5 Ways To Have Better Conversations On Tinder, According To Science

When I was single and asking my happily coupled-up friends for advice, some of them would simply shake their heads and say, "It's all about luck." Or even more maddeningly, "You'll meet someone when you stop trying." But I was bored, lonely, and needed someone to help me meet the delivery minimum at my favorite Thai takeout place. I didn't want useless platitudes; I wanted to meet someone. I craved tips about how to talk to people on Tinder and how to turn those conversations into actual dates in the real world.

So I quit my job and joined Elite Daily's Dating team so I could get insider access to dating app stats. (I mean, OK, sure, I took this job to fulfill my passion and advance my career, but also... insider access to dating app stats. Just saying!)

But for realsies, Tinder has studied exactly how its users swipe and interact, and the resulting data is pretty useful. Consider the stats below as a roadmap to a better dating app experience. Just keep in mind that there's no one "right" way to date. Before you dive into the numbers, remember that the most important thing you can do on a dating app is be yourself. The stats below might be helpful, but you don't need to let them influence how you use dating apps unless that feels right for you.

Upload Smiling, Face-Forward Photos To Get More Matches

It turns out that the catcaller who encouraged you to smile was kind of... right. People who smile in their photos are 14 percent more likely to get swiped right on than people who don't. So instead of practicing your best Blue Steel, opt for pictures that show off your biggest, goofiest, happiest smile. And make sure that you're fully facing the camera in some of your shots: people who do so are 20 percent more likely to be swiped right on.

Your Profile Picture Shouldn't Feature A Hat

Not only do hats obscure your face, but they also decrease your chances of getting swiped right on by 12 percent. Similarly, profile photos with glasses — whether prescription or sunglasses — decrease your chances by 15 percent. But it's ridiculous to take off important eyewear that actually helps you see, so don't sweat that. Just maybe ditch the baseball cap and sunglasses so potential matches can see who you are sans accessories.

Put Effort Into Your Opening Line To Get On Your Match's Good Side

It probably doesn't surprise you that 20 percent of conversation starters begin with the word "hey" — as in, "Hey," "Hey, how are you," and "Hey, what's up?" Are your eyes glazing over right now? Yeah, it's for a good reason: Tinder found that 71 percent of women and 61 percent of men want to receive opening lines that signal their match has put at least a little bit of thought and creativity into the interaction. So send a specific, personalized opener every time. Questions are an easy way to do this; 35 percent of women and 32 percent of men prefer to receive questions as conversation starters.

Use GIFs To Spark Better, Longer Conversations

People who drop GIFs into messages are 30 percent more likely to get a response, plus they're more likely to have convos that last twice as long. If a picture says a thousand words, a GIF basically says a billion.

If You Want To Go Out, Make It Happen Soon

It's not wise to let a match linger in your inbox forever before striking up a conversation. A whopping 95 percent of users who meet up do so within two to seven days of matching with someone. Strike while the iron is hot — or, rather, while your name is still at the top of their list of matches.

My friends were wrong. Dating isn't always about luck. Sure, it's entirely possible you can bump into someone cute while in line for coffee someday... but who has the patience to wait around for that?

Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!