Dating Tips
For Men

Dating Apps: Ruining Love or Enabling Equality?

August 15, 2017
▪ 4 mins read

How is online dating shaping and reflecting changes in our attitudes towards relationships. Vote for my SXSW 2018 talk

Why should you care about dating apps, and equality, especially when you’re focused on meeting people in real life?

Dating apps are currently the second most popular way people meet each other (and within a decade are likely to become the most popular). Whilst I think meeting people IRL has many advantages I think you should be using a variety of methods to meet people. This includes dating apps. In 2017 it would just be dumb to say never go online! Instead, I believe in not becoming reliant on it and making sure you develop your social skills to also meet people offline.

With so many people using online dating apps, how men and women communicate is shifting, including what they find attractive.

Dating advice and love are not static things. The advice that works and how people relate changes with technology and society. This is why I’m focused on giving you the cutting edge of how men and women relate towards one another. No more cliched outdated `leave it 2 days before calling them back’ rubbish.... (and let’s be real here if you don’t respond to someone’s message until two days after you read it on WhatsApp they’re just going to think you’re an asshole).

Online dating apps are often blamed for ruining romance because:

1. They create a `paradox of choice’ where people have so many options they can’t choose.

I agree that more choice often makes people less happy so how can we be aware of the mental bias that makes us think `there’s always someone better’ - maybe we need to be more forgiving and less critical of the people we meet. No one is perfect.

2. They give men more dating options i.e. women so, therefore, they’re less likely to commit.

This is a common complaint against online dating that I find very offensive: not all men want just sex and not all women desperately want to get married. I meet plenty of men looking for relationships who get frustrated that women never make the first date to give them a chance, and women who want more casual relationships.

3. Hook up culture is now a thing.

Yes, some people use apps for `hookups’ (which I think are personal choice, not evil or morally bad!) and some people use apps for relationships. Your job is to be clear about what you’re looking for, and use the app/ your messages/ profile dates to consistently communicate the right thing.

If you want to `Netflix and chill’ then suggest that; if you’re looking for something long term go for a walk in a park together. And don’t bend your boundaries just because you’re attracted to someone else. This means if you want casual and they don’t - be honest! And if you want a relationship and they just want to see you between 11 pm and 7 am on a Tuesday say no. Never think you can change them!

Data from dating apps

I am really lucky that I have some great new information to give you to help you get maximum success online and really understand how online dating works. Online dating company Zoosk has given me access to look at data from over 1 million user profiles so I can tell you what:

  • words in your profile make people want to respond to you
  • you should / shouldn’t wear in your pictures
  • kind of first messages are effective
  • happens when women make the first move

Here are 5 surprise dating app tips you may not have expected:

Dating apps ruining love or enabling equality tip 1:

Women who come on strong do well!

First messages to men that mentiondinner, drinks,orlunchget 73% moreresponses.

Dating apps ruining love or enabling equality tip 2:

First messages from men to women that mention dinner, drinks, or lunch get 35% fewer messages.

Dating apps ruining love or enabling equality tip 3:

People do want to see the real you - People who have a full-body photo get 203% more incoming messages than the average, and 33% more responses to their outgoing messages.

Dating apps ruining love or enabling equality tip 4:

Game playing isn’t preferable to clear and fast communication. Replying to a woman the same day she messages you increase your chance of hearing back from her by 22%.

Dating apps ruining love or enabling equality tip 5:

Who says women just want an alpha male? Men with the word thoughtful in their profile get 66% more messages.

I have many more stats to share with you and play with (thanks again to Zoosk for letting me raid their huge data samples from online dating profiles).

Behind these statistics, though an interesting picture can be painted of how online dating apps are helping to shape and reflect our changing attitudes towards attraction, gender roles, and relationship models. In a changing world, it is more important than ever to recognise and communicate what you want. If you want me to explore more into this and give a kickass talk at SXSW where I debunk lots of myths, stereotypes and outdated ideas around how men and women should behave I would love your vote!

Lots of love

Hayley x

Hayley Quinn smiling profile
About the author

Hayley Quinn is a leading dating and relationship coach, with 3 million views of her TEDx talk and 18 million YouTube views. She is spokesperson for Match, a columnist for Cosmopolitan, a regular contributor to international media, and has been published by Harper Collins (“The Last First Date”, 2022) and Simon & Schuster (“Do This, Not That: Dating”, 2023).

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