relationships

Climb out of the Tinder basement: 19 ways to level up your game

If all your Tinder game has led to recently is a sprained swiping finger, it’s time to upgrade your profile to get the matches rolling. You don’t need a head-to-toe makeover straight out of the movies to seriously improve your desirability on the dating app. Instead, perfect your message and make sure your profile is saying what you want people to hear. With a few new profile pictures and a strong bio, prepare to spend a lot more time on dates with recent matches and a lot less time worrying about your number.

Your starter job headshot was awesome, but why are using it 10 years later?

Credit: Photograph of Bronislava Nijinska, graduation picture, 1908. Digital image. Wikimedia Commons. 13 December 2015.

Pictures are hard. Unless you are a selfie fan or a social butterfly, a good snapshot may only come around once a decade. However, using dated pictures is a major problem on Tinder. When the person in the photo doesn’t match your listed age or your appearance in extra pics, potential matches may view you as untrustworthy and swipe left.

Schedule a photoshoot with a friend for new pictures.

Credit: Photographic portrait of nature photographer Ansel Adams. 1950. Wikimedia Commons. 6 March 2018.

If you need new pictures go on an outing with a friend and take dozens of photos to review. Pick the best options that reflect a bit about your personality, such as an enthusiasm for fine dining, and use them on your profile.

Tinder isn’t jail, but you still need a mugshot.

Credit: Elvis Mugshot. 1970. Wikimedia Commons. 7 March 2016.

Whether your trying to get a date or a job, a good headshot is a must. When updating your photos, make sure one focuses primarily on your face. It doesn’t have to be full Orange Is the New Black but should stick to the upper third of your body. Potential matches want to see your face. Give it to them in the first picture.

Props are great, except in your Tinder profile pictures.

Credit: Instagram @Tinder

A successful Tinder profile does require a bit of personality, and you definitely need to convey it anyway possible…except with too many props, such as shirts with a message, your car, a favorite gesture, a political button or pets. If someone misinterprets your meaning or takes a joke as a hard stance, you lose a match.

Assume that others will make assumptions.

Credit: Instagram @Tinder

Men and women are going to take in everything in your photos to determine your personality. If you give them too much data, there is too much to judge before a conversations start. Beyond mixed messages, you may also find the interior of the room is reviewed or the tidiness of your backdrop assessed. Make sure everything in your photo conveys the real you. 

Use all of the picture slots to increase matches.

Credit: Twitter @Tinder

If you were so excited to join Tinder that you skipped over adding extra pictures, go back and edit, edit, edit. Profiles with more photos see more matches. According to one Tinder study, women who upped pictures from one to three saw a 37 percent jump in matches while men saw an 82 percent increase.

Blank spaces were made for Taylor Swift songs, not your profile.

Credit: Instagram @taylorswift

If you can fill it out, do so. This includes specifying your location with a degree of accuracy. Some of your potential matches may be looking for city boys only while others don’t mind the suburbs. When you don’t specify your home base, you are limiting the field. 

Bios: Think tweets, not War and Peace.

Credit: Photo of the Book “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy. 20 May 2013. Wikimedia Commons. 22 May 2013.

Your bio provides you with a limited amount of space to make a killer first impression. The best way to do this is by keeping individual comments brief and charming. 

To be or not to be serious.

Credit: Hamlet – “To be or not to be, that is the question.” 1870. WikiMedia Commons. 15 June 2018.

It’s OK to specify passion topics, but equally okay to make a fun joking/not joking comment that reflects your interests, such as “If you think Darth Vader was misunderstood, swipe right.” 

Play with tone when introducing yourself in the bio.

Credit: Instagram @Tinder

Any single points about yourself should be succinct, but you can introduce them in paragraph form or create a spaced-out list that is more visually appealing. When you go through a dry spell, consider mixing up the format to improve scrolling potential.

Friends and family are a big part of your life but don’t need to be in all of your photos.

Credit: Tolee Fete in den fruher Sexhzigern. WikiMedia Commons. 11 July 2014.

After a starter mugshot, extra photos can be more freewheeling but should still highlight you. If your mom and/or kids are a major part of your life, include them in one picture to weed out bad matches but avoid using all of your snaps to show that you are social. You want to make new friends, not reinforce existing relationships.

Avoid telling your life story.

Credit: Books Books and More Books of Shelf Esteem. 1 November 2017. Wikimedia Commons. 3 November 2017.

See above. Friends and family are great, but don’t introduce Aunt Maria’s cousin in the bio or wax poetical about the little moments in life throughout. You want to provide succinct highlights and leave room for later conversation.

Tragedy and Tinder matches aren’t good bedfellows.

Credit: Instagram @Tinder

Emotional appeals are a mistake. Don’t lament the unfairness of the local dating scene or whine about your inability to meet new people in your profile or later messages. Instead, focus on what you want from Tinder – to meet new people.

Message your matches to get a conversation started.

Credit: Instagram @Tinder

Even if you match with someone you weren’t sure about swiping right for, invest some time in messaging. It helps you develop a rapport and feel for how to successfully convert a match to a date and may lead you to a winner. 

Ladies, Make the First Move.

Credit: Instagram @tinder

Women are less likely to instigate messaging on Tinder following a successful match according to research but both sexes need to step up to the plate. If you are interested in a man or woman, jump in and say, “Hello.”

Be persistent but not creepy.

Credit: Instagram @tinder

When you have a great match, give a little breathing room between a first message and subsequent check-ins but do follow up. A gentle nudge after 48 hours is good. Back-to-back “Did you get my messages?” messages are not.

Let’s not take this offline right now.

Credit: Instagram @tinder

Avoid immediately trying to get a fresh match to take a messaging session off Tinder and to traditional texting. Many people are concerned about share a personal number due to privacy concerns. No one wants a stalker. Only ask for additional contact info when you prepare for or finish a first meeting.

Even if your main goal on Tinder is to hookup, be a human first.

Credit: Instagram @tinder

If the only reason you want Tinder tips is to find a new hookup, that’s fine when your match is down for it. But don’t treat people you match with as your next booty call and navigate straight to pic requests and suggestive language without a bit of conversation. Consider it the equivalent of buying a drink at the bar before asking someone to go home with you.

Sales analogies are bad, but you need to close.

Credit: Friendship. Wikimedia Commons. 11 November 2005.

A great messaging session should lead to a meet-up. If things are stalling but you’re not ready for a big date, ask to continue the conversation over lunch, coffee or drinks. Try a pleasant, “Let’s continue this conversation over lunch this week. Does Monday or Wednesday work for you?” The assumption is a meeting will happen but the mechanics need to be sorted out. 

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