by John Santana
So you’ve finally convinced yourself to give Tinder a try—the world’s most popular dating app. For a lot of people, Tinder is mostly used for hookups, but contrary to popular belief, Tinder was actually created for meeting new people and potentially finding the love of your life. But if you’re not yet sold and want to know more about dating on Tinder, here’s a run-through of what Tinder is all about.
Understanding how Tinder works
First things first: you have to download the Tinder app on your phone, but a web version is also available. To create an account, input your phone number and verify, or you can also link your Apple, Facebook, or Google account.
Set up your profile. Tinder asks for the usual personal details, such as your name, sexual orientation, age, current location, gender preference, and preferred pronouns (optional). After that, edit your profile by adding your photo and a short bio in the About Me section describing yourself. You can also manage your language, distance, and age range preferences and add your zodiac, job title, company, and other interests.
Tinder’s matching process is pretty easy—swipe right if you’re interested in someone, and swipe left if not. On your Tinder page, tap on the flame icon to see a potential match with their photo, first name, age, and common interests. You can also tap the info icon to know more details. On each user’s profile, you’ll see these icons at the bottom of the screen:
- Rewind: to undo an action, e.g., if you accidentally matched or unmatched someone
- X: if you’re not interested (an alternative to swiping left)
- Star: to super like someone, available for premium users (an alternative to swiping up).
- Heart: if you’re interested (an alternative to swiping right)
- Lightning Bolt: to prioritize your profile for 30 minutes to get more views (a premium feature)
If you’re a free user, you can only message someone if you swiped right to each other, and you’ll get a notification for every match. You can start to chat and send messages, GIFs, links, or even video calls. If you feel like unmatching, just open the chat and tap on the shield icon.
Anyone can create a Tinder account, and some use it to create fake profiles, so be wary of these scams when dating on Tinder. The app has taken measures for a secure dating experience, such as profile verification. Though optional, you can verify your Tinder profile by uploading two selfies, wherein you’ll have to copy the pose that Tinder suggests. You’ll have to wait 2 to 3 days to get a blue badge if your verification is successful.
After several profile matches, you’ll probably want to meet in person. This is where you should be extra cautious. On your first few dates, meet in public and tell your family or friends about your plans. You’re meeting someone you’ve never met before—it’s better to be safe than sorry! For LGBTQ+ Tinder users, research the place and its laws before meeting someone in a new place, as there are some that unfortunately criminalize those who date someone of the same sex.
Scammers are smarter than ever—they’ve resorted to dating apps like Tinder for fraudulent acts. Before anything else, be a smart dater by doing a background check on your match. Tinder scammers like to ask personal questions about past relationships and financial details. If your date feels suspicious, unmatch, block, and report. There are millions of Tinder users anyway; you’ll find a potential match again soon.
As the world’s most popular dating app, Tinder has had about 558 billion matches since its inception in 2012. Out of all their users, 75.8% of them are male, while 24.2% are female. The way Tinder works is by meeting potential partners by matching through swiping, beginning with physical attractiveness. You’ll see a photo, decide if you like the person based on their looks, see more of their interests, and then swipe right or left.
With billions of app users, there are lots of reasons why people try dating on Tinder. Whatever your reasons are, make it fun and safe by knowing online dating etiquette. When on Tinder, keep conversations simple and engaging. Avoid talking about sensitive issues and sending inappropriate jokes.
Lastly, when you swipe right, you can message them first to show that you’re interested right at the beginning. The app prioritizes active users to pick potential matches, so strike up a conversation immediately.
Upgrading your experience
The free version of Tinder already includes basic features, but if you want to level up your Tinder game, you can opt to subscribe to their paid subscriptions called Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold. If you subscribe to either of the two, that’s only when you can avail of an upgrade to Tinder Platinum. Here’s a rundown of what you can get from these premium subscriptions.
Tinder (free version)
- Match, chat, and meet
Cost: $7.99 for a month, $4 for 6 months, $2.67 for a year
- Match, chat, meet
- Unlimited likes and rewinds
- Tinder Passport™: Meet potential matches in your preferred location
- Hidden advertisements
Cost: $24.99 a month, $12.5 for six months, and $8.33 a year
- All the Tinder Plus features
- 5 Super Likes per week: This sends a notification that you super-liked someone.
- 1 Free Boost: This highlights your profile for 30 minutes.
- The feature to see who likes you
- Top picks daily
Cost: $29.99 a month, $15 for six months, and $10 a year
- All the Tinder Gold features
- ability to message someone before matching
- Prioritized likes
- ability to see likes you’ve sent in the past week
You can subscribe to these paid subscriptions through the mobile wallet connected to your phone, whether an iPhone or an Android. You can also pay via credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express (in select countries only).
Managing your expectations
A lot of people have different reasons why they go dating on Tinder. Most daters look for hookups and one-night stands; some want casual, not-looking-for-anything-serious situationships, while others are on the hunt for a happily-ever-after romance. It can be disappointing to match and then realize you don’t want the same thing. This is why you should be as honest and straightforward as possible.
Not all people find romantic success in dating on Tinder, and that’s okay. Don’t expect too much, and never settle for anything else. Just enjoy finding a potential Tinder match as you continue swiping.
Is Tinder the app for you?
Now that you’ve read the way it works, do you think it’s time to try dating on Tinder? Online dating is a fun experience, and there’s no harm in trying it. If you just want to test the waters, its free version will already give you the experience you need. But if you want to take it a notch higher, then you can definitely avail of their paid subscriptions. Whatever you choose, make online dating on Tinder a safe community for everyone looking to meet new people. Swipe safely!