The complete Tinder guide or how to get a date for Valentine's Day (2019 Edition)

The complete Tinder guide or how to get a date for Valentine's Day (2019 Edition)
Are you single? Do you find online dating apps confusing? Are you looking for ways to up your Tinder game? If the answer to those questions is "Yes", then you've come to the right place.

Tech nerd or not, the online dating scene can be a challenge. While almost anyone can create a Tinder account and try their luck with the app, making the right kind of profile and achieving success is something that most users (notably guys) cannot boast about.

At PhoneArena, we believe that everyone deserves a fair chance at love and romance, especially with Valentine's Day being just around the corner. Thus, through extensive research and our own experience, we've compiled a comprehensive guide that will aid you in your quest to meet someone interesting, all through the power of your phone.

There's a lot to talk about here, but if you stick with us for the ride, you'll gain all the knowledge needed to get more matches on Tinder, and, hopefully, more dates. 


1. Who is this guide written for?

While anyone can learn something from this article, the guide is written from the perspective of a single man. Guys need more help when it comes to Tinder. Why? Because there are more guys than girls on the app, and due to the fact that women generally have a different experience when using it. Girls typically match with nearly every profile they decide to swipe right to. As for guys, it's not uncommon to go through 50-100 profiles before you get a match. 

Now, we can go into Jordan Peterson mode and try to explain the reasons for this apparent unfairness in life, but we won't. As one TV character famously states: "That's just the way she goes", so let's not dwell on this fact too much and see what we can do to increase your chances. 

2. How does Tinder work anyway?

How does Tinder determine if you're hot or not? Well, attractiveness certainly plays a role here, but we can all agree that it is a highly subjective matter. The app's evaluations aren't random or arbitrary but are instead based on sound statistical estimations. More specifically, Tinder relies on a thing called the Elo rating system. 

The system was initially created for calculating the relative skill levels of chess players, but today it is used in all sorts of competitive sports, games, and all the way to some of the most popular dating apps on the market. 

In order to determine your rank, Elo takes a look at a whole bunch of things - how many people swipe right when they see you, the ranking of said people, the completeness of your profile, and even the amount of conversations you start after a match and the type of the conversations themselves. Last but not least, Tinder Plus and Gold members also receive a boost in their Elo score. 

One other thing to consider is how Tinder displays the people that like you. The easiest way to explain this is with an example - three people like your profile on a given day. One of them swipes right in the morning, one at noon, and one in the afternoon. You log into Tinder at 8 PM, and the first profile that you're going to see is the one who liked you in the afternoon. Yup, things are reverse-chronological in Tinder.

There's a lot of info to take in here, so let's make things more concise. 

3. The 7 golden rules of Tinder

1. Use Tinder between 6 PM and 11 PM. - As we pointed out above, the ideal time to use Tinder is when other people are most likely to be online. On average, activity tends to peak in the latter part of the day, around 9 PM. This means no morning swipes and no swipes while you're bored at work. 

2. Don't like everyone. - This will mess up your Elo score, so yes, it pays to be picky on Tinder.

3. Don't swipe more than 60-70 profiles per day. - Same reason as rule 2.

4. No turboswiping. - Take your time with each profile, take a look at all the pics, and pay attention to the description. It will help your rating and it can provide valuable info for conversation starters.

5. Have a conversation with everyone you match. - Also, make sure that it's at least 3-4 messages. "Hey" doesn't cut it as a starter, but more on that later.

6. Make sure that you have a great profile. - We'll cover that in the next chapter.

7. If you think that your rating has dropped, delete your account and create a new one. - If you have an old Tinder profile and you've made mistakes, you can always delete it and create a new one. It takes some work, but it's better to start anew than to try and reverse a low Elo score.

4. Creating the perfect Tinder profile

Alright, we're getting into the meat and bones of this guide. Creating a great Tinder profile mainly consists of getting two things right - having a great photo collection and writing a nice, fun, and concise description. 

a. Photos

The photo part is obviously the most important. Investing some time to get a good arrangement of shots is critical for your Tinder success. You don't have to be a great-looking guy to match with women. Telling a story about who you are as a person through your photo arrangement is an extremely powerful tool, as girls generally take some time to review things on one's profile before they decide to swipe left or right.

Ideally, you'd like to have around 4-6 photos in your profile. Here are some good starting suggestions, but these are not set in stone:

1. The first one should be a head shot where your face and eyes can be clearly seen. No sunglasses here. You can smile, smirk, or have a neutral expression. Staring directly at the camera isn't compulsory, just make sure that the photo is of good quality.

2. Photo number 2 can be hobby or activity-oriented. If you're passionate about something, why not show it to the world? Playing Fortnite for 8 hours per day is a passion that few girls can relate to, but it might not be detrimental if you're focused on attracting a certain type of woman in your life. Feel free to experiment.

3. A group shot. It shows that you're a social creature. Ideally, have one that looks interesting, inviting, and where you're in the center spot.

4. A photo with a pet. Got a cute cat, dog, bird, or whatever? Take a picture with them! It's the low-hanging fruit of pics and a great conversation starter.

5. A full-body shot. No, this is not the place where you go shirtless and show off the guns, just an image in which you can be seen in your entirety, from head to toe. Can be skipped if you have that in photo number 2.

Do not include any photos with dead animals, where you're holding a baby, where you look drunk, or where you are with a person that might be perceived as your significant other.

Not sure if you have good photos? You can see how other people rate them at It's free, assuming you're willing to rate other people as well. As of recent, Tinder has included the ability to upload videos as well, but they aren't all that essential. You can give videos a go, but use your common sense. 

b. Description

The second important part of your profile is the description that can be found below the pictures. A lot of people don't even bother with it, which is a cardinal mistake. Not having one lowers your Elo score, but is also a missed opportunity to make the people viewing your profile laugh and more interested in you.

You don't have to write an essay here, just do 2-3 paragraphs that total no more than 4-5 sentences. Keep it positive, funny, and concise. Some things you can list are your hidden skills or hobbies that can't be seen in your pictures, or you can delicately play the self-deprecating card (but do it in a humorous way). You can even look up some one-liners online if you're short on ideas.

Another path you can take is asking a bunch of questions. Think of the qualities you'd like to have in a woman, and just list them in the form of a question (see the intro of this article). This essentially flips the script, causing them to qualify for you. Again, feel free to experiment, but don't put anything negative in your description, including anything about previous relationships.

5. You've got a match! Now what?

Alright, you followed our tips and tricks and ended up matching with someone. What's next? Well, start a conversation, of course! Don't wait for girls to initiate. Sure, it is an indication that they are interested, but remember when we said that your Tinder chats can affect your Elo score?

If a girl matches with 10 guys, between 2-4 won't even write a message, and a good number of the rest will either start off with "Hey" or some corny one-liner that she's probably heard before. Don't get us wrong, one-liners can work, but to truly set yourself apart from the rest, it's best if you write something personal.

Take a good look at her profile and try to notice things. Does she have something you could use as a funny remark in her description? Does a group photo of her and her friends look like a girl band? Go for it! Also, sending GIFs is actually a good idea for a starter. Statistics show that a GIF will boost response rates by up to 30%, so it's worth your consideration.

Whatever you do, don't be the one who initiates sex talk and don't go nuts if someone is not responding as quickly as you'd like them to. These character aspects are not appreciated anywhere. 

After breaking the ice and developing an interesting conversation, ask her for her number or arrange a date. You can chat it up a bit, but it's best to see if she's down to meet you at an earlier point. Chatting too much might leave a few topics to discuss if the date happens, so in our experience, it's best to be direct here. Also, you won't be wasting your time with a person who isn't too excited to see you in real life.

6. How to make the best of Tinder's paid features

One last subject we want to touch upon is Tinder's paid features. They can help you out a lot, but we only recommend using them if you have a solid profile on which you can rely on. Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold will give a boost to your Elo score, so matching will become easier. The latter will also show you all the people who liked your profile. 

The two other features that matter are "Tinder boost" and "Passport to any location". Tinder boost will make your profile appear first in your area, granting you up to 10x profile views and the possibility for new matches. You can only get boosted for 30 minutes, but if you use it at the right time, it's super powerful. A good thing about boosts is that you can purchase them separately from the whole Tinder Plus or Gold experience.

Lastly, let's talk about "Passport to any location". This feature can be used to boost your Elo rating in a very cheeky way. If you remove your distance (this is done through options), you can switch to a country where you might be perceived as exotic. You might not be the most popular guy in town, but if you switch to somewhere far away, you suddenly can become quite sought after. This boosts your Elo score, so when you return to your own neck of the woods, you will have a greater rating for a while.
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