Tinder Etiquette: 15 Tinder Rules You Shouldn’t Avoid

New to Tinder? Or just not sure how to navigate your way through what to do and not to do on Tinder? No worries. Here’s the Tinder rulebook for you.

Tinder Etiquette and rules
Credit: Seen at Flocku

It may seem super easy, right. I mean it’s not like Tinder is rocket science. Still, there are things worth knowing. The truth is, most of us make a mistake on Tinder sooner or later and it’s good to know a few things up front to avoid it. The Tinder etiquette rulebook, in other words. 

Top 15 Tinder Etiquette & Rules to Follow in 2019:

1. Write a Profile

Credit: Zoosk

Tinder is an app that’s all about looks right? Either way, a picture tells a thousand words…

Yes and no.

The pictures are important. Use a picture of the sunset instead of yourself and you’re likely to get 0 right swipes.

But…and this is a big BUT a bio can sway someone to swipe right. If they’re on the edge, not sure, a good bio will make them swipe right.

If you’ve written a profile it’s also a sign that you gave a f*ck and actually took the time. I know people who swipe left if the profile is empty. It doesn’t matter how good the pictures are.

Inside Scoop: Read these Tips For Tinder Profile for make an irresistible profile.

2. Use Your Photos Wisely

People want to see you. That’s the first thing. Five pictures of your car, cat, or home won’t cut it.

While they want to see you, they don’t want an extreme close up where they can see your nose hair. If you aren’t artistic enough to tell a good picture from a bad one, get a friend to help you out!

  • Bathroom selfies. Seriously? Why?
  • Too many selfies? Narcissistic, much?
  • Blurry photos? The point is to be seen. Not, not to be seen.

Inside Scoop: 12 Common Tinder Profile Mistakes (I recommend you reading this article to get inside scoop of how to use photos on Tinder)

People want to get a good look at your face in different angles. They want a couple of full-body shots as well to check out your physique and if you can dress. They also want to see what your life is like — photos that reveal who you are.

Shots from your travels, a shot when dressed up for a party, another shot with your friends, a shot of you doing something you like, like cooking, that kind of thing. They need to decide whether to swipe right or left, and to do so, they want to see as much of your personality as possible.

3. Don’t Swipe Right on People Who You Don’t Intend to Talk To

Yes, it’s an ego boost to see who swiped right on you. I get it. But if you need an ego boost, go see a psychologist, don’t use Tinder.

We all swipe right a bit too eagerly at times, carried away, or thinking we should give someone a chance. It happens. Just don’t make a habit out of swiping right on people who you know you don’t want to meet.

4. Don’t Get Stuck Online

Maybe you want to be sure, before you meet someone, that you have something in common and that the date won’t be a total waste of your time. Fine. But the truth is, until you meet someone, you won’t know if there’s chemistry. Send a few texts back and forth, but then, if they seem capable of some form of banter, meet up with them.

Remember that some people are terrible at texting — that doesn’t mean they’re terrible in real life.

Personally, I have very little patience with people who want to text forever. I’ve just learned that you never know until you meet. So I find it a waste of my time to text someone for weeks on end before meeting up.

5. Don’t Schedule a Three Hour Dates

A first meeting can end up being great, or horrible. So plan on doing something easy-going that takes about 40 minutes. No three-course meals, in other words.

We have other articles about what a good first date is, but basically, something fun, in public (never at home, or in some desolate place), that gives you something to talk about (like meeting in a quirky place, or bowling).

Inside Scoop: 10 Best & Worst First Tinder Date Ideas

Avoid expensive things too — you don’t know what their economy looks like and you don’t want to invest too much money until you know they’re worth it either.

7. Be Up Front About What You Want

People use Tinder for different reasons. Don’t waste your time on people who want something different from you and don’t mislead people. Really. Don’t. You have no clue what someone’s going through in their life, so if they’re seeking friendship, or a relationship, don’t go out with them a couple of times, bed them and ghost them. It’s such poor manners. Someone once did that to me just as my gran was dying. It was really lovely. Not.


If you’re on Tinder just for Hookups, then make sure people are aware of it.

The easiest way to ensure you get what you want is to put it in your profile. And when you start talking to them, ask them what they want out of Tinder. Most people don’t necessarily know, as you have to date someone to find out what kind of chemistry you have, but we all know what we’d like in an ideal world. I.e. if we’re after casual dating, hookups, or serious relationships.  

8. Read the Profiles Before You Swipe

I don’t know how many people have asked me questions to which the answer could be found in my profile. I either stop talking to them, or reply that they can find the answer in my profile. If they don’t even care enough to read a few sentences about me, why would I care to date them?

9. Be Polite

When you write to people, check your spelling and grammar. That’s the first thing. For many people it’s a huge “they don’t care” if you don’t take the time to write decently.

Secondly, treat people with respect. If you want to talk to someone, then pay attention. Be interested. If you don’t have a genuine wish to talk to someone, then don’t get into a conversation with them. Or if you realize it’s not for you, leave.

10. Be Ready to Move On

On Tinder, people are having conversations with several people at the same time. The person they find the most interesting, will get the most attention. People will start talking to you at times and then realize it didn’t click, or they found someone they liked better.

It’s OK. Don’t get upset. Know it’s part of Tinder. There are plenty more fish in the sea, so move on.

11. No Naked Pics

If you get someone’s number, don’t send them naked pics, or d#ck pics. Seriously.

Think about it this way: do you expect someone who just got your number to tell you they love you? No? Then why send them a picture of you naked?

It may sound like a stupid comparison, but think about it: you’re jumping the gun. Going from zero to hero in a few seconds.

There’s supposed to be a build-up to s#x. If you’re both looking for hook-ups and you’re chatting and things get heated, that’s the time for naked pics.

And you should probably ask before you send them. Make them beg first. Increases the tension more.

Also, be careful. People keep the images you send. As a general rule, meet people before you send them photos like that…

12. Don’t Ghost People

If you meet someone for a couple of dates in real life, don’t ghost them. Just tell them you don’t want to see them anymore. Fair enough if you meet once and never message each other again, but if you go out more than once, then they deserve an explanation before you disappear.

Insider Tip: If you Ghost a lot of people then Tinder Algorithm will punish your profile.

Just have some manners. Think about how you’d want your kids to be treated when they start dating. It’s so easy to send one text to tell someone that you enjoyed hanging out, but you don’t think there’s enough chemistry to pursue it further. Done.

13. Don’t Be Too Impatient

Tinder is not on the top of most people’s to-do list. Sure, we’re all excited about meeting new people and dating, but everyday life with all that it entails, including friends and family who have known us for years, come first.

If someone doesn’t reply straight away, don’t unmatch them. They may just have a busy couple of days.

rules of tinder

If someone is consistently flaky without giving an explanation, that’s when it’s time to unmatch them.

14. Don’t Be the Flaky One

On the flip side of the coin, if you’ve engaged someone in a conversation, follow through. If you’re busy, tell them so. If you realize they aren’t for you, move on instead of wasting their time. 

15. In Closing

Human relationships are precious. Sure, everyone on Tinder is a stranger, but that’s no excuse for treating them badly, misleading them, or wasting their time. If you want to live in a world where people are nice to each other, work on being nice to others.

Because those strangers may become friends. And even if they won’t, how you treat them will affect how they treat others. It would be a lot more fun hooking up with people if everyone was nice to each other.

Have manners. Be polite. Take a genuine interest in the people who you engage with. And be up front about what you want out of something.

Maria Montgomery

Maria Montgomery

Writer. Director. Social Entrepreneur. Change maker. Foodie. Creative nutcase. Potentially funny.

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