real life

12 stupid mistakes people make on Tinder.


I gotta say it. Tinder is bloody great fun. I can be as judgemental as I want, and no one can judge my judgementalism. And boy, am I judgemental! My trigger finger is faster than a trained secret service killer. My pointer finger swipes left before my brain catches up. It can spot a douche in a quarter of a second. It’s Tinstinct.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, Tinder is a new dating app that is taking the world by storm. Created in California, it has only existed for 18 months but it gets 850 million profile ratings worldwide every single (no pun intended) day. More than five per cent of Aussies are logged on and it’s population is growing by one per cent every day. Staggering.

As a single, it’s comforting to swipe through a bajillion other singles in your city – good to know you’ve got options out there if you just lower your standards a little bit (though not everyone on Tinder is single… some guys openly advertise they are looking for a mistress while using a fake name and no photos. You guys should be swiped left, and then castrated). It’s also funny/concerning to come across people you know, some of whom you have already dated.

This is how it works: a profile picture comes up on the screen. You can view a few more pics if they have them, as well as a few words of wit or wisdom (or neither, in many cases). Then the fun begins. Swipe your finger LEFT to say NO. Swipe your finger RIGHT to say YES. If you both say yes, Tinder will let you know that you have a ‘match’ and you are able to converse through the app, and swap more contact details if they are tickling your fancy (and in my experience, about a quarter of the guys are there only to get their fancies tickled, if you know what I mean*…. The rest are genuinely looking for their ‘Tinderella’).

I realise that I am only shooting myself in the foot by being so judgemental. My single-as-a-pringle status is not going to change if I continue to be so picky blah blah blah. Don’t care. In honesty, I have always been happy to get chatted up in bars/coffee shops/supermarkets/the-bow-of-a-doomed-passenger-liner-cruise-ship-before-I-leap-to-my-death (no wait, that wasn’t me. That was Rose in Titanic), and I am far less judgemental in person because I can be easily won over by personality and a delicious smell **.

But on Tinder, I am extremely selective. Even if I like the look of someone, my trigger finger may still end up swiping left because they have committed a cardinal Tinder sin. So this is my public service to the men of Tinder who may want to pimp their profile and stop shooting themselves in the foot.


Or: You look like more of a douche/wanker/creep than you probably are.

1. If all your pics are group shots.

Look, dickhead. I don’t have time to be working out which one is you. You are already playing games with me and my trigger finger is itching. No solo picture = No confidence. Also, I’ve already developed a crush on your friend with the good tan. Crop him out of your pic and focus on yourself.


2. If you are giving me the finger.

Really, I’m grooming you as a potential husband. You have a picture of you, drunk, sticking your finger up at the photographer. You already seem like you are going to offend my grandmother.

3. If you are showing me your pussy (…cat).

I’m a cat person. I like cats. But weird pictures of you and your feline are quite offputting. One cute photo is okay. Five photos of you wearing your cat as a scarf is not.

4. Put your body away.

As a woman, I can tell that you have a good body when you are wearing a t-shirt. I don’t need to see photos of your rig. It makes me assume that you are a) obsessed, b) a douche, and c) not going to nestle on the couch with me and my pizza.

I’d prefer an actual six pack.

5. Blurry, dodgy photos.

A few grainy photos that make it hard to tell if you are a normal guy or a Most Wanted Criminal leaves me wondering if that is, indeed, what you are.

6. Lions and Tigers and Snakes… Oh My.

It seems like most guys on Tinder have had an encounter with a snake, or a tiger, or some other dangerous animal that has been tamed and put in a zoo so people can pose with it. That’s cool… but only if it’s a good photo of YOU. The photo itself doesn’t make you look dangerous. It makes you look like you paid $5 for a photo with a limp python. Don’t get upstaged by the unimpressive python.

Poor Tinder tiger must be getting tired.

7. Inspirational wisdom crap.

Any form of “YOLO” that is used as a tagline, such as “Gotta grab life with two hands”, “Just live life to the max”, “I’m here for a good time, not a long time” makes me think that you are either a bit of a wanker, or only here for a quickie. “Life is for living”. No shit, Sherlock. Write something funny, or about yourself. Don’t spout slogans like an ad for Life Insurance.

Wow… you have really beautiful… filters.

8. Hipster poser photos.

I get that there is an increasing amount of hipsters out there (and the closer I am to Brunswick, the more hipsters in my Tinder radius). But filtered photos of your silhouette against a sunset, or you smiling at the ground with a guitar resting against a turntable in the background don’t actually show me what you look like. Look up and smile. Click. Done.

9. Photos of hot chicks.

Unless you have specified in your tagline that the girl in the pic is your sister, I’m going to assume it is your current or ex-girlfriend, or some chick you were hitting on in a bar. Either way, I don’t want to know about her. And if you are putting her there to show me the standard of women you normally get… dream on, man.


10. Is that your baby?

Or puppy? Or kitten? Am I actually going to be able to play (or have to become stepmother to) that cute thing in your picture? Or are you just trying to manipulate me into liking you by posing with adorable creatures?

11. Selfies.

I like to think that you, my future boyfriend, does not take selfies. At the very least, you do not post your selfies in a public forum. If you have a gym/bathroom/car selfie, I’ve already swiped past you before I’ve even examined your duck face.

12. If I don’t particularly like the friend we have in common. (Not your fault…)

Who knows? Could be the start of something special.
He might be my Tinder surprise.
(PS. I’m only wearing sunnies in one of my six pictures. I deem that acceptable. And I have no tigers.)

Tinder tells me if we have any mutual friends on Facebook. If I find that mutual friend kind of annoying (but I keep them on Facebook for false pretenses), I will swipe you away to avoid having to have a double date with them in the future. Or, if you are a person I know, I may swipe left or right, depending on my mood. I’m not here to meet people I’ve already met (or made out with) but it’s sometimes good to have a chortle at the fact we are both in TinderLand.

Also: Take your sunnies off. Smile. Just show me who you are. I know that all of the above makes me sound as shallow as a puddle, but I don’t care. Tinder is brilliant. I’ve met some creeps but I’ve also met some genuinely lovely guys. I just reckon that I would swipe right more often if a few more guys preened their profile. It’s a shallow, fast-paced world out there, Tinderers. You have a quarter of a second to look good. Get your photo right and I’ll swipe it right. And if you don’t reciprocate, no worries.

Plenty more fish on Tinder.

*I’ve swiped YES to a couple of guys and then quickly blocked them after they make their intentions plain. Some guys ask if you are DTF (Down to F***). Others are more eloquent. One guy asked “How many romantic dinner dates or drinks would it take for you to turn into my personal bedroom acrobat?”. I said “I have an impressive split, watch this…” and then blocked him really fast. A friend of mine had a man ask if she had pet insurance. She asked him “why?”. “Because I am going to destroy your p***y”…. Points for originality. Blocks for vulgarity.

**That sounded creepy. I am referring to pheromones. Some scientists reckon we are attracted to our ideal partner’s smell (I hope my future husband smells like cookies…). My dad expressed concern over the whole Tinder business because the whole science of pheromones is missing. I told him that I would be sure to give them a good whiff as soon as I met them… though it may harm my chances of getting a second date.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She is probably sitting on the couch, swiping.

Have you tried Tinder? What’s your deal-breaker?