Dating App Etiquette 101: An Introductory Course

Dating App Etiquette 101: An Introductory Course

Foto: JGI/Tom Grill

When I first started using dating apps, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had heard everything from horror stories of unsolicited genital pics to amazing stories from couples on how they met. So although I didn’t know what to expect, what I did know was that everybody was using dating apps.

Dating in the digital age has completely changed the game. Instead of actually having to go out and look for love, you can just swipe for it. You can now filter potential partners through distance and age range, and you can scan an app the way you do with a take-out menu. I know, not romantic, but that’s the modern dating world we live in. 

I’ve been using dating apps for a few months now, and I’ve seen the good and the very bad. I am now what my co-workers call “a dating app genius.” I've decided to share what I've learned from my experiences for those who are clueless when it comes to this digital art. Here’s my go-to guide towards online dating success.


1. Don’t make me guess who you are.

I don’t have time to try and guess which fraternity brother or sorority sister you are in the picture. I get it, you have friends, but who are you?

2.  Avoid posting gym selfies

I really don’t care how much you lift bruh. I really really don’t so don’t even get me started.


3. You are not your glamour shots

I’m not going to go on a date with Photoshop, amirite? Post real photos of yourself that I can trust look like you if we meet up.

4. Show your teeth

Do you have teeth? Are they yellow? Are you hiding a meth habit? Do you have braces? Don’t hide your teeth! Personally, I automatically distrust a person who only posts closed mouthed pictures.

5. Don’t post a primary picture of someone other than yourself

Again, you’d think this is obvious, but I’ve seen enough dog pictures or political slogans as a primary picture. Needless to say but I don’t even take the time to see their second picture. 

6. Don’t take a duo shot with a hotter friend

I’m sorry, it might be shallow but let’s remember that we’re on a photo-based app here. Make yourself look as good as you can!



7. Add multiple pictures

Don’t post just one picture. Or just two or three for that matter. Most dating apps let you upload about six. If you can’t find six pictures of yourself that you like it says a lot about your confidence. I’m trying to see how you are so let me!

8. Don’t be a mono (wo)man

When including multiple pictures, make sure they’re different. Nobody will be interested in six identical shots of you wrestling, TRUST ME. 

9. Go easy on the skin bro 

We get it, you like your body, and we like it too! However, if the only thing you seem to like about yourself is your six-pack then it’s going to be hard swipe left. One bathing suit shot is ok, two is fine as well, but don’t overdo it.

10. Show me your eyes!

Why are you hiding them? Glasses and goggles and whatnot are fine, but show me your eyes! Same with the teeth (see above) I automatically swipe left with anyone who’s hiding the one thing that is supposedly a "window to the soul." Maybe you don’t have one? 



11. Don’t leave your bio empty 

You’re really not giving me anything to work with here, so don’t roll your eyes if I send you a basic “Hey, how are you?” because there is literally nothing I can go off.

12. Avoid clichés at all cost

If you open with “Loving life”, “I’m new to this”, “down-to-earth”, or “just trying to have a good time” don’t expect an overwhelming amount of matches. Try to stand out! And please oh please, don’t ever post “Trying to find my Tinderella” 


13. Use your own words

Don’t be that quote person. No matter how brilliant it is, you are not the author. The truth is that posting it doesn’t make you sound smart, but rather makes you seem unimaginative.

14. Spell-Check is your friend

Please avoid typos. This is one of the easiest things to correct! If I see that you’re 28 and still confusing your with you’re, trust me when I say that I’m going to pass.


15. Don’t focus on physique

You’d think this goes without saying, but if I got a dime for every message I get about my physical appearance then I’d be able to send them to hire a manners tutor for them all. 


16. Calm down funny guy

Look, you might be funny, but if you over-do the “I’ll allow you to take me to brunch” and follow up with an “I promise I won’t kidnap you.” News flash, you’re not being funny, you’re being creepy AF.

17. Don’t give me a reason to yawn

If within the first few exchanges you stay on the weather topic then don’t be surprised if I take forever to answer or completely disappear. Say something like “I noticed that we both love coffee, why don’t I invite you for one at this great place I know?” Similarities are always a go-to.

18. Don’t take too long to ask me out

Nobody is here for a pen pal, just ask me out! After a few nice exchanges follow up with a date proposition, odds are that I’ll say yes.


19. I’m not your baby

Anything along the lines of baby, boo, or honey will land you a quick “Bye Felicia.”

20. Avoid pick-up lines

AT ALL COST, AVOID PICK UP LINES! No, it did not hurt when I fell from heaven. However, it did hurt to read that line.

21. Try to respond in a timely fashion

If we’re having a conversation, you ask me out, I say yes, and then it takes you days to get back then you really are just digging your own lonely grave. My rule? Answer within one business day.

22. Be confident!

We’re both on this app and we’ve both already liked each other, there’s no reason to be shy! Remember, confidence is sexy.


23. Remember that this is not an escort service

Let’s get this out of the way. No, I will not send you pictures of myself. No, I do not want to jump your bones. And no, I don’t think you’re being funny when you say that you’re anaconda does want some because I got buns hun. Unmatch and report.

24. You can ask for our number 

If the conversation is going well and we seem to be getting along, you can ask for our number. If we say no, don’t take it personally. Some people are just more private then others and it’s no reason to stop talking. 

25. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

No matter where the conversation goes, respect is always key. Both for yourself and the other person. 


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