What Makes Men Swipe Right On Tinder?

I’m starting to feel like Tinder is a very different experience for men than it has been for me. Even some of the more ‘typically attractive’ men I’ve spoken to on there have told me they only get one or two matches a day and I’m genuinely quite shocked. I’ve had 30 in two days and I’ve been fairly fussy with my right-swipe, so I’m starting to feel a bit like fresh meat to starving lions. Granted, most of these men haven’t even spoken to me and after the initial as-satisfying-as-a-carrot-stick-when-you’re-craving-chocolate ‘oooh, a match!‘ reaction, I’m not interested in talking to them either. The several ‘super-likes’ make me wonder why my profile is standing out so much. Not that I think I’m some swamp beast but my entire life I have never been the girl that anyone chooses to chat up in a club or social situation. Which is totally fine, I hate it when it does happen and maybe my stand-offish resting bitch face is part of what stops them…they can sense that it would be a no and so don’t even try. Clearly, whilst I think I’m friendly, I am just not very approachable. I’m okay with that but online, something is very different.

I’m studying and, in typical Gemma-fashion, completely over-thinking every profile as I analyse what I like and don’t like and maybe not everyone does this…You can see my thought process in my previous blog Here. Maybe they just see someone they think is good looking and swipe regardless. I’m increasingly aware, though, that my photos *are* good photos of me, not how I think I look most of the time. I wonder if I would have the same reaction from men if I changed them to reflect my usual make-up-off onesie-on ‘style’. Here’s my profile:

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My profile shows my nicest selfies (not gonna pick the gross ones am I, they are deleted instantly!) and I’ve included a photo of me DJing (something I love) one of me with friends at a Suicide Girls event (SG is a big part of my life), a photo of me without my glasses and the closest to a full-length image I have that I don’t hate. My anthem is Brand New – Jude Law and a Semester Abroad and you can see my liked pages on Facebook – although, this only shows when they like the same page. There’s a couple films, some of my friends businesses as well as my own and, of course, Simpsons Pictures That I Gone and Done because I just can’t help myself. I always find it hilarious when it pops up on my feed. But how are others are perceiving this information?

The only way I am going to find out why people have swiped is to ask. Pretty embarrassing, though, as I’m not a very forward person really but online I can be and I find it particularly easy with strangers. There’s nothing to lose, if they think I’m stuck-up, fishing for compliments or just downright weird it’s not going to ruin my day because I’m not all that bothered by their Tinder-opinion of me anyway. Considering I can only ask people that swiped right or super-liked me, this kind of indicates that it’s going to be pretty one-sided with the answers but I’ve asked them to be as honest as possible and mention any negatives, judgements, preconceptions or be as shallow or not shallow as they like. I go into this hoping that they will use this as an excuse to be super open with me, much like my ‘hey, I hate your beard‘ opening line from yesterday but I’m not getting my hopes up for anything too in depth. So, here goes!

#S: “You just look like my type, plus it’s hard to swipe left to someone dressed as Wednesday.” He also mentions the Brand New song on my profile, my use of emojis alluding to the famous kermit meme (if you don’t know, don’t worry) and that my bio was blunt, which he’s always attracted to for some reason. It’s nice he paid some attention to my stupidly short bio and got something from it, somehow. I like this answer.

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Yes, yes I was. He gets me already.

#P: “Truthfully I thought you were very attractive and thought ‘why not’? If I don’t swipe then I definitely won’t be able to talk to this woman.” At the ripe old age of 26, it’s nice that someone has finally referred to me as a woman! There’s no middle ground where you can find out more first before you decide – swiping yes is the only way you can contact someone, whether that ends up prosperous or not.

#S: “Well, you’re hot. This App is based on looks which is horrible when you get raised NOT to judge a book by its cover. I think you’re probably out of my league a bit. I don’t think someone like you would like someone like me.” Obviously this is really flattering but it does make me feel a bit bad, I’m worrying again at this point that my photos are ‘too nice’ a version of myself and although they are mostly just selfies with eye-liner or lipstick, I worry I’m portraying a way better version of myself that I could never live up to if I was to meet any of these men in ‘the real world’. It kind of sucks that make-up and styling can make you feel that way about yourself when people are essentially judging you on that and it’s not even really *you*. I think it’s sad that that opinion of me can make someone refer to themselves as ‘someone like me‘ in a negative way. Lot’s of people have said ‘you’re too good for me‘ or something along those lines and I do sometimes question if that’s just a line to reel me in. That’s probably my own negative preconception of Tinder, men and dating, and I often find myself reading between the lines into things that aren’t even there. So there is that. However, another guy does mention that the deal clincher was that I wasn’t wearing loads of make-up (as IF most men even know when you are or aren’t if you’ve applied it well, but ok) which made him think I must be fairly confident and content with myself which he found attractive.

#M: “Honestly, I think you are very beautiful and intriguing! One picture you’re DJ-ing and another you look very serious with your glasses and your info says photographer for Suicide Girls!” Again, all good points, go me. However, lots of men said something along these lines and I am left with that feeling *again* that people are assuming I’m this super interesting individual and I don’t always feel like that. There are days when I hardly get dressed, if I do, it’s into gym gear. I pretty much only put make-up on to DJ and those are the only nights I go out. This makes me feel cool but makes me feel like a bit of a fraud, too. 

#A: “I like particulars on people and I found your lower lip incredibly amazing. Oh, and the arc your eyebrows do” I hate my lower lip haha! It’s so pouty and the top one is really thin but we all see ourselves differently I suppose. I think this is a pretty confident, open, honest response as, whilst most people have said they find me attractive, they don’t want to say why. Picking out specific things about people *could* also come across as creepy and maybe it does in this out-of-context excerpt but I didn’t feel that way when I read it. I think it’s a nice response. A man commenting on eyebrows is pretty rare and I think I had two or three! Brows on fleek it would seem.

#T: “You seemed super interesting to be honest. Something about you just really piqued my interest.” It’s nice when someone thinks you’re interesting rather than just pretty, I think ‘interesting’ is mostly what I have right-swiped for myself. Good looks are always going to be an added bonus though of course – I’m only human.

#B: ‘You look gorgeous, maybe too good looking for me, I like the fact that you look real in your pictures and that they may give a true representation of your personality. I could be wrong of course! I love your anthem song, too.” Again, really flattering but isn’t it weird how we rate ourselves into leagues and then judge others with whether they are above or below us? Another guy told me “I would have never thought you would have swiped for me” but with the quick-fire way Tinder works, you’re more likely to risk trying your luck. If they don’t match with you, they will never know you liked them so it saves embarrassment. It’s sort of like, a really passive form of rejection and to be honest, unless you’re really struck by someone (in which case, you should super -like) you’re probably going to forget whose matches you were even waiting for. I saw one bio earlier sum it up really well; ‘All I want is a partner who is way out of my league, but also thinks that I’m way out of their league and we’ll live together in perfect, confused harmony with a dog.’ SO. TRUE.harmony.jpg

A few guys have come back with really simple responses like “Because you’re super cute” , “you’re really pretty” or “I just thought you looked cool” and whilst this feels like a getting-blood-from-a-stone type situation and *so* awkwardly unnatural to even be asking these questions, I don’t think they’re hiding anything, they are just playing the game pretty simply. Cute, yes, the rest, no. If they’re cute and you get on, bonus. Most of these guys have had the App a good while and lot’s of them seem bored of it all. I don’t blame them.

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I had a few comment specifically about ‘sexy’ things…or things they consider sexy anyway. Such as wearing glasses, having ‘pigtails’ and a photo where you can see a small section of my midriff didn’t go unnoticed. A couple mentioned that ‘red lips’ are a weakness of theirs and that these things combined gave them the assumption that I’m a confident person, which they liked.

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Good mutual friends was also a common theme and I use that too when I judge profiles, you assume that if they’re friends with all these great people you know they must be pretty cool…Right? Please? I’ve also had a lot of the men reference that they thought I might be a bot-account and not a real person. Hilarious, but apparently that’s a common issue for men on Tinder; automated accounts that match with you, flirt with you and probably try to get money from you sooner rather than later. They thought I was keen to socialise…I don’t actually go out a lot other than to DJ, so I’m not sure how true that is but I am social once I’m out. Most of them like that I DJ, they think I must have musical talent (not strictly true) and that it’s nice to see someone dedicated to something or at least with interesting hobbies. When I pushed more, one did say: “the only thing that would put me off is I tend to associate the decks with clubbing scene, and in the same token I associate that with drugs to some extent, so it did make me wonder if you were into that. In which case I’m not and that would be a conflict of interest for me.” I’m not – but I’m glad he said this because I did think a lot of people would get a party-girl image of me from those photos. It’s one of the reasons I wasn’t keen on having any more than one DJ photo and I definitely didn’t want it as my main photo. Tinder *kept* moving it to be my main image using it’s ‘smart photos’ function, which means it’s my most right-swiped photo. It’s been the decider for most of my matches (so says the app!) and that was exactly what I didn’t want.

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My distance was mentioned a few times, too. For those using Tinder for its intended purpose who actually do want to meet up with people they match with, a close distance is obviously a winner. Much less effort involved and in turn seems more likely it could happen. You can put a song on your profile like the old Myspace days and a fair few people commented on mine. To be fair, I’ve swiped some guys purely on their music taste, too. New Found Glory and Beartooth for example.

Many of the guys replying just answered because they wanted to ask me the same thing. Most didn’t even reply, though – one even answered my question with ‘hey‘ and that’s it, after he had already ignored my response to his original ‘hey’ …a very common interaction on Tinder. Lots questioned why I was asking them; ‘does everyone get this treatment?’ and a few spotted that I might be doing some kind of research and went cold, some answered anyway and one guy even complimented that having me open the dialogue in that way was a bonus and better than the usual, boring small-talk. He liked that I didn’t have any cheesy quotes on my profile and no snapchat filters on my images – he mentioned the infamous dog one specifically. One guy said he preferred the other photos to my main choice but that he liked that I didn’t fill my profile with what I don’t want in a match – something I’ve seen a lot of guys doing and it generally puts me off instantly. I really wish I could ask my left-swipers why they swiped ‘no’ to me but, alas, I will never know. Maybe you’ve found this blog and you’re one of them…If so, please tell me what I did wrong so I can rectify it, it’s human nature that I must be perfect and please everyone or I’ll feel that I’m not good enough for anyone.

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14 thoughts on “What Makes Men Swipe Right On Tinder?

  1. Diggin’ this blog – Tinder was something I never took seriously, often never chatting to people I matched with. Then one day a lass struck up a conversation with me and 5 months later we’re very happy together. Strange how things work out.

  2. The blog is great and I look forward to your continued adventures (living vicariously through you).

    And I can definitely relate to your comments about pictures. It’s the biggest thing stopping me from trying these sites/apps. I hate taking pictures/the way I look in pictures so I’m never comfortable picking ones to put in a profile. And as someone who has never been comfortable meeting people in daily life, I feel like this should be right up my alley if I could get over that obstacle.

  3. Oh Kermit, nice guise there eh? Self consciousness can be a bitch sometimes.

    Anyways, moving on haha. I’m not surprised at the fact that you are getting way more right swipes compared to the guys you’ve spoken to. The simplest way to put it would be to imagine a Venn diagram, during the swipe right process, guys kind of function on two aspects, “Damn girl, you so fine!” and “This girl seems pretty interesting and I would love to get to know her more”. If a girl fits in to one of this category its a swipe right, if not, a swipe left. Best would be that she lands in the over lapping bits of the each category where in my opinion is where you are. Yet for you I would compare the fine part with fine wine. Cheesy much? hahaha

    Whereas girls tend to consider upon more things when making the selection process, exhibit A: The content in your blogs. Also as mentioned in one of the responses, Tinder is more of an appearance based kind of app and the notion has always been that guys are more visual creatures so I guess that is one of the main reasons guys are getting lesser right swipes than girls. From my own experience, after spending a lot of time on SG I’ve realized I’m more of the latter, the “This girl seems pretty interesting and I would love to get to know her more” category, I’d say I’m a sapiosexual YET, Guiltily, I do find myself landing in the other category of “Damn girl, you so fine!” every now and then 😛

    The RBFS (Resting Bitch Face Syndrome) can be a pain in the ass sometimes and I feel you. Many a times I’ve been told, by my friends both male and female, that they didn’t even dare talk to me because I look unfriendly/unapproachable. Yet many a times, my female friends thought that I was mysterious and cool, a small ego trip but that’s a plus point in a way, until they realize that I am funny and full of nonsense. But enough about me and onward to my next point!

    As you’ve mentioned, it’s easier online to ask why they’ve swiped right. The internet gave rise to the keyboard warriors, it’s the idea ,in which I feel, of being in the comfort and safety of one’s own box that gives male participants the courage to ‘approach’ you on Tinder. The life of a guy is filled with rejection, which is also the reason why many have not approached you in real life. You are a DJ, a photographer for SG and as well a beautiful looking woman, therefore, in my opinion, the first notion from guys would be she must have a boyfriend. If not, your accomplishments can be overwhelming and intimidating for many dudes and that makes you ‘unapproachable’

    Your pictures do give a really cool vibe to your lifestyle and once again, Tinder is a appearance based app but one needs to remember why do people use Tinder. The reasons are many but I prefer to sum it up with bad social skills or talking skills, which in turn leads to bad conversations or not knowing what to say therefore the “Hey” replies. Throw in a picture of you with cats, dogs or animals and watch the messages roll in.

    Ok I’ve spoken too much, hope I didn’t bore you hahaha 😀

    1. Loved reading your response, thank you! Funny you should say that because a few guys said that I seemed intriguing/mysterious…funny seeing that I’m writing a completely open blog about my personal life haha – no mystery at all!

  4. Enjoyed reading that, and a nice insight from a female point of view. I’ve been on Tinder for a few weeks now, and all that time I’ve had 2 matches. One of them is actually attempting a conversation with me, and the other didn’t reply to my initial message. So I’m pretty disappointed with the success rate so far.

    I’m pretty selective on who I swipe right on, so probably only do so on 2% of pictures. If I do like the look of the initial photo, I do take time to look at their other photos and any profile they may have written. I never just swipe right based purely on that first photo. Even if you’re judging purely on physical appearance, it’s quite difficult to have a single photo that really sums up your looks entirely.

    So my fussiness is probably reducing my potential for matches, but I was hoping for a few more than 2. I don’t think my pictures are that bad! The trouble with Tinder is that you don’t know who’s swiping right on you unless they match. So either I could be getting nobody swiping right, or I’m getting lots of them, but none from the women who suit my tastes.

    1. Oh, totally! It’s quite good though because I think that ‘match’ algorithm is what makes people take a bit of risk when usually they might think they’re punching above their weight haha! I’m more trying to just swipe left for definitely no’s and then the others I have a proper look at the profile before deciding, rather than expecting the photo to grab me right away. Good luck and I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog, thanks for your comment.

  5. I really feel you in the struggle to find good photos to post on a Tinder profile! I always get so self-conscious about myself that I need to keep on reminding myself that it’s just an online thing. Love this blog!

    1. I know right! It’s not even that all my photos are horrible, mostly I worry they are too nice and real me is disappointing but I know that’s just silly over-thinking really – dammit, brain! Thanks for reading 🙂

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