Very little about modern dating is conducive to building a sense of self-worth, but being a girl on Tinder is at least good for one thing: you're probably going to get quite a lot of likes.
Casual Tinder users have known for years that if a girl consecutively likes a bunch of profiles, there's a good chance that most of them will like her back. Unfortunately, science has just proven that this may not be down to your Kylie Jenner Lip Kit and handheld selfie lamp upping your profile pic game. It's because the men of Tinder are, for the most part, compulsive right-swipers.
Researchers at Queen Mary University, Sapienza University of Rome, and the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group created fake male and female Tinder profiles and automatically liked everyone within a 100-mile radius. Their findings, reported by the Washington Post, reinforce what many Tinder users know anecdotally: that women are overwhelmingly more discerning than men.
While the fake male profiles only matched with other users 0.6 percent of the time, around ten percent of female profiles were liked, mostly by men. The researchers postulate that women are more picky on Tinder, only liking the profiles of men they're attracted to, whereas men play a brutal numbers game by liking everyone in sight.
To make matters worse, men are less likely to send messages: only seven percent of men who matched with a fake profile sent a message, compared with 21 percent of women. This creates a horribly counterproductive feedback loop, wherein women become more picky because everyone they like seems to like them back—and men, faced with increasingly selective women, drop their standards even further.
Type "Tinder" into the App Store, and you'll see a plethora of apps aimed at maximizing your swiping game. Bonfire and Tinder Auto Liker (not an app you want a prospective date to see installed on your phone) will automatically approve every potential match, saving valuable time you can put towards clearing the search history on your work computer or re-reading seminal hook-up classic The Game. Swipe-happy office workers can even install software on their computers so they can auto-swipe continually without using their phones.
While most of us have at least one friend who will sit in the corner at a party, listlessly swiping right while semi-maintaining eye contact, finding men willing to explain why they like everyone on Tinder was hard. So we did the sensible thing, and hopped on Tinder to find out why men swipe right, from men who swiped right. All names have been changed to protect the guilty.
I say yes to most people, but not all, because I don't consider myself massively attractive and it's a more efficient way of getting matches.
I swipe right to everyone basically because of game theory. Guys swipe right continuously, because they know that whoever they match with is (usually) interested in them. Doesn't stop the odd "I swiped right by accident or because you look like a mate and I wanted to show him LOL," but it tends to work.
I use a desktop client that has the facility to auto-swipe called Flamite. From a basic maths perspective, it makes sense. Say you swipe right at a rate of one girl per second. If I spend ten seconds evaluating a profile, it's only worth it if 90 percent of girls I swipe right to match with me. That's a rough equation, but it's effective.
I send a message to most people I match with, unmatch a (very) small number, but I won't ignore anyone usually. Whether they reply—well, I like to think they're missing out, LOL.
I've had a couple of nice dates, a one-night stand, and a, well, "thing" (not really a relationship) that lasted a few months.
Andrew, 35, airline pilot
I'd say I swipe 70 percent "yes" then chat to about 20 percent of my matches. I can pretty much gauge my mood by five minutes of swiping: if I'm horny I like more profiles, if I'm drunk it goes up even more.
[in response to questioning] No, I don't swipe when I'm flying my plane.
I've only had sex about three times in the last ten years, but I get propositioned about five times a week. I'm just looking for someone who can put up with me, really. I swipe yes to everyone because it gives me a higher chance of actually meeting someone. I'll talk to anyone, I don't mind. Actually I've matched with quite a lot of people from your office.
Most of the other male Tinder users I speak to, excluding those who have the unfair advantage of being a handsome bastard, agree that Tinder is a brutal numbers game. You need to say yes to a lot of girls to get a match; you need to speak to a lot of matches to get a response; you need to conduct a fair few conversations to go on a date. Obviously swiping right to everyone only addresses the first stage of that.
It saves an unbelievable amount of time—it's unreal. Making a decision as to whether or not you find a girl on a dating app attractive isn't a particularly lengthy one—but you do want to have a look at the profile pictures; read the bio; briefly fantasize about a future life together when you develop an irrational crush.
And most of the time, for me, it's wasted time, because my experience of Tinder is that you don't match with the overwhelming majority of girls that you like.
Saying yes to your daily limit of likes takes two to three minutes, and then you can decide whether or not you find your matches attractive. What would have taken a whole evening on the sofa can be rattled through in an ad break.
Saying yes to everyone means you match with everyone who likes you, including that magic overlapping part of the Tinder Venn diagram—those who are willing to match with you and those who you find attractive. Sure, it's a bit of a heartless approach as you end up ignoring girls who message you that you're not attracted to. But app dating in general is a fairly dehumanizing and mechanistic numbers game.
I would say I swipe right to most girls. I think you end up meeting more personalities that way. Sometimes you strike up a better conversation with a girl who you'd have swiped left on if you'd looked at her properly. And sometimes a stunning girl might have no personality. For me, it's all about personality.