The Gender Gap of Online Dating

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Online Dating Gender Gap Exists

It’s no secret that women tend to fare better in online dating than men, at least as far as opportunities. Women receive far more messages and matches compared to their male counterparts, which can be frustrating for guys who are looking for something more serious than a hook up, but can’t seem to get to a match, let alone a first date.

But to be fair, women don’t have an easy time online dating either. They receive many more unsolicited and even offensive messages and texts, including inappropriate photos and abusive or threatening messages, which is why they have to be more selective in who they communicate with.

So, the gap between men and women in online dating has grown even wider, especially with dating apps like Tinder where men can “mass swipe” right on women, hoping to increase their chances of meeting someone special, while women's inboxes are flooded.

A recent article in The Washington Post focused on a thirty-one year old San Francisco male, Sebastian Stadil, who has swiped right on over 203,000 women on Tinder. He’s not doing it to play a game or to hook up with as many women is possible, he’s doing it to beat the odds. He has come to the conclusion that online dating is a numbers game, and if he stands a chance at getting a date, then he has to throw his net large and wide.

He’s not wrong. The average match rate for a single straight man is .6%. And while he’s gotten about 150 first dates out of all of those swipes, as a percentage, it’s not that significant. And none have led to a relationship.

Let’s be honest, to a certain extent, online dating is a numbers game. We are all trying to grab attention from potential mates by posting flattering photos and upping our flirty texting game. But at the end of the day, online dating is about capturing someone’s attention first, before you can even be considered for a match.

Think of it this way: when you’re at a bar, you spot an attractive woman and first you try to make eye contact to see if she’s interested. Maybe you’ll talk to her, and maybe she’ll respond. But out of all the people in the bar, you have a chance, because you are there and competing with a finite amount of people. But when you consider an app like Tinder, with virtually infinite choices, chances are you won’t strike up a conversation with the woman you find so attractive. Or at least, not unless you really stand out to her.

There are ways of improving your online dating profile by choosing better pictures, starting messages with something more clever or unique than “hey,” or describing yourself in more specific terms than “funny” or “adventurous.” Think about how you would approach someone in person, with a little thoughtfulness, and strike up a conversation over text in the same way.

So don't give up on online dating. Many people do meet their significant others online. Match reports that 20% of married couples today met online. When you put some effort into your online dating communication and profile, you might be surprised at the improved results.