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A Guy's Guide to Tinder

college culture


Boston University


A Guy's Guide to Tinder

My personal collection of do's and don'ts

Tobe Nightengale


Meeting in person is so early 2000’s.

Tinder, Bumble, and Happn are all the latest and greatest ways to meet your soul mate… well, maybe not quite.

Despite their glamorous social reputation, these apps are just another layer of impossible-to-read social cues and stresses that make up the lives of college students. However, (unlike real life) when you’re awkward on Tinder, you can just close the app and pretend it didn’t happen.

I’ve seen countless listicles and Op-Eds with Tinder advice for men, but none of them seem to hold anything useful for the average college student. The truth is, women have it easy on dating apps, and it’s the guy’s job to fight through the competition to meet that one special lady who you’ll sexile your roommate for. On most online dating sites, there are about 62% men to 38% women. That's a lot of competition. I’ll give you a breakdown of the most common Tinder mistakes that men make, and how to fix them.

Don’t just say “hey”. Tinder does not work like your messaging app, where you will always go down the list to respond to everyone who hits you up. You’re trying to grab the attention of the reader, who is simultaneously reading 78 other messages that contain variations of “hey”. Use your wit (that all BU students inherently have), and come up with a snappy pickup line that at least guarantees a coffee date. “I like you a latte” is cheesy, but gets noticed. If she’s an Office fan, quote Andy Bernard’s beautiful proposal to Pam and offer her some Macanudos and Frisbee. Does her bio say science major? “I wish I were Adenine so I could pair with U”. Trust me, these things work. Even if she chuckles at the sheer stupidity of your cheesy line, at least she will look twice at your profile.

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Slow down, and don’t act like you’re desperate. Too many men get frustrated with their low-volume of replies, so they start to jump right to the chase by asking when they can spend the night. Massive turn-off. Yeah, Tinder is a hookup site, but nobody wants to be treated like their personalities mean nothing. Get to know them, but make sure you set a date to hang out within the first 48 hours of a reply message. If you wait too long, she might think you’re not worth it. If she doesn’t seem interested, move on. There are plenty more fish in the Tinder sea.

“We had a boring date where I learned he was a picky eater who eats his peas one at a time, he invited me on a trip with him, and when I never responded to his Tinder messages after the fact, he found me on Facebook and started messaging me there. He’s a crazy stalker dude” - Adrienne Burgard, OU '20
Don’t ever let yourself run out of conversation topics. At the most basic level, Tinder is a game, and you have to practice in order to hone your skills. Keep to topics that you know have worked in the past, but don't be boring. Talking about your respective majors is fun, but after 50 or so times it gets repetitive. Have a couple of jokes, memes, or whatever you fancy, just to keep the ball rolling. When you’re on a real-live date, do something active for both of you. If there are any awkward silences, it’s easy to people watch and laugh at the tourists down on Newbury street. If you’re a Tinder master, you can take her to find Keytar Bear.
Never make a first Tinder date dinner and a movie. We’re all broke college students, and none of our wallets can survive 4 dinner dates a week unless it’s at McDonald’s (how about some hot apple pies for dessert?). Coffee should always be a starting point, and if you don’t get sick of each other after 30 minutes, take her on a walk around this great city we live in! Have some favorite spots like Faneuil or North End, and always know exactly where you want to go. Even playgrounds with swing sets make for a memorable first date. Doing this lets you go on plenty of dates a week without breaking the bank, and it also makes it easy for both of you to leave the situation if you ever feel uncomfortable.

“Be casual, don’t take it too seriously, but stay interesting. One word replies are the worst” - Milan Parikh, BU '20

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Keep these basic tricks in mind and your Tinder game will only get better. Just remember not to be disappointed if things don’t work out. These dating apps are a way to meet lots of people quickly, but not everyone will share your personality or interests. Be nice when you meet, do something fun, and don’t overstay your welcome. Follow some of these basic rules and you won’t end up on someone’s Tinder shit list.

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