One Man’s Beginner’s Guide to Tinder by Alexei

So, your girlfriend left you after you went on a drunken rampage at her Christian Bible Studies weekend in Mudgee?  Feeling sorry for yourself and wondering what you are missing out on in the mysterious, wonderful world of online dating?  Well wonder no more, but first be aware of the basics of Tinder to steepen your learning curve and journey towards true cynicism with the online dating world.

Tinder has a number of unwritten rules and an etiquette, all based around nonchalance and an attitude of being able to walk away from a conversation with your dignity intact.


After all, it’s always better to have a list of failed conversations than to go for broke and have a constant stream of women un-matching you.  It’s just not good for the soul.

 1.  Setting up your account

First up, you’ll need to upload photos from your Facebook.  I find it best not to do too much in your photos.  How many interests do you really need to sell yourself with?  Thus begins the creation of your mystique, which will hopefully end up with you sharing a drink with a nice girl at some stage in the near future.

Get an array of photos that show you having fun, and make sure they’re recent.  There isn’t much point portraying something that you aren’t, as all you will get is a look of disappointment if you ever do meet the woman in person.  If you don’t have enough on your Facebook page, then upload some.  Sure, your news feed will look a bit weird for a day or two and you’ll get funny comments from your aunties, but it’s short term pain and embarrassment.  And who cares?  Or set your privacy settings to be only visible to you and hope for the best!  The first upload option however, will show you have the requisite disrespect for your image and the bravery required for success in your new world.

2.  The algorithm – do not fuck with it

Once you have your photos up, and definitely use all 6, make sure that Tinder is showing the ones that you chose.  It’s a bit shit and may fail you.

Welcome, rival.  You are now part of the Tinder algorithm, an indecipherable and frustrating piece of software that you now rely on for your happiness.  Ah, the euphoria you feel when you hear the sweet chimes of the new match message while sitting in a board meeting cannot truly be described.

Message every match you get and try to spark at least the semblance of a conversation or risk punishment from the algorithm.  You need the algorithm to serve your photo up so keep it happy!  And it wants you to message, not just collect endless matches for your ego.

It’s generally a slow start, but keep the faith.  You photo probably won’t be getting much air time in the early stages, but the more you play in cafes and bars, in adjoining suburbs, on the train, and the longer you wait your photo will eventually attract some interest.  And with that interest, the joyous Tinder new match alert chime.  You will become attuned to the ebbs and flows of the days of the week, and relish in the release of your charm on this unsuspecting world.

3.  Send message or keep playing?

As needy as you are for female contact, and as much as you want some cheap satisfaction, unfortunately, now is not the time.  Start out slow, with a nice “Hello Shaniquia, bit chilly out today, hows your day going?” or a similar piece of small talk.  If you have a very amusing story from your day, go all in with it and see what happens.  But, as hot as she may look in those photos, you are at a very early place in a potential meeting and have invested very little.  So don’t stress out about it.  And if you don’t get a reply, walk away.  Just leave it.  At all stages of Tinder, a man must keep his dignity intact.


Once the chat gets going, follow some simple rules.  You aren’t on here looking for a pen pal, surely?  With that in mind, keep details sparse and wit strong.  Don’t talk about your job.  The suburb you live in.  Your family, extended or otherwise.  You really want to maintain an air of mystery and intrigue.  Because when you do ask a lady out for a drink and she says yes, you want to have a ton of topics that you can still talk about.  And if she asks too many questions, she is probably ticking items off a list and is potentially psychotic and to be avoided.  Unless you dig on crazy, in which case, proceed with caution.

Don’t stress about phone numbers or phone calls.  If you go out for a date and it goes well, maybe then you can swap details.  Tinder is fine for messaging up till then.

After you have your text mojo in full swing, you need to look for an opening to ask her out on a date.  That is, assuming you aren’t getting bored or finding that you have major compatibility issues.  A good technique if you aren’t interested any more is the “no reply”.  It doesn’t matter too much and is a good way for you both to part ways without much face lost on either side.  And it will happen to you, too.

Wait for a hint that she is bored, or has a calendar gap, grow some stones and ask the question.  Demonstrate some game.  You need to commit to ask her out for a drink, on a night, in the not too distant future.  Within a few days, ideally.  Week nights are better, as they are less of a commitment from either party.  A Friday or Saturday is a bit precious for what is essentially a blind date, so pick one of the other 5 days.

4.  Not going to plan? Never fret!

When you start to sense the waves of the conversation a bit better and can see a chat is starting to get boring, this is oddly enough also a time to ask a woman out.  What have you got to lose – its dwindling away regardless.  You never know, you might end up having a great time and a few laughs.

5.  The first date

So, you have your first Tinder date.  Nice job, but don’t get cocky, kid.  Here are some tips to keep in mind before the big day:

  • Wear whatever you want,  and just be yourself.
  • Try and start off reasonably early, giving her / you the chance to cruise if it isn’t working out.
  • Don’t commit to a dinner.
  • Be a gentleman at all times.

You are essentially strangers, and despite what you have heard about Tinder she’s most likely not planning to jump into bed with you.  With that in mind, I would suggest setting up a bar tab and buying the drinks.  It sets a more relaxed tone, letting you focus on the chat and the drinks.


The awkwardness of every first meeting can’t be described, but it is something you should look forward to.  Think of it like watching a scene from “The Office”.  Revel in it, enjoy it.  It is one of the highlights of the whole experience.  This could be your future wife you’re meeting… LOL!!  But seriously, that’s what these semi-blind date situations are all about.

As you haven’t covered off much or any of your personal history you should also have a lot of content to talk about in person.  Even if you’re a bit disappointed by her looks, be cool and have a fun night.  Everyone has some good stories to tell, and you don’t have anything better to do.  You owe it to the Tinder gods to make the most of it.  One drink will inevitably lead to at least 3, by which stage you can consider going on a pub crawl, or out to a night club or whatever.  Plenty of fun and stories for you both.

6.  Rinse & Repeat

Carry on in this fashion until you find you need a break from it all, (and trust me this will happen), and then proceed when suitably refreshed and revived.

And there you have it, my guide to Tinder!  Go forth, have fun and may the odds be ever in your favour.

If you have a story to share please contact me at