In this article, I’ll share the fundamentals for getting results with dating apps (say, from Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, or others). This will include some techniques you can use today to quickly start getting better results with girls online.
Fundamentals of Dating App Success
First, let’s start with the basics. You need to get these fundamentals down to consistently get results on dating apps. What are those fundamentals? Great pictures and a compelling bio, of course.
The bottom line is that girls can be really picky on dating apps. That’s because there are a lot more guys on the apps than girls. If you talk to even an average looking girl, you’ll find that maybe half of her swipes turn into matches. Meanwhile, even as a really good looking guy, you might find only 10% of your swipes turn into matches.
For these reasons, you have to stand out. And let’s face it. Tinder and similar apps are very superficial. Girls choose whether to swipe on you based on your pics and sometimes your bio.
How to Take a Great Tinder Photo
First and foremost, you need to get your Tinder profile pictures on point. This comes down to getting photos that follow three key rules.
1. Good Quality
Your picture should be of decent quality. It should not be grainy or pixelated. Ideally, you want a quality DSLR camera and good lighting. Look at the difference between the two pictures below. One was taken with a regular phone camera without attention to lighting. The other was taken with a quality DSLR camera and perfect lighting.
Bad camera & lighting vs. good
2. You Look Good
The picture should be the most attractive version of you possible. Don’t use a photo with a weird facial expression, poor posture, bad outfit, or poor grooming. You are the star of the picture, clearly visible. Take a look at these two pictures of me, both shot within minutes of each other with the same equipment. On the left, I look scrounged over and display poor body language. My eyes are half-open, and I’m looking down, and appear timid and depressed. Now contrast that to the photo on the right where I look attractive, confident, and intense.
You want to look like the image on the right
3. Natural, Not Posed
Remember to consider how “natural” your picture looks. The more it looks like you didn’t take the picture or had it taken on purpose, the better. You want to look like you were just living life, and someone crept up on you with a camera and took a snap of you being you. It’s a little bit of a “catch-22” since you want a high-quality photo yet still feel like it “just happened.” However, if you take enough pictures, you should find a few like this. Look at the difference between the two photos below. Both were taken during the same photoshoot with the same camera. However, the one to the right looks much more natural.
Posing = stiff, unnatural look. Go for an unposed look
If you’re still not sure, here are more examples of great online dating photos for men.
After you’ve got great pictures, you need to create a great Tinder bio. This is secondary to your profile photos, without which everything else is a waste of time.
Craft a Successful Bio
1. Use Screening Techniques
You can screen mildly by throwing an innocuous sexual joke or an explicit one. I’ve tried everything from not screening at all to having a very explicit 50 Shades of Grey-style bio.
I have found that even though it may sound counterintuitive, the more you sexually screen, the more girls are serious about meeting up.
However, in the past few years, Tinder has become more politically correct. The app no longer lets you be too hardcore sexual in your bio, so it’s good to opt for a middle of the road compromise.
2. Elicit Curiosity So She Messages First
If a girl messages you first, it’s significantly more likely to lead to sex than if you message her first. Those are the odds we’ve seen. For that reason, it makes sense to have a hook in your bio, something that makes it easy for her to think of something to message you first with. I have the word “dominant” in my bio. That always makes girls curious.
3. Demonstrations of Higher Value
This is a big one. On the one hand, you don’t want to come off as if you are trying too hard to list your accomplishments (to qualify or try to impress her). On the other hand, if you can slip in demonstrations of higher value (DHVs) in a subtle, non-try hard way, you will get points.
For instance, my bio DHVs me in a few specific ways: it shows that I am funny, witty, well-traveled, a good writer and that I am bold and sexually confident. Sexual experience and confidence can create comfort and open girls up more sexually to you.
Here is an example of my bio:
See how it hits on all three points? If you follow these instructions, you will have a Tinder profile superior to most of your competitors.
7 Steps to Have Good Text Game
Ok, so you’ve got the fundamentals down. You’ve got a solid Tinder / Hinge / Bumble / etc. profile. So what’s next?
The last, and the most important part, is having good text game. Guys with good text game can build investment and attraction with girls who aren’t giving them the time of day (yes, despite popular opinion, it is VERY possible to get a girl attracted over text game). And I see guys with bad text game ruin interactions all the time that were almost guaranteed to turn into a lay.
So what does good text game look like? Here are 7 rules you can follow to improve your Tindering skills.
1. Start with a simple, uncomplicated opening message (and avoid pickup lines).
Guys get way too carried away with sending silly, overcomplicated pickup lines (just look at the Tinder subreddit). This leaves them looking way too invested in the conversation (read: lack of abundance). The goal of your opener is really simple: to get her to reply. I came up with the simple yet effective “Hey trouble”, and even though this and similar variations are now used by guys everywhere, it can still be effective. For more ideas, we recently did an experiment to find the best Tinder openers.
2. Take a minute and think about your message before you hit send.
Guys often get caught up in the excitement and quickly send a text reply to a girl. Then, they think it over (or worse, overthink it), and decide the text they sent was suboptimal. They end up double texting, to correct their message, back off from what they said, etc. Girls subconsciously read all kinds of bad things out of this kind of double texting. 99% of the time it’s better to be stuck with a single suboptimal message than it is to double text her. So, take the time to think about your messages before you type them out and hit send.
3. Say what you need to say in the shortest, simplest way possible.
One big beginner mistake I see is guys who make their responses too wordy. As you’re learning text game, the more you say, the bigger the risk that you slip up and say something suboptimal. When you’re planning your reply, think about the most efficient way to say it. Here’s a simple example that shows the difference:
You: [A very strong sext to her]
Her: “Well I’m quite a brat. You sure you can handle me?”
You (sub-optimal lengthy reply, which can subconsciously show a lack of confidence): “Of course. I’ve put lots of brats like you in their place in my time”
You (short reply showing total confidence): “Yes.”
4. Always keep the conversation moving in the direction of the date.
This is another huge beginner mistake I see – meandering conversations with absolutely no point to them. The girl eventually stops responding because she moved on, and the guy can’t figure out what he did wrong. Every text you send must have a purpose. You can think of it almost as a game of chess – you should be thinking not just about your next play, but a few steps ahead. Ultimately, the final play is getting her to agree to a date with you. You should have a framework in your head about what the entire path from opener to date looks like. We’ve shared a simple framework on how to talk to girls on Tinder that’s a great starting place.
5. Take advantage of opportunities to showcase your value.
Showing your value is also crucial to success with online dating. I often see guys miss huge opportunities – or worse, lower their value to the girl – at obvious opportunities in conversations. Here’s one simple example:
Her: “How’s your day?”
You (Missed Opportunity): “Pretty good. You?”
You (Lowering Your Value): “Boring. I’ve just been playing my Xbox all day. You?”
You (Raising Your Value): “Amazing! Just finished a workout, looking nice and jacked for our date.”
6. Don’t let the conversation get boring and platonic.
Women are on dating apps to…surprise…DATE someone! By letting the conversation get too platonic and boring, you’re going to end up in the friendzone, and the girl will move onto one of her other matches.
7. Phone numbers matter a lot less than you might think.
In general, guys obsess way too much about getting numbers from women. Sorry to break it to you, but a number close really doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. Getting a number is valuable in the sense that it’s a logistical step toward setting up a date, and it solicits a bit more investment from her than just being a name in her dating app, but that’s about it. You should definitely ask for her number, but that shouldn’t be a focus in your online dating, it should just be a natural step in your overall framework as I write about above.
Leveling Up Your Tinder Results
Now more than ever, during a pandemic, online dating is the best way to meet women. If you implement the fundamentals and follow the 7 steps to good text game, you will be in a strong position to get the most out of Tinder and other apps.