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Real talk: Dating is hard. To quote the brilliant Andrew E, it’s a pain in the groin. Putting yourself out there, meeting people, spending money and time on what’s basically trial and error with human relationships…I could go on with other reasons, but you get the point. Some of the more extroverted types of people dig it, but if you’re an introverted homebody like me, dating takes a tremendous amount of effort – at least, until Tinder came into the picture.
I first heard about Tinder in January of this year. Initially, I wasn’t open to the idea of online dating, but when my friend started showing me the wealth of cuties that were on it, I downloaded the app on the spot, and that was that.
Basically, Tinder is a matchmaking smartphone application that lets you anonymously rate people by swiping left or right, based on your location. A left swipe means it’s a no-go, and a right swipe suggests that you find the person attractive. If you both happen to swipe right, you both can chat with each other and take it from there.
While I’m no longer on Tinder, I’ve learned a few things about this (over)simplified dating app that you guys should probably know about, too. So here are a few Do’s and Don’ts for it:


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This is the most obvious reason I can give for being on Tinder. Let’s say you guys decide to meet up for coffee/drinks/dinner/whathaveyou. If you happen to hit it off with your Tinder match, well, great! Score one for fostering a meaningful human relationship via a smartphone application! I can definitely say that I’ve gone on all kinds of Tinder dates, which range from lovely to lackluster. Which leads me to my second point:



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I’d like to assume we’re all adults here, and the underlying reason for being on Tinder that nobody openly talks about is the promise of finding someone to have sex with. From singles, experimental couples that want a threesome to cheating spouses or significant others, you’ll find all types of horny people on the app (yes, these people exist because I matched with them). If you *do* insist on hooking up with your Tinder match, just be smart and use protection.



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When I turned on my Tinder during a recent Southeast Asia trip, I was amazed at how many matches I got, and how many wanted to do a meet-up. This is especially useful if you’re traveling alone, or want to meet locals/expats who can show you around. I did meet up with some of my Tinder matches, most of them being a bunch of sleazy a-holes I’m glad I will never see again, but I also did meet up with a really cool guy based a couple of time zones away who is now a friend (and I hope to see him again one day).



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At the very least, sometimes you end up meeting really cool people on Tinder and come out making friends. Aside from the dude I met traveling, I also met a really cool dude with the best taste in music who is really smart! After all, it’s the common interests that should make you swipe right if you like someone, right? Aside from their physical appearance, of course.



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I’m not saying that this is a general rule (one of my good friends found her current BF on Tinder!), but it’s definitely smarter to keep your expectations managed. So you swiped right with that blonde voluntourist working with the UN and are convinced you’ll fall in love, have beautiful curly-haired babies and carry his decidedly Anglo-Saxon surname. You probably won’t. Maybe you will, but you most likely won’t if he’s leaving in a week for another developing country in his attempt to save the world/detach from his privileged first world upbringing.



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Say you started messaging a cutie on Tinder and he/she didn’t reply. Don’t keep on messaging in the hopes that he/she will! Like I said in #5, the love of your life is probably not on Tinder, especially if they ignore your messages. That just reeks of creepiness.



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There are two types of bios I skipped over when I was on Tinder, and those were the book-worthy essays that went on forever, and the bios that said that they were “simple guys.” Just… no.



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If a cutie doesn’t match up with you, that’s totally fine. It’s not the end of the world, and says absolutely nothing about your worth as a date-able person. The beauty of Tinder--and also its downfall--is the fact that the whole getting-to-know-you process is scrapped in favor of a left or right swipe. So don’t worry about it! Just have fun, be smart and enjoy it. At the very least, it’ll be a really good ego stroke!
Are you on Tinder? Share your own dos and don'ts in the Comments Section below!

Timmy Potenciano

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