A Beginner’s Guide to Tinder

Over the past few weeks I’ve found myself looking at two of my dearest friends in absolute disgust as they immerse themselves in the world of Tinder. Already at a loss with the current state of romance in general, the mere existence of such an app was abhorrent to me. The fact that two friends had fallen victim to it already was soul-destroying.

After all, I know them both to be very sweet, very lovely, very single (hello ladies) and very intelligent boys, but watching them swipe through images of girls casting judgement on them like pieces of meat, I found myself hating them a little. How could they be so base, so depraved, so brutally capricious?

But after watching them digitally cast aside girls who were too fat/thin/slutty/frigid/booby/flat chested for so long, I eventually got curious.

So this is what it's come to... god help us.

So this is what it’s come to… god help us.

How could they judge a complete stranger on a few photos and poorly written bio, that let’s be honest, they probably didn’t even notice amid all the bikini photos? What if ‘the one’ was right there in that pile of discarded profiles, never to be seen again? The old romantic in me was horrified at such a barbaric type of courting.

But the more we discussed it, the more we analysed it, the more we critiqued the profiles of ‘yes’ girls and ‘no’ girls, I found myself less disgusted, and more intrigued.

The boys had restored my faith in their good nature by not always going for the boobs shots and pouty selfies I had assumed caught their attention, in fact those were the pictures that put them off. They were more interested in the girls who smiled and put a bit of personality into their photos.

Through the course of this discussion we began collating a kind of ‘dos and don’ts’ for Tinder profile pictures, and in the interest of research and a balanced, gender neutral list… I gave in and against all better judgement, signed up and started judging on behalf of womankind everywhere.

Here’s what we came up with… (and no, we’re not entirely proud of these).


  1. Limit the amount of group photos – stop trying to hide in the crowd, it will be assumed you are the ugliest/fattest/spottiest.

  2. No photographs with your ex – get over it…

  3. …or your current significant other… obviously not that significant if you’re on Tinder…

  4. …or your baby … just ‘cause no.

  5. Don’t follow up a perfectly reasonable picture with a close up of your assets be they impressive or not.

  6. Memes/Bitstrips are not acceptable as a profile picture. Ever.

  7. Try not give away anything too personal, like where you work by saying wearing your Sports Direct uniform, or if you’ve been to Carnage…unless of course you feel your whole personality is rooted in your employment at Sports Direct or your experience of Carnage.

  8. Smile! Leave the pouting to the ducks and the fishes.

  9. No photos with graves/in toilets/ in front of health and safety signs – student halls residents we’re looking at you!

  10. Just like in maths, angles matter – shots from below/behind/sideways/waist down are not impressive.

  11. Try to maintain some mystery, in other words, don’t get your tits out.

  12. Allow the odd Selfie, but too many and you’ll be judged, harshly.

  13. Use props wisely – dogs are a winner, and surprising, live chickens also work well.

  14. Remember that you have a golden opportunity in forging the perfect first example here – so a profile photo of you passed out in a club isn’t giving you any more of an advantage than if we met you in real life and found you, say, passed out in a club.

  15. Don’t take yourself too seriously. We sure as hell won’t.


A beginners guide only, but a fairly comprehensive one I think you’ll find.

As for me? After a few mere hours with this deadly app on my phone, I barely recognise myself. I swiped through scores of men, too fat/skinny/spotty/ugly/attractive/rich looking/hipster looking/boring/etc etc etc without a second thought.

I became the monster.

I’ve discovered some horrible things about myself – how superficial I can be, how narrow my taste is in terms of age and race, even how immediately hooked I can be by washboard abs. It also confirmed some things I already knew about myself, my penchant for beards for example, and my superhero power to spot a rugby player at 40 yards.

But it really does become addictive. The instant gratification of finding a match, the reassuring ignorance of never knowing which hot-bodied, bearded rugby player with a chicken has outright rejected me just on the basis of five poorly chosen profile pictures and a four word bio. And who cares if ‘the one’ did just flat out reject you, there’s an endless list of other ‘ones’ just waiting to be judged at the swipe of a screen. I became immersed in it. I found myself detached from conversations, lost in the app, skimming through one male after the other in search of the perfect man.

It’s gloriously disgusting.

Right now, the old romantic in me is crying herself to sleep with a Jane Austen novel and Ella Fitzgerald playing in the background. The wannabe cutting edge journalist in me still insists that this is all in the name of research. And the modern, single lady in me is rejoicing in five matches in as many hours and seriously contemplating a date with Sam, 28, Maths Teacher and Tough Mudder competitor.

Romance is not dead.

It’s just gone digital.

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