am not going to swipe right on a guy who I associate with killing Bambi. That is not to say lie about your interests, but it definitely does not make a good first impression.

Smoking in photos is also something that gives a negative image of who you are from the beginning. When I see photos of a guy smoking on Tinder, it makes me feel like they don’t value their own health or future. It may not be that way for all women, but I do not want to smell cigarette smoke or have to wait a considerable amount of time for you to stand outside and slowly kill yourself.

Shirtless pictures taken in bathrooms are also unappealing because it sends a message that you probably want women to be into you for your body rather than who you are. That indicates to me that you are probably shallow or uninteresting as a person. It is also a pretty good indicator of what you are looking for on Tinder. It’s different if you’re shirtless and kayaking or swimming or doing something else exciting. If you want to show off your body, why not do so in a way that also shows your interests?

If you have no bio, I automatically swipe left because it makes me feel like you aren’t interested in knowing or sharing anything other than surface level knowledge. If a bio uses humor or has something clever in it, I am automatically more inclined to swipe right. Being funny is attractive.

Photos with animals are also great. Who doesn’t like a cute dog or cat thrown in while swiping through Tinder? It is also cool if you have photos or info about hobbies you enjoy. It makes you seem more interesting.

While I find these things important, I talked to a cisgender, bisexual female friend about what she prefers on Tinder, and our preferences are very different. While she is okay with shirtless pictures, nonexistent bios and men who are only looking for something physical, she is also less willing to meet someone from Tinder. I have met one guy from Tinder and am supposed to go out for coffee with another one in the few weeks I have been using it.

We obviously have different motivations on Tinder, but the fact that we have both matched with people who met our specific preferences shows that Tinder can be useful no matter what you’re looking for.

Despite my initial skepticism, my Tinder experience has not been a bad one, even though many people I talked to about it said I would have a hard time, since my motivations were not the same as others. I have come to believe Tinder is not useless and is good for people who know what they are looking for. It is also useful if you want to get back out there with no obligation to ever speak to people you meet again.

I have been out of the dating game for awhile. Recently, I was hanging out with some friends late one night, and a friend asked if she could make me a Tinder. She thought it would be an easy, low-stakes no-commitment way to put myself back out there and get to know some people. I agreed.

As I am swiping through this brand new world I have recently become a part of, I realized there are some things that send messages to viewers that may not be intended. Everybody wants to show their best self to the world. As a cisgender, heterosexual woman who was looking to casually date, there were things that helped me make the decision of which way to swipe.



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