With today’s tech advancements and fast-paced life, it is no wonder that apps like Tinder have emerged and changed the face of dating for singletons around the globe.
What has caught my attention in the past four years of my using Tinder and similar apps in various locations, is that different countries seem to have different approaches to the app, their expectations of it and what they use it for. Americans tend to use it primarily for hookups, the British for general dating, I’ve been told that South Africans use it to find husbands/wives and Egyptians are, well, confused – they are using it for everything!
Swiping through the sea of profiles I am presented with on the app in Cairo, I can’t seem to understand why so many men have images of quotes, flowers or even verses from the Quran instead of photos of themselves. Have they missed the point of Tinder? Quick 3-sec judgments based on an individual’s photo and if one’s attention span lasts long enough for interest to be sparked then maybe their bio will be checked out. So not uploading a photo of yourself feels like a cop-out, like you’ve excused yourself from the game before it has even begun.
A Good Photo Goes a Long Way – If you’ve decided to give Tinder a go, properly, then a decent photo is a good place to start. Ask for friends’ advice if you can’t decide on a couple of good photos of yourself. And please please please stay away from; group photos – even if you’ve blurred out, scribbled over or planted emojis on your friends faces, partials of your face – not that interested in your ear or jawline, photos of your kids, your wedding or nudity (it would be nice to see your face before seeing your bare derrière – or other parts of your body).
Your Bio – So most guys don’t bother reading women’s bios on their profiles and so assume that women do the same and that they don’t matter. However, newsflash, women do read them. Even if we only do so in an attempt to overcome feeling shallow at participating in this visual contest. A couple of witty lines that describe who you are and cover the basics can have our fingers switching direction when swiping. It also gives us something to base our conversation off of once we match. Please try to use actual words and not compose an entire paragraph with just emojis. It may be a skill, but not one that is much appreciated on this platform.
Honesty is the Best Policy – Don’t lie about your age – if your photo and age don’t match red flags will flare and you will probably jeopardize your chances of matching with someone. Be straightforward about what you are looking for on the app. If you are looking for a hookup, a relationship or someone to marry – say so. It will make things easier for both parties and save you from wasting time on someone who isn’t on the same page as you. Now I won’t lecture you on using Tinder if you are already married or in a relationship – but the number of married men I have seen on apps is substantial – whether I have found out they are married directly from them during conversations or accidentally or because I know them or their wives personally – get your acts together gentlemen, seriously unless you are in an ethically non-monogamous relationship – yes its a thing – and you are honest to all parties involved, stay off the app love!
Break the Silence! – Once you get a match, there is no point in not saying hello. After all the whole point of the app matches with people, you are interested in so you can talk! I personally like to think that the Tinder rule on who to start the conversation should be the second person to swipe ie if after you swipe right you immediately get the “You’ve got a match” message then you should be the one to start the conversation. Simple.
Don’t be Pushy – Once you’ve matched with someone and the conversation has started. As natural as it feels to want to arrange to swap numbers and meet after two words have been exchanged, please try to hold back. It often comes across as too eager and automatically causes us to put our guard up. Let the conversation flow naturally, it will lead to exchanging numbers – even if its just because the apps chat interface is quite limited and if you click then meeting in person will automatically be the next step. Mentioning it too early can freak your match out so timing is key here.
As hesitant, and slightly embarrassed, as I was about using Tinder back in 2015, I feel like it has become the natural progression for how to meet people in today’s fast-paced, tech-filled world. We no longer seem to be meeting people organically out and about anymore as our lives become more hectic and our attention spans shorter.
I have personally met a decent bunch of people off of Tinder – as well as not so decent disasters including one who decided he wanted to wife me within 30 mins of meeting and introduced me to random strangers as his wife! And some of those have gone on to become good friends when dating didn’t work out for whatever reason. Embrace the dating app world and give it a go, you never know what it may lead to or who!
Nadya Shanab is a Pan-African Egyptian Musician currently based in Cairo, Egypt.
She released her debut album El Mahrousa through her own record label Hamzet Wasl Records which fused Arabic and western elements and is now working on developing an Afro-Egyptian sound for her next album. She is about to release a 4 track EP in September 2019 which subtly blends African elements into her songs as a stepping stone for her new direction.
Instagram - @n_shanab Twitter - @nadyashanab