The tried-and-true method to find real dates on Tinder

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably thought of Tinder as the quintessential hookup app. The first of its kind. Just swipe right, swipe left, harmlessly reject some guys, count other cuties in. It’s like sorting socks into two piles. It’s so easy… and yet to many, so sleazy.

While there might be a few guys open to a real relationship in the masses of men seeking quick flings, how do you even find those good eggs? If you’re serious about dating instead of hooking up, Tinder seems like a waste of time.

Or is it? One of my all-time favorite relationship blogs, Hooking Up Smart, conducted a case study on Tinder. Could you use the app for traditional dating? If you set aside your preconceived notions about the app, and smartly filter the men who are responding to you, yes. Yes, you can!

Jenna (not me, I swear!) is in her mid-20s and looking for a traditional dating relationship, although not via a traditional online dating site. So, she turned to Tinder with blog founder of Hooking up Smart, Susan Walsh, and both spent four hours swiping right or left. At first, Jenna went for volume; if she was iffy on a guy, she OK’d him for the next round. At the end of the swiping spree, the app turned up 55 potential matches.

Next came filtering. Aggressive and quick filtering.

  • Cancel out any men openly seeking hookups on their profiles.
  • Cancel out any guys who she was truly less attracted to, or who seemed less interesting.
  • Wait for guys to initiate contact, and cancel out those soliciting for sex or who did not get in touch.
  • Cancel out those with poor messaging skills once they did.
  • Cancel out guys who were in touch with messages way too much.
  • Cancel out anyone who did not propose a real date.

After four hours, Jenna had four guys who’d brought up the idea of going on a genuine date. Not bad, right? One fizzled, she nexted another for using jerky dating tactics and went on two real live dates. The fun news? Jenna is now dating her Tinder guy!

In the end Tinder has some major pros that other online dating sites do not: ease of use, reducing rejection risk for the guys and volume. You get lots and lots of guys… and you can always do a Round 2 if you’re not thrilled with the results you get during the first round.

Although I’m still wary of Tinder if you’re not careful about who you’re talking to — I’m a traditional dater, through and through — this method seems totally smart and effective for scoring actual dates in a matter of hours. It warmed me up to the idea of using the app for the first time, ever.

Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to label Tinder swipes as a booty calls after all.

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