{shortcode-c11b7aa14b7df01f3a27aab571f4c031db2d944b}Harvard is known for many things. Among them, a mascot that is quite literally a shade of color, Mark E. Zuckerberg ‘06, and a notoriously piss-stained statue. Most notably, though, it seems Harvard is known for its infamous dating culture — or rather, lack of. And let’s face it, the pandemic hasn’t made things any easier. So how does one go about finding a partner now, especially with Valentine’s Day coming up? For many, (and you presumably, seeing as you’re reading an article titled “A Harvard Student’s Guide to Tinder”) Tinder is their go-to. So go ahead and download it right now, avid reader.

...Go ahead, we’re waiting.


Gotta get those good shots! Here’s an ideal formula for pictures: Make sure to have at least one of you alone. When you do pose with your friends, try not to pose with any of your friends that look like Ryan Reynolds or Margot Robbie. That never seems to work well, for obvious reasons. (Figure it out, you’re a Harvard student.) Speaking of which, please don’t have any pictures that scream “I go to Harvard!” Save that Coop sweatshirt, socks, scarf, and hat for another day. And a note worth considering — leave out the fish pictures. Just do it, you’ll thank us later.


Keep it short but witty, something that people can use if they decide to message you. Try going with a fun fact or pun, and maybe even go down the pro/con route. I’d tell you to put something interesting about yourself to find people with similar interests, but let’s be honest, if you’re on Tinder, you’re not really looking for a long-term relationship. For that, wait until Flyby’s “A Harvard Student’s Guide to Bumble in a Pandemic” comes out.

If you’re in a plagiarizing mood, take your pick:

- “Red flags start looking orange when their Linkedin says 500+”

- “Only on here cause my Craigslist dates were going poorly”

- “What do you call a potato that does yoga? A medi-tater. Pro: makes dad jokes. Con: makes dad jokes.”

Pick-Up Lines

Well, you’ve matched with somebody! What will you do now? If you’re going to message first, you have to make a good first impression. Try making a joke about one of their pictures or their bio. If that doesn’t work for you, here’s a handy list of good pick up lines to use at your will:

- For the corny: Are you a parking ticket? Because you’ve got FINE written all over you.

- For those who have left the Harvard bubble: Can’t lie, you are BUtiful!

- For the ~spicy~: I thought my psets were hard, but looking at you has made something else harder.

Asking Them Out

Say your pick up line was a smashing success (thanks, Flyby!) and the conversation’s been going well. You’ve even exchanged pictures of your dogs, and several winky faces have worked their way into the chat. How do you go about taking the next step and meeting up in person? (Six feet apart, of course.) Just be casual! A simple “want to marry me?” will suffice just fine. If they say no, well, then, it clearly just wasn’t meant to be.

The Date

They said yes! What now? First of all, don’t forget we’re still living in the midst of a pandemic, so put that mask on. Just make sure you’re meeting the right person… we all know you’ve accidentally jumped into conversation with strangers thinking they were someone else when wearing their masks.

Next, try to establish some boundaries. Have you both been tested for Covid within the past few days? Are either of you immuno-compromised/have at-risk family members you’re seeing regularly? Since you don’t ~really~ know this person, opt for something more pandemic-friendly on the first date, such as a romantic picnic in the Yard surrounded by tourists for a bit of extra ambience. Impress them with your dorm microwave cooking skills (soggy grilled cheese anyone?), or if you’re not feeling quite that brave, opt for some takeout. Who knows, maybe if things go well you might even end up getting some dessert ;)

So, everything actually goes well and you have a great time with this person! First of all, pat yourself on the back. You have perfectly followed Flyby’s Tinder guide, and won the pandemic dating game. Seriously, that’s quite the feat. But also, keep up with everything you’ve been doing so far! Don’t ghost them because you’re getting serious with your math pset, since they’ll think you lost interest. (It’s okay we get it, partial derivatives turn you on). And make sure you get their phone number so you’re not chatting exclusively over the glitchy Tinder app, where they’re constantly reminded of other potential matches. Who knows, maybe you can have a few romantic Zoom study dates sometime. The future is in your hands now <3