John Babich/Assistant Photography Editor

Tinder has become its own alternate universe, one in which the laws of sanity and common decency seem to have flown out of the window. While some people actually go on to have meaningful relationships with their matches, they are few and far between. Many users are looking for nothing more than a hook-up and will do or say anything to make it happen. The line between interested and desperate may be easily distinguishable for some, but oddly blurry for others. Unless your goal is to land a spot on the “Tinder Nightmares” Instagram account, follow these tips to keep you from crossing into weird territory.

— Be original

MTV posted an article about the resurrection of the infamous “Apocalypse Opener.” This pickup paragraph consists of great lines like “I’m not a creep or a pervert” and “I will not judge you if you’re easy.” Hint: if you have to clarify that you’re not a pervert, you will 100 percent come off as one. Pickup lines can only be successful if they’re semi-normal and original. If the punchline to your joke is “sit on my face,” you are doing something wrong. The easiest way to get someone to like you is to just be yourself. If pickup lines just aren’t your thing, a simple “hey!” will suffice.

— Control the thirst, one message at a time

If you don’t get a response from your first try, sending five more messages will make the person you’re trying to talk to much less likely to respond. You have to remember that people read between the lines, and constant messages make you seem crazy and unstable. Remember, Albert Einstein once said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

— Maintain your cool

The worst thing someone can do is get irrationally angry when the person they’re interested in doesn’t respond. You didn’t think they were a terrible, heartless, ugly person when you matched, so don’t say those things now because they aren’t interested in talking to you. Just because someone swiped right on you does not mean they’re obligated to fall in love with you, or have to try and get to know you or to even message you back. And if they aren’t showing any interest, why would you think throwing a temper tantrum would change their mind?

— Never match with someone for his or her friend

Tinder is somewhat emotionally terrifying. Your level of self-confidence is controlled by the fingertips of strangers. It’s a big step to put yourself out there and the last message you want to see is, “Hey, you’re great and all but that guy on the right in your second picture is a bit more my speed. Can you set us up?” Don’t do it. It’s not right. Not only are the chances of them helping you slim to none, you most definitely just ruined their night.

— No unsolicited pictures

“I just really want to wake up to an unexpected penis photo,” said no one ever. You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: nobody wants unsolicited naked pictures. You wouldn’t randomly pull down your pants for the cute person you meet in Glenn G. Bartle Library, so why would it be acceptable once you’ve gotten a number or Snapchat via Tinder? It’s a form of sexual harassment, it’s not funny and it’s not going to win anyone over.

— Have fun with it

Again, Tinder isn’t real life, so you can say things that you would never say under normal circumstances. Be funny, relax and be yourself. Find a way to let loose without being scary. If someone says something ridiculous, be ready to shoot back with something witty. All in all, Tinder is a wonderful hot mess. Don’t take yourself too seriously and you’ll be fine.