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  • Illustrations by Mr Patrick Leger
  • Words by Mr Matt Lacey

Mr Giacomo Casanova was famously ugly; history's greatest womaniser had to rely on pure charm to coax women to his bedroom. It's probably a fair assumption then that Mr Casanova wouldn't have approved of digital era dating and its latest manifestation, Tinder, a social app where romantic fortunes are based entirely on looks.

With more than 10 million active users globally and available in 24 languages, Tinder is transforming the way people get together. For those not familiar with how it works (and we find sexual Luddites charming), the Tinderer is presented with a succession of photos of would-be suitors in their local area. Swiping left drops them in the "I'll pass" pile, swiping right adds them to "yes please" - thankfully both actions are entirely anonymous. If two different Tinderers both swipe right, it's a match and the app puts you in touch so you can have a friendly conversation, knowing in the back of your mind that you have both tacitly indicated that you're each the sort of people you generally sleep with. The format may seem as shallow as a paddling pool, but its simplicity is its greatest asset. Yet even with something so straightforward, there are still plenty of pitfalls and it only takes one bad move for the wheels to fall off the wagon of love's young dream. With this in mind and to help you triumph in this all-new Tinder terrain, we've got some tactics to get you started, as well as a few wise words from a female user.


Your photos

Your photos are like writing a CV; you want to look good, but without straying into bragging territory. Firstly, try to avoid cliché. There are so many pictures of guys with depressed and drugged tigers in their photos that a Tumblr account has been created to document the phenomenon ( No one knows why so many men have the desire to emulate Mr Vladimir Putin by posing next to a great cat, or considering the global shortage where are all these tigers are coming from, but kindly resist the urge. Also, all selfies? You look like you have no friends. All group shots? It's impossible to tell which one you are. It's Tinder, not Guess Who.


Your bio

Witty one-liners such as "I'm just looking for my Tinderella" get old fast, and tangential quotations from celebrities aren't helpful. Mr Mark Twain once observed, "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." But for goodness sake, don't have that as your Tinder bio.


It's a dating app,
not advertising space

This should go without saying, but some are using it to promote their latest business venture. No, you're not a "Tindertrepeneur", you're an idiot.


Don't be a man whore

Some guys like to play the numbers game and swipe yes to everyone. Sadly, this will probably work, but will yield results of questionable quality. Maybe try first only right-swiping the ones you actually fancy and then resorting to the blunderbuss approach if you don't get any matches.


You'll probably have to make the first move

Due to the aforementioned numbers game, women get far more matches than guys, so you'll probably need to be the one following up on the initial contact. Just avoid the depressingly obvious opening gambit of "Hey, sexy!"


Don't be weird

Interact with girls as you would at a bar. Yes, try to be interesting, but don't employ stupid pick-up lines, and it's best not to share your bizarre sexual fantasies until several dates in (or never, fantasy depending). One lady reported to me that a guy's opening gambit to her was that he "wanted to paint her green and spank her like a disobedient avocado". She declined his invitation to be guacamole-ed. Her logic was sound: avocados can't be disobedient, they're inanimate objects.


Write good

Apparently bad spellign and grammar are a big turn-off, as r poamess abrv8ions.


Take note: Tinder isn't for everyone

If you generally rely on your charisma rather than your looks to get girls, maybe this "judge a book by its cover" app isn't for you. Eventually someone will design a dating app that simply holds a dispassionate list of your intellectual and artistic achievements to match against each other, but until then, get out into the real world, Casanova.