Do you find yourself wondering, "How does Tinder work?" Or are you looking to give Tinder a try for the first time? I have some good news for you: you’re in the right place! You can always just search for the app and give it a try, but why not skip the learning curve?
With so many people searching for how Tinder works, it’s about time I give you a run-through of the basics. By the time you finish reading this guide and the resources below, you’ll be all set to get out there!
How Tinder Works If You Want Success
I’m going to kick things off here with some general advice to get your head in the right place. Having used dating apps on and off for years, the mindset has definitely been the most important part.
After that, we’ll jump into the practical side of things — how to get your set up properly so you can get the most out of Tinder.
Don’t let Tinder become your life focus
The biggest mistake I see among friends who use dating apps is this one right here. They download the app, get all set up, then obsess over the damn thing for weeks at a time. That's not how Tinder works and that's not how you should use the app.
The best thing you can do is turn your Tinder notifications off. You can leave badge notifications on if you want to see them at a glance.
By turning off the notifications, you’re removing that temptation to use the app constantly. It also keeps you from looking desperate because you won’t be replying to every message in 3 seconds flat.
Tinder is meant to be something you do when you have some spare time, not mid-conversation with friends.
Tinder Work Myth Busting: No Need for Tons of Matches
It's not uncommon for dating coaches to flash their Tinder results with a thousand likes and matches. It seems a far stretch for the common man.
You'll also find that these dating coaches are also... kinda good-looking.
I'd like to bust a myth: you do NOT need hundreds or thousands of matches and likes to get high-quality dates and results from Tinder.
I do not have supermodel-looking physical traits and neither do my clients.
However, in spite of all of that, my clients and I generate high-quality dates week-in and week-out using Tinder and other online dating applications.
I spent months running paid tests on Tinder and other online dating applications and the jury is out: you can get high-quality matches and dates from Tinder without a ton of matches.
Once pandemic measures are lifted and you are allowed to go on dates, travel freely... if you had invested in yourself during this period and are competent with Tinder to generate high-quality matches and dates. Then combining it with in-person dating skills is going to pay off.
Tinder Paid Functions: Tinder Platinum, Gold, Boost and Super Likes
Firstly, there is a general consensus around the men's dating coaching industry suggesting that you’ll mostly only be able to get scaled results from paying for the premium services on dating applications: Tinder gold and Tinder boost.
Here's my personal experience: you CAN get results without paying for these services.
HOWEVER, if you wish to truly scale your Tinder results, I recommend purchasing the paid functions of Tinder Platinum, Gold, and Tinder Boost. (I am not affiliated with Tinder in any way shape or form)
- Tinder Platinum
Tinder Platinum enables you to send a message before liking a girl's profile. This is extremely helpful. The ability to use text and further finesse your conversational starter on Tinder can skyrocket your results.
I tested the method through other dating applications such as CoffeeMeetsBagel and Hinge.
Yes, girls do read your conversational starters.
- Tinder Gold
One of the key features of Tinder gold is the ability to evaluate the quality of matches you are getting.
It's pointless to use Tinder boost, chalk up matches but not being able to evaluate or match with them.
I use Tinder Gold alongside with Tinder boost. You can also use an excel spreadsheet to record the number of likes and quality of matches after each boost.
- Tinder Boosting at the Right Times
There are ideal times to boost.
I generally keep it to two Tinder boosts a day. Some times I use more boosts to test out a new profile photo or description.
Yes, you can get more matches boosting in the evening at strategic timing at 6pm.
Here's a study of match times:
- Tinder Superlikes
Super likes are a good way to stand out when it comes to online dating. The trick here is not to super like girls that are far out of your reach, but to super like girls that are you are more likely to get matched with.
Getting Tinder To Work For You
There are a handful of simple behaviors guys can do that will guarantee better results on Tinder:
Don’t overthink it
This is easily my second most common bit of advice here. This guide will walk you through what you need to know. From there, just have fun with it. It’s dating, not a master's degree.
If you catch yourself agonizing over how many minutes you should wait to reply or how to break the ice with a hot girl on Tinder, put the phone down. Googling synonyms or asking people how to word a message? You’re thinking about it too much.
As long as you’re not just saying “hi” or being a sleaze, exactly what you say is less important than you think. Your profile and general demeanor are what really make all the difference.
I know what you’re thinking and no, this doesn’t contradict my other points. What I mean by being consistent is to avoid coming and going every other month.
If you have a bunch of active conversations going then just vanish for three weeks, time to start again. Tinder moves quickly and if you take more than a few days away from it, those conversations will go cold.
That’s not the end of the world, just something to be aware of.
Because the app moves so quickly, so should you. Nobody is on Tinder to find a pen pal and this is important to keep in mind.
Your aim should be to establish that neither of you are weird(er than either of you consider acceptable) and to escalate to a phone number. There’s no magic amount of time here because every person is different.
Sometimes it’s five messages in, sometimes it’s five days. Either way, if the conversation goes on long enough that she gets bored, it’s over. Instead, you want to flirt with your matches on Tinder, get them interested in you and actually arrange to meet up.
Don’t be a creep
Good life advice in general, but this absolutely applies to Tinder as well. Talk to women about dating apps and more often than not, this is their biggest complaint. Too many use terrible pickup lines, though there are a few genuinely good Tinder pickup lines.
No weird pickup lines, no requesting naked photos and no “hey baby, you’re hot, I want you”. It’s creepy.
Ever the optimist though, I see good news here. All you have to be is somewhat normal and you’re already ahead of the game!
Be wary of ‘Oneitis’
Oneitis is a disease that causes a real danger to your dating life. For the unfamiliar, this is when you become focused on just one person. You may have 10 conversations going but you’re borderline obsessed with just one of them.
It’s dangerous because it can cause you to act totally different from how you would normally. In most cases, in a very needy way: instantaneous replies, desperate attempts to demonstrate that you’re worthy and a willingness to do anything for her.
There’s nothing wrong with being into one person more than the others, just make sure you don’t fall victim to oneitis.
Who is Tinder for?
Honestly, Tinder works for just about anyone who’s looking to find another. Sex, dating, threesomes and more, just about anything goes on Tinder.
You’ll find an active user base anywhere from 18 years old to well into the 40s, although it does seem to dwindle in the 50+ range.
Either way, as long as you’re upfront about what you’re looking for, Tinder has something to offer you. Not sure if it’s right for you though? It’s free and easy to use! So go ahead and give it a try. Worst case scenario you uninstall it — at least then you’ll know for sure.
Tinder has both an Android and iOS app. There are how the vast majority of the user base uses Tinder, although there’s also Tinder.com if you want to use it in a web browser instead.
I’ve never used the web-based version myself and honestly, I don’t think many even know it exists.
I’m going to focus on the iOS version for this guide, although these instructions translate almost exactly to Android too.
To install the app, just go to the App store and search for “Tinder”.
Tap the “Get” button or, if you’ve had it installed before, tap the cloud icon like you see in the screenshot. This will begin the app download.
Once that’s done, tap “Open” to launch Tinder. You’ll also find the Tinder icon among your apps, ready to use.
Creating a profile
If you need to set up a fresh account, you can just tap the “Create An Account” button and follow the very simple prompts. You can choose to log in using your phone number, Facebook or Google.
All you need to do is enter some basic info and you’re good to go.
Once that’s done you’ll be ready to set up your profile which comes down to two major steps. Choosing your photos and writing a bio. The way Tinder works is that each profile should be as simple as the app mechanics. So the photos you choose and the bio you write are super important.
First up, choose at least four recent photos of you. They should be clear, high quality and preferably just of yourself. You only have a brief moment for other users to decide if they’re into you. If your first pic is a group photo, it’s probably too much effort for potential matches to guess which one you are.
Try to avoid photos with sunglasses when you can as well. Remember, the whole point of these photos is for women to see what you look like!
Once you’re done choosing some photos, it’s time to write your bio. This one can be a challenge. But it’s worth taking the time to write it.
You want to keep it simple, short and engaging. Showcase your personality in as few words as possible. For more detailed info, I wrote a whole article about how to write a good Tinder bio, it’s worth reading (not that I’m biased, of course).
How does Tinder work to match you up
To understand how Tinder works, you also need to know how to match with women.
The matching system is very simple on Tinder. If you like someone, swipe their photo to the right (as if you were throwing it to the right of your screen). If you’re not interested, swipe left.
But if you’re really interested, you can swipe up to use a “Super Like” although this is generally considered needy. It’s also a limited resource unless you pay for Premium.
If you swipe right on someone and she swipes right on you, then you’re a match and can chat within the app.
If you don’t match, you’ll never know if she swiped left on your or she just never saw you in the app.
With a free account, you get around 50 “likes” per day. That plus the complex algorithm means you should be careful with your swiping. If you swipe right on every profile you’ll be shown to fewer women.
My personal rule: Only swipe right on women you’d be excited to match with. Simple. If you want to read more about this, it’s another topic I covered in a recent article: How to win at Tinder.
How to Filter Out Fake Profiles on Tinder
There are fake profiles that are looking to scam you. Some of my friend's friends commented that they have been scammed before.
Some men can really be foolish when they are desperate.
If a profile match on Tinder mention anything about investments, finance and has a somewhat thin profile with zero casual photos with friends and etc... then it's a red flag. She's in it for the money.
How does Tinder work: sending the right messages
Once you’ve matched with someone, you’re free to start chatting in the app. I’m not going to give you any rules about how long to wait or what to say. Tinder doesn’t work like that.
Message when you have time to. Whether that’s straight away or two days from now doesn’t matter.
Keep your first message simple and friendly and for god’s sake, don’t be a creep. As I said earlier, as long as you’re not being weird and you say more than just “Hi,” you’re already off to a great start.
How to start a conversation on Tinder is something you’ll learn over time. For more info, take a look at that article as well, also written by yours truly.
As for how to send a message, tap the speech bubble in the top right corner. You’ll see new matches at the top and existing conversations below them. The messaging interface feels very much like text messaging and WhatsApp, which makes it very easy to use.
How to Start and Continue Conversations on Tinder
Strong profiles aren't all there is to Tinder. Like I mentioned, you are competing against the thousands of likes and matches in her Tinder messages.
This is why understanding how to start conversations on Tinder is going to help you stand out.
I usually start conversations by making observations about her profile. This means getting creative with her profile descriptions, photos and coming up with something funny that you can tease her about. There are NO exact lines that you can plug and play for this. However getting good at this is going to help you in your improvisational skills.
To use an example from the profiles, you can use this conversational starter for Allie:
"Gin N Tonic > Bloody Mary's > Mimosas. It's true."
This demonstrates you actually read her profile. It's also funny and somewhat of an exaggeration when you imply gin n tonic beats the rest of her drink.
This is the same improvisational skill set you do in person and online. They feed into each other in your ability to be witty and creative. Feel like you can't think on your feet? You can take up improv classes, study comedians, and use the art of improv to come out with creative outreach and text messages.
The most important key here: you do not want flatline messages and conversations.
How to Transition from Tinder to the Phone and then Dates
I mostly try to move the conversation from Tinder to my phone as soon as possible. There are girls that don't come on Tinder that often.
The key here is to get a to and fro going on. Then only you should move the conversation to your phone. This can be done using a soft close and a qualifier:
"Hey I think you're interesting to talk to, how about we continue this conversation on Telegram?"
There is no such thing as 100% success rate. It depends on the girl's comfort levels and your interaction. To be able to spot signs that she is interested comes with experience and practice. Sometimes, you need more time to connect with her.
I am also a fan of speaking on the phone, using video calls to furthermore the interaction forward. (read: or to see if you getting catfished.)
Note: there are going to be girls that will never give out their personal contacts on Tinder. These are time wasters. Spot them early on and move on.
Make Tinder Work for You
Hopefully, this has done enough to answer all those “How does Tinder work?” searches. By this point, you’ve got an account and created your profile. You’ve also got a handle on how to match and what to say on your first message to women on Tinder.
If you haven’t already, I’d suggest taking the time to read the articles that were linked above too. Each of those will cut down on the amount of learning you’ll need to do. I wish I’d read something like this when I first started out rather than learning the hard way!
Use Tinder as an Experimental Lab
Tinder is the best online dating application for testing out your best-performing online dating profile.
Using, Tinder Gold and Boost, you can split test your photos and profile descriptions:
- You can test which photos that you took in a professional photoshoot will work best for you
- Secondly, you can test your sequence of photos
To test your online dating profile effectiveness, you can run simple tests varying different variables:
- You can run boost tests test your photos
- You can run boost tests and test your profile descriptions
- You can test boosting at different times of the day
Once you hit that sweet spot on Tinder, you can then take a similar Tinder bio, replicate the similar photos and profile descriptions across other online dating applications such as Bumble, Hinge, OkCupid and Coffee Meets Bagel.
This can give you a good gauge. However, it isn't an iron rule. The demographic on Tinder and other dating applications are different and you'll need to tweak it accordingly to the application.