Tinder is not a good place to start a relationship, unless that relationship is a casual hookup. That being said, it can still be a useful tool for someone who’s either new to dating or not well-practiced in it. Since Tinder works by letting you message people after you’ve matched with them, it’s the perfect place to practice your flirting!
The first step to using Tinder is to make sure you’re not swiping on any creeps. This can be done through a number of simple rules regarding their profiles. If they have a picture of their car, a snapchat filter, a shirtless picture or a picture of them surrounded by the type of people they’re attracted to, do not swipe right. If they have only one or two pictures, no bio or an incredibly sexist or creepy bio, do not swipe right. This won’t weed out all creepy people, but it should get you a better chance at finding someone who you can have a flirty, not-disgusting back and forth with.
Once you’ve matched with someone, talk about something you saw in their profile pictures or bio that you found interesting or funny. For instance, if they have a picture of themselves as a silhouette against the sunset playing a trombone, talk about that. If anything, people on Tinder make it easy for you to find out little things about them just from their profile. People in real life aren’t always as easy to read, but with practice, you’ll learn how to pick up on little things they say about themselves and turn it into a flirt. Usually, people on Tinder display three things about themselves in their photos alone: what they look like, who their friends are and how cute their dog is. The safest bet is to talk about their adorable dog or how cute/hot they themselves are.
You don’t always have to initiate the flirting either. Half the time, the other person will kick off the flirting and all you have to do is perpetuate it. Sometimes this can be the trickiest part of talking to someone you’re attracted to and it can be really easy to just let a conversation die. The reality is, you’re probably overthinking your response. If they say “hey cutie,” just go with the flow. Say hi back or ask a question about their bio. The best part about Tinder is that if one of your flirts falls flat, you can move on to the next person. You just have to remember that you probably won’t ever meet these people in real life, and that they’re likely talking to 10 or so other people at the same time.
Flirting in real life can be scary, especially if you’re new to it. But with Tinder, it doesn’t matter if you’re awful at it or if you don’t really like the person. Since you’re not actually trying to go on a date with them, it seriously doesn’t matter. Look at the things you’ve said to the people on your dating app that they loved or thought was sexy, and apply those in real life. Go to a frat party and use your best pick-up lines. Go to class and tell the person you’ve been crushing on that you think they’re pretty. Just remember what you learned and say it with confidence. Chances are that you’re going to be better at flirting than half the people out there that you want to flirt with.
Rebecca Maher is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.