For a while after my ex and I broke up, I was paranoid about seeing his profile appear whenever I swiped on Tinder or Bumble. My fear was exacerbated by the fact that we met on Bumble, so there was no reason why he wouldn't go back on when he was single again. I never did see his profile (and he's dating someone now), but I still panicked every time I saw a guy who looked like him or who shared his name. I longed to know how to block someone on Tinder before matching with them, if only to spare me the paranoia of having my ex's face unexpectedly pop up on my screen when I was just trying to move the F on.
Unfortunately, you can only interact with someone on Tinder once you actually match with them. There's no function on Tinder where you can enter the names of people you want to block from coming across your profile before they come across it. There's also no way to predict that someone will come across your profile and stop them from doing so before they do it.
The reality is, if someone is living in your city and you fall within each other's Discovery Settings, there's a chance that one of your profiles will pop up while the other is swiping on Tinder — even if you guys are exes. The only way to guarantee that someone's profile won't pop up while you're swiping is if you met this person on Tinder, you both kept Tinder downloaded on your phones while you were dating, and then, when you two broke up, you went back on said Tinder account, and one of you Unmatched the other.
As a Tinder spokesperson explains to Elite Daily, "Unmatching on Tinder is straightforward and easy to do - just tap the flag in the top right corner of your screen when you're messaging the person you want unmatch. We take the safety and privacy of our users seriously, and the person you unmatched will not be notified that you've done so."
According to Tinder's FAQ page, Unmatching is a permanent action, so if someone Unmatches you, your conversation with them will completely disappear, you won't be able to communicate with them ever again, and they won't come up while you are swiping. There is no option to "block" on Tinder, so Unmatching is the closest option.
Unfortunately, other than this slightly roundabout method, though, you can't prevent someone from seeing your profile before they match with you. You must match with someone first before there's any kind of interaction between you two, whether that's a conversation or an Unmatch.
Wondering how exactly to Unmatch with someone, whether it's that pesky ex, or a new match who's harassing you, not taking no for an answer, being sexually explicit, or just irritating you? Simply go to your conversation with said person and click the flag on the top righthand side of the screen. You will see that you have the options to either "Report [NAME]" or "Unmatch." Click Unmatch.
Once you choose Unmatch, Tinder will ask you for the reason why you want to Unmatch this person. From there, you can select whichever option you feel is the most appropriate for your situation, including "inappropriate messages," "inappropriate photos," "feels like spam," "other," (you will be asked to elaborate if you select this one) and "no reason."
Done. Your match is Unmatched.
Reporting your match, which you are also more than welcome to do, will notify Tinder that this person is really, really pissing you off. And if enough people Report someone, that person could be banned from the app. But Reporting someone won't Unmatch them, so you will have to select Unmatch after you Report.
So, if you're like me and you're panicking about finding your ex on dating apps, you'll just have to sit with the paranoia. The good thing is, if you do see them, you can always just swipe left. Problem solved.
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