Op-ed: How to really find your match on Tinder
Whether you're a guy or girl, swiping right is getting harder and harder so here's some advice
One night, I was getting bored of playing Giant Boulder of Death on my partner's iPad, so we both went through his Tinder to see what the market was like. Side note: for those wondering, he was on Tinder before we started dating. (As for why his account still exists, please don't ask.) I made a number of observations, so from one sister to another, here's my advice on how to find your Prince Charming.
What I first noticed were group photos. Lots of them. I opened up the profiles of a bunch of pretty-looking girls, and then couldn't figure out who actually owned the accounts, because all five profile images were of the same three or four girls.
So, rule number one: Curate your profile images well. On sterile meeting grounds such as social media where people can't sense your vibe or personality, first impressions (read: profile photos) are of paramount importance. And when you do upload a solo shot, try not to cover half your face with a fluffy Persian cat. While it may make someone like me want to swipe right, you're catering to the wrong audience. Upload a few flattering solo shots or ensure a solo shot is your main image at the very least.
Rule number two: Don't be afraid to give some of it away. I mean information. I couldn't get a sense of so many of the women around me that in half an hour I'd only swiped right on three. No need for your life story or address, just a general idea of what you're into. Perhaps you're a coffee junkie, love to travel, or are into extreme sports. That kind of info is sure to pique a person's curiosity. Otherwise it's nothing but physical.
On the other end of the spectrum are people who give too much information away. To the point of ranting. Some girls' profiles include actual essays on what they're expecting from a potential Tinder date: a man who's chivalrous, wants a relationship and/or marriage, is loyal unlike that asshole who cheated on them 10 years ago, and who'll pay for their shopping (yes, you read that right). It's probably best to leave that kind of information out of your profiles – perhaps share it on your tenth date. Or maybe even never if you're looking to use Tinder as a dating app instead of a hook up app.
Finally, the third rule of Tinder is this: Manage your expectations. I was surprised by how many girls on Tinder seemed to be using it in search of love and wedding bells. I'm not discounting the existence of Tinder couples who've walked down the aisle, but there's no escaping the truth: Tinder is first and foremost a hook up app, and an incredibly shallow dating app at best. So when you make a match and he's only DTF while you're not, don't be too disappointed. Move on.
There are dating sites like Match.com and OkCupid.com that are better suited to what you want, and you're likely to fare far better there than on Tinder. (Something else that really gets me is when I see the phrase "Looking to make friends only" on Tinder. Girl, please. There's Facebook and fan forums for that.) These three issues aren't female specific – I've noticed them on the boys' profiles too. Group photos and insipid profile information are recurring themes even with a large radius of 40km.
So if you've got guy friends on the prowl, help a brother out by sharing the same advice. Look at it this way, you'll be helping the Tinder sisterhood look for potential Prince Charmings too by letting them know what you would (and wouldn't) like to see on their profiles. That way, more Tinderellas can find their happy endings, whatever they may be.
Happy swiping, everyone.
This article was first published in the December 2015 issue of ELLE Malaysia.