In every single movie about college ever, someone usually ends up falling in love, meeting their soulmate or having a (mostly drunken) one-night stand while in a library, at a frat party or walking around a scenic campus green. As seems to be the case in most scenarios, dating in college is not like the movies. Things have changed.
Though it’s still common to hit it off with someone met out on the town or to flirt with a study buddy while hitting the books, dating apps have also become the norm. Tinder and Bumble have become major forces in meeting new people on campuses and in cities everywhere. For many, they are an easy transition from the algorithms of social media, but for others, apps like Tinder are an anxiety-inducing and highly confusing extra step in the modernizing of the already stressful dating process.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are five helpful insider tips for even the most confused of Tinder daters.
1. Be yourself.
This could be interpreted as advice not to catfish anyone, which is 100% a thing nobody should do. Don’t catfish anyone. But also, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Be upfront about your interests and open about what you’re looking for. If your match asks what you like to do, be honest, whether that they’re asking about. They might be inquiring as to hobbies, sexual preferences, or relationship desires. Either way, if you’re intending to meet this person or forge a connection with them, be authentic and transparent in order to make the app effective.
2. Choose photos wisely.
Tinder gives users the options of choosing photos from Facebook or their camera roll to put on their profile. It also has a feature that can shuffle the order of profile photos to figure out which photo garners the most successful matches. Though choosing a flattering first photo is a very good idea, make sure that the pictures are also an accurate depiction of your real life appearance. Take note that selfies are great (who knows your angles better than you do?) but that too many selfies can look vain or self-obsessed. Use your photos as an opportunity to show your interests. If you like to go rock climbing, surfing, or out with friends, find pictures of those moments and put those on your profile.
3. Be safe.
Making the jump from chatting on the phone to going on a real life date can be pretty intimidating. Don’t freak yourself out. Just do what you’re comfortable with. If you would like to spend some time chatting on Tinder and then texting and Snapchatting a person, then do it! If they don’t understand or become impatient, then they’re not the one for you. When meeting someone, make sure to do so in a public place and to text a friend or loved one to let them know where you are and who you’re meeting. It’s also good to connect with a possible date on social channels like Instagram or Snapchat in order to confirm that they’re not a catfish and to get to know them better.
4. Don’t swipe without reading the bio.
Yes, this is a classic ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ approach. Seriously. Though it’s tempting to get to swiping indiscriminately without reading bios or taking a moment to check out someone’s personality, it’s not actually productive. If you intend to actually meet someone, looks alone are not going to be enough to fill up a date or even a hookup. Check out someone’s bio and start a conversation from it or use it to get a feel for their personality. Maybe they’re funny or serious or into some of the same things you are. Maybe they’re not. These things should inform your swipe and enhance their attractiveness, not serve as afterthoughts.
5. Don’t be scared to unmatch.
If someone is rubbing you the wrong way or making you uncomfortable, you should unmatch them. Not everyone deserves your time and that’s alright. The good thing about dating apps is that they are what you make of them and it’s all about your own level of comfort. Keep the situation low-pressure and know that you are always able to exit any undesirable conversations. There will be weirdos, so be prepared to unmatch.