By Erika Ettin
Tribune News Service
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As dating expert Erika Ettin points out, the way men and women use dating apps is significantly different. While many men spend their time/energy focusing on a profile photo and then swiping right, women will spend much more time diving into the actual text of the profile before making a decision.
Tribune News Service
It’s no secret that men and women are different. I’ve been seeing in my clients that difference compounded when it comes to the dating apps, like Tinder and Bumble.
Men and women, regardless of orientation, use the apps in a very different manner from each other.
Of course, this is a generalization, and there are exceptions to every rule (and I’m sure some of you will point them out to me!), but I want to share some insights on the way people approach the dating apps.
It starts the same for both men and women: You see someone’s first profile picture. You don’t like it. You swipe left. (Swiping left means you don’t like someone, and swiping right means you do.) Done.
Now, here’s where the decision tree takes a turn…
As women, if the first picture passes the test, then we look at the remaining pictures. Gym selfie? Swipe left. Bathroom selfie? Swipe left. Unnecessary shirtless pic (as in, you’re not at the beach)? Swipe left. Pictures with lots of hot women? Definitely swipe left.
If we’re still on the “yes” train, now we spend some time looking at the profile. (I recommend 20 to 40 words, something catchy, something quirky, and something unique.) We look to see what, if anything, the other person has written. Nothing? Likely a left swipe. Something with poor grammar, anything sexual, or something remotely misogynistic? That also gets a left swipe.
Now, once we view all of your pictures, and no faux pas has been made, and we also like your profile, we swipe right. Decision tree complete.
Many men, on the other hand, if they like the first photo, will immediately swipe right. Decision tree complete.
Think I’m making this up? There was a study done in 2012 (the most recent I could find) by Tobii, an eye-tracking software company, and AnswerLab, a user-experience research firm, to see where men’s versus women’s eyes went on an online dating profile. (Keep in mind that they used eHarmony and Match.com profiles on a computer, not dating app profiles on a phone.)
The results show “Women spent an average of 84 seconds evaluating a profile to assess if it was a match, while men spent an average of 58 seconds. Men tend to focus on the profile photo. In some instances, men spent as much as 65 percent more of their time than women looking at the profile photos.”
Now, in 2018, I hypothesize that those 84- and 58- second numbers, for women and men looking at someone’s profile, respectively, are more likely to be 15- and 2-seconds.
Ah, the world of technology and instant gratification.
So, on the whole, men are often using the app liberally, to see who matches with them, whereas women use much more discretion and only swipe right on people who might potentially be a good fit.
Do you see a problem here? A mismatch perhaps? I do. And so do my clients. When a woman matches with someone, she thinks it means something. She writes a message… and nothing.
On the other end, someone is only now reviewing her whole profile, making a decision, and then replying or not based on that decision. This leaves many women upset that their messages go unanswered.
I certainly understand the temptation to swipe right on everyone just to see the whole pool of those who are interested, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Here’s my advice to everyone:
_ Take the extra time to review someone’s whole profile before making a decision.
_ Write some text in the profile.
_ Keep it short, funny, and light.
_ Send messages to the people who you match with.
_ If you decide later that this person isn’t for you, then unmatch before any communication happens.
Even if you just take one small piece of this article with you, the world of dating apps will be more efficient and rewarding.
(Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating.)