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How to Use Tinder: 28 Tinder Tips, Tricks & Secrets to Get You All the Matches

If you’re wondering how to use Tinder, then look no further. We have all the answers you need to be successful on the dating app to find your person.

how to use Tinder

If you want to know how to use Tinder, it’s not that difficult. In fact, it’s a lot better than the old days. Believe it or not, there used to be a day when people actually placed “personal ads” in newspapers to get a date. 

Enter the digital age, and now online dating and dating apps have become the norm. From Match.com to OkCupid, there are endless options for all of us to find a date, a relationship, or just get laid. [Read: Apps like Tinder – The best hand-picked alternatives to try something new]

And Tinder is one of the most popular ones. It does have the reputation of being a hookup app, but you can find a lot of normal people on there who are actually looking for relationships.

Does Tinder actually work? 

Some people love Tinder, and others hate it. But for people who have never tried it, you might wonder, does it actually work? Well, you first have to define the word “work” because it means different things to different people. 

If by “work” you mean, can it get you a lot of people to talk to? Yes. And if it means getting people to have hookups with, then it’s a yes to that too.

But what if you want to define “work” as finding a serious relationship or someone to marry? Does it work for that? The answer is “yes” as well. 

However, there are probably more people who just meet and hook up or casually date from the app. It’s not impossible to find people who want committed relationships, but you have to be realistic with your expectations.

With that said, you never know until you try. You just have to have the right mindset and be able to distinguish who are the time-wasters and who are the people who are more serious. [Read: Signs of an online dating player – 15 tells you shouldn’t ignore]

How to use Tinder – The mechanics and walkthrough you need

Many people avoid Tinder like the plague because of its sleazy reputation. But if that’s you too, maybe now you should reconsider. 

Don’t worry – you can actually have a good time and be successful, but first, you need to know how to use Tinder. Let’s start with the basics.

1. Swipe right, swipe left

Tinder is pretty superficial because most people just look at the photos of someone and decide whether they like them or not. You can write a bio, but some people don’t even read it if they’re just looking for a hookup. [Read: Tinder hookup – 24 rules & photo secrets to get lucky on Tinder]

So, if you like someone, you swipe right. That means you like them, and you hope they like you too. If they swiped right on you too, then you will show up as a match. 

If they didn’t, then you’ll never see them again. If you don’t like someone, then swipe left. And hopefully, you’ll never see them come up again either.

2. Swipe up

You might not have heard of swipe up, but it means a “super like.” 

Kind of like an “Omg I never thought a person like this ever existed and I want them to know how awesome I think they are – even more awesome than a simple swipe right!” 

You should use them sparingly, however. [Read: 17 new dating app terms and their meanings for easy online dating]

3. Unmatch

You might not know that you can unmatch people, but you can. Sometimes you accidentally swipe right when you meant to swipe left. Or you accidentally super-liked someone and you are horrified because you had absolutely no interest in them.

No worries. You can always unmatch them. Or, even if you start talking to them and they get creepy, feel free to unmatch them.

4. Disable discovery

Maybe you’re sick of Tinder and want to take a break for a while. Or maybe you met someone amazing and you want to focus on dating only them. [Read: Online dating success? Meet your date in person real soon]

That’s cool. You can tell Tinder to not show you to anyone until you say otherwise. That’s called “disabling discovery.”

5. Location and distance

One of the basic things to know when learning how to use Tinder is that it is based on distance. This is because in the beginning, if you were out drinking with friends and felt horny, you could find someone in the general vicinity to meet and have sex with.

But you can set how close or far you want to go to meet someone. Even if you travel for business, the location will automatically change for you when you’re in a new city. [Read: Online dating woes – most common Tinder horror stories]

6. Preferences for age and gender

As with most online dating sites or apps, you can set your preferences. So, even if you’re gay or bi, you can set a preference for gender. And of course, age is always something you can set and search for.

7. Tinder Plus

When learning how to use Tinder, you probably have already figured out that it’s free. However, there is a paid option called Tinder Plus. 

Basically, let’s say you accidentally swiped left when you meant to swipe right, Tinder Plus will allow you to undo your swipe. But if you don’t have Tinder Plus, you can’t undo your swipes… so you’re out of luck. [Read: Should you try online dating? The guide to decide if it’s for you]

How to do well on Tinder

Now that you know some of the basics and mechanics of how to use Tinder, let’s talk about how you can do well. After all, that is the point, right? 

So here are some things to remember if you want to make the most out of the dating app. [Read: What to say on Tinder – 30 secrets to make your texts impress anyone]

How to write your Tinder bio

Let’s start with your bio.

1. Write something

You don’t have to write something, but you really should. Your bio is very important. If you don’t write anything, it’s very likely that someone will skip right over you. Your bio is so important because it is essentially your first impression, aside from your photos.

It’s common to think that if someone can’t be bothered to write at least five lines, then you’re lazy and lack attention to detail. You should write at least 100 characters. [Read: The 30 best and worst words to use when you describe yourself online]

How does a person know if they want to date you if you say absolutely nothing about yourself? This is your chance to put your best self out there to get a date or a relationship.

Is saying NOTHING really putting your best self forward? No. This is one of the Tinder tips that seems kind of obvious, but it’s not.

2. Don’t say “I hate talking about myself” or “If you want to know, just ask” 

If you hate talking about yourself, that sends the message that you have low self-esteem. Because if you had decent self-confidence, you should have no problem telling the world all about yourself because you are proud of who you are.

And if you say, “If you want to know, just ask,” well, that’s just lazy. If other people take the time to write something about themselves, why are you requiring them to put in more effort by asking you about yourself? [Read: Good tinder bios that get you dates – tweaks for a perfect bio]

It doesn’t take a lot of time to write a short bio. Don’t be lazy. Put in some effort!

3. Use proper grammar

Use proper grammar, don’t type in all capitals, and don’t write only one sentence. It’s not very attractive when someone can’t spell, doesn’t use decent grammar, or has one big, long run-on sentence.

Of course, not everyone is highly educated, but again, you are putting your best self out there. If you’re not a good writer, then have someone help you with it. 

Grab your mom or a friend to help you. It gives a better impression to people when you can actually be articulate. [Read: How to spot the liars on an online dating site]

4. Let your intentions be known *sometimes*

If you’re there to find a serious relationship, then you need to say that in your bio. Because if you don’t, then you will have people who are only looking for sex or a hookup contacting you too. [Read: How to write an online dating profile – 18 must-know tips to stand apart]

When you make your intentions known, you will weed out the people who are looking for different things than you are.

On the other hand, if you are only looking for sex, you might not want to say that outright. Even if other people are only looking for sex, being so obvious and upfront about it might turn people off. [Read: Tinder fuck – how to find the hottest hookup with this dating app]

So, you might just want to say, “I’m not looking for anything serious.” They’ll get the hint and it’s much more tactful to say it that way.

Tinder photo tips

Now, let’s talk about your photos. These are just as important as your bio if not even more so.

1. Don’t forget to use photos

Come on, people. Do you want to go out with someone who doesn’t even have a picture? It can mean a lot of things.

It could be because they are too lazy to put up a photo. Or maybe they’re married, and they don’t want their spouse to find them. Or maybe they don’t think they are attractive and are afraid to put a picture up. In any of these scenarios, it’s not a good thing. So, don’t be one of those people… use photos! 

And also, don’t bother contacting people who don’t use them either. [Confession of a girl: I used a dating site without a photo and this is what happened]

2. Have a lot of photos

Let’s face it – people want to know what you look like. 

The more pictures you have, the more matches you’ll get. Tinder is a very visual dating app, so you will definitely get more attention if you have a lot of photos. 

Make sure you use your best photos so that they know what you look like. But make them realistic. Don’t use too many filters because then you become an unrealistic version of yourself. And no one likes to meet someone who doesn’t look like their photos. [Read: How to look cute every time you snap a photo]

3. Don’t use old photos

Sure, you think you looked good in your high school graduation picture from 10 or more years ago. Even if it was just 5 years ago, people change. If you don’t put up recent photos of yourself, you are basically deceiving everyone. [Read: Why dating apps don’t work for you – a perspective changing guide]

And if you snag a date, they might have a look of shock on their face and run screaming toward the door because you look different. This is an exaggeration, of course. But it happens. So, make sure you put photos up that are no older than a year. 

Just be sure you avoid misrepresenting yourself in any way, shape, or form. This is one of the biggest Tinder tips of all. [Read: How to date online – 15 tricks successful online daters always use]

4. Don’t use sexy/half-naked photos

Yes, Tinder has a reputation for being a hookup site, but that doesn’t mean you have to sink to that level. Well, if you really are just looking for sex and a hookup, then maybe that’s the message you want to put out there.

But really, it screams desperation, and no one wants to date a desperate person, right? Save the sexy photos for when you are off Tinder and in a relationship. [Read: 18 things you do that make guys think you’re an easy lay]

Look respectable. You don’t have to be all buttoned up in a 3-piece suit, but make sure you look like you respect yourself. Dress nicely and pose in a polite manner.

5. Smile and show your eyes

Don’t you want to date a friendly person? Of course, you do! We all do. So, why not try to look friendly in your photos by smiling? [Read: 30 effective tips to help you win at online dating]

Also, don’t wear sunglasses. Why? Well, the reason is that you are hiding your eyes. And the eyes are the window to the soul. So, if you’re covering them up, then it looks like you are hiding something. You look shady *no pun intended… okay, well maybe.* People might get the subconscious message that you could be a liar.

6. Use full-body photos 

Unless you are only looking to get laid, put some respectable photos of yourself – and your whole body. And put several. [Read: How to write a dating profile for women – rules you mustn’t ignore]

Full-body photos are important. Because let’s face it, unfortunately, people are shallow and want to know what your body looks like before they meet you.

7. Don’t use photos of objects instead of yourself

Guys, the ladies are not dating your motorcycle, or your fish, or your house. They are dating YOU. Women want to see your face and body, just like you want to see theirs.

And ladies, guys aren’t dating your cat, or your kids, or a beautiful sunset. They are trying to date YOU. You all get the point, right? [Read: How to get a girl to like you online so you can meet in person]

8. Don’t use photos that don’t show your face

This kind of goes along with not using photos. A lot of people put up pictures of their body parts, and you’ve probably seen them. 

The chests, or the wet t-shirts *for girls* or strategically wet, sheer boxers for guys *where you can basically see everything.*

That’s just not respectable. You have a brain, right? And a personality? Show THAT! [Read: Dick selfies – why men love sending dick pics to women]

Even if you do want to have sex, you don’t have to put your body out there like that. Of all the Tinder tips to keep in mind, make sure you respect yourself.

9. Don’t use crowd photos

Hey, it’s great that you and ten of your friends had fun at Mardi Gras or the Kentucky Derby. But ummm… which one are YOU? If you use crowd photos, at least point out where you are in the picture.

Even if it’s a picture of you and another person, someone viewing your profile may wonder “Hey, is that his girlfriend or ex-wife in the photo?” or “Hmmm… two girls in this picture… which one is she?”

You should stick to pictures of you, and only you, if at all possible. [Read: How NOT to online date – what every online dater MUST avoid doing]

10. Don’t use selfies or bad photos

If you’re able to, use little to no selfies on your profile. Yes, they’re convenient to take, but selfies make people think, “Don’t they have any friends to take a picture of them?” And “Why the heck are they in a public bathroom doing this?” 

Have a friend take pictures of you in good lighting at a good angle and in a respectable location. [Read: 15 online dating tips for men to go from overlooked to dating god]

How to talk to someone on Tinder

Now that you know how to write the perfect bio and choose the right photos, now you need some tips about how to talk to someone after you match with them on Tinder.

1. Introduce yourself if you match up with someone

Once you match with someone, then you can start talking to them. It’s kind of like texting. But there are so many people who never send messages, which is kind of weird. [Read: 48 Tinder conversation starters and secrets to get them itching to respond]

If you swipe right, why wouldn’t you contact that person? Maybe you’re just bored but think about the other person. They want to meet you!

So, reach out and start talking. It seems quite silly to swipe right and never even interact with the person. It’s almost like you’re saying, “Hey you’re cute, but I really have no desire to even talk to you let alone go out with you.” Then why bother? Start talking! [Read: Creative Tinder lines to snag you a date on the first try]

2. Start a conversation and keep it going

But don’t keep it going on forever – actually meet up with them.

When you do start talking, make it meaningful. Just saying “heyyy” or “hey beautiful” or “what’s up” is really boring. Put some effort into it! Mention something you liked about their profile or their photos *without being creepy*.

Ask them where they are from, about their job, or if they have any kids. Get to know them. Pretend like you’re talking to them face-to-face. [Read: Signs a girl likes you on Tinder – 15 things to keep an eye on]

And please be respectful and don’t ghost someone if you’ve been talking for a while. That’s not classy. In other words… don’t disappear on them!

Sure, you were bored on a Friday night with nothing to do. You guys messaged each other for a couple of hours. But maybe that person is really interested in you. So why would you disappear? What’s the point? It’s just wasted time.

So, make a real, concerted effort to keep a conversation going. And if at some point you realize you don’t like them anymore, be gentle and kind in telling them that you don’t think you’ll be a good match. 

Other tips and secrets to be successful on Tinder   

If you want to be successful on Tinder, then there are a few other helpful secrets you can use. Here are some of them. [Read: 25 tips for a first date after meeting online to have a great time]

1. Connect Instagram with your profile

If you have Instagram, it’s a wise idea to connect it to your Tinder profile. If you want to say more on your bio but you can’t because of the 500-character limit, then people can get a better impression of who you are from our Instagram.

When they look at your Instagram, they can get a better feel for your personality, and what you like and don’t like, among other things. 

And the great thing is that you don’t have to manually upload photos from Instagram. It automatically syncs with Tinder and new photos are immediately seen on the dating app. [Read: The single’s guide to flirt on Instagram and how couples end up cheating]

2. Be active on Sunday evenings

According to the statistics from Tinder, Sunday evenings are the best time to be on the dating app. 

That’s because most people aren’t working that day. And they might even be feeling lazy that day and so they lay around searching Tinder.

Another reason to swipe on Sunday evenings is that you might get to talk to matches in real time. [Read: Should you meet your Tinder match? When, where, and how to be safe]

Since most people are on during that day and time, they might talk to you immediately and so you don’t have to wait to get a message from them.

3. Watch for red flags

Whether it’s in their bio or when you are messaging them, you need to keep your eye out for potential red flags. 

For example, if you want a serious relationship but someone starts asking you about sexual preferences, then you are not a good match. [Read: Online dating woes – most common Tinder horror stories you’ll come across in real life]

Use their bio and messaging to get to know them and see if you are compatible before you meet them.

Sure, small talk is fine, but the whole point is to see if the two of you would be good together. You don’t want to waste your time, do you? 

4. Don’t use it if you’re married or in a relationship

This may sound obvious to most of us, but it’s not to many people. There are a lot of people in bad marriages or relationships who want to cheat. [Read: Micro-cheating – what it is and signs you’re unintentionally doing it]

That’s not acceptable. And it’s not fair to the rest of the single people on there who actually want to find a real relationship. If you’re married, get divorced before you use Tinder. Seriously.

5. Put some effort into it and don’t give up

Dating apps can be frustrating. There are a lot of weirdos out there, so it can be easy to think there are no good fish in the sea, but there are. 

It may take a while to find one, but if you stick with it and don’t give up, then you’ll eventually find who you’re looking for.

[Read: How to get laid on Tinder – must-follow rules for a sexy hookup]

Whether you love or hate the dating game, it is a necessary means to an end. And now that you know how to use Tinder, why not give it a shot? It can’t hurt. Even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll have some funny stories to tell!

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...