By Nate Richardson
The newest, hottest piece of buzz-worthy discourse from famed millennial dating columnist and New York icon Nate Richardson.
Determined to join the current cultural conversation—no matter how late—I finally sat down to watch Netflix’s ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ last week. And although I only made it through a single episode before deciding to rewatch the ‘The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement’ for the sixth time, Ms. Kondo still made enough of an impact to inspire me to start tidying up. I didn’t have the energy to sort through my entire wardrobe, but I did manage to remove several piles of dirty clothing and Chipotle receipts to reveal most of my floor. Impressed by my ability to perform this most basic cleaning task, I couldn’t help but wonder: could Ms. Kondo’s methods be applied to my romantic life?
Disclaimer: This article is meant to serve those who are using Tinder to seek dating, relationships, and meaningful connections. If you are using tinder for sex/hookups, I support and applaud you, but you may not find this article helpful.
Tinder was created as a dating app in 2012, but it’s not always used for dating in 2019. Tinder users now employ the app for finding casual sex, building a social media following, or just filling the bottomless pit of sadness inside them by seeing how many other people think they’re hot. I’m not sure how many Tinder matches you have to get before you stop weeping into your pillow nightly, but my research has shown that the limit does not exist. The following guidelines will help you #swipesmart to avoid clutter in your account, and tidy up when your matches aren’t sparking joy.
Rule 1: Avoid the Sad Swipe
Unless you were popular in high school (if so, please stop reading immediately), you are probably on an endless quest for validation to appease the 15 year-old virgin with braces that you secretly still are inside. But beware your inner sad, chunky teenager: the attention we crave from endless matches may cause us to continue swiping more rather than investing in the ones we have. When you’re feeling down, you’re more likely to swipe right on Mr. Wrong.
Rule 2: Don’t Swipe Horny
Unless you’re looking for something with no strings attached, try to avoid Tinder while you’re aroused. With sex on the brain, you won’t be able to think as clearly. It might be nice to see if that 19 year-old college student with a fondness for open mouth selfies liked you back, but she is probably too young for you (unless you are 19, in which case go ahead - also start using moisturizer before it’s too late!). Similarly, that dude visiting from Australia with 5 different pictures in underwear is undeniably hot, but he is definitely not looking for a relationship with you.
Rule 3: Stay Above the Influence
No, I don’t mean swipe sober (although that may not be a bad idea). I’m talking about the fascinating subspecies of humanity that we call “influencers.” If someone has a desire to build their following and a reasonable amount of intelligence, they have probably have realized that adding social media links to their Tinder bio gets them more followers. If the bio says “not on here a lot—check out my Instagram ” with the account conveniently tagged, this is most likely a person looking for a fan, not a partner. You may be dazzled by the beautiful pictures, but don’t get your hopes up: they don’t want your love, they want your likes.
Rule 4: Be Clear
In dating, it’s best to be clear about who you are and what you want from the get go. Tinder only allows for a few pictures and a short bio, so use them to your advantage and show your true self. If you love reading, maybe list a couple of books you’re enjoying. If you hate the outdoors, don’t pretend you’re interested in hiking. If you have a weird sense of humor, don’t shy away from it. You may attract more people by skewing neutral or catering to common interests, but remember that you’re not looking for quantity—you’re looking for someone who will love you for who you are. Maybe you look hotter in that model-y pic your photographer friend took, but your truest self is actually best captured beaming in front of a plate of nachos. Or possibly, you’re hiding your true modelesque self behind dozens of candid nacho pics! Either way, be you!
Rule 5: Tidy Up
As careful as we try to be, our Tinder accounts will undoubtedly end up full of matches that won’t lead to anything. So like Marie Kondo preaches, we must tidy up the clutter! Does each match spark joy? Was this the result of a horny, sad, or influenced swipe? Take a quick look through your matches, and if you aren’t inspired to start a conversation, thank them for their service and delete. You’ll be surprised how many of them aren’t even remotely right for you. Your future spouse could be buried under hundreds of people you swiped right on because you were bored, aroused, or just curious if someone with a face tattoo could be attracted to you.
Rule 6: Actively Engage
If you’re passionate about meeting someone on Tinder, you may have to put in more work than you think. How many times have you started a promising flirtation with someone only to forget about it when you’re overwhelmed during a busy week of work? Setting a time every day or every week to check the app, respond to your messages, and possibly do some tidying up can greatly improve your experience. If you really want to gain a meaningful relationship through this app, you’re going to actually have to communicate! Don’t be scared to make the first move—the worst that can happen is that they don’t respond. And if that’s the case, you can get rid of that clutter when you’re tidying a month later.
Ultimately, your needs as a person and Tinder user will change, and you may not always want to follow these rules. As long as it’s safe, I support anything you want to use Tinder for, whether it be having wild sex with as many people as possible, finding the love of your life, or even building your Instagram following (ugh). Just make sure you are clear and honest about your intentions. Don’t be afraid to say what you want! And when they don't spark joy, don’t hesitate to do some tidying.
Follow me on Instagram @naterichnyc because I need your attention to live!