Alden Boon

How to Tinder. Literally.


Tinder has changed the way we find love. Candidates to be your future spouse, all served on a screen. With so much at stake, do you know how to use Tinder in the most effective and responsible manner? Here’s a guide so you can avoid making any faux pas.

Picture perfect

A picture says a thousand words, say people who cannot write. Your profile picture is very telling of who you are and your flaws. A panoramic shot capturing nature’s wonders, in which you are only a speck, says you are fat. A stunning shot of you in haute couture says you are high maintenance.  A picture of a philosophical quote says you are a sheep, with no ability to form your own opinion. A revealing snapshot of only your ripped torso says you have a pimpled complexion or a ghastly face.

In real life, you only have seven seconds to make a lasting impression. In the Tinder milieu, it is whittled down to a mere seven milliseconds. The fate of your entire love life, decided in just seven milliseconds. And it all boils down to your profile picture. Hence, the best profile picture you can have is no profile picture. It is infinity, it is mystery.

Writing your biography: You say it best, when you say nothing at all


Next comes the need to pen your biography. It is a necessary evil, like doing up your résumé to get a job. Some people like to insert a joke, a witty one-liner in their profiles. Plagiarism suits aside, that is just trying too hard. Also, Tinder has a 500-character limit for biographies and there is simply no space to waste. But 500 characters are far too few to encapsulate your meaningful, well-travelled, worldly life.

If a picture says a thousand words, then emojis say a thousand emotions. Liberally use emojis to tell your life story. Choose one that best represents your current hairstyle or body size, because we all know that very flattering photo you uploaded was taken five years ago. Emojis, unlike words, leave little room for miscommunication or misinterpretation.

Near, far, wherever you are

When using Tinder you can set different search criteria to find the one. The only one setting you should concern yourself with is the proximity slider. This is where my advice is spilt into two camps. For guys, you do want the range to be less than 10 kilometres. Think about all the petrol and travelling time you will save should this blossom into a real relationship. Ladies, you do want to widen the search to at least 20 kilometres from your residence. If he ain’t willing to go to the ends of the world just to ensure you are back home safe, he ain’t a keeper.

Fruit of your labour

It seems easy, mundane even, but protracted hours of swiping left and right can be tiring on the wrist. And you need to have sharp reflexes: after many successive left swipes a potential love interest could pop up all of a sudden. Only with an alert mind and superb hand dexterity can one begin to tread the Tinder waters. Training is at least 100 hours of slicing action playing Fruit Ninja. This game of sidestepping bombs and will help you become a deft Tinder user. And once you have attained Master level on Fruit Ninja, you can go ahead and brag about it on your Tinder profile.

“Master looking for someone fun.” — all in emojis of course.

Keep calm and use abbreviations

How Tinder works is that if you swipe right, and your future spouse potential love interest does so for you as well, a match is created. It is very much like organ transplant: someone needs to die before you can get his organs — here you give your heart to a complete stranger, who may or may not be catfishing you. No doubt after weeks of swiping right and zero matches — at least that’s how my experience went, but I’ve already chalked that up to a server problem — things can get a little heated and dicey.

So remember, when a match does happen — and I have to believe it will — stay cool. Don’t scare off your one and only match with talk about marriage and babies and not putting the toilet seat down. Because it only happens in cyberspace, the only right way to have a conversation is to use shorthand. “N pic. ASLMH?” “AFAIC, E2HO, ITSFWI, NISM?” “BBFN, MUSM, FTBOMH.”


Alden Boon
Alden Boon is a Quarter-finalist in PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. When he's not busy writing, he pretends he is Gandalf.

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