So constant wiping can quickly look and feel like an addiction. It should come as no surprise that, since 2015, Tinder has limited right swipes to 100 times a day for users who don’t use the premium TinderPlus version. Some already speak of Tinder withdrawal symptoms when someone has deactivated their Tinder account.
Now when it comes to finding a partner, Tinder turns to our simplest intellectual function: is anyone around? Is he free? Is he attractive? If so, swipe right. Maybe that’s enough for short affairs.
But is that really all Tinder is good for? Researchers have shown that men and women may have different motivations for using the app. While women are more likely to embark on a quick selection strategy, men are increasingly interested in short-term relationships. In addition, studies have found that men are more likely to hope to find partners for a relationship by using direct and quick pickups. They also spend more time and energy than women on various short-term relationships. Because Tinder users mostly use the app when they are alone, they can reject potential partners or show interest without having to justify their choice. Perhaps the quick wiping away is particularly attractive to men.
As a result, women and gay men get more matches than straight men. In one of the first representative studies, the researchers created an equally attractive male and female fake profile. With this they swiped to the right with each appearing profile. They then recorded the number of matches and messages each profile received. While the female profile had a match rate of 10.5 percent, the male profile only had 0.6 percent. Most of the matches here were from gay or bisexual men.
But even though women get more matches, they don’t necessarily enjoy a huge range of promising potential partners. Researchers found that women were three times more likely than men to send messages after a match and that their messages were almost ten times as long (122 characters for women compared to a scant 12 characters for men – which is just enough to say, “Hi, how are you ? ”).
Men send more messages to potential partners, but try less or simply feel less connected to their matches. Women initially feel flattered by the flood of matches, but are often disappointed later when they try to follow up the contact requests and have more in-depth conversations.
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That didn’t mean you can’t find love on Tinder too. A representative study published in 2017 examined the motivation of Tinder users and found that love is a greater motivator than casual sex. My own preliminary data (this still needs to be reviewed) reflect these results. I sent this survey to hundreds of Tinder users, online dating users and other participants who do not use any of these portals and compared their expectations for deception, sex and romantic satisfaction.
While I didn’t find any statistical differences between Tinder users and the other two groups in terms of desired relationship length and the likelihood of first-date sex, Tinder users have reported that they were often disappointed with their matches after meeting them. What’s more, they also reported more often that they had been deceived by the potential partners they met using the app and that they were less satisfied with their recent dates than the other two groups. In other words, according to our surveys, the motivation for using Tinder is not that different from what we suspected. The fun users have while swiping just may not always translate to a real-world meeting.