How to avoid a totally cringeworthy first Tinder date

December 06, 2016
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We get it, Tinder can feel like an awkward way to meet someone. Even if you’re talking for weeks before the meet up, it can still feel like a blind date. The first date can be a little awkward when they don’t look exactly like their picture or you realise you have zero compatibility. Even if you have stumbled upon a rare Tinder gem, things can still get pretty awks. But don’t worry – there are a few ways to make the whole ordeal a whole lot easier.

Look out for the Tinder profile red flags

You might have gone on a frenzy swiping right without really taking into consideration who you said yes to. For women, if every photo of your Tinder suitor is shirtless and accompanied with the caption ‘Meninist’, there should be alarm noises going off on your way to the block button. You might find that you have zero mutual interests or your mutual friends are some questionable people. Some red flags are more obvious (and worse) than others, so use your better judgement for the signs that might not be a big deal.

Have a decent conversation before your first date

Avoid going out on a date with someone who you know literally nothing about. Small talk doesn’t count – make sure you have at least a few days’ worth of convos, banter and getting to know each other. It will make the date excruciatingly painful if you don’t have some basis to get the conversation started. You might discover you have a few mutual interests to make things easier – found out you have a shared love of sushi? First date location sorted.

Establish whether you’re on the same page

That doesn’t mean you have to get all 19th Century on your Tinder match with questions like “What are your intentions good sir?” But you can generally get a feel from the conversation. If the person you’re talking to can’t have one conversation without getting suggestive or slipping in an innuendo, then chances are they’re just looking for some casual fun. If that’s what you’re looking for, great! Go for your life! If you’re looking for something more serious, then you might want to avoid the person who is clearly just on Tinder for sex.

Avoid stalking right away

Want to avoid the most cringeworthy situation of all time? Avoid stalking before the date. It might be hard to avoid it when you can see they haven’t turned all of their social media accounts on private… but imagine this. You’ve been talking to a few people on Tinder and you’re trying to remember who said what. Imagine slipping up and asking your date about their sister when they've never mentioned to you they have a sister. So. Awkward. If you think you can control yourself and keep your stories straight, then go ahead and stalk for your life. You might find some more of those red flags that the Tinder profile doesn’t reveal.

Just try to be yourself

It's normal to be nervous and try to pretend you’re this totally cool person to impress your date. You’ll naturally be a bit guarded and no one expects you to reveal every flaw about yourself on the first date, but don't pretend to be a completely different person. It might mean the first date is a bit less awkward, but then you'll probably be in for an awkward third or fourth date when you true colours are revealed. Try act natural, be yourself and be honest.

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