You can find true love anywhere. "But can you find true love on Tinder?" you ask. Yes, as long as both of you are open to what happens in a relationship, there's no reason a regular hookup couldn't turn into everlasting love. Why wouldn't it?
Even though you can find true love on Tinder, there are a lot of ways in which Tinder can be an obstacle for a relationship to grow. The first, of course, is that a lot of dating apps encourage you to keep your options open. The swiping makes it easy to move on quickly, from one person to the next. Plus, looking at so many pictures encourages you to make superficial judgments based on how much a person knows their own angles.
If you can fight the Tinder forces and resist hooking up for the sake of a fun and easy fling, then there's no reason you couldn't find true love on Tinder. You might just want to make sure you aren't doing these five things that will keep you from finding the modern romance you are looking for:
1. Neglecting Your Bio
Personally, I am not looking for love on Tinder — just fun — but I still get creeped out when I swipe right on someone, only to find out that they have not filled in any information on themselves. That leaves me with very limited information to strike up a meaningful conversation. "So, you are 27 years old, and you live two miles away from me? What's that like?"
Nine times out of 10, these enigmas are dudes who were presumably too lazy to write anything about themselves. They also are usually only looking for sex, which is totally fine — except that I would never, ever meet up with someone who seems like they have something to hide.
So what is good to put in your bio? For me, I always pay extra attention to people who list their Zodiac signs, as it already means we have a common interest. I've had trouble connecting with other queer femmes on Tinder, so I listed that I give free tarot readings to queers in my bio. Proposing a shared activity definitely helps.
Whatever you do decide to write, try not to keep it negative. I've been tempted to say, "No ghosting," but it gives off the vibe that I am wounded or that I get hung up on folks. That isn't actually the case, and it's not an image I want to project. Plus, if I think someone might ghost me, I can always ghost them first.
2. Starting Out With The Same One-Liner For Everyone
You never know whether someone is going to actually message you back on Tinder, but I have found that I get more responses when I start out by saying something really specific about somebody's profile or paying them a compliment from a specific photograph.
One girl described herself as "Bette Porter in the streets, Bette Porter in the sheets." It's been years since I've watched The L Word, and I ended up reading Bette Porter's entire backstory to find something to message this girl about. (I ended up telling her about all my Wikipedia time. It was cute.)
Personally, I can always tell when someone sends me the same opener they send everyone. "You look too interesting to be on Tinder. Who dumped who?" was the worst one-liner I ever got. It came off as elitist (no one is too interesting for Tinder!) and also made me think about my breakup that happened over a year ago.
And by the way, unless you are actually Aziz Ansari, nobody needs sh*t from Whole Foods.
3. Humoring People Who Have No Manners
I've personally only ever had this experience with cis men. A guy will match with me on Tinder, and he will say something — usually within the first few lines of our conversation — that rubs me the wrong way.
Sometimes, he makes a statement that makes me feel... funny. "I'm sure he didn't mean it that way," I'll tell myself. But eventually, my funny feeling becomes confirmed when he makes an obviously racist or sexist or homophobic joke. When that happens, I usually tell him off and unmatch as quickly as possible.
On a more troubling level, I've had multiple cis men ask me if I am trans. I'm not trans, but I do have great makeup skills and an affection for wearing wigs. Although trans people are basically divine beings to me, I always get a horrible feeling when I get asked this question. I can sense the dude's transphobia. He's basically asking me about my genitals within the first few lines of messaging.
On a more general level, you're not going to find love on Tinder by compromising your standards. If someone strikes you as rude within the first few messages they send you, or if they make you feel uncomfortable, you don't have to continue on with the conversation. Be more discerning, and you'll improve your chance at finding love.
4. Only Swiping Right On People You Are Extremely Attracted To
Look, I get it. I've spent a lot of time agonizing over whether or not I am attracted to someone's photograph on Tinder, and have probably made snap judgments that prevented me from talking to someone interesting.
When I think about the people I have fallen for in real life, the majority of them were not exactly photogenic. In fact, my most significant relationship was with someone I had spent years knowing and never being physically attracted to, until we had developed a strong emotional connection. It's unfortunate that dating apps encourage judging folks based on their looks.
But there are plenty of people out there whom you may not be instantly attracted to, but are still worth a shot. Plus, the worse case scenario is that you meet up and you're still not attracted to them. That's fine! You can still be friends if you strike up a great conversation. And really, when you think about it, all of us are just trapped in flesh prisons we call bodies. I still believe that initial physical attraction has very little to do with whether or not you are made to find lasting love with one another.
5. Not Saying Something First
If you want to find love on Tinder, then for every person you match with, commit to saying something to start the conversation.
If this sounds like a daunting ploy, then that's great! It means you will be more discerning with whom you swipe right on. Even though you might get fewer matches, you will probably end up meeting more people whom you have a genuine connection with. Those dates might be fewer and farther between, but if you are serious about finding love, then you probably want to get off the casual hookup train anyway.
Or do you?
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