The Biggest Mistakes You’re Making On Tinder

Tinder is becoming the new norm in dating — if that isn’t the case already. It’s becoming more and more acceptable to reveal that you met your significant other on the dating app, and many people now are using it for more than just casual hookups. The problem is, many people aren’t using it successfully. Here are our top tips on how to up your Tinder game.

As a veteran bored Tinder swiper, I see heinous mistakes committed by too many of the people who pop up in my app. Many of them came up often enough that my friends and I even concocted a drinking game for Tinder. I am, of course, writing this from a female perspective, but let’s be honest guys: you need the most help. It’s not even your fault, either. A recent study showed while men swipe right 46% of the time, women are only swiping right on a paltry 14% of their potential matches.

Against these odds, a mediocre profile could mean all the difference between getting matches or getting ignored completely. Here are the biggest mistakes you’re making in your Tinder profile.


This one should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many seemingly empty profiles exist out there. When a profile consists of a single grainy photo of a torso alongside an empty description, I’ll be swiping left without even thinking about it. Especially if you’re a man searching for women on Tinder, it’s important to put something in your bio — we want to know at least a snippet of who you are before we swipe. It doesn’t have to be too reflective either. Cats or dogs? Do you work or study? What do you do for fun?


So you don’t want too little information, sure, but too much can but just as bad. Talking about your ex is offputting on the second or third date, no one wants to know about it before you’ve even had a conversation. Don’t be too quick to brag about your bad habits, either. What might swing among your Facebook friends is unlikely to get you many right swipes in the dating game.

Picking A Terrible First Photo

Your main photo is a tricky thing — how do you entice someone to either swipe right or peruse your profile further with a single image? Well, here are a few things not to use:

Group Shots

No one wants to play ‘guess who the profile belongs to’, and it’s usually easier just to swipe past it. If you want hits, bite the bullet and make sure you’re the only one in your profile picture (though cats and dogs are acceptable photo-partners). This should go for all your photos, not just the first one — if we’re going to swipe right on you, we want to actually know who you are.

Candid Photos

While those dreamy candid shots where you think you look pretty badass/carefree/sexy can be good to include in your profile, they usually don’t make the best lead images. If you have a lead image where you’re looking at the camera (a smile helps too), then the person looking at it is more likely to feel a connection to you.

Model Shots

Again, professional photos can be great to include to show you looking your best, as a first picture they can make you look pretentious or even arrogant. Depending on how good the photo is, it could even cause potential partners to dismiss you as a non-existent bot. A casual photo will make you seem far more approachable and friendly.

Bad Quality Photos

This should go without saying, but bad quality photos make you look… well, bad. If your eyes are glowing red in the photo, don’t use it. If the photo is so dark that you can barely be seen, don’t use it. If you’re one of those people who has no photos of yourself, go take one! There’s nothing wrong with a cheeky selfie in a Tinder profile.

Faceless Photos

If your face isn’t visible in your photo, why’s it there? This includes photos where your face is mostly obscured by sunglasses/beanies/goggles/etc, photos with you in the distance and photos that are just of your torso (why). If you’re going to eventually meet up with someone in person, they’re going to see your face. Make it the first thing they see instead.


Even if you’re feeling pretty hopeless about your Tinder prospects, pity dates aren’t good for anyone. Whenever you’re tempted to write “I never have any luck on here” or “I’m not very attractive or very smart” or “all the girls who match with me turn out to be prostitutes”, remember that confidence is attractive. Fake it ’till you make it.


Seriously. Your Tinder bio only gives you so much space to sum yourself up, is it really that important to use up the space for “dicks out for Harambe”? I mean, if memes are really such an important part of your life that your partner needs to also live and breathe them then go ahead, I guess. But for most people, probably leave the memes on Facebook.

Terrible Spelling And Grammar

A recent study showed that more than 65 per cent of female respondents considered poor grammar to be a “deal breaker” when it came to dating sites. The same goes for Tinder, of course. While it’s not as easy to spell-check in the app, it’s worth looking up any spelling or grammar you’re not sure of (or even typing your proposed bio into Word) to make sure you’re not making a blunder that could cost you matches.

Pictures With Children

If the child isn’t yours, don’t include it in your profile. Of course for those single mums and dads looking for love on Tinder it’s probably a prerequisite part of your bio, but for anyone else you’re liable to turn people off before they get to the part in your bio that states “the kid isn’t mine”.

Pictures With Your Ex

Hey dude, we can totally tell that’s your ex. Totally. Including it in your profile looks pretty bad to anyone who’s trying to see you as a romantic (or sexual) partner. It looks like you’re still not over them, and no one wants to be a rebound (even on Tinder). In the same vein, don’t use photos with your ex shoddily removed or obviously cropped out. Especially don’t use photos of your ex with “this could be you” superimposed over their face.

Setting The Wrong Gender

You’d be amazed how many men come up when you set Tinder’s discovery settings to ‘women only’. Seeing as it pulls your info from Facebook, I’d imagine that a number of men had their gender set to ‘female’ as a joke, and ended up forgetting about it. Do yourself a favour and go check your Facebook settings right now.

Bonus: Mistakes You’re Making When Messaging A Match

Even once you’ve made a match, you still have to strike up a conversation and make it last long enough to get off Tinder. Here’s a few mistakes to avoid.

Pick-Up Lines

If you’re thinking about using a pick-up line, rethink it. Then rethink it again. Even if you think it’s super clever, it’s still a risk. You’ll either get a good-natured groan, or complete silence and an unmatch. Good luck.

GIF Spam

I recently discovered that GIFs were a thing in Tinder chat. Be sparing with your use of them, as cool as you think the feature is. GIFs are not a total substitute for words, especially when you should be getting to know the other person.

Being Needy

Someone hasn’t replied in an hour? As tempting as it is to meltdown, pull the plug and send a final “well, I guess you’re not interested”, try to restrain yourself. Chill out: they’re probably doing something else, or didn’t get the notification. With people having more friends on social media than ever, it can be hard to find the time to chat with everyone. Give it some time before you give up all hope.

Have you seen any common mistakes in your Tinder adventures? Tell us about it in the comments!

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