Tinder has just revealed its 30 most right-swiped users in the UK.
These are last year’s most popular people on the app, so they must have really funny bios, mind-blowing opening lines, and loads of cool date ideas, right?
Although all 30 are good looking (as you’d expect), their actual chat is a bit…meh. With openers ranging from ‘how are you’ to funny gifs (Sandro, 34, favours a Joey Tribbiani gif), they’re all surprisingly similar – and surprisingly ordinary.
But they’re the most successful users among Tinder’s millions of UK members, so maybe they’re onto something about dating in 2018?
Relationship expert Persia Lawson tells BBC Three: “Having a ‘boring’ profile is more relatable. I think it’s a subconscious thing of it feeling safer, because there are some really weird things on the internet. I think most of us will have had some experience of seeing someone on a dating app or social media, and them just being really weird.
“In real life maybe that could come off as charisma, but when it’s online dating, I think people have really got their guards up.”
With that in mind, here are the unexpected tips that could get you a date based on the experiences of the most successful Tinder users.
Write really ordinary openers
David, 34, goes for “hey, how are you?”, while Danny, 23, goes for “hey, how’s you?”
Another David, 26, says his most successful opening line is “hello :)”, and Vitaljus, 33, goes for “how’ve you been?”
Meanwhile Pablo, 34, says he just asks, “Where are you from?” Because, apparently, “everybody’s up for answering that”.
Persia says these kinds of commonplace openers made her feel safe when she was online dating in the past.
“All of my exes had been really charismatic and quite off the wall, but I’d met them in real life situations, and I’d known them for a while before we started dating,” she explains. “Online, even though I thought, ‘That is a bit dull’, these kinds of messages instantly made me feel like, ‘OK, at least you’re normal’.”
So if you want to secure a date ASAP, forget crafting an interesting opening line. Just try a standard ‘hey, how are you’.
Or…don’t message anyone
“I always let them speak first because I think it’s more gentlemanly,” says Robyn, a 22-year-old from Dundee.
“I’m never the first to talk,” admits Amy, 24.
But, before you conclude this is just women sticking to old-fashioned dating rules, the men are doing it too.
“I don’t often open the conversation,” Ciaran, 24, says. Callum, 23, takes a similar approach: “I normally don’t start conversations because of my crippling fear of rejection.”
Persia says this is “the oldest game in the book” – playing hard to get, and keeping a bit of mystery.
“It’s the classic power-play,” she says. “It just comes down to having a bit more of a sense of enigma and mystery, and generally people will find that attractive.”
Send a gif
These 30 most right-swiped often just send a gif in lieu of an opening line.
When Bex, 20, doesn’t know what to write, she goes for “a funny gif” – while Rebecca, 21, prefers “a sassy gif of Beyoncé or Honey Boo Boo.”
Persia says that sending gifs is a very, very mild way of “trying to be kooky”.
“It’s still safe – depending of course on the gif they send – and it’s pretty tame. But it’s a way of saying ‘I’m slightly fun!’ without coming across really weird.”
Mention that you love dogs in your bio
“Animal lover – especially dogs!” says Brian, a Riverdance performer from Tipperary, in Ireland.
“Love the outdoors and dogs,” says Chris, from London.
“Loves dogs, seeing friends, travelling,” says John (listing three things that almost everyone loves).
It looks like you’re virtually guaranteed a match if you mention a love for dogs on your profile. Especially if you swipe on Charlotte, 21, whose opening line is always: “But do you have a puppy?”
According to Persia, posing with dogs is a way for people (particularly men) to paint a wholesome image that says: “Look, I’m safe, lovable, and trustworthy!”
Be good looking (but not too good looking)
So Tinder users are attracted to people who are good looking.
When asked by Tinder what makes them swipe right, it’s not surprising how many people on this list say something along the lines of: “Good looks!”
Some listed specific features like “nice hair” and “a tan and good teeth”.
John, from London, simply said: “To be honest, it’s mostly about the photos.” At least he’s honest.
But while the people in this list are all attractive, none of them are what Persia calls “next level”.
“Being really good looking can almost be a deterrent,” Persia says, “because some people would be like, ‘Oh, she’s too out of my league’.” Most people want to go out with someone who’s attractive, but not intimidatingly so.
“There’s a difference between being good looking, and then being absolutely next level. People tend to be drawn to people they’re attracted to, but they still feel like they’re in their league.”
Don’t use Snapchat filters
One of the biggest turn-offs for this top 30 was coming across a profile with dog noses/flower crowns/sparkles.
When asked ‘What makes you swipe left?’ several guys mentioned Snapchat filters.
Why? They’re annoying, “off-putting”, an “instant swipe left,” according to John, 31.
Persia believes this is because Snapchat filters are so overtly fake, even though we all know people’s ‘natural’ photos are often heavily edited too.
“When you use a Snapchat filter, it’s so clearly airbrushed,” Persia says. Plus, they’re “a bit naff”.
So there you have it. If you’re not getting as many matches as you’d like, maybe a more stripped-back approach will transform your dating luck?