Flirting online is much more difficult than it seems, so is mastering the Tinder etiquettes that will set your dating profile apart from the rest.
In this article, I will carefully take you through a list of Tinder Do’s and Don’ts that you must know.
So…, let’s get rolling!
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- This article on Tinder is part of my larger Tinder hub (50+ articles)
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Tinder Etiquette in Video Form
Audio (podcast) form for those of you on the go
#1: Starting with “Hey” is a no-go
What is Tinder?
Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps today rightly because it combines what hookup sites (like BeNaughty or Ashley Madison) and serious relationships sites (like eHarmony) offer in one single platform.
Using the Tinder app may well seem like an easy task – yes of course! but getting a like, match or date requires a lot of homework.
This is more of dating etiquette for guys than for girls because guys do this more often in the dating world.
There’s nothing worse than getting matched with a hot girl and you start the conversation with “Hey! What’s up?”
The most common reply is “Nothing much.” and you might want to end the conversation right there because there’s no good way to continue the conversation.
By saying the mediocre “Hey.” you’re making her say it back and putting effort for nothing.
Instead, you should get a bit creative and ask her an unexpected but sincere question or start with a great pick-up line.
#2: Never Ask for a Date Right Away
Even though guys are much more likely to accept a date offer from a girl on Tinder, on the other hand, girls aren’t that keen on going on a date with a guy they know nothing about.
You don’t want to break the basic rule of online dating texting etiquette right off the bat.
So the first date etiquette is pretty straightforward.
You don’t want to mention the date question either too soon or too late.
Instead, you should go with the flow of your Tinder match and when you think you’re clicking with the person, only then ask them on a date.
This way you’ll have a much higher chance of getting a Tinder date and also you’ll learn more about the person before meeting them.
#3: Don’t Think That Someone can Understand Your Tone of Voice
This has happened to all of us at some point.
The conversation is going pretty well and suddenly something you said is misinterpreted and the convo is over.
Capitalizing letters to let the person know you’re shouting is quite confusing and don’t get me started on the whole *whispers in your ear* trend.
Also, if you don’t use any emojis, you’ll sound like you don’t have any willpower to talk to your match.
And although one of the most important Tinder rules includes not using too many emojis (which we will talk about after this), they are still quite useful.
#4: Don’t Over-Do it With Emojis
As I already mentioned, emojis can help you express your tone of voice but too many emojis will just ruin your game.
However, girls use significantly more emojis than guys but that’s just something they like to do.
So if you’re a guy, don’t use too many emojis because this can make you look goofy or even feminine which won’t attract any girl.
So to recapitulate, the general Tinder etiquette states that girls can get away with using as many emojis as they want, while guys should stick with sliding one occasionally.
#5: Watch Out for Grammar Mistakes
There’s nothing more unattractive than making huge grammatical errors and not even correcting yourself.
Remember – You only get two chances to make a good impression in real life.
Once when you show up, and then when you open your mouth.
To translate this into Tinder language: Once when you get a match, and then when your fingers start typing.
Not knowing the difference between “their” and “there”, “than” and “then”, and “your” and “you’re” just means that you’re practically illiterate and quite frankly, not many people will want to date you.
Also, don’t use words that you don’t know the meaning of just to make yourself appear more intelligent because people can pick up on your charade quite quickly.
#6: There’s No Place on Tinder for Group Photos
Having a group photo of you and your friends is a double-edged sword.
On one hand, you’re showing that you have friends and a social life which is great, but…
On the other hand, it’s making it difficult for people to discern which single person in the photo is you.
This is even truer for photos of you and your other friend.
And girls do this all the time.
They make a selfie with their slightly less attractive friend and then in comparison they look prettier.
Girls, don’t do this.
It’s not just disrespectful to your friend but also it’s quite deceiving.
#7: Don’t Be Creepy
Although this rule doesn’t just apply to guys girls also, the reality is that men are more impulsive than women even though women can be creeps as well at times.
And I’m not a social scientist so I don’t want to dwell deeper into this topic than needed.
That being said, some things you should avoid doing because they make you seem creepy include:
- Not knowing how to take no for an answer.
- Oversharing your life with strangers on Tinder.
- Constantly flirting or bringing up sexual topics.
- Begging for replies.
- Threats and intimidation.
- Driving a white van.
#8: Don’t Focus on Timing your Replies
Here are some really good dating tips, not just for Tinder.
What I see a lot of people do is spend all their energy on the time they’re going to reply to their match and not focusing on what they’re going to say.
I’ve also heard a lot of people talking about the most crucial Tinder dating rules, one of which includes that you should wait 10 minutes to reply to your match.
Some even dare to say that you should wait 3 days before texting so that your match gets more interesting.
That’s nonsense and you know it.
However, I wouldn’t advise you to spend your whole day texting either.
The golden middle should be to text back when you make time for it or when the message requires you to reply immediately.
Besides, you’ve got all the time in the world.
#9: Don’t Text While you’re In a Bad Mood
This rule should be applied in life in general and not just Tinder.
I have to say that girls do this more than guys do.
When talking to someone while you’re in a bad mood, there’s a high chance you’re going to project your bad energy towards that person.
That’s why if you’re feeling low, you should wait a couple of days and see how you feel.
This way, you’re preventing yourself from acting out and ruining everything.
#10: Don’t Use Photos From Your Photo-Shoot
This is a Tinder dating etiquette for women specifically because guys rarely go to photo-shoots.
Ladies, don’t use your photo-shoot pictures because although they seem natural and vivid, most of them are photoshopped by photographers to erase any imperfections.
Also, the photo-shoot pictures just emphasize your looks and not your character.
You want to post genuine and natural pictures of yourself so that you attract guys who like you for your beauty but also would like to get to know you first.
#11: Your Bio isn’t a Shopping List
Your bio shouldn’t look like a list of things you like to do, where you would like to travel, and who your favorite singers are.
Also, don’t put stuff like “entrepreneur” or “artist” because your 0.0000068 bitcoins don’t make you an entrepreneur and your cover of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” doesn’t make you an artist either.
This is not Instagram or other social media, and even if it was, you shouldn’t write bios like that.
It should consist of two or three sentences about what you’re like and that’s it.
You should leave some mystery so that when you do get a match you can start talking about yourself.
You might even be funny, but if it takes more than 30 seconds to read your bio, you are on a bad start here, pal.
#12: Don’t Post Too Many Photos
Since we’re on the topic of your profile, I thought I needed to address this.
I think that this mostly applies to girls as they tend to take more photos than guys.
Even though there are 9 slots for your photos on Tinder it doesn’t mean that you should use up all 9 of them because it’s too much.
4 photos are perfectly fine because you want to keep some mystery.
Choose some of your best photos where you don’t just look great but can also bring attention and spark interest.
Remember, less is sometimes more.
#13: Don’t Swipe Right All the Time
Not only is this going to get you a temporary ban if you do it often but you’re also not achieving anything.
If Tinder doesn’t ban you, it will make your ELO score quite low so you’ll have a hard time getting a match.
This is more of a guy thing and guys do this often when they first go on Tinder and know nothing about Tinder manners.
What you should do instead is check out the profiles you like and analyze them a bit before you swipe right.
This way you’re seeing if you’re interested in the person and also it can help you not make any left swipe mistakes.
#14: Don’t Make Inappropriate Jokes
One of the most important rules of Tinder messaging etiquette is that you don’t make any inappropriate jokes.
These jokes include:
- Racial slurs and anything to do with religion
- Homophobic and sexually inappropriate connotations
- Gold-digging or offering money
Even if you were “just kidding”, if your match reports you, Tinder might ban you temporarily or even entirely.
So I suggest leaving the dark humor for the first date.
#15: Don’t Neglect Your Matches
Ladies and gentlemen, please don’t do this.
Tinder matches aren’t Pokémon and you don’t have to “catch ’em all”.
The “couple of days” rule is just plain dumb and you might not even be aware of how many great matches you’ve missed because of following this rule.
You’re just wasting your and everyone else’s time.
If you’ve matched with someone, don’t be afraid to start a conversation and never make people wait.
Also, and I know some of you are guilty of this, just because you’re hitting off with one person doesn’t mean that you should neglect others.
You never know that you’ve met the right person on a dating site until you meet them in person so even though you have a Tinder “bae” this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give love to everyone else.
#16: Arrogance will get you nowhere
This one is more of a Tinder dating etiquette for men but ladies do this too just not as often.
There’s a thin line between being confident and being arrogant and if you cross that line, things will go bad real quick.
If you’re right off the bat asking for a date without following the online dating rules etiquette and just promising your match the night of her life, there’s not a chance that’ll work out.
And even if you get a date you’ll probably end up with a gold-digger or even worse, a catfish.
Remember, girls like a guy who is down to earth and not someone who is an ego-maniac.
So instead of being cocky, what you should be doing is be flirtatious and playful and to do that you need good pick-up lines.
And what you want to avoid is…
#17: Using Bad Pick-Up Lines
Don’t get me wrong.
Most pick-up lines suck and girls aren’t going to fall for them unless you’re the pick-up line king in which case I salute you in the name of all guys struggling on Tinder.
However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use pick-up lines.
They’re a great way to break the ice and they erase the stupid rule of who should message first on Tinder because even girls can use them.
Look at pick-up lines as conversation starters and even some dumb pick-up lines can get the conversation going.
But don’t think that a corny pick-up line will make your match fall head-over-heels for you.
You do want to avoid pick-up lines that are sexual or just plain offensive.
Be playful and creative.
Oh, and yeah, make sure that you have a backup line if your pick-up line doesn’t work.
#18: Do Balance Out the Texting
So you’ve been on your phone texting your match the whole day and suddenly he or she doesn’t reply for an hour and you’re just stuck there thinking what to do while they come back.
If this is the case, then you have experienced the struggles of texting too much.
Not only are you at risk of boring your match to death, because who wants to talk to just one person the whole day, but you’re also wasting your time and not doing other important things in life.
And this can spiral back at you because you might get addicted to texting and you’ll end up talking to multiple matches and slowly but surely becoming a loser who just texts all day.
It’s a bit scary, but it’s the truth.
On the other hand, we have a scenario where you rarely reply to people, either because you don’t feel like it or because you don’t have time so your matches start to resent you for it.
There’s nothing bad with not replying to someone for an hour or so just to build up the suspense, but if you do it for the entire day, you’re just a jerk.
The solution is to balance out your texting.
Leave about an hour or two just for texting and balance the time throughout the day.
This way you’re not on your phone the entire time, but you’re also not neglecting the people you’re chatting with.
#19: Do Try To Make Your Profile Look Good
Think about your profile as a business card.
If it looks presentable, there’s a high chance you’re going to “get the job”.
This doesn’t mean that you should advertise yourself as we already discussed, but just make a quality profile with a short bio, a couple of good photos, and that’s it.
You want your bio to be a short intro to what you’re like and what you’re interests are, and your photos should tell a story.
But don’t try to sugar-coat your profile because you want to be original and authentic as much as possible.
And people will notice that when they start chatting to you so you’ll have a higher chance of actually getting a date.
#20: Do Proofread Your Profile
As I already mentioned, grammatical mistakes will kill your chances of getting matches.
Always double-check your bio to see if you’ve made any mistakes.
If you can’t do it, ask a friend or hire someone to do it for you.
And if you’re not sure how some word is spelled or what it means, then it has no point in being in your bio in the first place.
#21: Your Bio Should Be Original
Bios are there to attract people to swipe right.
And I have to say that girls are much better at writing good bios than guys are.
I see a lot of guys trying to be edgy in their bio, but they just end up looking thirsty and unattractive.
Your bio should:
- Attract the right kind of attention
- Be funny and playful
- Be short as humanly possible
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The last one is important because people don’t like to spend a lot of time reading bios.
A bio that simply states “Hey, I’m Brian, I’m 6ft2 and I play basketball” will certainly attract more matches than a bio that’s an introduction to your life.
Now if you add a playful joke to the mix, you’re surely going to create a great bio and the matches will keep coming.
#22: Do Use Contrast In Your Photos
You’d think that just using a lot of contrast in your photos isn’t doing much, but that’s where you’re wrong.
So how do you use contrast to make your photos more attractive?
It’s quite simple!
For example, if you’re wearing a dark shirt, stand in front of a light background and vice-versa.
When it comes to colors, it’s a bit trickier but if you follow the color wheel, the contrasting colors are usually at the opposite side of the color spectrum.
So for example red and green, yellow and blue, and dark brown and magenta are all contrasting colors.
Girls are far better at this because the female brain can recognize more colors precisely than men can.
But this doesn’t mean that we guys can’t learn how to contrast and use it to our advantage.
#23: Do Use Tested Pick-Up Lines
I already mentioned what kind of pick-up lines not to use and how pick-up lines can help you break the ice.
Pick-up lines you use in person aren’t the same as the pick-up lines you’ll use on Tinder and you’ll have to follow the basic online dating manners for them to work.
Now even though pick-up lines most of the time won’t work right off the bat, they’re great for setting up the mood.
You want an opener that will trigger a reply, a positive reply that is.
Using tacky and generic pick-up lines that are pretty much archaic at this point will take you nowhere.
So, instead what you should do is to see what the trendiest pick-up lines are and if they work.
If you’re naturally funny and have a few pick-up lines up your sleeve that you know work, then test them out and see how it goes.
#24: Do Try to Steer the Conversation towards the Date
And now we need to talk a bit about the Tinder first date etiquette.
The first date is the whole point of Tinder and you want to follow all the online dating messaging rules so that you score the date.
As I already mentioned, don’t ask for a date right off the bat but rather stick with the online dating etiquette when to meet and just talk a bit about some date ideas without mentioning the date.
Try to find what they’re interested in and what they like to do for fun.
This will make your match interested in meeting with you and then you can playfully ask them to grab some lunch or go watch a game.
Of course, I have to be honest and say that girls have a much higher chance of success when asking for a date than guys but that doesn’t mean that you should wait for the girl to ask you out.
You should be the one who is leading the conversation towards the date and you just have to be patient and catch the best time to bring it up.
If you’re comfortable and experienced with asking for a date then you know what to do but you’ll also want to get a second date.
And that’s why it’s important to know the proper online dating etiquette after the first date, but that’s a whole other article.
#25: Do Put a Link to your Instagram
Not all people would advise you to put a link to your Instagram profile in your Tinder bio but this depends on if your Instagram profile is presentable.
If you have a good Instagram profile, you don’t have to write much about yourself in the bio and also you’re inviting people to follow the link and spend some time analyzing who you are.
Also, you’re proving to people that you’re not a bot or a catfish and you might even get a couple of new followers on Instagram.
This is great for attracting attention and also it can help you boost your rating on Tinder giving you more likes and putting your profile for more people to see.
#26: Do Set Up a Tinder Anthem
Some love experts say that people with similar tastes in music are naturally attracted to each other and Tinder knows this.
That’s why there’s an “Anthem” feature on Tinder that allows you to select one of your favorite songs and it will be shown on your profile.
This feature is great for breaking the ice as you might get matched with someone who loves the same music and there’s your opening line.
If you add a combination of a couple of great photos to your profile, you’ll be practically irresistible.
Of course, you can always get creative and post a song with a playful title which is inviting people to match you.
Let your imagination go wild and see how it goes.
#27: Do Use GIF When Given the Opportunity
If you want to spice up your conversation with your match, or just need something to fill in the gap when you don’t know how to reply, then GIFs are your best bet.
GIFs are great for bringing down the tension and can brighten up the mood if used properly.
Also, because you can search for GIFs via keywords, you will never run out of them.
Using GIFs as openers are also cool if you know how to continue the conversation after the opener.
If you’re inclined on opening the conversation with a GIF, try exploring his or her profile a bit and see what they’re interested in or what they’re like.
Then type in the keywords in the search bar and boom.
You’ve now made a killer opening.
#28: Do Put the Tinder Algorithm to your Favor
The Tinder algorithm is the thing that will help you get better matches and also make your profile visible for higher-rated profiles.
So whether you use Tinder for fun or you want to get dates with hot people, it’s not a bad idea to get the Tinder algorithm to work for you.
What the Tinder algorithm does is it monitors:
- How many times you’ve swiped left or right through the day
- The quality of your profile (photos and bio)
- The time you spend going through someone’s profile
I’ll be briefly explain each point.
First, if you just spend the whole day swiping right, not only are risking getting banned, but you’re also going to get worse matches.
The quality of your profile is also a big thing.
If you have 3-4 good-quality photos, a bio that’s funny and invitational, and a nice song everyone can relate to, you’ll be getting a lot of matches daily.
The third point is also a big deal because we as Tinder users rarely spend more than 15 seconds looking at someone’s profile unless we are interested in the person more.
Because Tinder doesn’t have a filter so that you can narrow down your interests (except for gender and location), you’re stuck with randomly scrolling through profiles.
So when you take time looking at someone’s profile you’re telling Tinder that you’re interested in those kinds of profiles and you’ll be getting similar matches.
This will also increase your ELO, as you’ll swipe right to your “type” and also swipe left on profiles that don’t interest you that much.
#29: Do Pay Attention to your Photos
Your photos are the first thing someone sees when they run into your profile.
You want to make sure your photos bring out the best of you.
A grumpy or serious photo of you that you think is cool isn’t cool at all and people will think that you’re always negative.
A nice photo of you smiling, on the other hand, is a completely different story.
It will show that you’re positive, enthusiastic
Now, you don’t have to have an ear-to-ear smile, but a nice half-smirk will get the job done.
Also, it isn’t only your face that’s important in a good photo.
The background is also part of the photo that makes all the difference.
Whether it’s a nice view of the beach or just the bar where you’ve had the night of your life, a good background can tell a lot about you.
All put together, the photos you put on your Tinder profile will either make or break your chances of getting lots of matches.
#30: Do Have a Variety of Different Photos
It’s not just one photo that you want to be spotless.
You want every photo you put on your Tinder profile to tell a different story about who you are.
I have to say that girls are way better at this than guys because they take many more photos than we do.
But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t make an effort in making our Tinder profile as sort of a portfolio.
Maybe you like playing chess or you’re good at playing the drums.
So take a picture of yourself in front of a chessboard or jamming on a drum set.
If you like to spend time in nature, take a photo of yourself hiking or camping.
If you keep an active style, a nice pic at the gym is also a viable option.
All in all, there are tons of options you can try but the main thing is to get the message across and that is that you’re a fun person to be around and you have something going for you in your life.
#31: Do Start a Conversation with Every Match
We’ve all experienced the thing where we swiped right on a profile we weren’t so sure we were interested in and then got a notification saying we matched with that person.
And I’m talking to both girls and guys now because we all make the same mistake of not starting a conversation with a match just because we’ve changed our mind.
You don’t have to seek romantic love with every Tinder match you get.
It would be stupid, to be honest.
But you do want to chat with people and see if you click with them.
And even if you’re hitting it off with just one of your matches and are excited about the first date, you shouldn’t neglect your other matches because of that.
So what if you’ve swiped right to a 2, but you’re now talking to an 8.
Looks can be deceiving and there might be a lot more under the surface.
Who knows, you might even find some interesting people and make friends with them.
And there you have it.
We’ve made it to the end of the complete list of 30 do’s and don’ts for everything you need to know about Tinder and online dating etiquette first date.
If you have any suggestions or even questions that have to do with Tinder or the first date protocol, please leave a comment down below.
Good luck and have fun swiping!