More often than not, my new clients ask me the following question – “Emyli, why is online dating so hard for men?”
Weren’t dating apps supposed to be designed to make online romantic connections simply spill out into the real world? Maybe, but when dating profiles have been reduced to cards that are gleefully swiped away, dating apps can feel more like games than viable ways to meet women. And like with most games, there’s a winner and a loser. If you’re a dude, you’re losing. That’s not my opinion, it’s just the data.
Hinge isn’t only one of the least superficial dating apps around, but the company loves giving its users an inside look at how daters interact with the app. A Hinge engineer recently went about digging up stats that show which profiles received the most amount of likes. The top 1% of the most attractive male Hinge users received 16.4% of the likes on Hinge. The top 5% received 41.1% and the top 10% received the majority of the likes, coming in at 58%. If you found yourself in the bottom half of users, you and your buddies received a total of just 4.3% of all Hinge likes.
So basically, if you’re not within the top 10 percentile you’ll be swiping away for quite a long time before you score a match. The issue is that once you finally end up matching with a woman, she’ll either not be up to snuff or will have also matched with 147 men whose profiles are more attractive than yours. So why is this?
It turns out that men tend to be less selective on dating apps. How many times have you blindly swiped right on Tinder until you ran out of swipes? Women don’t do this. This gives women the impression that they can match and thus date men who are way out of their league. Why would a female Tinder user swipe right on a somewhat attractive man when she knows that she can match with an extremely attractive man? This is just one of the factors why online dating is so hard for men. Let’s diagnose some of the reasons why online is so hard along with a few solutions.
Why Is Online Dating So Hard For Men: The Filters
Dating apps imbue women with a filter mentality. It’s difficult to filter men out when women are at bars. This is because there are so many non-superficial factors that come into play in the real world compared to in a dating app. With an app, a woman can gleefully swipe left to men that don’t meet their exact criteria. Apps dissect and categorize users to the point where their personalities can’t shine through. When women don’t personally know someone it’s easy for them to create a “must-have” list.
There are a few things in nearly every woman’s must-have list. Her newest love must be at least 6’ feet tall, have a great professional title, a certain ethnicity, at least a BA, and as we’ve established he must be crazy hot. This sounds harsh, but when she’s amassing hundreds of matches every day through various dating apps, can you blame her for being picky? She doesn’t have to settle when dudes indiscriminately swipe right. This gives her the impression that she’s highly coveted. So with women becoming ever pickier due to filter features, how do you stay relevant?
Cut through the filter bias by letting our personality shine through. Dating apps strip users of their singularity. Stand out by penning an awesome bio. Let humor be your x-factor. As for your photos, avoid redundancy, don’t take selfies, and include pictures from your last international vacation.
Not even a blind woman would swipe right on a photoless profile. Perhaps that was a bit hyperbolic, but when it comes to online dating photos mean everything. Photos are the billboards of online dating, whereas the bios are the small print that many of us never read. Despite the fact that written bios define users infinitely better than a couple of photos, females and males alike place much more importance on photos than written bios.
There’s no denying that humans are superficial creatures, but dating apps bring the superficiality out even more. If you’re looking for an app that highlights personality while pushing appearance into the background good luck. I’m sure such an app exists, but because no one’s using it, I’ve not heard of it. Hinge and OkCupid might be the least shallow apps out there. But being the least shallow still means that your user base skims bios and salivates over bikini pics. Let’s be honest, there’s no downplaying the importance of a solid roster of photos. So how do you improve your app-game to ensure that ladies will swipe right on you?
If you don’t have any app-worthy photos and feel the need to put together a solid profile within a few days there’s only one option; hire a professional photographer. Nowadays there are photographers that specialize in dating app photo shoots. They’ll make sure you don’t look like a killer. Jokes aside, many women that I’ve spoken with opt not to ultimately go on a date with a guy she matched with because he didn’t make her feel safe. In my 3-month Signature Program, I teach men how to create compelling profiles, ask women out, craft compelling messages on dating apps, how to create epic dates, how to follow up after a date, and of course how to not look like you’re a dude with a foot fetish in your profile.
Let’s say that hiring a professional photographer sounds a bit intense. Instead of blowing money on a shoot, comb through your photo library and find 15 photos you think are app-worthy. Then ask your female friends or users on Photofeeler.com to rate your photos.
Why Is Online Dating So Hard for Men: The Abundance Of Choices
Sure there are only 25 million women on dating apps in the USA, but I’m not talking about that sort of abundance. The overchoice that I’m talking about has to do with the excessive amount of dating apps on the market. There’s Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Cove, Coffee Meets Bagel, Match.com, Elite Singles, etc. The issue is finding the app that works for you.
The first thing you’ll want to do is find a dating app that appeals to the demographic of women you’re trying to court. A large portion of Tinder and Bumble users are 18-24. Apps used by those in their late 20s and early 30s are POF, Coffee Meets Bagel, OkCupid, and Hinge. Those ages 45 and older should create an eHarmony or Match.com account. Each dating app targets a specific type of user. Tinder is known as a hookup app, while Hinge is geared towards those trying to find long-term partners. Figure out which app aligns with your preferences before indiscriminately downloading various apps.
Next, you’ll want to figure out which app is most popular in your state. Sure Tinder may be the most popular overall, but users in Oregon prefer Bumble, while the people of Colorado favor POF.
I recommend that my clients use 5 dating apps. By casting a wide net you’ll interact with various personalities and algorithms. If you’re not doing so hot on Happn perhaps spend a little more time on Bumble. The more options the higher your chances are of landing a quality match. If you’re considering upgrading, only do so on one application. Upgrading on five will drive you crazy as you’ll feel the need to spend an excessive amount of time reading profiles and chatting up strangers. Keep your sanity. Don’t turn online dating into a second job.
The Fake And Inactive Accounts
Just because her profile is on Tinder doesn’t mean she is. Deleting many dating apps doesn’t mean deleting your account. It’s true that many of the users you see on the online dating scene are in fact already taken. Their profiles hang around like ghosts because these online dating companies want to keep their user numbers up.
Then there’s the issue of fake accounts. I’m not talking about accounts created by the Russians to mine for political data. Rather I’m talking about all the people that made dating apps accounts that aren’t looking to date. Prostitutes, IG influencers, and others will make accounts for purposes outside of looking for a partner. Then there are the people that make accounts because they think it’s funny to reject a bunch of dudes as they take their morning crap.
With situations like these, it seems as though the only viable route towards a solution is a strongly worded letter. But if you don’t have time to scribble down your list of woes and send it to a tech-giant like Match Group, there are other ways to deal with this issue.
Certain apps allow for upgrades that grant users the ability to view the last time their romantic interest signed on. If you don’t have access to such an upgrade you can check her IG account, which is likely attached to the account. If the same dude keeps popping up in her recent photos she’s probably spoken for.
Why Is Online Dating So Difficult for Men: You’re Overusing Apps
It’s easy to lean on dating apps. You can comb through thousands of available women, judge from afar, and rarely if ever feel bad after a rejection. You can log in to POF as you wait for your Uber, watch the ballgame, or even when you’re already on another Tinder date. The myriad of options gives us a keen sense of FOMA. Even when you have a beautiful woman in front of you, you still might be thinking about all the other beautiful women that you’re missing out on.
Take it from a professional dating coach, relax. When was the last time you met a woman for the first time in the real world? It’s likely that you feel online dating is too hard because you’re relying on it too much. Don’t throw all your right swipes into one basket. Ease the pressure you put on dating apps by making it a point to meet women in the real world. Take a quantifiable step towards doing so by attending 2 social events every week. Let your inner luddite out by buying a calendar and penciling in social events. If you’re putting too much pressure to flirt with women at these events, then don’t. Simply make conversation.
You’re Not Messaging/Interacting Correctly
When it comes to online dating, getting a match is the easy part. Once you’re matched up, it’s time to begin the courting process. Naturally, the man will send the first message. According to a research paper published in the academic journal, Science Advances, just 21% of men receive a response to their initial message. 1 in 5 women will message you back. However, that number will drop as the desirability gap widens.
There are any number of reasons why she chooses not to message you back. You two matched right, so there must be some inkling of a connection? While the connection might be there, consider how many messages she’s being bombarded with on a daily basis. In the aforementioned paper, the study found that the most desirable female user of an unspecified, yet popular dating service received 1504 messages throughout the course of the study. That breaks down to receiving a new message every 30 minutes for the span of a month.
Super desirable or just slightly attractive, if she has an online dating account, she’s getting inundated with messages. It’s your job to jockey for position and win her attention. You’ll do so crafting a solid opener and following it up with a light conversation, ultimately culminating in a TDL.
It’s daunting to know that you’re competing potentially competing against hundreds of other matches. However, our research shows that some of those dudes are fault. In a recent Hinge study carried out by yours truly, I found that 70% of men didn’t comment on a female user’s Hinge answer or photo. Of the paltry 30% that did message, only 5-10% of dudes said something apart from “hey” or a hey-like alternative.
Make your first message compelling. Comment on her profile, use her name, and don’t be overtly sexual. Here are a few first message examples to get you going.
- Let’s skip the customary ice breakers. Instead, tell me something weird about you.
- So tell me Mariela. How can I make you fall in love with me?
- The Office Trivia: Who said it? “Dwight you ignorant slut!”
- What’s the coolest thing you did during your time in Argentina?
The cliche hey, is well, cliche. It doesn’t take much effort to actually read her profile and comment on a hobby of hers. If she hasn’t written a bio, ask her a probing question that cracks her open and shows you her personality. Just don’t make the question too complex or she might not respond.
After you two have sent a few messages back and forth, set a TDL. Remember that dating apps only work if you meet up with your match in real life. To do this, you’ll need to ask her out. Too many guys make the mistake of asking her on an amorphous date set in an undefined future. With a TDL you’re asking her to go on a concrete date that has a set time, date, location, and activity. This way she has something tangible that she can seriously consider and either commit or reject.
Why The Courting Phase Will Always Be Harder For Men Than Women
Evolutionary psychologists have told it to us straight. Throughout the animal kingdom, it’s the male that pursues and the female that kicks her feet up and waits for potential suitors to impress her through dance, song, money, cars, notoriety, comedy, the recitation of every number in PIE, etc.
Have a look around the animal kingdom and you’ll see that the males are largely tasked with pursuit. Peacocks are known for their vibrant tails. However, when compared to their male counterparts, female peacocks have rather basic looking tails. We see this same signaling in birds, monkeys, and even fish.
Women are generally more selective with their mates due to the 9-month birthing process and the caring of their newborn child. Evolutionary psychologists might even argue that the male human’s main purpose and goal that he’s constantly striving towards is simply to populate the world with his seed. A woman, of course, can’t do this because the consequence of sowing her seed is then taking care of a child for nine months followed by child-rearing. Mating habits would change if the roles of parental investment changed.
In certain frog species where the male frog invests more than the female frog in preserving the life of its offspring, it’s the female that competes for the attention of the male. The bottom line is that male humans will always have to compete for women. The trade-off is that dudes don’t have to carry another living being inside of them for 9 months, feed them with milk produced from their own bodies, and repeat the cycle every time an egg gets fertilized.
Now that you know why online dating is so hard, what are you going to do about it? I have a proposal. Give me three months of your time and I’ll turn you into the successful romantic you always wanted to be. You’ll learn how to find and attract women both online and in the real world. You’ll learn how to effectively ask women out, advance a relationship, and ultimately build a meaningful relationship. Your new and improved romantic future is just a Skype session away.