Recently, we brought you a bunch of helpful, vehement advice about making your OKCupid profile the best it can be. Well, as of now, OKCupid is dead. Sorry! We're living in the future, and that future is all about Tinder.
For the uninitiated, Tinder is essentially a well-executed rip-off of Grindr, but geared toward a wider audience, letting you scroll through the Facebook photos of single people with a few miles of you. If you both "like" each other, it puts you in touch, if not, you can just keep shopping for people faster and faster and faster until your fingers are raw from the effort. It's actually pretty fun! So, if you didn't find love (or sex) last time around, we still have you covered. Here's how to game the system in your favor.
Think of it like real life, but on a phone. Maybe 95 percent of people you encounter in your day-to-day, you'd never want to sleep with, right? The same is kind of true with Tinder. Move fast here. Efficiency is king.
Just because you're essentially shopping for people doesn't mean you have to start picking apart the details of someone's stupid friends, stupid hair choices, "fivehead," whatever. It's tempting, sure, and even kind of fun. It's also terrible, dehumanizing, and ultimately, a process that will subtly erode your empathy and people skills, rendering you a far worse candidate for both dating and casual sex. If you don't like someone, just move on.
Obviously. This is exactly as transactional as you want it to be, and whoever you're talking to is probably at a bar nearby. Ask, and you shall receive.
Aww, see? You can still find love here! People really do this! Just find someone like-minded and don't jump right into sexting, and you should be fine.
Part of the real genius of Tinder, I think, is its ability to show you shared interests and shared Facebook friends. If you find someone who's hot and with whom you have mutual friends, investigate immediately. It's not weird and desperate, just a heightened version of what we all do in real life anyway. Knowledge is power, and pre-vetting is nothing but helpful.
What, you think you need to be coy here? You're already on Tinder. The jig is up. As soon as it tells you you're a match with someone, jump right into it. The format even allows for a fast, easy back-and-forth so you can literally just open with "Hey, what's up," and it's fine. No need to over-think this.
This is more tricky than it seems, since you can only choose 5 pictures, and they're pulled directly from your Facebook profile. Choose representative ones, maybe even a series that tells a story about you, if you're feeling fancy. No vague group shots or pictures that are just of your pet. No one here has time for that.
"Ooh, this guy's actually cute, what's his deal? Hmm, 2 miles away, 100 years old? Lol no way, he's not really 100, I bet. Omg, hilarious! He must be a chill, fun person who just doesn't take himself too seriously."
No. No one thinks this. They will think you're evasive, lame, and have no better jokes than this one. They will be right. Whether you're self conscious about your real age and trying to hide it, or for whatever reason have decided it's cute and sassy to say you're suuuper elderly, just say how fucking old you are. This is a space for brutal honesty.
If something goes wrong, there are literally hundreds of other options. Think of it as liberating, not horrifying. It's just an app, after all. And your entire romantic-slash-sexual future. But mostly, just an app.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.