I’ll admit it. I really like Tinder. Call me crazy, or shallow, or desperate all you want. (I’m also not sure any of those are untrue.)
Why do I like Tinder so much? Approaching women in real life is hard. And it’s really easy to be so much cooler online, as Brad Paisley would say.
Piece of advice number one: Bear in mind those three sentiments which, from what I can tell, I share with all the other 3.5 billion male fish in the sea. And number two: It’s OK to like Tinder. Go ahead, you can even admit it yourself.
So without any further ado, here is a little glimpse into the mind of one man on Tinder. Oh, and use this information with caution.
01. Success requires more than perfect pics.
The profiles that get my attention (in a good way) are those which make me actually like the woman represented. Sure, there are some profiles that are little more than pictures of an attractive woman. But even if I’m lucky enough to match with one of these women, I find myself staring at that little text box for fifteen minutes trying to come up with something better than, “I like looking at your pictures.” And some women wonder why they don’t get anything other than, “Hey, what’s up?”
Of course, I notice beauty. But I’m also looking for a relationship. And as much as I like looking at pictures of women, I prefer actually interacting with them on some sort of meaningful level. A good profile invites meaningful interaction. Sure, keep it light, but mention something you really care about, like helping your younger sister navigate the perils of high school. It doesn’t take much. Think of women in your life you admire and think about how they might put their best foot forward. Come to think of it…
02. Channel your inner grandma.
What makes grandmas so great (especially mine)? A little self-awareness here, a little mischief there, she’s unique yet perfectly genuine. She really cares about people and has no problem showing it. Channel your inner grandma and find a picture of you smiling or, even better, laughing. Find a picture of yourself with someone you love or doing something you love, and a guy will pick up on that.
What are guys looking for, when it really comes down to it? Beauty, mystery, happiness, and love—and not necessarily in that order. Find a way to express those things in your profile, and you’ll do just fine.
03. Which dudes to date (and which to avoid)?
If women’s profiles are any indication, they are way over fish pics (“Cool fish, bro”), hook-up requests (“NOT LOOKING FOR A HOOK-UP!!!”), and shirtless selfies (“If you’re flexing shirtless in the mirror, your life is a waste”). And I get it. But I’m going to ask you to reconsider one of those three, and I’m not talking about Don Juan or Junior Mr. Universe. Call me crazy, but if a dude has a picture of himself holding some dead fish, he’s probably just a regular dude, and that’s not a bad thing.
One of the best compliments I ever received was back in college when a buddy called me a “Regular Dude.” Why? There’s something about a man where normalcy is good. A man who is inordinately image-conscious, whose sense of humor skews a bit too much on the risque side, who seems to like to play the victim? He’s probably over-compensating for something. Flashy and ostentatious might catch your attention, but well-rounded, well-grounded men are the ones who last. I’m no fisherman, and I’m sure there are plenty of jerks who also happen to fish, but I don't think they're related.
04. Warning signs and normal signs—know the difference.
If you get a weird vibe from a dude, ditch him. If he seems to be a little too complimentary of your physical appearance, it might be all he cares about. But don’t be too quick to judge the guy who can’t quite seem to get it right. If he seems nice enough and nice looking enough, and has seemingly hidden all his red flags. Give him a chance.
Because here’s the other thing: I get nervous when I’m messaging a girl I really think I like. I say things I think are funny but probably aren’t. I’m too quick to ask her out or too slow and rarely in between. I ask her questions I think are thoughtful and show genuine interest that probably come across as boring or pandering. Remember, none of us really know what the hell we’re doing.
05. Don’t take it too seriously.
That being said, perhaps the most important to remember when Tindering is not to take it too seriously. It’s really just an artificial way to get people to actually approach each other romantically. It’s funny, every now and again I’ll see a woman out and about and I’ll think to myself, “Wow, if only she was on Tinder.” And then I have to remind myself that I can actually talk to women in real life, too.
No, Tinder should never replace real life, as much as we (ahem, I) might like it to. What I think Tinder does best, however, is stir the pot a little bit and makes it easier to start conversations. Then it’s up to you what you do with it.