Ahhh, Tinder. Despite its reputation as an app for hooking up, it’s now also used by women who want real relationships...but don’t want to waste time getting to the date part of online dating. This is GREAT news for you!
Like all dating sites, Tinder is a game. To beat the game, start by uploading flattering profile pictures. There’s space for one or two sentences about yourself, which you should complete with one interesting and one flattering fact about you. Don’t worry about writing a lot here. The focus of Tinder is on messaging, AKA texting.
When a girl is interested in you, she swipes right on your photo. Once you’ve been right-swiped, your battle with chance is won! All that stands between you and meeting this potentially awesome girl is your ability to hold an engaging text conversation.
Here’s how to deliver the goods and lock in a date:
1. Start off the conversation!
It’s usually up to you to kick off the conversation. A good first text to a girl on Tinder usually asks a question or tells a joke that’s specifically about her (and not her looks).
The most effective questions are personal, rather than something you could copy and paste. (We can tell when a guy is just copying and pasting the same text to multiple girls!) To find a good personal detail, look through her pictures and check what Facebook friends you have in common.
From there, find a detail you’re genuinely interested in, or that you share in common. For example:
Ask her about the places she’s visited that you recognize:
Nice Utah pic! Was the Delicate Arch hike worth the view?
The Simpsons are everything! Can’t believe you went to a table read. How was it?
Ask her a question about something you have in common:
Your golf swing’s better than mine! Do you play often?
We both know Katie Myers. How do you know her?
If she uses a unique product, ask about it:
Harry Potter fans unite! Have you read all the books?
TYR goggles, huh? Do you associate with Speedo fans?
Ask her about the info she does write on her profile:
New to Chicago...Welcome 🙂 Where’d you move from and how do you like it so far?
Hello, Hoosier! I went to IU too. What brought you out to LA?
Once you get a reply (congrats!), these tips can help you think of solid follow up texts despite her not having a ton of info on her profile.
2. Send high-quality messages.
Although faster messaging leads to a more fluid conversation, and a higher quantity of messages, it’s most important that a guy sends high-quality messages.
Here’s how to elevate your conversation above other guys’ game:
A) Focus on details versus generic observations:
Girl: Busy weekend! I went deep sea fishing.
Generic Guy: Sounds like a fun weekend.
You: Wow! I’ve always wanted to try deep sea fishing. Catch anything?
Your message here is more engaging than the generic guy’s in two ways. First, you share personal information that tells her something about you (you’ve always wanted to go deep sea fishing) -- so she now has something to ask YOU about.
Second, you’ve asked her a question, so she has a reason to write you back. That’s messaging and texting GOLD.
B) Convey a belief, a value, or a goal.
By revealing what you care about, you’re giving a girl more to appreciate. For example:
Girl: What kind of movies do you watch?
Generic guy: Action movies.
You: Anything that makes me laugh at life’s deficiencies. So...Office Space is on my favorites list.
The generic guy gives a response that says a bare minimum about him. Your hypothetical response tells her what you value and the kind of humor you like -- which lets her see what you might share in common AND gives her more to talk to you about.
C) Give enough information so that she can ask YOU questions.
When you reveal a belief, a value, or even something you enjoy doing, you make it easier for a girl to ask you about yourself. If she's talking to you, she wants to like you. Help her make that connection!
As the conversation is flowing, remember that it’s OK if it takes you a few minutes to think up something appropriate, clever, or interesting to say next. When you focus on communicating well, and genuinely, she’ll be invested in waiting a few minutes for your response.
3. Keep your messages short and thoughtful.
When you text a woman on Tinder, it’s a conversation. Tons of guys mistake it for an opportunity to monologue about how awesome they are. Getting to know someone is a two-way street, and it’s boring to be on the receiving end of a monologue. Girls will be more interested in you when you make the conversation interesting for both of you!
A good way to keep the text conversation engaging in real-time is to send messages that only express one idea at a time. Messages that are under 20 words (or just a couple lines long) are quick and easy to respond to, which keeps the conversation flowing. For example:
What kind of writing do you do?
My ideal town is quaint and it’s near water. What about you? Ideal city/town?
Would you rather piss off Oprah or Beyonce based solely on their ability to make you disappear?
It’s always good to ask questions because it proves you’re interested in HER, and not just her looks. When you ask her questions, you’ll also gain more information to connect with her based on your shared values, beliefs, personality, AND physical attraction. Those connections create powered-up chemistry.
4. Keep humor in mind.
When you’re finding out if a girl is a good fit for you, it’s important to share your honest beliefs and emotions with each other. Humor is no exception! Your sense of humor is a big part of who you are. And women appreciate when a guy wants to make us laugh!
So, attempt a joke! Regardless of whether she dies laughing or has a good-natured chuckle on the other end of your text, she’ll appreciate that you don’t take yourself seriously at all times. For example:
Her: ...No tattoos, not even a teardrop tattoo.
You: I once thought of getting a teardrop tattoo down my cheek...because I totally murdered some pizzas!
5. Pay attention to the details a girl reveals...
...And then work them back into conversation!
When deciding if a guy is interesting, girls will gauge how well he listens and how intelligently he responds during conversation. A great strategy to prove you ARE interesting and intelligent is to recall a detail the girl has previously revealed in conversation.
For example, if a woman has mentioned that she loves red wine, you might suggest meeting by saying:
I know you love red wines, and I’ve heard X Wine Bar is fantastic. Would you want to meet there?
6. Let her know when you’re exiting a text conversation.
If you’re busy and can’t have a back-and-forth conversation, this is perfectly fine! Just let her know, so she doesn’t think you’re ghosting her. For example:
Hey! I want to know more about what kind of writing you do. I’ll message you around 8 when my soccer game's over.
My lunch is ending. I'm about to disappear for a few hours!
I’m having fun chatting, but I have to dive into some work. I’ll be back in an hour.
She’ll appreciate your consideration and want to stay tuned for more later!
7. Ask for a date within a few friendly messages.
Some guys second-guess themselves when it comes to asking a girl to meet. Remember: the whole point of apps like Tinder and sites like OkCupid is to talk first, and eventually meet in person! Ask her out!
Tinder also caters to impromptu connections, so it is common to meet someone for a quick date within hours of connecting. Go for it!
Here’s how to know if the timing is right and that it’ll be worth your while. Check to make sure...
- The girl has asked YOU questions about yourself.
- She’s messaged you more than three times enthusiastically.
- There’s been a conversation about something you both have in common.
- You’re both currently in the same neighborhood.
Here’s how to ask her out.
If a you ask a girl on an impromptu date and she requests to meet at a set time in the future, lock it in! Although Tinder attracts spur-of-the-moment personalities, men who can schedule events in the future prove they have planning skills that other guys on Tinder don’t have!
8. Follow through on commitments.
Be sure to follow through on the commitments you make. Once you arrange a date, don’t change the time. She wants to see that you’re a reliable man who shows up on time and does what he says he’s going to do. (This is smoking hot, by the way.)
If you really, truly have to cancel a date, be apologetic and also suggest one or two alternate times to meet. She’ll see that you truly want to meet her, and aren’t just blowing her off. (Plus, when a guy is able to fix a broken plan -- and doesn’t rely on us to do all the “planning work” -- that’s also super hot!)
9. Follow up after a first date.
You meet! She’s awesome, cute, and you felt the sparks! Congratulations!
Follow up later that night or the next day. Simply send her a text thanking her for her time and tell her you enjoyed her company. Ask about the next time she’ll be free and propose another activity. For example:
Great meeting you! Thanks for coming out. Are you free next Wednesday to grab some dinner?
Hope you had as much fun tonight as I did! Let’s do it again! What does your upcoming week look like?
Perfect night. Thanks for coming out. Frozen yogurt next week?
If the chemistry wasn’t really there, don’t worry. It happens! Try to figure out how you can prevent it from happening next time (was her slightly boring text conversation a red flag? Were expectations too high?) and then politely thank her for her time and move on. The Tinder adventure continues!
Thoughtful Communication Wins
Regardless of whether you’re meeting on Tinder, OkCupid, or at the grocery store, good conversation, chemistry, and kindness are the building blocks of a possible relationship. Plus, you’ll have more fun texting, a better chance of getting to the first date, and more to talk about on your date when you make an effort to ask thoughtful questions, notice details, and not take any of it too seriously.
Now get out there and start swiping right!
And click here to learn the 10 Tinder mistakes guys make...and how to avoid them!