Some women have firm rules when it comes to Tinder pictures — no-abs, no bathroom selfies, no muscle cars, no fedoras, etc. Those rules are in place for a reason, but Tinder is, if nothing else, a game of personal trial and error. You play matchmaker based on your preferences du jour, swipe right or left, take a chance and wait to see what happens next. This is the process through which our intuitive dating rules are formed. That being said, there are some red flags you can glean pretty much right away via his profile pic, and it’s probably better not to ignore them:
- There’s only one sole picture, and it’s iffy. Why risk it? Time is precious. Don’t let your eyes get bigger than your calendar. He’s obviously not confident in his appearance or he’s being shady about how he presents himself. Either way, swipe left and move on quickly.
- Faceless pictures. If he doesn’t want to be seen on Tinder, he shouldn’t go on it! If he can’t show his face and let people see what they’re getting into, what’s the point? You just can’t invest any time in someone who won’t show their face on Tinder. You showed up, after all, face-out and everything! Don’t reward the guy who half steps here.
- Loads of pictures with the same woman. Pictures with exes or, any picture where you can clearly tell the context is romantic in some way, is just gross. It’s bad karma to thrust pictures of himself with other women into the online dating world when you’re looking for a date.
- Pictures with promotional models. I generally like to imagine what kind of frame of mind someone might be in when they choose their profile pictures — like, what they want someone to think of them — and I can’t suspend my disbelief long enough to actually entertain the thought of why anyone would think this is a becoming angle.
- A ton of club pictures when you hate clubbing. Tinder pictures will give you an indication of how someone likes to spend their time. If you can’t imagine spending a night / weekend with your date doing the kinds of activities they show in their pictures, don’t swipe right. If you don’t want to go to clubs, don’t date the guy who clearly likes clubbing. If you hate winter sports, don’t date the snowboarding enthusiast with a clearly expensive snowboard.
- Same facial expression, many different scenarios. Enough said — you know what to expect: one-note, monotone, and likely super boring.
- Costumes. Too many kooky costumes. There’s a difference between having a sense of humor and a healthy interest in costume parties and going overboard with the clown persona. You’ll ideally get a good sense of how he conducts himself socially in his pictures, and also his style. You need to feel like neither of them will irritate the living daylights out of you if you were to actually meet.
- Instructions given in a picture, meme-style. No, I will not swipe right unless I want to. Providing specific instructions with your pictures is just… unconvincing at best, and downright obnoxious at worst.