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In the dating world, eventually the young and the restless become the not so young and desperate and, sooner or later, folks end up on Tinder. People thought Tinder was just a hookup app but after a while you couldn’t tell the difference between Tinder and many other dating service platforms such as Plenty of Fish or eHarmony. So what changed? Well, what happened is Tinder made dating as easy as possible. There’s no need to fill out a lengthy profile or spend hours perusing through profiles to find a match. It’s quick and dirty; swipe left or swipe right. That’s it homie!

Unfortunately, that presents a few problems. Like most online platforms, Tinder doesn’t come with instructions. It tends to leave people with more questions than answers and all the information needed to make a good decision isn’t exactly readily available. That’s why I thought I’d lay out some quick and dirty rules for engagement.

Stats show that the success rate for Tinder matches is roughly 5%, this means that you’ll need to spend way more time on the app than you originally planned. If you think 10-15 minutes a day will cut it, try 3-5 minutes an hour.

Most people don’t keep up-to-date profiles. Don’t be 0ne of these people. Make sure you keep your pictures as recent as possible. If you want to know why people get stood up on Tinder dates or they end abruptly, this is why. Someone shows up to a date only to find themselves asking why the person doesn’t resemble the person whose profile they swiped to the right.

Also, you ain’t got to lie Craig — like a lot of people on Tinder. A lot of guys will claim they’re 6’1” and show up to the date at a generous 5’8.” It’s kind of hard to keep up a lie like that if you actually plan on meeting people in person one day.

You should know there are also a ton of people on Tinder who aren’t actually single — either by mistake or completely on purpose; don’t let it get to you. The thing is, once you find someone you’re interested in dating, you’re not likely to take down your profile. Also, there are lots of people (men and women) who just treat the app like it’s Hot or Not. They’re not looking for anyone to date, they just like judging someone solely based on their looks.

That’s the other thing, don’t get it twisted or read too deeply into a profile. The creators of Tinder intended for the app to point to the single most effective way of finding a mate, physical attraction. You’re not going to read a profile and be captivated by his bio, and if you are, you’re reading too deep. If you find him attractive, just ask to meet up for drinks or coffee.

But don’t act crazy. Everybody has a little crazy in them. Just don’t be so quick to show it when you’re on Tinder. Don’t harass someone who won’t reply to your messages as fast as you’d like. Don’t be a repeat text offender either. Never ever scream at someone or take serious offense to something a match says to you. Your defense mechanism is to unmatch them. There’s never a reason to ever get in a heated exchange.

Lastly, keep in mind that you don’t know these people. As much as you think you’ve connected and shared plenty of conversations and details, you do not know these people. Do not meet up with a match for the first time in a private location. Always meet up in public the first time, what you do from that point on is up to you.

All in all, have fun. If you’re choosing to date on Tinder you have your reasons. If Tinder does the trick, then so be it. Just be careful and be mindful that it’s a cold world out there on these Internets.

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