12 Tinder Do's And Don'ts Before Your Next Date

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Tinder. The name of the online dating platform elicits an array of opinions. If you’re like me, you used the app as a form of window shopping – checking out your local prospects in a seemingly virtual safety net. But whether you’re using it to do some shopping, looking for a hookup, or searching for “the one,” there are some solid dos and don’ts to keep in mind before you get your swipe on.

See also: Why following your ex is the worst thing you're doing right now

6 Tinder Dos

1. Be safe and let a friend know where you're going on your date

Just because Tinder dating is common doesn’t mean you don’t have to be on top of your game. Let a friend know the name of the person you’re going out with, what time you’re heading out and where you’re planning on going. It doesn’t hurt to shoot them a text when you get home, too. Be on the safe side. Your mother will be proud.

2. Don't swipe aimlessly and lose a potential match

Tinder gives you the opportunity to judge people in a split second based on menial factors, and you’ll likely find yourself getting sucked into mindless swiping. Spend a little bit of extra time on profiles – you might miss someone great because the only thing you noticed was that he was eating a steak and you’re a vegetarian, or that she listed Nickelback as one of her favorite bands. Ok, maybe you can swipe left on that one.

3. Your first message can be the deal breaker

Unless you’re really excited about someone, you may want to consider giving the “hey, what’s up?” messages a hard pass. And if you’re the one sending the first message, don’t succumb to this, either! Put some thought into your initial message by demonstrating that you read the other person’s bio or noticed something in their photos – and expect the same in return!

4. Make your profile noticeable and stand out to people

People are swiping at the speed of light, and Tinder is notoriously shallow. In the same way that you mindlessly swipe left until someone almost literally jumps out of your phone screen, others are doing the same. Find photos that highlight your favorite activities, places you’ve traveled and what makes you, well, you. Focus your bio on fun facts about yourself and what you’re looking for, so you don’t find yourself sifting for people looking for a hookup when you’re looking for something serious.

5. Ask a lot of questions and show that you're interested

Whether you’re still just chatting or you’re on your first date, make sure to be inquisitive. This will help you avoid awkward silence, show that you’re interested in the other person, and vet them. Just because they looked great on their profile doesn’t mean that you will jive. Or it could be the opposite; you may find that by chatting with them you discover that you both like rock climbing, you’re both beer enthusiasts, you both have a thing for growing succulents or you’re both avid swing dancers. In all seriousness, though, you likely won’t find out about your date’s love of bird watching unless you ask a few questions.

6. If it doesn't feel right don't go through with it

This applies to a variety of situations. If you feel unsafe, leave the date. If you’re not connecting over chat, a date might be a waste of your time. If you feel like things are good and you want to continue dating, keep it up. If you want to sleep with them on the first date and they’re feeling it, too, go for it! Your Tinder experience is just that – yours. It’s not up to anyone else – or society – to tell you how you should or should not date.

See also: 9 ways to keep the sparks flying in your relationship

6 Tinder Don’ts

1. Don’t only post pictures of you in a group

It’s annoying to have to try and pick out which of your friends is actually you in every. Single. Photo. People will give up and give you a big ol’ left swipe

2. Don’t let your date pick you up for your first date

And DEFINITELY don’t have your first date at one of your homes. Keep it public. Stay safe kids.

3. Don't be afraid to be a serial dater

It’s ok to go out on multiple dates with multiple people. Tinder provides you with the opportunity for trial-and-error – to experience different types of people. Some of them may be one-and-done kinds of dates, others may end up becoming friends, one might become your life partner. Explore your options.

4. Don’t post pictures of yourself from 10 years ago

There’s nothing worse than showing up on a date and discovering that they’ve aged 10 years and don’t look anything like their photos. You may think you looked better in high school, but if you go on that date they’re going to figure out real quick that you’re not 18 anymore.

5. Don’t be an asshole and flake on dates

If you’re genuinely not interested in meeting up with someone in person, let them know. Ideally in a polite, heartfelt way. Either way, it’s better to be upfront with someone than to just not show up for a date, or to bail last-minute.

6. Don’t just look at the photos, the bios are where it's at

Yes, he’s hot. Sure, she’s super adventurous. But if they’re incredibly boring or super shallow or their interests and values don’t align with yours, you’re wasting your time. Instead, focus your attention on people with bios. This shows that they put the effort into their profiles and, thus, are taking it at least mildly seriously.

Written by Alyssa Putzer

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