How to better utilise Tinder
February 4, 2017 11:04 AM   Subscribe

I can't get anyone to even swipe right, let alone respond to messages, on various dating apps. I prefer to use apps because I don't like the idea of hitting on women in bars - it's rude to assume that they've come there to be hit on and the entire process reeks of enforced gender roles and other such unpleasantnesses. To be clear, I do occasionally seek out men as well and find things go much more smoothly. I don't even really know if my flirting game is any good though when I can't even elicit a response. I swipe through every person I find attractive in my large city.

I'll quickly run through some possibly relevant I'm a younger guy living in Australia, studying and working part-time.
I select a few current photographs of me, they're hardly modelling photos but I make a real effort to select good photos - ones where I'd made an effort in dressing, hopefully were taken by someone else and don't have any other factors included which could be off-putting. I don't neglect to add a description, nor do I add an excessively detailed and wordy one. I only ever message a woman once, usually with a greeting and if I have any honest questions that occur from checking out their profile, one of those. If they've mentioned they're a film buff, I might ask if there's any releases they're keen for or any particular directors they're a fan of the work of.
I've never had a woman respond to my message. I don't message again - I'm well aware many women have to deal with a vast excess of messages, often becoming less and less polite and more and more hateful.
I can swipe through every person who pops ups every day for a week and not even see a match. I've tried Bumble and a few other options, but Tinder is biggest in my city by a long shot. I regularly swipe through every woman who comes up and nothing comes of it.
As I said above, I'm swiping through the men too, and occasionally I'll hit it off with one, but I don't really care as long as I'm completely undesirable in the eyes of the other half of the world, who I frankly care more about overall regardless.

I don't think it's a standards problem, as unpleasant as that is to discuss. I try to be broad in my approach - photos are unreliable and everyone's more attractive in real life with a spark in their eye and conversation flowing.

I don't know what I'm hoping for but maybe someone has a word of advice.
Since it's relevant, I'll say that while I couldn't exactly call myself attractive, I've got no particularly obvious features or traits that would exclude me from attractiveness and I make a concerted effort to be clean and presentable.
posted by Peter B-S to Human Relations (32 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Can you clarify if people do swipe right and then you message them? That's how Tinder works, right? Just want to see if you're literally getting zero matches (photo and profile) or if you're just getting no hits when you do get matches.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 11:12 AM on February 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm getting very few matches, all of which I message once, to which I receive no replies. That is indeed how Tinder works - you have to match first, then either can message. I've also used Bumble heavily in the past, where I receive matches but because the woman messages first, no messages at all take place.
posted by Peter B-S at 11:14 AM on February 4, 2017

Ok, got it. I would suggest a few things then: most women have a much more selective swiping pattern so if you're swiping everyone it makes sense that a small % are going to match with you. I would just not let that phase you, maybe swipe fewer women if it bugs you.

Neither of your message approaches are good, sorry.

Try immediately asking them on a date and doing something that shows a bit of a sense of humor if it comes naturally. Example, if they're a film buff, ask them to something that shows that you understand that's their interest.So something like "I have been wanting to visit that old indie film series for a while---want to join me this weekend?" It gives them something to respond to that doesn't require an essay (because they're getting a bunch of messages, they don't want to have to chat with someone they don't know, who might never ask them out). And it shows interest in them specifically.

The other thing is that if you give a woman an opportunity to enjoy herself and have a good time (without having to plan an activity) it's a nice thing for her. "Hi" doesn't really do anything but be inoffensive; it doesn't give her anything extra to look forward to or be excited by.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 11:22 AM on February 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Counterpoint: I would not respond if someone immediately asked me on a date on Tinder without at least a few messages first. That would be pretty off-putting to me, because I'm put in the position of having to agree to meet someone without any information aside from their profile. I'm most likely to respond if someone sends a specific question about something in my profile to start a conversation.

Also, check your memail.
posted by quiet coyote at 11:31 AM on February 4, 2017 [21 favorites]

This is a generational divide, IMO. For people in their early 20s (albeit in America) it's not the norm to generate and read a lot of text all at once when you're getting to know someone (or possibly ever). This is an age group that sees email as a burden and texts constantly. That is why they are on Tinder instead of OKCupid.

If you insist on messaging back and forth a few times, make it interesting, short, and funny. Don't demand an essay or try to get to know them, it's both too boring and too personal for the medium.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 12:14 PM on February 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm a woman on Tindr and I agree with quiet coyote. There's nothing wrong with trying a different approach but it definitely wouldn't work for me.

Based on what you're saying, I don't think you're doing anything wrong ... so that sounds like you might have a blind spot. You might try some different photos. Outdoors, doing something interesting, definitely smiling. I've swiped left on lots of guys in dark, blurry photos or who look drunk, high, sad or grumpy.

In your first paragraph you give yourself two options: dating apps and hitting on women in bars. But there are lots of other ways to meet people.
posted by bunderful at 12:19 PM on February 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

You sound thoughtful and self-aware, which is lovely. OKCupid might be better as the profile length will allow more of your thoughtfulness to shine through.
posted by spraypaint at 12:21 PM on February 4, 2017 [9 favorites]

Agreed with quiet coyote. I'll admit that I skim every profile (all genders) and my sole criteria is: "Do I want to have a conversation with this person?" That's it. A witty one liner will make up for weak photos, but good photos plus a solid bio that gives me something to play off of is a rare and wonderful find. I'm just as likely to message first (I am a 28 yr old woman) too, fwiw. Oh, and it's usually a good sign too if we have 2+ Facebook interests in common.

In short, my decisions for swiping right and responding to messages are very subjective and selective. Which probably doesn't inspire much confidence, sorry!
posted by book 'em dano at 12:21 PM on February 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

I think it does vary by person. The first (and only, so far) tinder message I responded to was someone who asked me out for coffee that night. That sort of message is easy to respond to, and direct. We dated for nine months. All of the other thoughtful messages I had received from other users - it became overwhelming and they all were basically variations on the same thing. No fault of the men - what do you say about five lines of text?

It might be your photos. I know several guys who thought their photos were fine, and other guys they asked said they were fine, but from a woman's standpoint, there were not.

Try mixing it up. Message a few women and ask for something immediate, message others and ask a thoughtful question. Don't just message with a greeting. And check your photos with other women, who are your age.
posted by umwhat at 12:24 PM on February 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

My sense of Bumble over the short time I used it is that it seemed to be mostly fake users, but that could be an age-range thing.

Notwithstanding anything else, I think your flirting game is off. You seem to take an extractive and transactional approach, which is going to have a low rate of success because those things tend to remind people of their jobs.

I prefer to use apps because I don't like the idea of hitting on women in bars - it's rude to assume that they've come there to be hit on and the entire process reeks of enforced gender roles and other such unpleasantnesses.

Apps and bars are exactly the same. You see someone, they look like someone you might like, and you approach them or try to get their attention in some way. The physical environment is different, but the motivation and overall process is the same. This is not a matter of enforced gender roles unless you're acting against your own desires or something.

I only ever message a woman once, usually with a greeting and if I have any honest questions that occur from checking out their profile, one of those. If they've mentioned they're a film buff, I might ask if there's any releases they're keen for or any particular directors they're a fan of the work of.

They're not there to teach you. If you like that they're a film buff, maybe suggest a related movie that they don't mention. "Have you seen X?" or a joke, "Glad to find a fellow movie nut. Braveheart is my favorite Fassbinder movie."
posted by rhizome at 1:03 PM on February 4, 2017

Always write a first message that's something easy to respond to. "Hey" punts all the work of coming up with an interesting conversation on them. Depending on your personality, you can ask them how their day was, where one of their photos was taken, if they prefer cats or dogs, etc. Standard written English in both your profile and message is helpful.

I only swipe right if someone has more than one photo and they're smiling in at least one. I often want at least one that shows their general body type. Do you want to post a screenshot of your photo selection page to get some feedback on them?

I swipe left on everyone who says they "work hard play hard" or "live life to the fullest."

If you're college age, Tinder just might not be the right venue for you. Fellow students are meeting more people in real life, and post-college women are usually going for someone older.
posted by metasarah at 1:22 PM on February 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

I can't tell you what works. I will tell you what worked for me. I am 5'3" and not very attractive. I make up for it, though, by being a sanctimonious asshole. I am currently the loving and devoted husband to my wife, whom I met on OKCupid.

Because, at first blush, I had very little to offer compared to other potential suitors, my experience was very similar to yours. I still messaged people I was interested in with diligence and patience. I sent message after message, kept my inner pepe in check, and hoped for the best. And you know what happened, because it happened to you. Most of those messages disappeared into the void.

So, before we even get into culture, it's important to acknowledge something important: your experience is completely typical. Whether you are the second coming of Alan Alda or some knuckledragging cretin who can't make his headspace a safe place for women, you are going to get ignored.

Your problem, as I see it, is also very typical. You are reading meaning into why your inbox is empty. Hey, I could speculate all day as to why, but I'd rather not. It really isn't important. The important thing here is that you take that silence as a judgment. Perhaps it is, perhaps it isn't. I would tell you "So just don't judge yourself." but I know it's not that easy. I want to give you something else to do instead.

OK, so I was not having much luck sending messages. I was dilligent, though, and that does matter. I went on a number of dates, but didn't meet anyone where there was mutual interest. That is also normal. I enjoyed those experiences for what they were, but wanted to find a long-term partner.

It was a lot of work, and often it was frustrating. On a few occasions, I would end up sending long series of messages back-and-forth without an actual date, telling myself that I seemed to have made the type of connection I was certain would lead to romance, and being "ghosted" before the term was invented. That was very frustrating, but it does happen. I don't know if it's normal, and it's beside the point. The point is that often I would put in a lot of effort, and have little or nothing to show for it.

So I stopped messaging people. At that time OKCupid had a chat feature. I would check in perioidically to see who was online and chat in real time. In real time, the stakes are much lower and it is very hard for someone to ignore you. If I struck up a particularly good conversation or had found someone who had interests that were similar enough to mine, I would ask the person if they would like to meet. I spoke to my last date for all of five minutes before arranging our first meeting. We were married three years later.

So here is my advice, and it points to a little bit of a problem based on what you've disclosed: if you want to meet people, you will not have good odds when you communicate through means that make it easy to ignore you. You have to make people deal with you and you have to ask for what you want. If you don't do those two things, people are going to ignore you and they won't even hear your request.

If the strategy you are using isn't working, you need a new strategy. I wish I could give you one, but in these matters, I think it's best that you come up with one on your own. To that end, I wish you the best of luck.
posted by Mr. Fig at 1:49 PM on February 4, 2017 [7 favorites]

I'm a young adult on Tinder. If a guy justs says "hi" I don't usually reply. The message needs to be interesting, ask a question, or not be weird. For example, I didn't reply to the guy who decided to message me and say "late night swiping, huh? No shame in that!" because it felt vaguely like negging.
posted by Amanda B at 2:23 PM on February 4, 2017 [6 favorites]

In talking to my guy friends, most of 'em seem to get about a 1 in 10 response rate. There's some exceptions who do better (being outlier attractive or otherwise in a good cohort and not a douche might get you 1 in 4!), there's some more who do worse (1 in 20) even if they're messaging people in their (ugh) "league." The specific numbers aren't the point. The point is that the return for effort ratio for most men is down by an order of magnitude. This is the baseline expectation.

There are probably things you can do to up your response rate at the margins, and experimenting with people's advice and incorporating it is probably a good idea. You should definitely ask for some specific feedback from women you respect about your photos, profile, and messages. If that advice is near unanimous, definitely follow it. Be prepared to get contradictory advice (see Rock 'em Sock 'em's "Try immediately asking them on a date" vs quite coyote's "That would be pretty off-putting to me"), try both if possible with a judicious helping of situational intuition.

But ultimately the math is kindof brutal and online dating is not an activity which is likely to help most men feel desirable to the woman-half of the world.

And that's before we get to the rates of messages that lead to dates, and dates that lead to relationships.

This puts it in a class of activities that are difficult because a significant amount of participation is repeated failure. A lot of creative pursuits are like that. Business efforts can be like that. The only thing to do if you want the reward of the success is to somehow reconcile yourself to the failures as part of the game, and fall back on your motivation to keep playing. I think it's helpful if you can develop some kind of playfulness that helps you enjoy the process (and I tend to drop out if that's entirely absent for me), but you can also do it the same way you'd put money in a retirement account: you diligently put in some regular but limited amount of time/effort, and count on the probability that over the years these efforts accrue and eventually yield something significant.

In any case, whether it's fun or not, *do* limit the amount of time you put into it. Maybe blitz for a week or two periodically, but for the most part, do not let this become something that's eating up the better part of your free time.


I don't like the idea of hitting on women in bars - it's rude to assume that they've come there to be hit on and the entire process reeks of enforced gender roles and other such unpleasantnesses.

You should definitely respect the fact that some women are not looking for anyone to hit on them, and more women aren't looking for you specifically. But there's a web of competing values here, and despite the fact that the awareness you're displaying is important part of mitigating the problems of misogyny, a categorical decision not to approach women in social spaces where dating intent is uncertain is probably not the best thing.

I think it's best to take this approach instead: treat women as people first. It's okay to approach people sometimes and participate with them in social micro-interactions! Part of the reason you're curious about them may be that you find them attractive (and not only is that okay, ideally you can learn to own that feeling/motivation without apology), but don't let it override curiousity about and respect for them as a person first rather than attractive target. If your micro-interactions grow into a little rapport, it's reasonable to make a judicious bid for a little more, and maybe even a future invitation. When misunderstandings happen, expectations don't match, or you otherwise get shut down (not if, it will happen), be gracious about it, it's not about you, they're a person doing their own person-ing, thanks, good luck. Ideally, the focus is primarily on building rapport with people and seeing how that can grow socially rather than the specific goal of getting numbers or dates. The rapport comes first, then you make the invitations.

Also, since the goal is general rapport/connection, consider a broader variety of settings: social dance, a community college course, church social, open mic night, bowling league, meetup, your friend's game night. It kindof sucks that in a lot of western culture the concept of a third place seems to be shrinking towards bars/clubs. Because alcohol, crowds, and noise are a mixed blessing when it comes to facilitating rapport and connection.

Since we're getting into a general level of dating advice (but potentially helpful anyway), may as well go the whole way. There's a kind of charisma boost from a healthy level of self-care, eating well, exercising, efforts to make your living space something you enjoy inhabiting and are proud of, engaging in hobbies/activities you find rewarding on their own merits. I think that plus efforts at generalized social rapport does have subtle effects which can even cascade out into online profiles and interactions, but that's also possibly getting into foofy-woo territory, YMMV.
posted by wildblueyonder at 2:49 PM on February 4, 2017 [13 favorites]

I think your messages sound fine, so I would work on your photos. Is there a talented friend who can follow you around town one day and take some pics? Or an amateur photographer you can hire for a couple hours? Regardless of whether or not you're "conventionally attractive," this could make a big difference.
posted by delight at 3:14 PM on February 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

100% what Mr. Fig says. Your messages sound perfectly fine and good. It's just the way this thing works. I met my husband on OkCupid and his experience sound so similar to both of yours. What wound up working for my husband, and eventually for the two of us, was to minimize the online conversation and have a low-stakes meetup early on. And for what it's worth, my husband is dazzling and blindingly handsome and charming and engaging and genuinely fascinated by everyone he meets (not that I'm biased) and he still had an abysmal time matching with women on tinder and okcupid. Such is the cruel world we live in.
posted by pintapicasso at 3:49 PM on February 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

…it's rude to assume that they've come there to be hit on and the entire process reeks of enforced gender roles and other such unpleasantnesses.

This is absolutely ridiculous especially if you believe that

…photos are unreliable and everyone's more attractive in real life with a spark in their eye and conversation flowing.

Plenty of men and women go to bars to connect with people. If apps aren't working for you, then try something else. And if you don't like chatting up strangers in bars, then you have to meet people in other parts of your life.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 4:36 PM on February 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

You need to reconstruct your notion of male attractiveness. Looks are simply one piece -- necessary for some women, but not others, and NEVER sufficient. It is about confidence, humor, assertiveness, talent, status among other men, boldness, kindness-but-not-"nice guy"-ness. Convey those things. Don't toady for favor or make inane banter. "what kind of film do you like" = "loser," but "'meet for a pint and the new 70mm print of 'Bridge on the River Kwai' tomorrow night" = "that's probably worth a look."
posted by MattD at 4:47 PM on February 4, 2017

I'm not sure what you mean by a message with a greeting, but agreed with other posters that if that just means "hey" or "how are you tonight?" that you should write a tiny bit more. A question or comment that specifically relates to their profile or pictures (I would probably not comment on someone's appearance, but something like "oh, I see you were at city's botanic gardens, I love how many different kinds of tree peonies they have there!" or something) and offers a bit of a "hook" to make it easy to write back.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:28 PM on February 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Hey guys, thanks for all the advice, a couple of things in response.
A number of people have said that a greeting alone is inadequate, perhaps my question was unclear but to me a greeting is some form of hello, and then as I said some form of question about their profile usually follows.

The ask-date-first/get-to-know divide is what it is, different things work for different people I'm sure. I'll review my policy there, but in all honesty, without a little more conversation I personally can't tell whether I'd like to meet someone. The assumption that only they need more information seems strange.

As far as gender roles/bars, yes there are dedicated events for meetings (singles nights and that whole world of events) but I'm a little young for those - people seem to be out of uni by the time they end up at such events from what I've seen, and I am not, and for non-dedicated scenarios, basically I believe that any public situation where people's primary purpose is not seeking relationships, people and women especially have the right to not have to fend off advances all day long. That said, I'm not a stone log in these circumstances. I still talk to people, I still interact, I'm just not going to be the one to lead with flirting. Frankly I find guys that take dance classes to meet women (a common example of a non-bar scenario) to be a little disgusting. It's inappropriate and unacceptable to walk into something about something else entirely and decide that because you're interested in someone there, the nature of the event for you two has now changed.
Also, yes I feel like this may be shooting myself in the foot sometimes, but I'm especially uneasy about any scenario where someone may have consumed more than a couple of standard drinks (7.9 grams pure alcohol in Aus.) Again, I don't turn off social interaction, but I'm definitely not going to go after a girl if she's clearly been drinking, drunk or not. For a start, yknow, only an informed, enthusiastic sober consent is real consent, but even putting sex aside I tend to avoid mixing alcohol/inebriation and romance.
Also yes, I'll go and re-re-review my photos because somethings got to make a difference. I don't know how you came by your rough 1/10 or 1/20 numbers, but I can say that Tinder gives you about 100 swipes per 12 hours these days, and I can swipe for a week without a match no problem.
posted by Peter B-S at 6:01 PM on February 4, 2017 [6 favorites]

I don't think your experience is normal. Something is going wrong-you should be turning some of these matches into dates with your approach as you have described it. But, I don't think that we can help you either. This is a great thing to ask a close female friend-show her your profile and your matches and your messages and have her weigh in on what might be going wrong.
posted by Kwine at 6:35 PM on February 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

I only ever message a woman once, usually with a greeting and if I have any honest questions that occur from checking out their profile, one of those. If they've mentioned they're a film buff, I might ask if there's any releases they're keen for or any particular directors they're a fan of the work of.
You're approaching this the wrong way. Try to think of this from the woman's perspective. If you were getting lots of messages from guys, what kind of things do you suppose they're sending you? Probably a lot about the movie or band that you mentioned in your profile or generic questions like "how was ur weekend?" Yes, I hear you, you're only responding to the few bits of information that she threw out to you, and no it isn't fair that you have nothing better to go off. But that doesn't work because it's too predictable. Too safe.

Look, online dating is a crap shoot. You can't expect a whole lot, because you just don't know what the person on the other end is looking for. Just relax. I find that I have a lot more luck when I approach it with a sort of playful irreverence. Instead of asking a question directly drawn from their profile, try asking a rhetorical question or volunteer some information yourself. Try to have fun with it, and try to be funny. Flirting is all about showcasing your personality.
posted by deathpanels at 7:15 PM on February 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

You're at uni? Go join a few clubs on campus, related to things you have an interest in, and go to their meetings or events. Don't go with the goal of meeting someone to have a relationship with, just with meeting people who are interested in the same things you are. Sure, one of them might turn out to be a great match, but so might someone's housemate or colleague or someone else you cross paths with as part of an expanded social circle. I'm in my 30s and know a huge number of couples who first met via a university club of one sort or another. The timing is perfect - all the clubs will be recruiting next month, so at any meeting you go to there will be lots of people who don't already know each other.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 7:21 PM on February 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

And while I hear you re people's right to not fend off romantic advances in unrelated settings, it's entirely different when you're in a situation where you know each other already socially, and have some context to gauge whether your interest might be reciprocated. Keep being respectful, of course, but you may be surprised by how these things can happen organically.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 7:25 PM on February 4, 2017

I only ever message a woman once, usually with a greeting and if I have any honest questions that occur from checking out their profile, one of those.

As a woman, I'd say if you're stopping with a greeting (assuming you don't have any honest questions from their profile), then you really won't get a response. I mean, how boring is "hey?" The only ones I can think of that are worse are "dtf?" and "Hi, my name is _____." Well no duh that's your name, I can see it on your profile you idiot.

I don't neglect to add a description, nor do I add an excessively detailed and wordy one.

Do you put anything in your profile that would get women to message you first? I personally have an easy one in mine saying something along the lines of "I love bad puns and jokes. Please share if you have one." I genuinely enjoy bad groanworthy jokes, and it gives guys an easy out. This way I can also judge the ickiness of a guy I match with (you'd be surprised how many "What's the difference between me and a couch?" joke variations I get, and then immediately unmatch) or how witty they can be.

If you really want to know what's going on, have a good female friend take a look at your profile.
posted by astapasta24 at 8:48 PM on February 4, 2017

As OP has said a couple of times, he's asking questions related to the person's profile, not just saying a generic "hey."

OP, like I said before, I think your methods are good. I agree that having a couple extra sets of eyes on your profile for honest feedback would be a plus. Otherwise, keep on keepin' on. I think your views about keeping things light and non-romantic at social occasions is good -- just keep being friendly, and if you seem to hit it off with someone, go from there. I also agree that joining clubs at school could be a good outlet for meeting friends, and if anything else comes out of it, that could be a bonus.

I personally think that messaging someone with a friendly greeting and a comment/question about specific stuff in their profile is the gold standard for online dating. Anything that could be construed as a copy/paste sent to several women is less good, IMO, including hypothetical questions that could be answered my anyone and don't show engagement with my profile.

Agreed that ensuring that there are a couple of "hooks" in your profile that will give messagers something specific to engage with might help.

Best of luck, OP. I think you're doing the right things. Get some outside feedback and some fresh photos. You got this.
posted by delight at 9:00 PM on February 4, 2017

It doesn't sound like there's anything terribly wrong with your messages - those are the sort of messages that I'd at least consider responding to - so I wonder if the problem is with your profile? I would like to see a few unposed photos of the person that show their personality and interests, and a couple of sentences about what kind of person they are and what brings them to online dating.
posted by intensitymultiply at 12:29 AM on February 5, 2017

If Tinder is not working for you, how about meeting women in real life situations? You know, the old fashion way where your friends introduce you to women they know, or being invited to parties and befriending people there, or hosting get-togethers and asking friends to bring other people...

Honestly there is something slightly off about your post, and follow up, which makes me think that maybe others see that as well on Tinder. I dunno but you seem a bit too 'intense'.

Ask people you know to evaluate your profile and give you feedback.
posted by Kwadeng at 1:19 AM on February 5, 2017

As an aside; are you sure the women you're swiping on are real profiles? I ask because my brother had Tinder for a while (we're in Australia) and he came across numerous fake profiles for women. Probably close to 40%. A lot of them were stolen photos with bogus 'nearby' locations, and they would never reply to him beyond the one match message. They were all conventionally attractive, too. He showed me, and it was pretty obvious. The profiles had an element of 'too good to be true' to them, and once you started noticing the similarities in wording, etc, it was easy to identify the fake ones. The profiles also didn't last very long, I assume Tinder would delete them. That said, literally another would take its place daily. We're not sure if its because we're in Australia or what, but they did seem to be a disproportionate amount of fake profiles on Tinder. (Especially compared to OKCupid etc). Check the profiles again after a week or two and see if they're still there. If they're not, they were probably fake.

He'd report them, and they'd get removed, but Tinder didn't seem to care much because these kind of profiles got sign ups. This was a few years ago, I'm not sure if its improved at all, but it definitely used to be an issue for him. He actually stopped using Tinder because of it; at one point he was going on just to see if he could spot fakes. But they may have fixed it since then possibly, who knows, and this may not be the case for you. I mention it just because it was relevant once and might explain why part of your matches are low.

Good luck.
posted by Dimes at 11:01 AM on February 5, 2017

Nthing that while you are between 20-35 use that time wisely and consider going out and talking/contacting people as well. I'm a bit older than that and suddenly really no-one of my friends goes out anymore and I don't feel in place in these places myself (ah, if only I knew then what I know now!). Don't think you impose in any way too quickly. Some quick friendly contact, -even if not reciprocated- can't be bad, ever! And it was never bad in my experience when I was your age (as a younger woman, being in bars or anywhere, North Europe). Maybe just practice flirting in the way of the contact described by wildblueyonder.

And I agree with the reactions you got above, saying you need some outside perspective, to rule out any issues with the profile and photo's, and I would stress to choose that perspectiive wisely. Not just a good friend your age who's never done any internet- or app-dating, but someone who has been doing that. And maybe someone who does not know you personally. Because I would rather be a good friend than an accurate critic for my friends if they'd ever ask me something like that.

I've become very sensitive to photo's (lessons learned), while online-dating/app-dating. But most of the time not because of what I find beautiful but because of what the photo's say to me about the person. Lots of my criteria for photo's could be specific for me but I bet there is actually a lot of common ground on what is evaluated to be more or less attractive in pictures (and again I'm not talking about attractive in terms of physical features). You do sound like you've got the rest of it, you're thoughtful, write good messages, and it would be a shame if your photo's ruin it for you. You can me-mail me, if you'd like me to look at them for you.
posted by Litehouse at 3:56 PM on February 5, 2017

You might not feel so bad after reading this: How a Math Genius Hacked OkCupid to Find True Love
posted by yearly at 7:07 PM on February 5, 2017

Look I hate to say this but you're gonna have to pay.

Since Tinder changed its swiping architecture, people who use the BOOST feature are far more featured than the ones who don't. And when most women are getting matches immediately, if you're not in the first group she sees, you're never getting looked at. I personally hated the idea of paying. But when I did, my match rate went up a ton. So spring for the 4 buck boost (and KEEP SWIPING until it ends). Do it a couple of times and see what it does for you.

As for first message stuff, I usually lead with a dumb joke. Like "What time does Sean Connery usually get to Wimbledon?"


I'm not sure why women talk to me after that, but they do. Might be the same for you.
posted by rileyray3000 at 8:38 AM on February 6, 2017

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