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© 2015 mo'adore | Content and design by Morag Lee | Powered by Blogger.

How to speak to a girl on Tinder, by a girl on Tinder

Once upon a time, essential life skills were limited to cooking a Sunday roast, washing your bedsheets, addressing an envelope, paying bills, and changing the oil in your car.

But in 2019 speaking to strangers on apps and social media is just as essential a life skills as unclogging your plug hole (hahaha I said the word hole in a blog post about dating hahaha I'm so mature).

And that includes Tinder (plus other dating apps).

If you don't know how to Tinder then you're probably going to get left behind in the dating game. Or just not have a dating game, at all. Or not get laid, ever.

But judging by some of the messages I receive on Tinder (and other dating apps) it's clear that many of us still haven't mastered the art of Tinder. My phone really appreciates being slammed down on my bed in frustration.

But all life skills can be improved on. Just like learning to read and write as a child, learning how to wow people on Tinder is a skill that can be honed.


I'm writing a guide anyway.

So here we go. My guide to not being a weirdo on Tinder.

Don't swipe right on every girl

Storytime: I briefly dated someone from Tinder who swiped right on my photos alone and only read my bio when it was time to craft an opening message. It was absolutely lovely to find this out - and to know that he would have left swiped had he read I was vegan!


Also, take dealbreakers seriously. I have that I don't want children on all my dating profiles. But that doesn't stop people who want kids (or already have them!) from trying their luck anyway. Dealbreakers are dealbreakers; it doesn't matter how amazing someone is otherwise.

Personally, I've found Tinder much less stressful and headache-inducing since I became fussy about who I swipe right on. If I was at a party I wouldn't start flirting with everyone in the room; I'd only start making eyes if they stood out to me. I now behave exactly the same way on Tinder. It's been a breath of fresh air not trying to force conversation with twenty different people.

Use her bio as a starting point

I'm not offended by "Hey, how are you?" as an opening line. I'm a socially awkward turtle and not always the best at an opening line myself. A bad opening line does not mean that someone isn't life partner material. 

But the conversation will become meaningful more quickly if you use their bio as a starting point. "Hey, I notice you also like Celtic. Me too! Did you see the game last Saturday?" is a simple opener that gets the conversation moving but doesn't require you to be a witty comedian.

Google any words in their bio that you're not familiar with

I know I come across as an unassuming straight girl in real life, but my Tinder is pretty queer-centric. I use terms like "unicorn", "no terfs please", and "poly-friendly". I also include my pronouns. I'm all for educating people, but when you've had to explain that unicorns are not always characters in children's books to 30 different guys, it gets tiresome. Just Google anything you don't understand and stop expecting people to perform emotional labour. 

No unsolicited dick pics

Unfortunately, this still needs to be said.

Ask questions

A simple way to move a conversation along is to ask questions. Ask her about the hobbies mentioned in her profile, what she did that weekend, or if she loves her job (if her job is listed; some people don't want to reveal where they work, which is fair enough).

And provide lengthy answers

Nothing makes me give up on a conversation quicker than feeling like I'm pulling teeth. If you're asked "How was your weekend?" don't reply with "boring". Even if you did spend all weekend in the house you probably didn't spend it staring at a wall. A better reply would be "Oh, I had a quiet admin weekend where I got all caught up on stuff, and I also made good progress on the book I'm currently reading."

But don't turn it into an interview

Questions are fine to get the conversation going, but if the conversation doesn't naturally start flowing into flirty banter then it might be that there's no real connection. A quick tip is to make your questions lighthearted: such as asking about their dog and favourite tv show, rather than their job and house. 

Compliment them

But on something other than their looks. My favourite opening message to receive is someone telling me why they swiped right. It makes me feel like I stood out (even if they are saying it to every other girl). 

Know what you're looking for

Not everyone Tinder is looking for the same thing. Some people are looking for The One while others are here for "a fun time, not a long time". Have an idea about what you want and make sure that is communicated. If you're looking for a serious relationship have a bit of an idea of what your ideal partner might be like. Just saves anyone from wasting time.

Have patience

I have a life outside of Tinder, but judging by some of the messages I receive you'd think about 30% of Glasgow's male population don't have jobs to go to. They also seem to be sex-ready every night and are lying in bed naked with a hard-on waiting for a girl to accept their hook-up request. Do these people not have a Netflix show to binge? 

Look, it might take a few days for a girl to respond. Her social calendar might be genuinely busy and it may take a while to pencil in that initial date. They might be settled down for the night and not able to call an Uber at short notice to hunt down a stranger's flat on the other side of town at 3am. Don't let your impatience get in the way of what could be an eventual relationship/fling/hook-up. 

If they're not straight, don't highlight it

I have no problem with someone I am actively dating asking about my sexual orientation. It is natural to wonder what my preference is, my coming out story, or whether I would consider a threesome. But when a guy asks about it while chatting on the app, I immediately feel like I'm being fetishised or they might only be speaking to me because of my sexual orientation (because that has happened). 

Don't ask for alternative contact details 

Men seem to hand out their mobile number like Haribo, but online dating (or just dating) is still scary for women. You'll find many of us won't hand out our personal contact information or social media profiles until we've sussed someone out. I've always been cautious about it, but after coming off OkCupid two years ago due to harassment (where the guy didn't have any extra contact details, blessedly) I refuse to communicate outside of dating apps until I'm actively dating that person. 

Be yourself

We're ego-centric creatures at heart and it can be tempting to Tinder in a way that focuses on your number of matches rather than quality. But not everyone fancies adventurous traveller types, who watch Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and have three dogs. Some people want a chilled out introvert who likes comics and watches Netflix all day. Don't hide who you really are because the right person will swipe right on you because you're you.

And.....remember to ask yourself the golden question:

How will this look in a screenshot on Twitter?

Happy swiping!

morag | mo adore
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