When I moved to San Diego, I made a promise to myself to spend the first six months focusing on improving myself, making friends, and exploring the city. After that, maybe I’d venture back into the world of dating. Back in Syracuse, being on Tinder wasn’t something you openly talked about. By my age, most girls I knew were in serious relationships with their high school sweetheart, planning a wedding, or ready to pop out a second kid. I’ll be honest, dating in your mid to late 20’s is hard. Like your last 2 minutes on the StairMaster hard.
About a month into moving here, my curiosity got the best of me and I downloaded Tinder. After a while, I noticed there was a theme. The guys mostly fell into 3 categories: stoner surfers, doesn’t own a shirt, and Where’s Waldo. During my time of adding, deleting, and maybe adding it again while I was bored, I’ve learned a thing or two worth sharing.
- DO use an up-to-date picture: Make sure all of the pictures you use are clear and were taken within the last year. I know that most guys aren’t into selfies or posing for pictures but the grainy shot of you with frosted tips and a puka shell necklace isn’t doing either of us any favors. Also, be sure to have at least one picture of you alone. It’s not fun trying to guess who’s who in a Where’s Waldo-like situation.
- DON’T openly stalk on social media or in person: Ok, this is creepy. Just don’t do it. If you need to stalk, do it in the background like a regular creeper. I’ve had people that I never matched with or saw on the app add/message me on Facebook or approach me in person and pretend to guess where they know me from. If we didn’t connect, it was for a reason. Just let it go buddy.
- DO jump right in: To meeting, that is. Texting for days can get stale really fast. Make an effort to meet in person in the next few days after matching. Many people can seem one extremely witty over text and have the personality of a door knob in person.
- DON’T give your number out: Wait until at least after you meet them and can determine whether or not they will abuse it. It’s easy to delete the app and wash your hands of it if you lose interest. It’s not as easy when they have your phone number and can text you creepy pictures of themselves with their cats at 3am.
- DO open up your distance range: If you only stick to matches within 5-10 miles, you might as well just save your thumb strength and hit up a local bar. Keep it under 30 miles but definitely venture past 10. You never know who you might meet!
- DON’T be rude: If someone messages you, at least reply once. That takes a lot of guts to send the first message, just like it does when walking up to someone at a bar. Also, you never know if you’ll ever bump into this person at a job, a local hangout, or through a mutual friend.
Most importantly, have fun. If you moved to a new city, you’re there to experience new things and make memories. Settling down shouldn’t be the end all, be all as it is for many in their 20’s. Focus on making now the best of your life instead of the rest of your life.
What are a few tips you have for navigating the swipe life in a big city?