Tinder Etiquette: Messaging, First Date… [The Only 5 Essential Rules]

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Tinder etiquette

#1 Once You Match, Who Messages First?

Either person can message first on Tinder, but some women wait for the man to reach out first.

If you’re swiping and match, it’s okay to send your first message right then. It’s also okay to wait a few hours or days if you’re genuinely tied up.

The most effective Tinder pickup lines are short, light-hearted, down-to-earth, don’t seem copy-and-pasted, and always end in a specific question.

Examples to steal:

Hey [NAME], what do you do for work?

Hey [NAME], what do you like to do for fun around here?

Hey [NAME], I’m big into film too. What was the last movie you watched?

Hey [NAME], great dog! What’s her name?

#2 How Long Do You Chat?

Unfortunately, people vary widely in their expectations of how long to chat on Tinder before deciding to move on or go on a date.

Some people just want to gauge your personality quickly to see if you’re a real match.

Most people seem to expect to text here and there over 1-3 days.

Others will inevitably string you along for a week or longer. (Note: this kind of Tinder user collects chat buddies but never seals a date.)

It’s fine not to respond to messages immediately. It’s reasonable to wait a few hours if you’re busy and just let the conversation slowly unfold over a few days.

You can text back promptly if the other person is answering your messages quickly, but it’s best not to sustain this rapid-fire mode for too long or else it can seem like you have nothing going on in your life.

#3 Who Asks for a Date and How?

Either person can ask for the date, but some women expect that the man will do it.

The key to going from Tinder messaging to a date: you don’t want to say, “So would you be up for hanging out sometime? When are you free? Where do you like to go? Should we grab something to eat or go to a movie, or..?” As long as you’re initiating the date, you need to pick the place and activity. (Meeting for coffee is a reliable one.)

So instead of the above, your side of the conversation should look more like: “Hey would you be down to grab coffee sometime?… Cool. How about [PLACE]? Are you free Wednesday around 7?”

#4 What If I See Someone I Know?

Okay, this one is important so pay close attention.

Some people think it’s cute or funny to swipe right on friends. However, this is extremely confusing to the friends. Essentially, they’re left to wonder, “Does he really think of me that way? Is he actually into me?”

Don’t let this awkwardness arise in your friendships. Instead, politely swipe left on people you know… unless you are sincerely interested in something more than friendship.

#5 How Do I Know My Profile Is Okay?

Your written bio doesn’t matter a whole lot as long as it’s short, light-hearted, and unoffensive. (e.g. “I go to ESU. Love running, sports, GoT.”)

The key to an effective Tinder profile is in choosing your best photos. You don’t need to be Brad Pitt to get tons of matches on Tinder, but you absolutely need to have photos that show the best sides of your life and personality.

Pictures make a much stronger impression than words, and this visceral first impression is much harder to shake.

I could give you 1,000 tips for getting the right Tinder pic — but let’s face it — everyone is different. What works for one guy doesn’t always work for another.

Instead, just test your pics on Photofeeler to see how they’re coming across to women (or men) in your age range. Has been known to make a crazy difference in match rates.


Go to now and give it a try!