Love in the Time of Tinder

When Does a Lady Swipe?

A tongue-in-cheek yet very important etiquette column

iphone wedding photo

photo by Starks Photography

Dear Miss Fine,

Let’s talk about Tinder. It’s a dating phone app where one views a few photos of potential suitors and swipes “yes” or “no” if you like them or not. How would you approach this as such a fancy, refined lady? Who would you eliminate immediately? Who would be a keeper? And does a lady “chat” with them first or wait demurely?

Or would a lady not even be on Tinder? If so, what’s a girl to do while looking for love in a big city (such as London)?


Sitting By The Phone

prince harry tinder

photo courtesy of

Dear  Sitting,

In the late 1800s, British husbands were so popular that American girls were known to consult a magazine called Titled Americans which contained all the eligible British bachelors on the market, with handy descriptions listing their age, accomplishments, and prospects. But really the only reason this magazine was so popular was because Tinder did not exist.

When swiping through photos, stay strict about what you’re looking for and refer to my “Castle Crew” guidelines in The Regal Rules for Girls. Encouraging signs include:pastel shirts (never white) rolled-up below the elbow (never above), and suede loafers. Interests should include rugby, rowing, sailing, skiing, cricket, horses and/or dogs.

Englishmen love to hunt (that’s why they wear so much tweed) so when there is a match, always let the guy initiate contact. But keep the following in mind: an app like Tinder is heaven for most Englishmen as it allows them to avoid verbalizing any emotion while facilitating their natural talent for wordplay.  And all the instant messaging gives him the courage and the platform to say all kinds of things he wouldn’t dream of saying to you if he met you in a bar. In fact, Tinder negates so many deep-seated English inhibitions about talking to girls, that for British men, it’s very similar to being drunk. So like I said, keep that in mind.

As for you, in the age of predictive text, there is no excuse for lazy abbreviations and tacky acronyms. No matter what, always use the Queen’s English and never use emoticons.  Meet up as soon as possible or you might become more emotionally attached to him (or who you think he is) than what is healthy. Agree to meet for a drink (not dinner) so you have the option of leaving early if he’s not your type.

Don’t forget that despite all the technical, linguistic, cultural and psychosomatic obstacles that come with transatlantic dating — occasionally love prevails. And while Tinder may turn out to be the Cupid that works for you, remember to keep your eyes peeled for Prince Charming in real life as well.

Kindest regards,

Miss J Fine

Jerramy Fine is the author of Someday My Prince Will ComeThe Regal Rules for Girls and Bright Young Royals. The Dear Miss Fine fancy advice column will run twice a month — send your questions regarding English etiquette, life in England, and royal encounters to graduatesinwonderland at gmail dot com and we’ll forward your questions on to her.