Compatible With Your Tinder Match? Here's How To Tell Based On Just Their Profile
Not long after downloading Tinder in college, I matched with a kid I was convinced was my soulmate. His profile suggested that we had the same taste in Netflix series and dog breeds, grew up in neighboring hometowns, and both owned pop-up editions of The Little Prince. Oh, and did I mention that he was in the military? I mean, who doesn't love a man in uniform? Needless to say, I was over the moon when we matched, and we made plans to go out. I may or may not have played "Crazy in Love" on repeat while getting ready for our date. I was totally compatible with my Tinder match, right?
Wrong. So very wrong. It was the worst date I've ever been on.
What I'd interpreted as light-hearted sarcasm in his bio was more like caustic cynicism IRL. His chivalry quickly morphed into misogyny. He mocked my drink choice, my outfit choice, and my university's reputation. And his photos were... misleading, to say the least. It was so awful that I asked a friend to call me with an "emergency" less than an hour in.
So yeah, I'd say I'm a pretty terrible judge of Tinder character. But what should you be looking for in a person's profile to help decide whether they're a good match (or not)? Can you really tell if you're compatible at first glance? I consulted two dating experts to find out.
Do They Give You Heart-Eyes?
Looks aren't everything, but if you've got the hots for someone, you've definitely got a better chance of building a successful connection. On the flip side, don't try to talk yourself into being attracted to someone you could never really see yourself with — even if that Friends reference in their bio speaks to your soul.
As Brooke Wise, founder of Wise Matchmaking, simply put it, "without attraction, romantic compatibility is impossible."
Keep An Eye Out for Red Flags
OK, so maybe you can't expect to look at a person's Tinder profile and immediately know they're your soulmate (regardless of whether or not they also love French children's literature, as I learned). That said, you can sometimes tell if a person is definitely not right for you...
"What you need to be looking out for in someone’s Tinder profile are red flags," says certified dating coach and TV personality Damona Hoffman. "For example, if you are looking for a serious relationship and someone’s profile clearly states that they are looking to have fun, it’s not a match. No matter how cute they are."
Look for Honesty
Plot twist: a person's pictures might be even more telling of their character than their bio. If someone's got nothing but heavily filtered photos, for instance, are they giving you a true sense of who they are?
"Accurate photos might be a determination of someone's honesty and self-confidence — 'here I am, warts and all,'" says Wise.
Different Interests Might Actually Be a Plus
It's also important to remember that compatibility is about way more than shared interests. I don't know about you, but I am certainly not looking to date the male version of myself.
"We've become way too judgmental about unimportant things," says Hoffman. "Your romantic partner doesn't have to be your partner in every activity you do. In fact, it's better if you have some divergent interests. So what if he likes the Yankees and you hate sports? Or he loves rap and you're a country girl? That says nothing about the person he is, what he values, or how he'd make you feel when you're together and that's the important stuff."
When In Doubt, Swipe Right
Let's say someone hasn't passed your compatibility test with flying colors. If you haven't caught any major red flags, it's still worthwhile to swipe right and go from there.
"If you're on the fence, always swipe right," says Hoffman. "If you don't start chatting, you miss vital information that can help you decide if someone is right for you. However, if you see anything on your deal breaker list (i.e. you hate smoking and he's puffing away in a pic), then definitely swipe left," says Hoffman.
In the immortal words of Hilary Duff, "why not?"
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