Attractive young woman smiling while using correct Tinder etiquette on her mobile phone

It’s 2020 which means that Tinder has been around for 8 years. This also means that if you’re still using Tinder now the same way you did back then, you’re using it wrong. Here’s the only guide you need for the proper Tinder etiquette today.

Tinder Etiquette Today 

1. Be upfront about what you want

Tinder may still be coined a “hook-up” app, but the reality is that that idea is pretty outdated. You most likely know several couples that first met on Tinder. In fact, you probably even know some people who are married that first met on the app. People who are looking for long-term relationships use Tinder too.

So if you’re waffling about what you want, you’re going to end up wasting a lot of your time and a lot of other people’s time. Also, because Tinder doesn’t allow couples to make profiles (yet), many couples who are looking for a threesome or something more longterm like a triad make a profile as a woman looking for other women.

So there’s a lot of different dynamics happening on the app than you may be aware of. Which leads to my next point.

2. Read people’s bios

Is there anything more frustrating than taking the time to write a bio that details what you want clearly only to then get a message asking if you’re up for the exact opposite?

If someone’s bio says that they’re only interested in long term relationships and you hit them up with a request for a booty call, you deserve an immediate block. You’re wasting both of your time.

3. Also, write a bio

And, no, writing “just ask me” does not count as writing a bio. You’re doing both of you a disservice when you do that. Maybe your potential match would ask you if you had something in your bio that they could start a conversation with.

A bio is the best way to know if you’re at least on the same page with the kind of relationship that you’re looking for.

4. Save the snark

It’s become a trend for men to include in their bio their height followed by the words “because for some reason it matters”. It doesn’t matter to every woman but for some, it does and shaming your potential match right away for wondering isn’t exactly the best foot to be starting on. If you want to say your height, say it. If you don’t, don’t say it. 

5. Be inspired by Instagram

Well, sort of, at least. When you post something on Instagram, you usually care about the photo quality and may make a few adjustments before you post. You may want to consider doing that with your Tinder photos as well.

Studies suggest that Tinder photos do better if there’s color contrast, low background noise, no other people, the upper third of your body, and nothing blocking your face. It’s okay to make a few edits to make this happen. Basically, you’re looking to edit the background to make you the focus.

6. “Heyyy” will get you nowhere

It’s easy to just type hello. And a lot of us are guilty of attempting to start a conversation like that on dating apps. But that’s exactly the problem. If everyone else is just saying hi too, your message is just getting lost in the shuffle.

7. Use your bio to start a conversation

It can be hard to come up with topics to talk to strangers and, on Tinder, everyone is kind of a stranger. Make it easier on your potential matches by including a meaningful question in your bio. It’s also a bonus for you because it helps you weed out some matches right off the bat. If a match gives an answer that you just can’t get behind, you may want to focus on the people that are messaging with a response that you can get into. 

This isn’t to say that you should be putting in your bios, “Message me to say if you’re passionate about [insert controversial topic here] so I know whether or not we’d get along.” Instead, a better question would be something that requires some thought and creativity that could spark a conversation like, “Message me saying what kind of dog breed you relate to most and why.”

Keep it light, maybe even a little silly, but also thought-provoking. 

8. Thoughtful openings will always be better than a pick-up line

Even if your plan is to hook-up, your match deserves respect. Immediately messaging asking for a booty call or sending over a corny pick-up line for a lead into a gross joke isn’t that respectful. It’s okay to be funny and it’s okay to be clever, but remember that you’re talking to another person on the other end of that phone.

Talk to that person the same way you would talk to a person in real life. You wouldn’t approach a person at the bar and immediately ask them to come home with you.

The person on the other end of the phone doesn’t know you yet and they are most likely not going to be comfortable coming over seconds after matching with you. Treat Tinder like you’re meeting someone for the first time, because you are. 

Approaching dating apps with the right Tinder etiquette will give you the toolkit to meet your match, whatever you’re looking for, and have a great time while doing it! 

Jacqueline Gualtieri

Freelance Writer

Jacqueline Gualtieri is a writer and blogger whose best friend once told her to quit her job and become a couples and sex therapist. Since she’d miss writing too much, she figured writing for The Date Mix would be the next best thing.