So you think you're ready to get back in the dating game after a divorce (or breakup)? If you're considering it then chances are, you're ready! Whether it's been a year or ten years since you've been on a date with someone other than your spouse, there's really no reason to be nervous. Relaxing is easier said than done, especially when you're as awkward as I am, but turning yourself into a bundle of nerves over it won't do any good. So, sit back and let's chat about navigating Tinder (or any dating app!) after a divorce.
Navigating Tinder After a Divorce
Tinder is different than match, POF, etc but it's the easiest free dating app to start out with in my humble opinion. The Tinderverse is a bit … odd… at times, but being prepared will help. Remembering that Tinder is mostly designed for hookups and casual dating is a good idea, though you will find some men and women seeking a long term relationship (LTR) so don't count that out if that's what you're wanting. I personally think everyone should take some time to casually date (ehem, or hookup) after a long relationship. Have fun and find yourself – don't rush into anything new. If it happens, it happens!
Have clear expectations.
The thought of hooking up may freak you out as much as the thought of a relationship freaks me out. Having clear expectations from the get go is going to save you a lot of time and energy. Put it right there on your profile if you want, “looking for _____” or “not looking for ______”. If you don't want to put it front and center, you need to make it super clear from the moment you start talking – that can be a little awkward if your match isn't a good conversationalist, so I prefer when people put it in their profiles. The reason I don't put it in mine is because I don't just want a hookup. We have to mesh well before I'm going to agree to meet you so I don't mind putting in a little work to figure out what you're looking for, while letting you know what I'm open to as well.
Your Tinder matches will appreciate your transparency. So many are on that app playing games that when you are upfront and honest about what you're looking for, it's going to be like a breath of fresh air for them!
Don't be a catfish!
The number one complaint I hear from guys on Tinder is that women rarely look like their actual pictures! We all love the angles, we love to look and feel skinnier in photos, and airbrushed filters make us look like models. That's fine on Snapchat but keep it there – do NOT use filtered photos on Tinder! Please for the love of all things, I'm sick of seeing the goddamn dog ear filter. Take a normal photo from a normal angle and look like – gasp – yourself. Hell, I'd rather look uglier in pics so when I show up they're like, “dammmmmn you're hot!” haha. Stop. Being. A. Catfish.
Perfect your profile.
What you put – or don't put – on your profile is completely up to you, but while you're writing it up, keep in mind the type of match you're trying to attract. While some won't even read profiles, many do. Giving a little insight to the type of person you are and the type of things you like can help your potential matches decide if you're possibly compatible. No need to waste each other's time, right?
I like to go with humor on my profile and I do change it frequently. This is what mine looks like right now and I get matches almost every time I swipe right. Get as detailed as you want, including any possible deal breakers. For me, deal breakers include Trump supporters, cigarette smokers, and racists. I absolutely will not give you a moment of my time if you're any of those things so I might as well let you know that ahead of time instead of wasting one of your right swipes. I also swipe left if you have a dead animal in your photo (deer, fish, etc). Don't be afraid to be GENEROUS with the left swipe. You are a gorgeous superstar, don't be scraping the bottom of the barrel just because you're lonely.
Lower your standards – but not too much.
You may not like this tip, and some people will disagree with me on it, but you're not looking for a life partner if you're on Tinder! Sometimes, matching will create a snowball effect and will help boost your confidence. Because of that, I think lowering your standards just a smidge – at least at first – is a good idea.
If you want to get matches, you may need to make a few changes to your “must haves” list before you start swiping. I'm not saying you have to hookup with some ugly, lazy, deadbeat… I'm just saying you aren't on Tinder to find Mr. or Mrs. Right so don't think about your future or their job or whatever else. It's a date (or a hookup), not a marriage proposal.
At the same time, you don't want to ignore red flags just because your match is hot. So while I want you to stop being such a perfectionist in what you think you're looking for as far as physical attributes go, pay attention so you can catch red flags early on.
Also, don't discount the short guys! I've gone on dates with a handful of guys who are 5'7″-5'9″. Guess what? I'm 6'2″ and we still had a great time. I am so sick of seeing women say they won't date anyone under 6ft. Bitch, sit down. If anyone should have height standards it's me… so get over yourself. If you don't want to be judged on your weight or boob/ass size, don't judge someone based on their height.
Don't be afraid to unmatch.
We've all been there, you're feeling some type of way – whether you're missing your ex or just wanting to get laid – and you swipe right on a lot more potential matches than you usually would. Maybe you get a little careless and swipe right on a blank profile even – eek! Don't worry, as soon as you are matched you can unmatch if you want to. Do NOT feel bad about unmatching. This is your Tinder journey and you don't need to be worrying about anyone's feelings that early in the game.
I know some women will give a “goodbye” message, but I don't. Even if I add someone on snapchat I will just block them if they do something that makes me realize we aren't compatible. Probably not the nicest approach but ain't nobody got time for confrontation.
To unmatch, hit the 3 dots and choose “unmatch” from the drop-down.
Stop overthinking it!
At the end of the day, it's just online dating. Stop taking it so seriously. Have fun, meet up with someone you never would have usually… get extra flirty and see where it goes. Don't swipe too fast, though, or you might accidentally swipe left on a hottie!
While you may sign up for Tinder to find a hookup or casual date, there is that off chance you will meet someone you connect with on a deeper level. Being clear about expectations is important but you may just go in for a hookup and fall in love. You CAN find love anywhere so don't be closed off to the idea.
What to do after the match…
You got a match! YAY, right? Not so fast. Many men are just swiping right on ALLLL the females so don't get too excited when you get matches, but it's a numbers game so you are going to find some diamonds in the rough if you are patient. You're going to have to weed through some bullshit to get to the good ones, but in my experience the good outweighs the bad. I've met some awesome people from Tinder and am so thankful I was open to receiving them because in all honesty I haven't put myself out there at all since my divorce – not to date and not to make friends.
Tinder has actually helped me be more social, my anxiety isn't nearly as bad when it comes to meeting new people, and I've made some good friends from the app! I have talked to friends with similar experiences – many have friends they met from Tinder and I think that's so cool.
After you match, don't be afraid to send the first message. Make it interesting – something better than “hey, what's up?”… if you're struggling with what to say you can always use a pun or cheesy pickup line.
This is the most important part so listen up! While using ANY dating app, you need to be careful. Hell, even if you're meeting dates through mutual friends you need to be careful. Read my Tinder Safety Tips before you go on your first date!