The Art of the Swipe

Kim Hopkin '19
Columns Editor

Fall means Pumpkin Spice Lattes, cozy sweaters, football, and cuffing season—yes, the inevitable search for a relationship before the cold weather and love-life inquiries at family gatherings. But between lengthy reading assignments and softball games, we’re all strapped for time. It only makes sense that we, therefore, search for the most efficient methods to complete all tasks—even dating.1 These days, there are too many dating apps and websites to count, but my favorite for speed and overall results is the original—Tinder. Not the world’s best Tinderella/Tinder-fella? No worries, I’ve got your back.2 Success on Tinder can mean happiness for a moment or a lifetime; you just need to decide what you want from the app and follow simple instructions. Please note that the following advice is not all-inclusive, nor is it black letter law.

You want to find a friend with benefits:

First of all, congratulations on recognizing that you shouldn’t subject anyone else to the mess that is you. Or, for deciding on what you deem a more enlightened, less monogamous lifestyle. Congrats either way because, if you follow the guidelines, you’re about to have a lot of fun. 

First rule of using Tinder for its intended purpose: know your angles. You want to post photos of yourself that showcase your best physical assets. This is priority numero uno. If you secretly hit the gym every morning and have an eight-pack, this is not the time to hold back. Ladies, channel Kim K., use your fridge lighting if necessary, and put your best out there.3 You don’t need to be the hottest person on the app—you just need to be the hottest one who responds above a monosyllabic level. 

If you don’t want to leave anything to chance, I would suggest adding a quote in the About Me section. Preferably something you would feel comfortable yelling out loud at a party. Also, if you don’t want to waste your time declining coffee dates, then I strongly suggest stating your intentions upfront in this section.4 Have fun, and swipe away, my darling!

You want to find a relationship:

Well, congratulations on having your life together enough to consider a relationship. Or maybe your life isn’t together at all, but you recognize that everyone needs love. Either way, you’ve signed up for the road less traveled on Tinder—the search for committed monogamy. 

Your photos should display your personality and be properly clothed. While one or two group photos can be included,5 we should still be able to pick you out easily. Otherwise, we think you are trying to convince us that you’re actually your cute friend—and relationships shouldn’t start with lies. When I swipe, I look at the About Me section for a few hints about your personality. Be aware that you are actively talking to people you are interested in with this section! A quick statement like, “If you want to know about me, ask!” can be a turn-off.6

Including your Instagram can add some legitimacy to your profile as long as you’ve maintained a decently curated aesthetic.7 When you swipe, resist the urge to swipe right on people who’ve set up profiles described in the first section. This isn’t because they’re bad people; it’s because you’d be wasting your time convincing someone that they want a relationship when they don’t. I have faith that you’ll find someone who WANTS to be in a relationship—WITH YOU. 

Unlike those who search for “friends,” your work is just beginning when you get a match. Through possibly the least scientific survey conducted, I’ve concluded that relationships start best when the man is the first to engage in a conversation.8 So, men, think of an opener that will evoke a positive response. While overbearing compliments are creepy, a sincere compliment that doesn’t use the words “cutie” or “lil mama” can be effective. The .gif function can also help show your sense of humor when used within reason.9 I recommend setting up a date within two days to ensure that you won’t have to hire Nev to get to the bottom of why it’s been five years and you still haven’t met your fiancé. Congrats! You already seem so happy it makes me want to puke. 

You want to find your future spouse – right. now. 

Exit Tinder. Click and hold the app until all the apps start to wiggle. Click the small x in the upper left corner. Your chances of happiness have just doubled, if not tripled. 

But don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging. Relocate to a public area, and engage in an activity that interests you.10 When you find someone who strikes your fancy, and it’s appropriate,11 start a low-threat conversation. Asking someone about their opinion on a topic can garner real dialogue that makes the other person feel like you’re interested without being creepy. This is an iterative process, and you won’t find your spouse right away. But when you do, you’ll be a lot happier and won’t have to brainstorm lies about how you met to tell your parents—win! I’ll see you at your wedding!12


1 Or desperate attempts to date.

2 One-on-one app tutoring costs one free library coffee. What can I say? I love love! 

3 Well, not everything. Save SOMETHING for the imagination because you are literally posting these photos on the internet. 

4 #HereForAGoodTimeNotALongTime works really well for my friends. 

5 “Having friends means I won’t have to entertain you seven nights a week!”

6 “Why did I spend the half a second to click on your picture and read it? This guy is already wasting my time” – LEFT SWIPE.

7 If it’s all just bro memes, I’d suggest deleting the entire account, but at the very least don’t attach it to your dating profile. 

8 All of my gay friends are already in perfect relationships that didn’t use Tinder, so I’m afraid I don’t know the etiquette required. 

9 My ex-boyfriend sent me 10 .gifs in a row that formed a story and a Tupac quote – I mostly responded to get him to stop. So, if she’s the one you want, a creative – you may get lucky. 

10 Drinking counts.

11 If you find yourself yelling from a sidewalk at a stranger—stop. Not appropriate. In fact, if you have to ask, “Is this appropriate?” Spoiler alert: it’s not.

12 If you find yourself yelling from a sidewalk at a stranger—stop. Not appropriate. In fact, if you have to ask, “Is this appropriate?” Spoiler alert: it’s not.