First there was meeting people at public events like a dance or a disco, then there was Internet dating. Now, society has progressed (depending on how you look at it) to Tinder, the mobile dating app that’s simultaneously creating couples and imbibing an unprecedented level of superficiality. If you’re considering taking the plunge, here’s a quick guide to Tinder.
1. It’s rude not to say hello if you match
It’s fairly simple. If you both swipe the same way, then you like each other. Admittedly, there have been occasions where my phone has taken a leap of faith and has decided for me, leading to some awkward conversations. However, for the most part, swiping right is a definitive sign that you like each other.
My confusion comes when neither person messages the other. A window of opportunity has presented itself, you are now able to talk to the person your heart so desired five minutes ago. The same five minutes ago when you wiped the drool off your screen and eagerly swiped right. Come one people, make the first move!
2. Make sure you don’t absent-mindedly swipe
One of the most common causes for the problem above is that it is quite easy to get sidetracked. Most people are using it on the bus or the train, taking refuge from work or university. It’s unfortunately quite easy to suddenly find that you’ve swiped right on about 13 ineligible bachelors and batcheloresses. Anyway, the point is, don’t approach Tinder with your mind focused elsewhere. You never know what you could say yes to.
3. If you do match, try not to ask straight away for casual sex or insinuate that you would like to be inside someone
It’s a match – congratulations! What’s your first instinct? Message them with a simple “Hey” or take a long shot and ask for casual sex? Unfortunately, some people believe that this is an appropriate way to start a conversation. Really? Even the best one night stand stories start with a “Hello” rather than an “I’d like to be in you”. You might not be ready to profess your undying, if slightly premature, love for that person but try and express some self-control!
4. If you arrange to meet, find a friend who will keep an eye on you – they are, after all, a stranger
Parents teach us to be wary of strangers. Particularly if they offer you sweets out of blacked-out car window. The same can be said for Tinder. You might have had the world’s most insightful and deep conversation prior to meeting up, but approach with caution. I’m not suggesting you invest in full body armour or practise the ancient art of kicking the crap out of someone, but don’t go rushing in like your Julia Roberts in any Julia Roberts
5. Watch out for photos of genitals – they can sneak up on you
Ninjas have a reputation for being able to sneak up on their enemy without so much as disturbing the fibre of a carpet or the crunch of a leaf. However, this skill is being appropriated by some Tinder users in an inventive way to help them procure a mate. It is called the sneaky genital shot. It works by positioning something safe and non-explicit in the foreground and letting it all hang out in the background. Whilst there is nothing you can really do to protect yourself from this sneak attack, be careful of where you use Tinder. The bus stop, for example, is not the ideal place to discover such a picture, especially if you have people queuing behind you. Believe me, it is hard to keep composure when greeted with such an unexpected sight.
With these five precautionary steps in mind, go forth and, most likely, multiply.