5 Best Ways to Optimize Your Tinder Profile

Get the Tinder dating results you're looking for with these tips

People use social dating apps like Tinder to give their dating life a boost or find that special someone, but there's a lot more to being successful on Tinder than simply downloading the app. Here's everything you need to know to make sure your next potential love interest swipes right on your Tinder profile instead of left.

What Is Tinder?

Tinder is a popular smartphone dating app that launched in 2012 on iOS and Android devices. Its popular swiping mechanic, where you choose who you find attractive by swiping right or left on the device screen, sets it apart from many similar rival apps. It continues to be one of the most popular dating apps to date.

A web version is also available to use in a traditional web browser on a computer. While there has not been an official Tinder app released for Windows devices, 6tin, a third-party app, connects to the same user database and is a solid solution for owners of Microsoft smartphones.

How Does Tinder Work?

The Tinder app displays the profile image of other Tinder users, which you can swipe right on to express your interest or swipe left if you don't want anything to do with them. Only after two users have swiped right on each other's profile pictures can they communicate via direct messaging within the app.

You can't chat with someone on Tinder if mutual interest hasn't been expressed. This added layer of protection is one reason Tinder is popular compared to other dating apps, as users only hear from those they've expressed an interest in.

How Does Tinder Connect to Facebook?

After installing the app on your smartphone or tablet, Tinder connects to your Facebook account to create a user profile. This Facebook connection allows for a faster setup and an easy way to restore your Tinder settings if you switch devices in the future.

With Facebook connected, you can import photos from that social network to Tinder to use on your profile. You can also see if you have mutual Facebook friends with other Tinder users. This can create a greater sense of trust between users and provides you with a chance to ask a friend about someone before meeting them in person.

What Sort of People Use Tinder?

Tinder users vary in age from the average single university student to people in their 80s (or older). Some may be single straight businesswomen in their 20s, while others could identify as a middle-aged gay man.

The social dating app is used by adults (18+) of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations and is also available in over 40 different languages and in most major markets around the globe.

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Make Your First Photo All You

Person taking a selfie

Jonathan Storey / Getty Images

That photo with your three best friends taken at last year's Christmas party may be a great photo of you and your buddies, but it may sabotage your Tinder experience if you use it as your primary profile picture.

Tinder users decide if they like someone within seconds of viewing their primary photo. If it isn't clear who the profile belongs to, they may swipe left (that's a 'no') and move to the next person.

You should be the only person in your primary photo. If you want to show off your friends and family, add those photos to your gallery for interested parties to scroll through after you have their attention with your amazing main pic. It's best to exclude pictures of your super-hot best friend. Tinder is about comparing people to each other, and you don't want someone viewing your profile and thinking of someone else.

Don't: Try to be funny or clever by using a photo of a dog, stuffed toy, or sunset. These types of photos make your profile look like a spam/fake account.

Do: Connect Tinder to your Instagram account. This displays several of your Instagram photos on your Tinder profile. It's a great way to show more aspects of your personality.

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Double-Check Your Gender Settings

Confused person in a cap looking at iPhone

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One of the reasons that Tinder is a popular dating tool is because it allows for a customizable experience. Any gender can search for any gender. A common problem is that many users are unaware of the gender and search options and find themselves playing in the wrong ballpark.

One reason for this problem is that a Tinder account's gender is based on the connected Facebook account. Some people either keep this ambiguous or don't fill in their profile completely. A gender is needed for Tinder to function correctly, so make sure your Facebook profile is complete.

To customize who you search for in Tinder, open the search settings from within the app and choose the gender. Checking the male box in the settings means that you'll be searching for men. Checking female will make the app search for women. If you're bisexual, change the setting to browse users of each gender. Even after switching options, you can still communicate with those you've previously matched with.

Don't: Be secretive on Tinder. Most people will swipe left on you in favor of someone who's forthcoming with who they are and what they want.

Do: Take the time to complete your Facebook and Tinder profile settings.

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Keep Your Profile a Happy Place

Person being yelled at on the phone

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While it can be tempting to vent your frustrations on your profile ("Why can't I match with anyone? What's wrong with this app?"), doing so makes you look angry and unapproachable.

Your Tinder profile should be where you present to the world your best self. Think of it as an opening sentence in an introduction. No one likes the person who dives into a rant the second they meet someone.

Some ideal things to mention on your Tinder profile are your hobbies and your job, what sort of food you like, and what languages you speak. It can also be a good idea to write down what you're looking for on Tinder. Are you searching for casual dating, or do you feel like it's time to settle down? Either is fine, but the more information you share, the less time you'll waste with users who are after different things, and the easier it will be for others to begin a conversation with you.

Don't: Quote poetry. It's too intense and can come across as creepy. Also, avoid posting your phone number or physical address.

Do: Use emoji. Your Tinder profile character count is limited, so communicate information with emoji to save space. Are you someone who only dates non-smokers? Use the No Smoking emoji. Love surfing? Use the surfing emoji.

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Update When Traveling

Businessperson on a business trip checking an iPhone on a train

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Tinder works by matching users with others who are geographically near, which can cause trouble when traveling for leisure or business. For example, if you're on holiday in Hawaii, Tinder shows you other users in Hawaii and not from back home in New York.

This can be fine if you're looking for some casual dating while traveling. However, it could cause frustration with locals looking to date someone long term who lives in their neighborhood. A popular solution to this is to update your profile when you travel with something like, "New Yorker holidaying in Hawaii for two weeks." This makes sure everyone is on the same page and provides interested parties with a great conversation starter. "Do you want someone to show you around?"

Don't: Forget to update your profile if you open the Tinder app during a trip. Avoid mentioning your hotel room number or AirBNB address. Safety first.

Do: List your travel dates and cities on your Tinder profile. This is a common practice for users who travel a lot. It can be an effective way to make contacts before your plane departs.

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Got Kids? Own It

Single parent with two children looking at iPhone

Thanasis Zovoilis / Getty Images

Many single parents may feel nervous about telling potential dates about their children because they fear their kids will be seen as extra baggage. Having children can be a positive for those who can't have kids due to their age, medical reasons, or sexuality.

Besides, it's better to be upfront about major life factors like children. Being a parent is an amazing accomplishment that you should be proud of. You could even use it as an interesting conversation starter.

Don't: Hide your parental status. Honesty is the best policy.

Do: Mention your children briefly on your profile. Something like "Mother of two wonderful kids" is all that's needed. Post photos of yourself with your kids, but make sure you include some photos of just yourself. You don't want to give the impression that you don't have room in your life for anyone else.

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