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If you are new to apps or have been on apps for a while, there are usually two polarizing views of dating apps that individuals experience. One is not having enough likes or matches and the other is having too many options on the dating apps.
Most people jump into apps and are unaware of how they operate. They create a profile, get excited about all the attractive people on the apps and swipe right recklessly like a kid in a candy shop. Yes, that feeling of attraction and having endless options is great, but it’s temporary and not sustainable (unless you are Emily Ratajkowski).
For the most part, new user profiles are boosted and shown more often to assess profile interest and train the algorithm to feed you profiles down the road. Similarly, they are shown attractive people to keep them hooked on the app (similar to first hit is free model for drug-dealers). The purpose is to get you hooked on dating apps.
Related read: Dating App Fatigue, Take A Break From Online Dating
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Dating apps are merely introduction tools and not ordering apps. If you think they have your best interest at heart, know what you want or know your type, you are off to a bad start. Most people don’t know what they want and if they did, they don’t know how to screen profiles or read people.
The purpose of apps is to keep you on the app and use your likeness to get others to get on the apps and stay there. They do this in a variety of ways, but the main plan is to bombard you with options, offer ambiguity in profiles and get you addicted so that you swipe to see more profiles.
With free accounts, users are unable to use certain filters that are available to paid users such as intentions, politics and more (to see filters available on each app, check out the templates here). The purpose of this is to 1) get you to pay them and 2) show you more profiles than you would have otherwise had you enabled these filters.
Related read: What To Do When Online Dating Doesn’t Work
Dating App Profiles, Bios, Mandatory vs Optional Fields & Ambiguous Meanings
The other way dating apps inflate dating pools is by making certain profile fields optional. What this does is keep people from being prematurely blocked from your eyes. If you seek a non-smoker for example, you might be shown people who are smokers but didn’t fill out the field. Similarly, people lie on dating apps (surprise, surprise).
Related read: Most Common Lies Told On Dating Apps
The structure for fields in a profile are rather ambiguous and typically don’t always capture the essence of people. In the marijuana field of Bumble, the options are:
While these seem like good, exhaustive options, they don’t provide good context. What if you use CBD to sleep? What if you only eat edibles once a month or few times a year? Socially can imply weekly while frequently can imply daily but who knows. There is a reason why people leave fields like this blank because context matters.
The other way apps inflate inventory of profiles is by allowing for people to change their location or rely on GPS for locations rather than a fixed field. For example, on Bumble, GPS is used to show profiles rather than the ‘lives in’ field (which is optional). The algorithms also tend to boost profiles that are out of town as it inflates the inventory of profiles, which is temporary.
Related read: Bumble Location Fields
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Volume Approach To Swiping – Matches Mean Nothing (Paradox Of Choice Online Dating), Paradox Of Choice Dating
On apps like Bumble, men typically tend to over-swipe right on the app for a couple of reasons: one there is no penalty for swiping too much like with Hinge, and two, not all matches message guys. This effect tends to snowball to the point where some people treat dating apps like a volume game. More likes leads to more matches which leads to more dates.
Unfortunately, this can backfire. The idea of a match has been diluted to the point that all it means is that someone flicked their finger one inch to the right – how romantic. Some men are looking for something casual and the threshold for sleeping with someone is less than one for having a relationship.
Once you give someone a lot of likes and matches, it becomes hard to manage a pipeline. There is no Dateforce (Saleforce for dating i.e. DRM). Dating apps don’t limit how many likes and matches you can have which dilutes the value of a match. If dating sites capped matches and conversations, it would improve the quality of matches as it would force people to be more focused, present.
Too Many Matches On Hinge, Too Many Matches On Bumble, Too Many Matches On Tinder, Hinge Match Limit, Bumble Match Limit, Perfect Number Of Matches
Not everyone is ready to date and some people are better at screening profiles, reading people, filtering aggressively and quickly moving from chats to dates. Other people cast a wide open net while others are looking to settle down asap and get married and have kids.
Given different timelines, it’s impossible to recommend what is a healthy amount of matches, conversations and dates to have going on at once. Given busy schedules, rising costs and general motivation, things can progress quickly while other matches can take forever to turn into a date.
There are ebbs and flows on dating apps and it’s not uncommon to get overwhelmed with matches especially if you are boosted i.e. standout on Hinge or are a new user on apps.
Some people cannot manage dating more than one person at a time and there is nothing wrong with that unless you overly invest yourself in strangers, pre-qualify people too quickly, rush things, use bad judgment or fail to read people effectively.
Conversely, if you date too many people at once, it’s hard to evaluate people individually and it’s hard to review people in isolation rather than compare them against everyone else. Most people get overwhelmed with too many options while others are fine with choice. You do whatever works for you but note, not everyone is on the same timeline as you or has the same intentions.
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They should be. Your time is invaluable. Who you want to spend the rest of your life with is arguable the most important decision in your life. If you are not ready to date, you should not be on dating apps.
It’s perfectly fine to talk to several people at once, as not all matches will turn into dates. The point of dating apps is to not treat them like ordering apps but use them as introduction tools to see who you want to get to know and who you want to go on a date with.
Start off slowly with right swipes when you launch a profile. There is a lag time from when you like a profile, until when they might see you, until you both see the match and the time either sends a first message. Knowing what you want is key as well as knowing how to set boundaries, filter aggressively and knowing how to read people.
It’s easier to ramp up swiping, expand criteria rather than lose out on quality matches because you are overwhelmed, can’t respond in time, can’t meet up soon enough or you are too busy to set up a date.
Related read: Manipulation Tactics On Dating Apps
Dating App Women’s Choice
Right Choice Dating App
Read this: The Right Stuff Dating App Review
Field Dating App
Read this: Feeld Dating App
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About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie is a dating coach for men & women in San Francisco (clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, & beyond ), as seen in the NYT & Bumble). He has insight into algorithms as well as a keen understanding of dating cultures across locations, demographics, and orientations.
He helps with profiles, photos, wardrobe, messaging, date ideas, red flags, lifestyle choices, hobbies, grooming/hygiene, communication, social skills & where to meet singles. Whether you are a POC, short guy, introvert, engineer, or just struggling with dating, he can help you be efficient & strategic.
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