How to win the Online Dating Game?
Before we get to the part of how to win the online dating game, let’s take a look at the available options.
Chapter 1 : Tinder
Launched in September 2012, this app became not just the most used but also the most notorious app in the Indian online dating market. ‘Most used’ because the smartphone usage was increasing in India during that time. ‘Most notorious’ because youngsters and middle aged people alike used to come up with unbelievable stories on one night stands (some could have been true too). So much so that while I was hosting a speed dating even in Hyderabad in 2017, I came up with an open mic session for the participants. One of the participants, Anitha (name changed), openly shared her Tinder experience. Apparently, she was in Kochi and wanted to hang out with a like-minded person for the evening. She saw a few profiles and liked them. One of the likes instantly converted into a match.
For those who are wondering how this converting into a match happened I need to explain how Tinder works. You download and install the app, then login with your facebook id (some of them may not use their facebook id because that may reveal their real age, so they create a new login separately), then you set your preferences about who you are interested in (men/ women), location, age etc. That’s it. A heap-load of profiles then get uploaded on your tinder screen. If you swipe right on a profile that means you like that person. If you swipe left that means you don’t like that person. Youngsters went crazy with the ease of use of this app. However with great ease comes great complications too. What if you liked a profile that was fake? I mean literally a man posing as a woman to get your bank account details. Ha! Yes, there were unlimited cases of cheating too but no one bitches about them because they would be embarrassed by social media patrol folks firstly for installing Tinder. Yes, all sanskaari janta would never be on Tinder at all. At least they claim that they never heard of Tinder. You would also come across funny profiles who put their wedding pics as profile pictures on Tinder. Or those pictures with their kids! They would also put a line on their profile description saying “Not here for hookups! Swipe left if you are here for hookups.” Wow now whether I swipe right or left that is not under their control no? But what is under their control is that they can resist the urge to be present in such an app that got infamous for hookups. But nope, they don’t want that FOMO (fear of missing out).
Alright now getting back to the open mic story. So Anitha matches with a guy on Tinder and she receives a message from this guy within a few minutes of matching. Now she starts chatting and agrees to meet the guy. The guy picks her up in his car and she suggests they go for a long drive. Wow! It strikes quite late down the highway to Anitha on whether she is doing the right thing. She is with a stranger in a new city and she herself suggests going on a long drive. She gets all panicky but does not reveal it. She projects as if she is enjoying the long drive. Thankfully for her she is safe and nothing happened to her that she would later regret.
If you are a girl and you are on Tinder you also used to get labelled as easy going and culture less. Thanks to several online campaigns about respecting womens space this label is slowing fading away. But women still have to deal with this and need to be very assertive whenever their match tries to label them or take them for granted.
How to get matches on Tinder?
If you are a woman, first decide why you are on Tinder. Also understand that you will get all kinds of matches even if you write “Not here for hookups” on your profile description. You may decide to put up colorful pictures, pictures with pets, nature pics etc on your profile. But don’t try to deceive men by posting pictures where you may look completely different from how you actually look. Own your pic, be proud of your face, your body, your complexion.
Another distinct mistake that women tend to make is they would never post any real pic. This is a big turn off too. They would post a flower pic or a pic of not so popular bollywood actress. These never work. If you don’t want to reveal how you look then whats the point of being on Tinder. You can’t hide from the reality for long anyways.
Another pattern that women tend to follow is they post pictures with their best girl. Every basic profile has an option to post 5 to 6 pics and these women would post all 5 to 6 pics with their friends. It could be because they feel inferior about their looks. But they need to understand that unless they feel convinced of what they are doing they should not be on this app in the first place.
If you are a man, the foremost advice would be to not to look like a caveman on the profile pictures. Be patient and upload your best pics. Again no deceiving by putting up your cute childhood pics. Imagine you were lean in teens and have put on more-than-average weight as you aged into your late 20’s or early 30’s you should still put out your latest pics. Who do you want your matches to meet, your present or your past?
You may decide to put up adventure pics, pics with pets, workout pics or party pics to reveal your personality. Don’t upload pics that may project you as looking wasted.
Men and Women, please ensure correct grammar in the description you write about yourself. If you don’t know or don’t like English, use a regional keyboard and express yourself in the language you know. This is far better than writing incorrect sentences in your description. Its a big turn off too.
Try being honest about what you do and what you like. Some women tend to post some philosophical posts or threatening posts (for example, ‘I am an angel for those who love me but a devil to those who hate me”). LOL! Genius. Don’t post such descriptions. Write about your passion, your general outlook on relationships and especially what kind of a person you are looking to match with.
The economics of Tinder:
Tinder Free version
Tinder has a free version where men depend on pure luck (serendipity to be more precise) to convert matches they liked. Usually they end up with matches they would have swiped right but may not have paid much attention to or were not so excited about. This could be a ploy by Tinder too. They would push you to the edge of desperation by sending you daily notifications saying “A lot of women have shown interest in your profile, open your Tinder app now and start swiping”. You would then open the app only to find out after 10 mins of swiping right that nobody was interested in you.
The free app also restricts you from extending your location beyond a certain distance (maybe 25-50 kms?). This means you can only explore your locality mostly.
The free app restricts the number of profiles you can like. Maybe after swiping right for 30 – 40 profiles in a day you would run out of the threshold. You have to pay tinder to buy more chances to swipe right.
This paid version charges around INR 500 to 600 per month (or maybe lesser now) if you are young (i.e in your 20’s). If you are in your 30’s, then the app will charge you double that amount. And if you are a man and in your 30’s or above, the app would charge you triple that amount.
There are quite a few benefits of Tinder Gold if you get past the affordability part.
You get to explore people in a completely different location (another city). This gives you more choices to explore. You would also get to see upfront as to who liked your profile. This means you can control your own serendipity!
Happy Tindering folks!
-Varun Gowtham Mannava