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6 Simple But Effective Tips to Up Your Tinder Game

A guy working on his Tinder game while at a coffee shop on his phone.

Swipe left for no, swipe right for yes. Tinder’s game is deceptively simple. While it’s easy to swipe right on 100 profiles, unless you’re incredibly lucky not even half of those will become matches, and less than half of those will become dates. There’s no silver bullet to get everyone to swipe right on you, but there are definitely things you can do to improve your chances. Here are six tips to improve your tinder game and get you more matches and more dates.

1. Use clean, attractive photos.
Your profile photos are the first thing people see when they swipe onto your profile, so it’s important that they look as good as possible. Tinder allows up to six photos, so if you don’t have six you might want to grab some a friend and go for a quick photo shoot.

The key to good Tinder photos are bright, clean shots of you smiling. You get bonus points for interesting locations, funny situations, and stylish dress. You get docked points for poor photo quality, group shots, and wearing hats and sunglasses. (I could write a whole article on how to take great dating profile photos, and I did.)

2. Write a witty, informative bio.
The bio is the second most important component of your Tinder profile, so it’s important that you nail this one, too. The bio offers daters looking through your profile a more holistic view of your personality. In your Tinder bio, you should write a bit about your personal interests, what you’re looking for in a relationship, and some fun facts. It helps to tailor your profile to the type of people you’re trying to attract. Include details about yourself that are similar to those you might want for a partner. You have 500 characters to condense your life into something coherent and interesting, which is pretty much impossible, but if you want to win Tinder you have to try.

It’s difficult to make the person on the other side of the screen laugh, but if you can you’re in good shape. Be clever. Be original. Make jokes that are lighthearted and inoffensive, while revealing information about yourself. Take a look at what others have done or these examples of funny Tinder bios, but don’t copy. People can tell when something’s been copied off the internet.

3. Swipe selectively.
Don’t swipe on every pretty face. Swipe on people you think you’ll have genuine compatibility with. That doesn’t mean that you’re going to marry the first person you match with, but it does mean that you’ll have a better chance of hitting if off with the people you match with. Base your swipe on what their profile says and whether or not it seems like you share similar interests and values. If you’re a music fan, and they have a photo at your favorite band’s concert swipe right. If you’re an avid fisher, and they’re a vegan swipe left.

4. Swipe out of your league.
A study published in Science Advances suggests that people often swipe out of their league on dating apps and are successful in doing so. People pursue others on average 25% more desirable than themselves (measured by inbound messages and the perceived attractiveness of those messages) and often match with those people. So don’t say no because you think it won’t work out. It’s always worth a shot.

5. Stand out from the crowd.
When you reach out to someone on Tinder, don’t just say hey. It’s the most overused opening line, and will make the other person think you didn’t put any thought into your message, which you probably didn’t. Online dating is great for the options it provides us, but the options are a double-edged sword because we can blend into a sea of other faces.

When you meet in person, the person you’re flirting with can pick up on all sorts of nonverbal cues that they can’t access online. In the world of online dating, their information is limited. If you start with a lazy intro, it’s going to count against the points you racked up with your profile.

6. Be perceptive and relevant.
Getting a conversation started online is often the most difficult part of online dating. When you’re figuring out what to say, all you’ve got to go off on Tinder the short bio and six photos or less. In other words, there’s not a lot, so you’ll have to be extra sharp at assessing their profile to come up with something relevant to say.

See if they’ve listed anything interesting in their bio or showed off an interesting location or activity in their photos. Common ground is your best conversation starter. And if you’re able to leverage humor into your opener, then go for it.

Tinder seems easy, but getting to the date isn’t always easy. Some of these tips may seem like more work, but being a good online daters is about making your profile and messaging the best they can be through small tweaks. Chances are you’re 80% of the way there but the last 20% will get you to the finish line.

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