Great news: you’ve matched with an actual person on Tinder! But before you get too excited, you have to first figure out how to proceed safely.
You need to make sure your potential partner isn’t a creep. Proceed cautiously, with your own safety always at the forefront of your mind.
Here’s what to do when you match with someone on Tinder.
I Got a Match on Tinder: Now What?
Your first step is to send a follow-up message, but what do you say?
1. Be Realistic About Your Expectations
Before embarking on any sort of relationship—be it a long-term thing, a one-night-only affair, or just for a few quick messages—be aware that you’re unlikely to find “The One” straight away. Heck, only seven percent of men message after matching—and many users aren’t even single!
Yes, they swiped right, so they like what they see. You do too. But there are up to 1.6 billion swipes every single day, so keep a cool head and carry on with realistic expectations.
2. How to Start a Conversation on Tinder
The Chat function on Tinder is available only when you match with someone. So what should your opening gambit be?
You’ll probably have heard a lot of cheesy Tinder pickup lines while dating. However, you should feel no pressure to ask if they’re a parking ticket because they have “fine” written all over them. Seriously, don’t do that.
Equally, don’t start with “Hi” and then leave it there.
Start a conversation like a normal human being. Look at their photos and bio and find something worth asking. If they’re on vacation in their profile picture, find out where they went and what they did. Quirky hobby? Did you go to the same school? Where do they work?
Just learn what you can about the person you’ve matched with. It’s that simple.
Don’t hype this up too much: it’s not as big of a deal as many make out. If things are going well, you’ll only need to ask a couple of questions anyway—one of which might be about meeting up.
We Matched on Tinder: Should I Switch to Another Messaging App?
Despite Tinder having its own Chat function, you might be asked to swap to a different messaging app. It’s a reasonable request, but here’s what you should keep in mind.
1. What Are Your Match’s Intentions?
Why is your match asking you to swap apps, when there’s a perfectly good instant messager as part of Tinder? You do have to question their intentions, but in most cases, it’s a fair enough request.
A lot of people just find it simpler to conglomerate their messaging into one app. However, it’s also a sign that both parties want to move ahead with the relationship. It’s gone beyond the initial meet-and-greet; you’ve now swapped phone numbers.
And this is where you’ve got to be careful. It is, for all intents and purposes, the point of no return. If you’re chatting to someone on Tinder and discover they’re a weirdo, you can unmatch. Once you’ve swapped numbers, it’s a bit more difficult to back out.
It’s not impossible though. You just need to learn how to block phone numbers.
2. Should You Send Adult Photos and Videos to Your Match?
A further advantage of other instant messengers is that you can exchange photos.
Your new Tinder match might simply ask to see pictures of your dog or your latest vacation… or they might ask for something a little more adult.
Don’t send nude content to anyone!
This can lead to all sorts of problems, most notably sextortion—literally extortion through sexual material (i.e. using embarrassing images as leverage against you).
It happens to high-profile celebrities and it can happen to you too. Imagine how you’d feel if such material were seen by your family and friends. These images could be used to solicit further pictures or videos, or even scam you out of money.
If you’re not sure whether the image you’re sending is risqué, ask yourself if you’d be happy for your best friend or sibling to see it. No? Then don’t send it.
No matter how trustworthy your new Tinder match may appear, don’t send NSFW content of any description to anyone.
3. Don’t Trust Links
Sextortion has evolved. It can dominate your entire life by installing malicious software onto your device. Having leverage against you is bad enough. Now imagine the cybercriminals having access to your entire contacts list.
Such software can be downloaded via links.
Let’s say your Tinder date suggests you download WhatsApp or a lesser-used instant messenger like WeChat. For ease, they send you a link to the App Store or to an official-looking site. Do not click on it.
You don’t need their link: you can search on the App Store yourself. You can look online for reviews and more information. By clicking on a link sent to you, you’re risking your own security.
Sadly, not everyone on Tinder is looking for love. Some Tinder users are scammers, and some Tinder users are marketers, so don’t fall for a fake profile.
4. Which Messaging Apps Can You Trust?
Stick with the most popular instant messaging apps. You should be immediately suspicious if the person you’ve matched with suggests moving to a platform neither you nor anyone in your friend group has heard of.
There are some solid alternatives to WhatsApp, but nine times out of 10, you’ll want to use WhatsApp. Millions of people trust it. Telegram has a similar interface, making that another solid option.
Before downloading a new app, you should certainly do some research. Check out reviews away from the App Store (as some of these can be falsified), and factor in the negatives of each service. Even Wikipedia could help by advising you about histories, reputation, and download numbers.
5. Should I Connect With My Match on Social Media?
There are three instant messagers we’re overlooking: Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Actual meaningful conversations are more difficult to achieve on the latter, but plenty add their Tinder matches on the other two platforms.
Twitter limits your characters, but that shouldn’t be a huge problem. You can split longer chats between many messages. Just make sure you do it all privately—there’s no need for all your followers to see who you’re chatting to.
The same goes for Facebook, although you can ramble on for however long you want there (we do advise against it, however).
Okay, so what are the pros and cons of these?
Most importantly, you can see what the other person is actually like. Forget the pictures on Tinder: they’re chosen purely to get more swipes. On social media, you can flick through tagged photos, discover what they’ve liked, and go through past statuses.
Don’t get obsessive, and don’t forget that we often project a fake version of ourselves online too.
Nonetheless, this is a slightly more accurate gauge than Tinder,which isn’t to say that’s a good thing. Indeed, it can be both a pro and a con.
So too can the fact that, by adding them on social media, they can learn more about you. It’s a two-way street. Make no mistake about it, you’re surrendering your privacy too. Only take this step once you’re sure about the other person.
In fact, you should probably only do this after going on a date or two together.
Meeting Up With Your Tinder Match
This is where it’s all been heading: going on a date.
It’ll probably come up in conversation early on. There’s no point wasting time, right? But it’s nerve-wracking. Still, this must be the eventual outcome of joining Tinder, so where should you meet?
Naturally, go somewhere you can talk. The cinema is no good. An eatery of some description is likely your best bet.
The important thing is this: Make sure you meet in a public place.
Don’t be paranoid: it’s just a standard precaution. This person is a stranger. It doesn’t matter that you matched with them, or that you’ve been chatting for a while. It doesn’t matter if you think you already know this individual well. They are a stranger.
You wouldn’t meet a stranger somewhere you can’t be seen, right? Common sense is important, Tinder or no Tinder.
As for the destination of subsequent dates, that’s up to you. Just don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, especially if pressure is applied. Keeping things public also keeps you safe.
Tell people where you’ll be, too. And if things don’t go according to plan, have an escape route in mind—even if it’s just the front door.
A Match Made in Heaven?
Finding love is important, but your safety should always be your number one priority.
Many people enter relationships after going on dating apps. And while you should feel happy that you have matched with someone, be careful not to lose your head. You might have signed up to Tinder with the best intentions, but not everyone does.
Here are Tinder scams, like the verify account scam, that you should look out for, along with advice on how to avoid them.
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