Navigating Tinder: The first 200 Likes

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by on Unsplash

If we ask for what we want, what are the chances we’ll get it?

There are plenty of self-help books, videos, blogs, and podcasts addressing singledom, so I’ve decided to do the one thing I haven’t seen anywhere else: I’m running a statistically sound scientific experiment, based on a random sample of 1001+ men (the number grows daily) who express interest in me, over a period of one week on Tinder.

I’m trying something radical with this final foray into online dating. Instead of getting caught up in the rollercoaster of romantic [t]expectations, I’m applying scientific principles: filtering the choices using a set of constants (known as my Top Ten Turn-ons/Turn-offs), while behaving with as much scientific detachment as possible.

In scientific language, this would be my hypothesis. In other words, I hypothesize that if I detail what I am looking for, then only men who fit that description would contact me. (Yes, I realize my hypothesis appears naive, but that is the nature of hypotheses: they are simply questions awaiting testing.)

My Tinder profile reads: “Waiting to be fascinated, wooed, tickled, challenged, supported, and accompanied with elegance and devotion: in other words, I’m waiting for the healthy, fit, emotionally mature man-mirror of what I have to give. Be that LTR (long term relationship) gentleman. Show me.”

Many single people deal with some variation of this question: “Gosh, you seem so nice! Why are you still single?” Despite the fact that we singles ask ourselves this question several times daily, it’s worth noting that other people who ask this question tend to be the type of people who still believe that if you only buy enough lottery tickets, eventually you will hit the jackpot.

So: in this case, Tinder Likes are the equivalent of lottery tickets, and in this experiment, if current trends continue (i.e., over a thousand likes in three days), my profile will acquire somewhere between two thousand and five thousand Likes.

Did the men who “liked” me fit the characteristics I said I was looking for?

Trying to assess over one thousand responses takes a lot of time, so I’m analyzing the data in batches of two hundred. Here are the statistics for the first batch:

Seventy-four men, or 37%, had written nothing, or nothing substantial in their profile, only included one photo or used landscape photos, were unsmiling, hiding behind sunglasses or beneath ball caps, or didn’t include any photos at all. (No fascination/wooing.)

Fifty-five men, or 28% were seeking mistresses, polyamorous or “casual” relationships, were sports fanatics, 420-friendly, politically pissed off, or lacked the basic spelling and grammar skills. (No elegance/devotion.)

Thirty-two men, or 16%, were obviously, um, not physically fit. By a long shot. (Not healthy/fit.)

Another thirty men, or 15% were into video games, Dungeons & Dragons, massive Guns & Roses tattoos, placed undue emphasis on physical looks, were obviously not the age they claimed to be, listed heavy metal or reggae as their anthem song, and/or included gratuitous unclothed photos. (Not emotionally mature.)

I’ve heard that men seeking women have it hard, too: Sugar Daddy seekers, women without professional careers or interests, women who look nothing like their photos.

I also acknowledge that the reputation of Tinder (as primarily a hook-up site), the nature of Tinder (encouraging split-second decision making via the whole swiping methodology), and the social propensity of men to boldly approach women obviously out of their league may bias my experimental population to neglect reading my profile (or failing to take it seriously) before “liking” me with a right-swipe.

But, still.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by ANIRUDH L on Unsplash

Sadly, based on experience, this five percent is likely to diminish even further, because a significant number of the men I matched with will not communicate well: they will fail to contact me, won’t respond in a timely fashion (I give everyone 72 hours before “unmatching”), or will respond poorly — with vagueness, sarcasm, impatience, or lasciviousness.

However! As a scientist, I will forge ahead, treating each person with evenhandedness. In scientific language, this is essential to an experiment, to avoid overly influencing the results and skewing our data.

(Yes, I’m laughing as I write this. Humor is an essential trait to surviving singledom.)

Stay tuned, Dear Reader: there are still twenty-six more days of discovery.

Written by

Ethnoecologist and #VanLife Coach exploring humanity, the natural world, and multispecies relationships. More at

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store