Love & relationships, Social media

To Tinder or not to Tinder


After a month or two on Tinder I can’t call myself an expert, and I also wouldn’t like to get that label at all! But I came up with some tips and ideas, especially for the men out there.

After I decided to give it a try, convinced by my best friend of course, got some tips from her on how to choose randomly, what to say about myself, etc. At first sight it looks kind of exciting to have the chance to take a look into the hundreds (or more!) of profiles this free app is constantly offering. It’s worse than publicity! You’re bombed one after the other, swiping left for a Nope (I don’t like) and swiping right for Like (it’s obvious). No matter how many profiles you are swiping one way or the other, it will continue until you drop dead.

The unusual thing about Tinder is that it’s coupled (never said better) to your own Facebook account. It has access to your pictures, your friends list, your interests and some other information. When you register yourself, directly from Facebook it automatically chooses among your pictures some of the best.. Well, not always what Tinder finds the best is the best for you! But many people don’t pay attention to this, so if they don’t even have a profile picture on their Facebook account, they also won’t have one on Tinder. And many of the pics it chooses are not really suitable for a first impression.

You can choose what are you searching for, women or men, or both. You need to configure your location settings, because the app will look into a radio of X km you want which other possible matches are closer to you. This could be really handy if you’re in a party of course. The bigger the radio distance, the more the matches you can find. The closer, then well, maybe less but you can give it a try and come back later, but be reassured, it never ends!
It’s a fact the app is not so developed yet, we can choose people from their pics and information, and filter them with the radio distance, age and if we are looking for a female, male or both. But further we need to go through the jungle of all different kind of people first in order to see the tree among the forest. It’s the way it is. I can imagine, Tinder is so smart, that it will come out with new features to filter race, religion and other things once it’s working better. Same as it happened with LinkedIn, all of sudden you needed to pay for special features such as who is seeing your profile or specific questions you may have about the right profile candidate you’re looking for. This is the coming future.
If you happen to swipe a Nope instead of a Like (this went automatically sometimes, after so much swiping left sometimes I didn’t pay much attention to who) pity, but don’t worry, the app knows that, and as a sort of ‘Deja vu’ gives you again the profile some time later. Not always the one you wanted to see back, but ok. It gives second chances at least.
You get a profile with the X for Nope and the V (something like this) for Like. In the middle there is a tiny icon of an i and that means that if you feel interested in this particular person you can first click there and read some extra information before deciding swiping for left or right. And also important, once you click the icon you also get the chance to see if this person has other pics of him/herself.
Well, well, what a surprise for me to read some of this ‘extra’ information profiles. From nothing to everything. There are people describing themselves as great adventurers, bon vivants, their height (for me that I’m just 1, 55 m imagine how useful this was), interests, telling stories about why are they there (as if we really cared about it), if they have kids or not, if they smoke or not, making wish lists as if they were asking Sinterklaas new presents for behaving good. Such impression gave me this. Then later I wanted to change all the information I have written myself! Almost in panic I felt to see that my profile was not interesting at all.. yeah, right, I like museums (my friend said it was boring, so I decided not to say it), concerts, music, party (but eh, don’t think I’m a party animal, I’m just a dancing queen!).. What else.. I was getting nervous by this, it wasn’t so exciting if you needed to fill in your profile as if it on a job apply letter.. Please, give me a break!
It was difficult to decide what to leave and what to keep. Was I saying too much or too little about me? Was I trying to sell me as somebody I wasn’t? No, that not, because I don’t like that. So, indeed I put I was a mom of two kids. Not that it needed to be there, but in order to avoid later disappointments. I value honesty among almost everything.
Then later I took some of the pics Tinder so kind had decided I looked better in. Thanks, I know myself better. Standard is one main profile picture and then you can add other ones, 4 or 5. You can also decide that 1 or 2 are enough. But think about it, one picture isn’t always giving the right information of who you are. The more, the merrier (for our eyes).
Anyway, at this point I feel the urge to say out loud everything what has been bothering me since I started using the app. Someone needs to say these things. It can’t be possible that so many men out there are making the same mistakes over and over again. Somebody needs to tell them. I decided that I’ll be that person today.
1. Make up your mind; say it out loud
So, hello, male profile Tinder, you know what? First make sure what is it what you really want, just casual sex or something more. If you just want casual sex, it’s not so difficult, just put a pic of your abs (if you happen to have them) and say it out loud. Many guys just plainly say it, “I’m not looking for a relationship”, why doing so difficult after all?
On the other hand, for many of the female counterparties, it’s not really attractive that a guy just says he wants sex, but because we don’t know all women out there registered on Tinder, everything is possible and like my mother used to say ‘siempre hay un roto para un descosido’ (see translation on Google), which means that there’s always someone for somebody. So you never know. Be more specific.
2. Customize your profile
Please, please, don’t let Tinder decide which of your pics the best are. They usually aren’t the most suitable. What can be more attractive in a guy that somebody that takes care of his own image? This is something I still don’t get from men. You don’t need to be a ‘macho man’ to ignore that. Nowadays guys pay so much attention to their hair, their clothes, their body, etc.. Why don’t you also do that on your Tinder profile? Take some time for it, it also means you care about who you are. At least take out the pic with your friends celebrating New Year’s Eve. We’re not interested.
3. Choose the right pics
Well, this I think it’s one of the most important of all. The same as on Facebook (which it’s about faces, remember?), Tinder is about showing who you are. Show your face! Your abs are mmm but we want to see the face upon them. Women, we are attracted to faces, first the face (although sometimes it’s first the ass, but ok). Open your eyes, give us a smile. Why hiding behind sunglasses? I can’t look into your eyes and know if we are made for each other (or for some nights, whatever) so long you’re wearing sunglasses in all your 4 pics.. Not done. They look great on you, you should be proud, for sure, but we don’t get the picture.
And why not just an open face with eyes as main character? It’s just a show, so please show your best. You don’t have to have any special colour of eyes. Did you ever hear about that expression ‘eyes reflect the soul’? well, that, we want to see your soul also, not you behind the wheel in your gorgeous car (is it even yours?).
A good picture makes things easier. Selfies are wrong; leave that for your Instagram account. A good pic needs to be focused, sharp and not blurred, with good light. Try not to take it yourself, the angles and shadows can be fatal, ask a friend to take a pic of you, that will save lots of left swiping’s. I assure you. Same as you would do with your LinkedIn profile; you want to be seen as a professional, right? In this case it works the same way, show us you’re worth swiping right.
4. Avoid pics with kids, other women, and friends
I don’t mind you have kids; really, I don’t, because I myself have two. But why do you need to put their pics on your Tinder profile?? Is it necessary to do that? Well, great that you love your own kids (some guys borrow nephews or other people’s babies to pose just thinking that they look cute, well, no, you don’t look cute). And, not only I just don’t care how beautiful your kids are (at least not for the first impression) are you aware that you’re exposing your own children to strangers? Bad idea.
And who is that woman you are so happy giving a hug? Let me guess, is her your sister? Your cousin? An old friend? Your ex? Your girlfriend? No, I don’t want to guess. Next.
It’s a really nice thing to love animals and care for them, but why do you need to have them in all your pics? We understand how important they are to you, but it makes us think that they’re too much important, much important than us. We don’t want that. We want fully attention and not to be miserable shared with a four-legged creature. Next.
When it comes to friends, it’s ok to have a party and enjoy great moments with your pals. But if you’re wearing sunglasses on your profile, changed of haircut on the other and the following you’re together with 3 or 4 friends, let me tell you, we’re confused. Which one are you among all this laughing bunch beer drinkers? Do I need to guess? Mmm, no time for it. Next.
5. Sporty style
We know it and we love it too. Nice bodies. Sure, while you’re looking into my pics how big my curves are (continue searching, I’m a small person), I’m staring at your abs, your back and shoulders, I like that. But do I need to see you in all possible top sports possible existing? What’s the point? Yes, I see it, you like to take risks, you don’t stand still, you’re adventurous, you enjoy being on your own, etc., etc.. But why oh why do we need to see your whole sport and prizes album? So long I can’t distinguish you in that neoprene suit, I’m not interested. Nice, a pic jumping from a snowboard middle of the mountain, I can’t even see your face! Are you joking with me? In my personal case I’m not impressed at all. It gives me the idea that this person takes too much time only to sport, and especially when it comes to risk sports, you don’t have time for me, me who likes museums! Imagine!!! And it’s also a bit too much, it looks like you spend almost your whole life on college and then into the Amazonas doing bungee jump or escalating the Himalaya. Not weird at all you happen to need Tinder to find a date..
6. Landscapes and quotes
Of course, your Tinder profile is fulfilled with all that stupid crap we all post on Facebook. Beautiful landscape pics, famous and upbringing quotes about life and love and whatever you have in mind. But what’s the point here? What do you want me to understand about you if your profile pic shows me a beach with the sun? Oh, you mean you like the beach, and maybe you’re even romantic enough to propose me long walks down the beach, hand in hand, with the beautiful sunset. Nice. Indeed. But not for a pic. You can tell me that in our first date or in our first chat. But, come on, are we ever going to meet so long you continue making the same mistakes? I don’t think so. Next.
7. Show your body
By this I don’t mean you have to show yourself in your boxer shorts (although it’s always nice to see it) or in a suggestive pose. Just you, who are you, what can I expect? You might have a beautiful face or not, but I’m here to date a man. Obviously I want to see how you are built. And this doesn’t mean you need to be gorgeous (and if you are, nothing wrong about that), just a normal pic where I can figure you out. And please, don’t forget we are all different, I can imagine you don’t feel comfortable about certain parts of your body (I myself feel fully aware about what I don’t want to show). We’re all in the same boat here. It’s nothing wrong about being yourself, right?
Some extra advice
Being that said I want to add some special tips in case you do ‘match‘ with me or somebody else. Do I need to break the ice all the time? I don’t even know what to say. In my culture, women are being hunted and not the other way. In your culture (if you happen to be Dutch) you’re used to the opposite. Well, well, who takes the risk? I do, I like taking risks. But I get really annoyed if I say Hello and don’t get anything back. One thing we all forget in these sharp and fast days is that we are not always online at the same time. That’s true. And if you actually didn’t visit the app for longer than 48 hours it can happen that you never knew I was saying hello. Bad timing maybe, who knows. Not meant to be, who knows. In any case, if you do see I send you a message, try to answer me back as soon as you can. At least I can know which possible dates are out there ready to chat. It’s just a chat, nothing else. So, please, don’t try to seduce me sending me pics of your genitalia. I’m not interested. I just want to know you better, see if we have something in common (who knows, maybe you also like museums?), maybe go for a drink; see if we have a click. If you never answer me back I lose spirit and prefer to continue swiping away. And, to make things worse, i can see when was the last time you were online! If you happened to be some minutes ago online, you could see I sent you a message, right? Why are you avoiding me then?
Show your interest, don’t be so shy. After all, why are you on Tinder?

Be sure that this is only the beginning. I can already imagine especial featured parties with people getting to know each other by this app. It makes us feel closer, but so long we don’t improve our communication skills, we’re lost in a virtual labyrinth. Is that what you were looking for after all?
‘De men from Holland’, a really useful book that can bring up some light
I happen to be working at the local library here in Lelystad, big was my surprise while tiding the shelves’ books that I found this interesting one. Never had heard of it. Written by a South-African journalist, an expat living in the Netherlands, ‘De mannen van Nederland‘ is a really practical book if you’re looking for understanding and piece of advice on how to date the Dutch. It’s actually written in Dutch, I don’t know if there’s an English version as well.
Sophie Perrier interviewed 34 expat women living in the Netherlands, many married for long, many divorced and many others still single looking for the perfect match.
It’s a really useful book I must say, it touches almost all the subjects women are wondering about, such as ‘appearance’, ‘flirting’, ‘seduction’, ‘macho’, ‘work’, ‘romantic’, ‘in bed’, ‘passion’, ‘communication’ and other interesting ones.
Almost all the women interviewed for the book agreed that Dutch men you can divide in two groups, you have the ones that are gorgeous, well-dressed (so long they aren’t wearing their famous red pants..), with astonishing good hair (although many Dutch suffer from early baldness, that’s reality) and really tall (yeah, we already know that, Dutch are considered to be the tallest in the world). And a second group where you can find the typical ‘boerkop’ (farmer head), guys who weren’t provided with the beauty our eyes would love to see and get drunk in it. This group has maybe less expectations in finding a date, knowing they don’t have the attractiveness women out there are looking for, but they’re hard workers, independent, charming their own way and that’s ok. Not everything is about looks after all. An example of this group can be found in the famous television dating program ‘Boer zoekt vrouw‘ (Farmer looks for a woman).
I agree with the women here that the problem with the Dutch guys is for us, expats, related to their own Calvinistic culture and the fact that the Dutch women have fought for equality since young. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just that culturally seen, women from other parts of the world we are used to be treat just different, especial, just because we are women. And here in Holland, you’ll be surprised if you’re pregnant or old when nobody makes a move to give you the seat in the bus or the tramway. It’s not that they don’t respect you, just the other way; they respect you as equal, so they don’t see anything wrong. You’re pregnant, not sick. For instance, many expat women complain about this a lot. Not only the pregnant ones, also the fact that they push you or never let you go first when you step in the train, they never ask you if you need help with your heavy bags or suitcases, they don’t even see you’re there, you’re just a woman, and that’s it. Nothing especial about it.
Among other things, the Dutch are terribly shy. They can openly talk about all kind of subjects we won’t even dare to speak publicly (like joking about sex, drugs, prostitution, euthanasia, etc.) but one thing is to say, another is to get it done. But when it comes to flirt with a woman, they run out of ideas on how to deal with it. They aren’t really the romantic ones, they don’t give you flowers (you’re really lucky if he stills remembers when it’s your birthday or anniversary) or especial gifts just to seduce you. Dutch women are hunters, and the Dutch men let themselves being dragged by them. If you happen to be an expat, this is kind of tricky. You never know when it is the right moment to make the first move. You can grow old if you wait forever, believe me.
Dutch guys value a lot that you’re an independent woman as well. So, don’t expect him paying for your drinks every time you go out. The famous ‘Dutch way’ is number one rule and it means everybody pays the half or at least what you yourself consumed. Not that all the guys are the same, don’t take me wrong, this equality of the sexes has to do with this too. They value a lot their money (after all, this country was built from commerce, remember?), they work hard every week to make enough to fulfil their needs and pleasures, what’s wrong about that? Although a bit shocking at first glance, I think this is a good thing. The expectations are for both the same, why does a man need to show interest by buying you things? It also means you are fully respected as an independent woman, somebody that can provide for herself.
When it comes to work, that’s sort of the sacred space in between. Work means ‘centjes’ (pennies), which means freedom. Freedom is really, really important. Mostly of all the Dutch guys who aren’t receiving welfare (something the majority see as ‘lazy’ or ‘cheating the system’), they are all working, many for themselves, because it runs through their blood, that ‘trader’ in them, since the beginning of the 17 century, when the Dutch were the kings of trade and made all their beautiful cities bloom with the money they got from their trips to foreign lands (we won’t discuss slavery here and now, please).
Good thing about work in the Netherlands is that both women and men work less. It’s not weird that a guy works less than 40 hours per week, or gets a half day free. Also, an interesting thing about Dutch bosses is that they treat people equally (not just the women), because they understand leadership not as a superior thing. This is something you see quite often on television, among the famous for example, they are just people, and they won’t be saying to others that they’re better (although they could for sure be much better). It’s also a cultural thing, related to their ascetic uses. They’re friendly people, who speak about their problems (well, not all their problems, of course, remember? they’re shy) or their kids. They’re accessible and nice, in general. They consult a lot too; they don’t come out as authoritarian beings, also because they care about that ‘Polder model’, a way to include all the parts in the decisions. What it also called the attention of these women was that in the work floor, the Dutch don’t take advantage of their female colleagues. It’s rare to see Dutch bosses trying to flirt with their female counterparties. Something that many women have experienced really positive compared with working in other countries, where the male bosses are always trying to hunt the female colleagues.
Dutch guys are responsible and conscientious. They’re practical; they care more about the content than the form. Which means, don’t expect big presents or going out to expensive restaurants. They don’t see love as such big offering in life, they put their practicality upon romanticism. Personally, I have been in a long relationship with a Dutch guy, and indeed this was always like this. At the beginning I found that really difficult to grasp, but personally I’m not a materialistic person, so I didn’t t care much about it. I got used to be this way. There were other things bothering me, but not important here.
When it comes to showing feelings, they’re also sober. They can love their women without showing them. Much is being said about the Dutch sobriety. They lack that especial magic, draft, which many expat women adore to have in their relationships. Dutch guys play safe; they are rigid, realistic and earthly. Also the book says that the more educated the guy, the less he will be willingly to talk about himself (this is not really true, I must say, I happen to meet both educated and less educated and experienced it different, but anyway, this is just like a general rule, there are always exceptions!). In general, Dutch guys don’t like much to philosophize; they don’t worry much about this sort of stuff, and less about love. This male sort is a really reliable one, but a bit boring, as many of the women said.
The romanticism of the Dutch manifests in small things and not in big ones. The expat ladies would love more flowers or presents, but they are happy that when it comes to doing stuff in the house, (mostly) all of them are always willingly to help. And that’s something you don’t see in men from other cultures, where the ‘macho man’ is always the one expecting to be the king and the woman the slave.
If your Dutch guy wants to show romance, he for sure will be having candles in his house for that especial encounter. A small and easy gesture, but always effective and thoughtful.
Indeed, the book is a big eye-opener. It gave me the realistic idea that I’m not the only one experiencing this.
Personally, I never dated before in Holland. I came to this country already as a mom and already having a partner, my ex. We’ve been together for almost 12 years. And since 2 years ago we decided to break up. It has been hard for me to fill in this empty space I was used to have. But I must say I feel much better since I live on my own with my two beautiful children. Of course I would love to welcome love again into my life. And even trying with Tinder or not, just the normal old way of meeting people, I realized much of all this about the Dutch guys has to do with perspective. What I value the most in this country is the tolerance and openness to be you. ‘Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg’ is the saying, which means ‘do normally, will be crazy enough’. It’s a matter of breaking old uses and finding balance.
Some funny and weird stuff about Tinder
Something really really weird was to be shown with the male profiles of people I already knew. Friends on Facebook mostly, but many of them people I know personally. I thought this was funny; shall I swipe right and see what happens? I decided better not. And, something really weird was to see that a lot of these fellow men are married ones or already having a girlfriend.. Too much food for thought here.
A guy with whom I matched and we started a chat, first thing he said was if I was into couch surfing. WTF? Are you looking for a couch where to sleep? Ehmmm, no way man.
Some guys use the app as free publicity for their own business, bad bad you. Or they include their Instagram account or website in their information. I must say that so long you are not following the tips I’m giving, I don’t care much about your Instagram or your work.
A guy that had a great pic, even too gorgeous to date, was actually a cheat. He was having already a relationship, but not a satisfying one and thought he was clever enough to get some girls by using a fake pic. Then later when he told me this and sent me a real pic, I was already not interested. It was really upsetting just because of the fact he was a liar and a cheater. I told him that it was kind of stupid to do that. I never heard of him before. This was a huge relief.
There are sooo many guys saying they’re sort of happily married or happy in their relationships, but still curious about what Tinder is about. Well, let me tell you what, I don’t know what other women out there are looking for, but I know for myself that one thing is saying it out loud (too loud maybe?) and another is expecting to find out what Tinder is about. I mean, come on, you’re not only showing you’re a cheater, you also take pride on that. You deserve a big big left swipe from all women, unless you are looking for a guy, who knows.

One thing I remembered from one chat was that no matter all the effort I took to write my personal information, almost no guy was reading it! It looks like men out there are just looking for the looks of you and many don’t even bothered to notice my age (which is next to my name..). Some others said they thought it was something wrong, like I was trying to make myself older when I look much younger than my real age. It was a shock for both, for the guys to realize I was not lying about my age, and for me to realize they didn’t even bother to believe all the truth out there. OMG.
Last but not least
In my personal opinion Tinder is an app that gives and takes. It gives you a boost of self-confidence, especially on those days when you’re feeling down and bored. You can go swiping into the hundreds of profiles and feel like something’s new brewing up. Be aware that until you finally get ‘the match’ it can take weeks or months.. Whatever. You’re now advice. Don’t forget that you’re exposing yourself, from times to times I felt like in the supermarket, choosing from one product to another, just by looking at the label! The same goes for you, men are also doing that!

I quit Tinder about a week ago. I felt so frustrated. I did have some matches, and from those matches came out some contact on WhatsApp, but at the end, for one reason or another, I didn’t have the chance to date anybody. I started feeling it was something about me, something I was doing wrong. But lately, almost at the end of this experience I did have a match and finally my first date last Friday! It was great and more than what I was expecting. I don’t know for now how this will turn, because indeed, now that I know how the Dutch men are, it’s a question of playing hide and seek.
Anyway, I think Tinder is ok. But you need to be patient and dig much. Unless you’re a Dutch girl who already knows all the tricks, so please, share them with us, we want to learn!


p.s. If you are still looking for more advice, don’t hesitate to check the following links here:

Mensfitness advice on Tinder (now I know why I don’t get answers back..)

GQ advice on how to make a tasteful profile (their idea, not mine!)

Popsugar advice for the girls about profile pics (some are really funny!)

Cosmopolitan advice for girls on what not to do! ( I learnt my lesson well)



3 thoughts on “To Tinder or not to Tinder

  1. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzz that was a long read!!! LOL I was giggling all the way with your comments. It does give the impression that you are just shopping online 🙂 Good to know that you had your first real date. Hope there are many more coming up! Just trust yourself and never give up on love. The best of luck !!! xoxo

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