Of course, no matter what you're using it for — dates, hookups, to send funny screenshots to your friends—the first thing you need to do is get some matches. So, in terms of the numbers game, what's the best Tinder strategy or dating app strategy? Should you just constantly swipe right to get more matches on apps with endless options? It's a well-known trick that many men use. As one 29-year-old guy tells Bustle, "The more darts you throw the more that are bound to hit the board." Romantic? Surely not. Effective, maybe?
The strategy makes sense, at first. So much so that there are actually auto-likers that do the Tinder swiping for you, and swipe right to everyone. This means, of course, that everyone who swipes right to you will become a match, so you're maximizing your potential matches. Sounds great, right?
I'm not so sure. Dating apps are already overwhelming places. Whether it's sorting through matches, remembering what conversations you're having, or just sifting through all the drunken hookup requests that come through on a Saturday night. The more mathematical side of me thinks more = a better chance of finding someone you really like. But the more practical side of me thinks isn't it all just a little... much?
So I asked an expert what the deal is. Laurie Davis Edwards, an online dating expert, founder of eFlirt, and author of Love @ First Click , tells Bustle there is a problem with swiping right to everyone.
"Swiping right on everyone throws off the flirtation balance," she says. "Right now, a lot of guys do this to increase their chances of a mutual match, but it sends mixed signals to women. A woman thinks that when she gets a mutual match it means a guy likes her — but when she gets the match, messages him, and gets no reply, she realizes he was probably just swiping on everyone. That's a let down, and for women, it happens a lot. A "mutual match" doesn't hold as much clout as it once did, but if women begin doing this too, we may as well stop swiping. If everyone swipes right to all their matches, what's the difference between swiping and searching, like you do on a site?"
It makes sense. Constantly swiping right on everyone must be so overwhelming. And the worst part of dating apps with endless options is the pile of unanswered messages and ignored matches. So do we really want more of that? It's not just annoying, it can affect the way you view potential dates.
"If women want more quantity, they could swipe right on everyone, but if it becomes more widespread, mutual matches will eventually become irrelevant," she says. "I mention quantity because that is what you'd be attracting — not quality. Even though you don't need to message everyone you match with, having quantity isn't always a good thing. For most of our clients at eFlirt, quantity gets confusing because it changes your decision-making behaviors. You begin comparing in ways you might not otherwise. For example, someone who has potential and may have been a 'maybe' match might become a 'no' simply because there are too many people filling your screen. Digital comparison is all theoretical because you don't yet know the person offline, so there is nothing truly tangible to compare. Particularly on apps where communication happens via push notifications, there also often feels as though there is an urgency to respond, which could leave you on dating overload, too. While more activity may seem like a good thing, it can backfire and burn you out before you meet the one for you."
So way too many matches can lead to weeding people out or making knee-jerk decisions just because you need to cut out some matches. Or just giving up completely. Which would lead me to think, why create all those extra matches in the first place? Instead of swiping right on everyone, it seems like it would make way more sense to calm down, read all of the profiles, think about whether you'd actually message them or reply to a message from them if you got one. If not? I'm all for avoiding the clutter in the first place. Swipe left.
Images: Fotolia; Liz Minch/Bustle; Giphy