Tinder can be a great way to meet new men. But don’t assume that because the app taps into your Facebook network, your matches will be less random or more "safe" than with an online dating site or guys you meet in real life. Stick to the same rules you would use when meeting any new man.
Also, while you should go ahead and get comfortable with Tinder, understand that there is always something new around the corner. Whatever the next hot dating trend turns out to be, the basic rules will always stay the same.
TIP 1: You access Tinder through Facebook, because that’s how the app will match you to other Tinder users. So make sure your Facebook profile is up to date. Your main photo should clearly showcase you, not a crowd of people or a general scene. Also, although you should definitely include a full-body photo in your Tinder profile, aim for a "sporty" look rather than full-on sexy, which will mainly earn you suggestive and inappropriate messaging.
TIP 2: The app will suggest possible dates for you, based on your shared location and interests. You swipe right for "yes," left for "no." Go ahead and swipe right if you are interested in a man, but do nothing further. If your right-swipes are interested in you, they will message you. Don’t be fooled into making the first move, just because Tinder seems new and different, and the app implies that you should be reaching out to your matches. Any potential relationship will work best if he pursues you from the beginning.
TIP 3: Don’t be an A+ student, responding instantly to every message you receive, and answering every question completely. You are much too busy for that. If a man wants to hear all about you, he can ask you out. (It is much more likely that he will ask you out if you aren't overly available and don’t over-share in your messaging.)
TIP 4: Similarly, don’t become a Tinder "text pal." Witty Tinder banter can go on for weeks, if you let it. Politely move your conversation to the phone. You need to phone-screen anyone you may be planning to meet; you can tell a lot about a person from a brief voice chat. Sticking to this rule may make you seem a little more high-maintenance than the next girl, who is willing to meet over texts, but that’s o.k. Better safe than sorry.
TIP 5: Be discreet. Because you are potentially meeting and dating friends-of-friends, don’t broadcast your Tinder activity. As with online dating, some men may not want their contacts to know that they are using apps and websites to meet women.
Robyn Wahlgast is a Certified Dating and Relationship Coach for Women. Book a private consultation or subscribe to her FREE dating and relationship newsletter and get priority access to all new blog posts and advice.