Everyone is talking about Tinder, the dating app for your phone, these days. The concept is simple. How it works: you upload some pictures and a few words about yourself, set age and distance parameters for potential mates, and away you go! You’ll be presented with a massive number of women’s pictures. Swipe right for yes, left for no. If you both say yes, you can message each other through the app, exchange phone numbers and go from there.1. **PICTURES MATTER **
It’s hard to have a personality on Tinder (though see the next section: “Let Your Pictures Tell a Story”). So your pictures and physical appearance matter a lot more.
Test out different photos on different days to see what gets you the best responses. Consider hiring a professional photographer.2. LET YOUR PICTURES TELL A STORY
A couple of stale headshots will tell her nothing about you—and that’s a missed opportunity. Include pictures of yourself with friends, doing an activity you enjoy and a shot of you in an interesting situation. These more specific images will tell her a little bit more about you.
If you have a nice body, show it off—but not in a bathroom mirror shot. Have a photo of yourself on the beach or playing sports or otherwise doing something natural that isn’t “posing for my Tinder photo.”3. **WHEN IN DOUBT, SWIPE RIGHT**
Because of how Tinder works, it’s actually most efficient not to look at any of the women’s pictures or profiles and just hit “yes” for all of them as quickly as you can. Why? Because you’re only able to message the ones you matched with. So there’s no point deciding whether you like someone before you know if they’ve matched with you.
In other words, even though you’re “supposed to” look at each profile and decide if it’s a match, it’s actually most efficient to mass-approve everyone, see who matches you and then decide if you’re interested.
I imagine at some point Tinder will put something in its algorithm to change this, but for now it’s the most effective strategy.4. **STRIKE FAST**
Message her right away.
If she’s even moderately attractive, she is matching with tons of guys. She’s going to be attracted to a lot of them. She probably doesn’t have time to spend all day on Tinder—usually women seem to pop in here and there for a few minutes.
If you don’t get a conversation going quickly, you’re going to end up buried deep in her Tinder list and will never be as interesting as whatever new eye candy pops up for her every time she opens the app.
What to say? If there’s something in her profile that you want to comment on, go for it. But don’t over-fixate. If she’s wearing a New Orleans Saints shirt in one of her pictures and you just got back from New Orleans, say that. But skip the three paragraphs about how Drew Brees is every bit as good as Peyton Manning.
I also like to put the woman’s name in my first message. If there’s nothing in her pictures or profile to relate to, I’ll start with a generic question like, “Hey Katie, thanks for the add. How are you handling the heat today?” I usually don’t get into the playful, attraction-building texts that made The Ultimate Guide to Phone and Text Game so famous until she’s responded at least once or twice.5. **GET OFF THE DAMN APP**
Find the first convenient excuse to move from Tinder to real texting, or else your conversation ends as soon as one of you closes the app. It’s also psychologically important to get her to treat you as someone who is part of her life instead of as just one profile among many in her Tinder match list.
Tell her “let’s text” (and include your number) once you reach the first emotional high point, like her laughing at a joke you made, or give her a compliment.6. **ENCOURAGE A MEETING**
This isn’t like when you meet a woman at a bar or club and she’s attracted to you, so you can draw things out a bit or let her chase. She’s never met you. No matter how awesome your text messages, you’re not building attraction on any solid foundation. You need to meet.
Turning texts into dates is a whole book in itself. You can find some great posts in the Phone/Text Game section of The Attraction Forums (free), as well as the how-to books Date! (by Nick Hoss) and The Ultimate Guide to Phone and Text Game (by Nick Braddock). But for a sentence of two’s worth of advice—assume the sell (make it a question of where and when, not if), and don’t plan ahead if you can avoid it. The same day or the next day is ideal.
Nick Savoy is the President of Love Systems and a frequent contributor to Playboy. Follow him on Twitter @LS_Savoy.