So, Tinder’s great, isn’t it? It streamlines the whole ‘meeting people’ part of dating. This is great for those of us who don’t like spending four hours in a busy nightclub with nothing to show for it but a sore throat.
That being said, if you treat it like a fast food delivery app, you’ll be disappointed; you can’t just put in your preferences and expect a date with a hot girl. You need the right approach.
Fortunately, as the title gives away, this article will give you a rundown of everything you need to know including;
- Profile your matches
- Send the perfect opening message
- Keep the conversation rolling
- Ask the girl out on a date / exchange numbers
And, because learning with images is a good way to go about it, we have 30+ images highlighting things you should and shouldn’t do.
As we’re assuming you’ve already got some matches, let’s go ahead and dive on in;
1. Profiling your Matches
‘Fools rush in where angels fear to tread’ is a saying that has relevance in many areas of life. What it means here is that you should look through the bios of your matches before sending them messages. Simple advice but many guys overlook it and leap in head first.
Tinder bios, short as they are, give you some insight into her (kind of the entire point of them, to be honest), which lets you figure out an opening line and what type of person you’re dealing with.
After all, flirty, dirty talk probably won’t go over well with a girl who believes in no sex before marriage. You also wouldn’t want to invite a Muslim woman to a wine tasting.
How you talk to her is just as important as what you say.
You don’t have to deeply research her and stalk her across the web (in fact, please don’t), just skim her bio for a minute or two. Look for interests that she has, places she’s been and any photos there are. You’re looking for things you have in common; whether it’s a hobby, places you’ve been or types of food.
You’re looking for ammunition for easy conversation starters like handy pictures like the ones below;
Don’t forget that Tinder, by its very nature, means that any girl you message will likely be receiving a steady stream of messages from guys.
To get her interested enough to respond to you, your message needs to stand out from the dozens of messages that are some kind of variation of “Hey, U R hot, wanna hook up?”
2. Sending the First Message
Once you feel like you have a good grasp of the girl you’re going to contact, it’s time to send that all-important first message.
If the girl in question just has a picture and a blank bio section, don’t worry too much; we’ll give you advice on how to craft a ‘one-size-fits-all’ opener later on but, first, let’s concentrate on putting together a personalized message.
Tinder First Message Don’ts
First of all, let’s cover the things that you really shouldn’t do if you want your exchange with this girl to actually go somewhere.
Complimenting her Physical Appearance
You know what women on dating sites and apps get a lot of? Guys sending them messages about how hot they are. And I’m sure you don’t need to have it explained that a lot of these guys respond less than gracefully when she politely turns them down. It’s not that she doesn’t like being complimented on her appearance, she probably does, but coming from a random match on Tinder isn’t going to get her excited; it might even make her wary of you.
Besides, you swiped right on her picture; she already knows that you find her attractive.
Sending Boring, Generic Messages Like “Hey” or “Hi, how are you?”
Messages like this will paint a picture of you and it won’t be a very flattering one; assuming she stops to think of you at all. Remember, odds are good that she’s getting a fairly regular stream of messages from other guys. Unless all those other messages are utterly horrendous, bland messages like this are not going to catch her interest.
Being Overtly Sexual
In a happier world we probably have to say this, but you’d be surprised jump straight from ‘Hello’ to sexually explicit talk.
Try to think about it this way; is what you’re about to send something you would say to her if you’d just met her in person on a blind date? Imagine yourself sitting across the table from her and trying to say it. Because if that doesn’t feel like a good idea, then don’t say it over Tinder either. Dirty talk from a random guy on Tinder is unlikely to work.
Tinder First Message Do’s
Now that we’ve established what is the Tinder equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot, let’s move onto the tactics of a smooth Tinder pro.
Personalized to Perfection
While stalking someone online can get a bit creepy, there’s nothing wrong with checking out their Instagram alongside their pictures and bio on Tinder. This will give you solid starting points for crafting a message that will grab her interest and boost her curiosity about you.
Given that a lot of the guys competing with you will have done no research and just sent messages about her appearance. Realizing that she can have an actual conversation with you will elevate you above the competition.
Doubly so if you can find common ground or shared interests/experiences.
Of course, simply personalizing a message isn’t enough by itself. Remember that she’s after the same thing that you are; someone she can have fun with. So, complimenting her on the surfing skills she shows in one photo isn’t enough by itself.
You need to make it more of a joke and tease her accordingly:
“Strong photoshop skills with that surf pic…bet that isn’t actually you”
For some more examples of personalized openers, let’s get a bit more visual.
Like we said, start by using her bio to personalize an opening message;
Then there’s the really close detective work… Most people wouldn’t pick up on this.
(In the UK, Cider is very popular in the west country, it’s kind of a running joke)
In this final picture, you can see that there’s not much to go on except for her profile picture, which shows her dancing in a kitchen with an awed expression on her face. So;
Quick recap: Do a minute or so’s research on your match’s bio before engaging them in conversation so you can tailor a message which that particular girl will find interesting and engaging.
This shouldn’t be just a dry regurgitation of the facts you’ve managed to find out; your message needs to amuse, excite or, otherwise, catch her interest.
Naming the Name
To smooth things over a bit more, use your match’s first name. Using their full or second name will automatically make things feel a bit more formal and that’s not something that’s really going to help what you’re trying to do.
A Whiff of GIF
If her profile is giving you noting to work with, sending her a funny GIF might be just the ice breaker you need.
This isn’t just a Hail-Mary; research has shown you’re 30% more likely to get a response by opening with a GIF, and conversations started by GIF’s tend to last double the amount of time.
As we’ve already mentioned, you need to tailor your messages to your audience; so, it’s best to save the GIF’s for girls embracing modern internet trends; look for dog filter pics, selfies and liberal use of emojis.
Once again, look closely at her bio; if it has a healthy smattering of emojis throughout it then you know that she will respond positively if your opener includes them.
Have you ever read the instructions on a microwave meal and remembered them for weeks after?
Of course not, because they were dry, factual and made you feel nothing at all. So why on earth would you take the same approach with a woman you’re hoping will agree to a date with you?
Your message needs to make her feel… something. Make her laugh, shock her even settle for confusing her in a pinch. Humans are emotional creatures and we’re most drawn to encounters that make us feel something. To that end, make your message more interesting than ‘how was your day?’ Even something wacky like this one;
This is doubly important when their bio doesn’t give you any clues to their interests:
I Want to Play a Game
Another way to start a conversation is with a game.
This is also a good way to learn about the girl you’ve matched with; you can form a fun connection while getting to know her. Much better than just sending her dry, uninspired questions. Below are suggestions for games you could try.
Snog, Marry, Avoid
Would you Rather Questions
Whatever questions you ask in your game, you should try to make sure that they’re surprising or thought-provoking. Remember, you’re trying to make her feel something that isn’t boredom.
Some good topics to try are spirituality and astrology:
Now that you’ve, hopefully, got a conversation started, let’s move onto advice on how to keep it going.
3. Keeping the Conversation Moving
Something to keep in mind is that, even though you do both on your phone, the best tactics for texting a girl aren’t necessarily the best approach for Tinder.
Certain bad texting habits not only don’t do any harm on Tinder, they can be actively be helpful.
For example, consistently immediately replying to her texts is a faux pa that can make you come across as clingy. However, on Tinder, it’s a great tactic for keeping the conversation moving.
This is because the very nature of Tinder means that users have so many streamlined options that a slow conversation will quickly be forgotten.
Tinder isn’t the place where you have long conversations as you slowly get to know someone. It’s where you catch their interest and then, either shift to a more dedicated messaging service like WhatsApp or arrange a date.
Realistically, you want to keep the conversation going until she either provides you with more reliable contact info (a phone number, etc.) or a date is arranged. Don’t wait hours to answer her message because she will have lost interest and moved on.
The Conversational Don’ts
Once again, there are approaches you really shouldn’t take when it comes to Tinder conversations:
Bragging for a Shagging
We get it, you want to impress her and dating does require selling yourself to a certain degree. But she already swiped right with you; so, stow the sales pitch and move on to what you need to do next.
What that is involves getting to know each other and deciding whether you want to go on a date with her.
There are a lot of people using the platform purely to seek validation. It’s seductive, that buzz when a stranger is impressed by, and attracted to, you. But if what you’re really after is the praise and approval of others, you’re using the wrong app. Tinder is about streamlining the process of finding people you might potentially want to go on a date with. So, don’t lose focus on this goal because women will quickly get bored of a conversation that is mostly you bragging.
The Job Interview
Never forget that she’s a girl you’re potentially interested in dating; you’re not running a job interview, so don’t just pepper her with questions. It’s true that learning more about her interests can help the conversation but you don’t want her to feel like she’s on trial.
There are ways to get to know her without interrogating her, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
It’s amazing if you end up making a joke that absolutely slays her and there’s no harm in referencing it once or twice during later parts of the conversation. But you’ll need to find some new material or the joke will get old fast.
Keep going back to the same joke and you won’t come across as a witty guy; you’ll seem like a boring guy who has one joke.
The Conversational Do’s
As we’ve mentioned, conversations on Tinder do not benefit from long delays; you won’t pique their interest, you’ll lose it. The fast-paced nature of Tinder conversations also means that you need to pay attention to the direction the conversation is going and base your topics off that.
Suddenly changing the subject- “Cool story about your childhood home; do you like garlic fries? Because I don’t’- will weaken the back and forth and risk derailing things.
This is partly because you need to prove that you’re actually listening to her and that you’re interested in what she has to say. You need to be paying attention to what she’s saying and allow the conversation to evolve naturally by picking a new topic related, in some way, to what she was talking about.
Often bad conversations occur from being on a different wavelength (intellectually or creatively) or when there’s a evident language /culture-banter barrier:
These conversations will inevitably stall unless you can adapt your style of conversation to work with hers. She might try to adapt herself, but you won’t get many dates if you’re always counting on her to make the effort.
For contrast, here’s a conversation with an Australian girl that resulted in a date:
It’ll become obvious when the two of you ‘click’ and the conversation starts flowing naturally. And every time you successfully achieve this, your conversational skills (and success rate in getting dates) will rise. You might also notice an increase in them asking you out.
‘Clicking’ is a sign that the girl is now feeling comfortable with you and, therefore, something that needs to happen before she’ll give you her phone number.
So, with ‘clicking’ as our goal, let’s move on to what to do and say to keep the conversation flowing.
Playful and Funny
If you were paying attention to what we’ve written so far, you’ll have caught her attention with an amazing opening line.
What you shouldn’t forget is that responding to your initial message doesn’t obligate her to stay in the conversation. If you want her to hang around, you need to maintain the charm.
Unless they’ve wildly misunderstood the point of the app, none of the women on it are looking for dry, serious conversation. They’re looking for a guy who’s fun to hang out with.
Unless you can think of something funny to say, then it might be an idea to back off. One of the intimidating elements of Tinder is that you’re going on dates with someone you usually haven’t met in person before. So, she’s looking for light-hearted guy she can have fun with.
So, keep the conversation light hearted and playful. Tinder isn’t an app you use to find someone you want to marry in six months’ time; you want to avoid big questions like where she sees herself in five years’ time. For your part, avoid mentioning exes, complaining about your job or anything similar.
A good tactic to avoid ‘boring’ is to take a dull question and make it a game.
So, don’t ask her what she does for a living, make it a guessing game:
Role-playing is a potential option if she’s responding well to you playing games. It allows you to transform a regular conversation into something a bit more fun.
It’s a fairly fool-proof way of keeping a conversation playful; especially when she’s already responding well to you.
Here are some handy role-play scenarios to give a try:
- Robbing a bank – you’re looking for an accomplice
- Getting married – you have the ring ready
- Meet the family / formal sit-down dinner
Be the Challenge. Flip the Switch and Make HER Chase YOU
It can come across as a little unappealing to a woman if a guy spends all of his time just jumping through hoops to win her approval and there’s no rule that it has to be the guy who does all of the chasing. Set some playful challenges and see if she rises to them;
It also doesn’t hurt to reverse the dynamic a bit. Challenge some of her opinions and see how she responds.
Remember, there’s no reason why you have to agree with little thing she says; show her that you’re someone she can have an actual conversation with.
It’s very important to actually pay attention to what she’s saying. Firstly, because she’ll quickly realize if you aren’t and lose interest in you.
Secondly, in order to keep the conversation naturally flowing, you need to pay attention to what she’s talking about so you can use it as a springboard for what to say next. So, if she says that her spirit animal is a lion, don’t immediately tell her what yours is;
What you should do instead is base your response on what she’s said. Maybe a lion pun or perhaps a Lion King reference; really anything to avoid looking like you’re just waiting for your turn to talk again.
Listening is the key to keeping the conversation from stalling and dying out.
Once you’ve reached this stage, the conversation is flowing naturally and easily and she’s showing some clear signs of interest in you, now is the time to shoot for the goal. Now is the time to ask her out.
4. Asking a Girl Out on Tinder
Tinder is supposed to be a fast-paced, streamlined experience. You don’t have a huge window of time to get a date with your match. Realistically, you have roughly twenty-four hours, from first contact, to get a date or slightly more reliable contact info.
Don’t forget how fast paced Tinder is; ideally you want to have it all sorted within one ‘sitting’. So, if you made contact with her at 6pm, you really want to have it sorted by the time you go to bed.
Now you know your window of opportunity, when is it best to ask her out?
For the best chances, you want to ask her just as her interest is peaking.
You can think of your Tinder match’s interest as an inverted U graph:
Assuming you avoid the blunders, we’ve listed above, her interest should gradually rise from your first message until it peaks (on average between message 15-20).
This is your opening to ask her out and if you do so, odds are very good that she’ll say yes.
However, if you miss your opening, on either side, her interest will drop fast. Ask too late and she won’t have enough interest eft to say yes. Ask too soon and you’ll come across as over-eager and scare her off.
Therefore, a crucial skill for Tinder success is knowing what signs of interest look like and how to spot them. Once you can do this, then you’ll always be able to recognize the crucial moment of truth.
Signs Your Match is Ready to Say YES to a Date
Always on the assumption that the girl you’re chatting to is into you. You might be wrong; you might completely fail to catch her interest. But you’ll get further this way than having your default assumption being that you have no chance.
Even if this confidence leads you to asking her out too soon, it might not hurt your chances. It might even help; a clear sign of interest might encourage her to ask you out later on when she’s ready.
Okay, now that you know what the right attitude to take is, it’s time to move onto the signs themselves.
Here’s what to look out for in her messages that says that she’s interested:
She’s Laughing, LOL’ing, and Partaking in the Banter
If your messages make her laugh and smile then she’s going to be responding positively to your messages. This goes doubly if she’s contributing to the jokes and banter herself; the more motivated she is to contribute to the conversation, the better.
Conversely, if she’s coming across as unengaged and uninterested, this is a big warning sign.
If you’re sending thoughtful messages, personalizing what you say based on her interests and generally doing all the legwork, it’s not a good sign if all you’re getting back are short responses like ‘lol’.
Then it’s like prodding a lifeless corpse.
If there’s a clear lack of investment on her side then her answering ‘lol’ of ‘ha-ha’ can’t be taken as a sign that she’s ready for a date.
When faced with a match like this, it’s best to just cut your losses and keep on searching.
She’s Asking Questions
Like we said, clear motivation and investment on her part is one of the strongest indicators of interest. So, if she’s actively asking you questions that is a very good sign
If she’s asking you questions about yourself- including stuff you mentioned in your bio- this is a good sign.
This is because she’s currently trying to do the same thing you’re doing; trying to figure out if the other person is date material.
If you remember the investment scale, we showed you earlier, her asking you questions is a sign that her interest is at its peak.
So, answer her questions-don’t forget to do so playfully- and then ask the big question.
The Conversation is Fast Paced and Flowing
Remember that Tinder, working properly, will result in fast flowing conversations. If she’s responding quickly to your messages then she’s clearly excited and curious and hoping something’s going to happen soon. So, you need to ask her out at just the right moment.
This excited, high paced back and forth is just the moment to do so. When she’s at her most engaged she’ll be wanting something to happen; she likely won’t even hesitate to say yes.
In spite of what dating app makers would like you to think, it’s not logical algorithms that get you dates. It’s the excited, emotional investment that gets dates.
The Bait Slip Test
If you want to test the waters before you leap in headfirst, then you could try throwing a little bit of bait out there to see how she responds.
Without any fanfare, drop in the idea of a meetup but then immediately change the topic to something else.
Essentially, you’re introducing the idea of a date in a way that doesn’t make her feel put on the spot for a reply; avoiding scaring her off by formally asking the question too early.
Then wait to see how she responds. Will she ignore the suggestion or respond to it?
Below we can see an example of this type of maneuver in action:
The suggestion of going for a drink was slipped into the conversation in a way that doesn’t make her feel pressured to respond.
In order for this to work, it is essential that you immediately change the subject once you’ve suggested the idea of a meetup. Forget to do that and you’ll have essentially done what you were trying to avoid; asking her out without testing the waters first.
Should she decide to ignore the idea of a meetup and instead focuses on what you changed the subject, then now would be the time to cool your jets and leave asking her out until later. If she’s dodging the subject then it’s a clear signal that she’s not comfortable enough with you to entertain the idea of going on a date yet.
If she picks up on your suggestion of meeting up and responds positively, then that’s about as certain as you can get without actually being able to see the future.
How to Ask a Girl Out / Exchange Numbers on Tinder
As we’ve said already, Tinder was never intended as a long term means of communication between the two of you. Once you’re confident that her interest is peaking then now is the time to get some more reliable contact details and/or a date.
Fortunately, if you’re seeing any of the signs of interest that we’ve listed above then the odds are very much in your favor. So, ignore any nervousness; this should go as smoothly as if you’re James Bond himself.
That being said, that’s not to say that there’s nothing that can go wrong. If you get careless at the final hurdle then you can still very much screw things up.
The Dating Message Don’ts:
As usual, let’s begin with all the different things you should avoid doing at all costs:
The ‘I did not see that coming’ Date Invite
Remember what we’ve said a few times now; asking a girl out should come on the tail end of an engaging back and forth between the two of you when her interest is at its peak.
Don’t send her a message saying ‘DATE PLEASE’ five hours after you last talked to her; not if you’re expecting a positive response at least.
In this example the gap was twelve hours:
The reverse also holds true; don’t ask her out for sushi after she’s responded to your opening message. Too eager is probably slightly worse than too slow. At least with the latter, she was interested at one point.
Pick your moment, is what we’re saying.
Placing the Power in Her Court
Some people might argue that you want to avoid the following phrases:
“Do you want to get a drink sometime?”
“When are you free?” or “What time are you free?”
“Where you wanna meet for coffee?”
“Can I get your number?”
While it’s important to consider her input and considerations, you don’t want to entirely put all the decision-making power in her hands. After all, you’ll be on the date as well, you want a place and time that works for both of you.
So, when setting up a date, take some initiative and suggest a place and time. She can still say no if she wants, you’re not forcing her into something uncomfortable for her. The point is that you’ll come off as more appealing if you’re not just passively waiting for her to make a decision all the time.
Being too Available
“I’m free Mon–Fri nights, oh and Saturday and Sunday”
This is something that comes under the ‘over-eager’ heading; you don’t want her to think that you have nothing going on in your life apart from getting a date from her. Don’t forget that she barely knows you yet. If she thinks you spend all your time binge watching tv then you’re not going to come across as much of a catch.
Instead you should be letting her know ‘when you’re free’.
You’ll seem far more interesting if you come across as someone who has life goals and things which you’re getting on with like a real-life Ironman or Batman.
What follows are some phrases you can use to set up this impression:
“I’m pretty busy this week, but should be free Thursday night”
“Let’s do next Wednesday if you’re free then, otherwise we’ll postpone to the following week.”
“I’m free either Tuesday night or Friday night. Pick wisely ;)”
And here is an example of this in action:
If she’s not available on the days that you suggested then you might be tempted to back track and admit that you’re available on other nights.
Stand your ground. Not only does it not look great if it turns out that you weren’t being entirely honest about your availability. Besides, if she’s really keen to go on a date, she’ll make the time.
The Dating Message Do’s:
Now let’s move onto the right way to set up a Tinder date.
The last thing you need is your own nervousness or lack of confidence to sabotage your efforts. Remember, you want to make it as easy as possible for her to say yes.
So, rather than just flinging loads of options at her and hoping that she says yes to one of them, choose a date and time that you think will work for the both of you. Then phrase it assertively; the best way to do this is to use the word ‘LET’S’. You’re not forcing her into anything but the confident way you suggest it will make it seem much more appealing.
Never forget, operate on the assumption that she’s going to say yes. She can say no whether you’re assertive or not, but a ‘yes’ is more likely with an assertive approach.
Here is an example from a Tinder match that moved to Facebook:
Insinuating the Date
This is similar to the bait slip test we mentioned earlier, in that it’s a way to move things towards the possibility of a date without going the risky route of directly asking.
For example, if your end goal is to go for coffee with her, then start by gently steering the conversation onto the topic of coffee.
Once you’ve done this, you can let the date suggestion flow naturally from the conversation:
“We should totally go Starbucks sometime; their new Frappuccino selection is to die for”
As with the bait slip approach, you’re not putting any pressure on her because the suggestion didn’t come with any particular time frame. So, she won’t feel like she’s being boxed into a corner.
Then just wait to see what her reaction is. If it’s positive then you can proceed with confidence to ask her out.
Now that you know how to ask a girl out on Tinder, the only remaining question is when you should ask her out.
Exchanging Numbers on Tinder
So, the big question a lot of people ask at this point is whether you should try to get her number before asking her out or vice-versa.
If you’ve been paying attention then you’ll notice that some of the text conversations displayed in this article are from platforms other than Tinder. This is because there’s no absolute rule about whether you should shoot for contact details or a date first. Every girl has their own preferences.
A good middle ground approach to take is to bring up the idea of a date on Tinder then moving on to getting her contact information.
After you’ve moved to WhatsApp, Facebook or even old-fashioned texting, you can iron out the details of the date then.
Truth be told, if you’ve gotten to the point where she’s agreed to a date on Tinder then you honestly don’t need to worry all that much about getting her number there and then. As long as the date goes well, you’ll almost certainly get it then.
What if her Pictures Look a Little Misleading?
It’s not unheard of for someone on a dating site/app to use a slightly (or not so slightly) misleading photo to up their appeal. One where she’s wearing heavy makeup, or has been photoshopped or has several women in it, making it unclear which one is her.
This sort of possibility makes a strong case for getting her social media details before formalizing a date.
If her photos on Facebook match up (or they don’t but you find her attractive anyway) then you can proceed with the date. If not, then you found out before you committed.
How to Ask for a Girl’s Number on Tinder
The actual act of asking a girl for her number has already been covered by some of the sections above.
Be confidant, operate on the assumption that she’ll give you her number happily. For example:
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the finer points of winning at Tinder. At the very least, we hope you’ve found some useful information
The hope is that this article is fairly comprehensive and covers any major area you might have had questions about. Don’t forget that it’s important to not get too upset if a match doesn’t result in a date. Any failed attempts are good practice and provide a chance to sharpen your dating skills and the whole point of the app is to give you plenty of people to work with.
However, like most subjects, Tinder dating is an ever-evolving thing as trends change. So, if you feel we’ve missed anything, or you have atactic to share that works well for you, put the comments section below to good use.
Anyway, now that you’ve worked your way through this massive beast of an article (over five thousand words; we work hard) it’s time to pick up your phone, fire up the Tinder app and putting what you’ve learned to the test.
Be confident and go get them.