Why Can’t He Get Any Tinder Matches?

Young man waiting for date


Name: Mike
Question: I seem to have a bit of a mystery when it comes to online dating. I am concerned that my problems are almost entirely based on looks.

Now, I know I’m no oil painting (probably a 5 if I’m being fair to myself) but 90% of women I message will view my profile (POF notifies you of this), but will not reply. I get about 1 match on Tinder for every 100 – 150 right swipes.

Could it just be my looks turning the majority of women away, or am I potentially missing something?
Age: 24


First, get off Plenty of Fish. That site is a wasteland and attracts the lowest common denominator of single people. It also has a high concentrations of scammers, which could answer at least part of your problem. You might be messaging dummy profiles.

I don’t know if you’re looks are turning women away. I can’t see you, dude. Nor do I have access to the women you are messaging. I don’t know. The only thing I can say is that 1 match per 100 swipes does not sound good. Something obviously isn’t working. Since you’re completely bombing out on Tinder, I’m guessing it’s your photos.

My personal opinion is that these swipe left or right apps are not for the average joes/josephines. If you’re not conventionally attractive, you don’t even exist on those apps. I’ve deleted Bumble from my phone. That app is quickly becoming the new Hot or Not. All of the average bordering on unsavory people are surrounded by people above average in looks, education, status, etc. Of course the average people are being ignored.  That’s why all the average people are now on Tinder. The disparity in quality of members between Tinder and Bumble is jarring. Sorry, but Tinder is fucking over. The people on that app are disgusting. Like bottom of the barrel gross with their shitty pictures and horrible hygiene and total lack of style or fashion sense.

I’m just going to say this and let the chips fall where they may: if you aren’t considered objectively attractive or do not have some kind of status that you can tout in your profile, don’t bother with online dating. The process has become so looks focused that no one is bothering with you unless your first photo is top notch. I keep saying this: people aren’t really reading profiles anymore. Most of us no longer have the opportunity to sell ourselves beyond the photos. We’re deemed hot or not in the speed of a swipe.

You obviously need to be more realistic when it comes to how you measure up to other guys on these sites. Time to lower the bar a bit, my friend.





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24 Responses to “Why Can’t He Get Any Tinder Matches?”

  1. KK Says:

    Way harsh, Tai. But true. I am not sure people ever really paid much attention to the profile – if someone didn’t think you were cute, on to the next one. But profiles were written, painstakingly so. And if someone wasn’t sure about you they read your profile.

    now…yeah. Either you are cute or not. And that’s it. It is a shame because I loved reading profiles.

    It is strange. I have a friend who says Coffee Meets Bagel is awful but my brother loves it. He said everyone he met there was pretty cool.

  2. Rocky Says:

    Moxie, I think you are failing to differentiate between the apps and the sites like match. The apps are brutal, and you can’t really say anything to differentiate yourself in your profile in the space they give you anyway.

    But people absolutely do read profiles on the sites.

    Now on the apps I agree that most of us need to lower the bar. Most of us can’t compete on looks, and the people who care about writing enough to lower their bar over it are not on the apps for the most part.

    • Mike Says:

      OP again – I have given “lowering the bar” thought before – but if I moved it any lower, I’d be looking for dates under a bridge.

      Quite a few of the women I’ve dated in the past, I’ve not really been attracted to them (physically or emotionally) – I’ve just dated anyone that would give me the time of day because I was lonely and felt I couldn’t do better(shitty thing to do I know, but I’ve grown out of it now).

      If I didn’t have online dating, I’d have 0 dates per year, rather than 2 or 3.

  3. TallJen Says:

    I agree that the more average looking people aren’t likely to get as many matches on Tinder…but I’ve swiped left on a ton of conventionally attractive guys on there because their pictures pissed me off. Some reasons include:

    -Having more pics of their dog/truck/guns/kids than they do of themselves
    -Having only one pic
    -Not including a full body shot (showing only your face makes me assume you have a beer gut)
    -Giving me the middle finger in a pic
    -Pointing a gun at me in a pic (no joke)
    -Wearing something obnoxious or offputting (t-shirt with a Confederate flag type or swear words on it)
    -Looking pissed off in most pics (no one wants to date an asshole. Seriously dudes…smile)
    -Not wearing a shirt in a majority of the pics
    -Including “teaser” pics (only being covered up with a towel just enough that we can see your happy trail but nothing below it or something else ridiculously, overtly sexual)
    -Wearing clothes that look outdated and out of style (I don’t want to date someone who dresses like my dad)

    Otherwise, if you have 4+ pics on there of you looking happy, showing some activities you enjoy, etc you should be matching with more than 1% of women, even if you say nothing in the profile section. I may be the oddball here, but I do read anything someone puts in their Tinder profile – so definitely put anything in there that sets you apart from the crowd (you’re a homeowner, tall, have a cool job, own a boat, etc) and, similar to the pics advice above…don’t come across as bitter or an uneducated a-hole there, either, and you should have some level of success.

    • Mike Says:

      OP here – I’ve seen some really interesting advice so far so I thought I’d post again.

      I currently have 5 pictures on Tinder and POF – Full body / face shot, a photo of me on my motorbike at bike meet, one with my dog, one on a night out with friends, and one of me abroad.

      I just have a couple of sentences on my profile giving height (I’m 6’2), etc.

      My female friends have said I’m too harsh on myself in terms of looks, but I’d say I’m completely average – never really gotten looks of disgust, but nobody has ever introduced themselves to me or asked me out.

      • Bree Says:

        Ditch the bike meet photo because you’re probably wearing a helmet and thus hiding your face. Women aren’t impressed by a motorcycle anyway. I have a license to ride too. And a lot of people are turned off by motorcyclists for various reasons. Whenever I see a profile of a guy on a bike all covered up under helmet, gloves and gear it looks like he’s trying too hard to look exciting and dangerous, especially if he’s below-average looking as you say you are. That’s great you have all the obligatory I’ve-traveled-and-I-have-friends shots, but do you have any photos of your face from the chest up, facing the camera, and smiling? If not, post one. No shady stuff!

        • mxf Says:

          Seconding and thirding the smile thing. It’s easier to get a composite of what someone’s face looks like through a range of expressions in the pictures.

          Also, the non-smilers look angry to be online. Or give off a serial killer vibe.

      • James Says:

        Show the pics so we can all judge. Do you have a link?

      • Bill Says:

        “… but 90% of women I message will view my profile (POF notifies you of this)”

        I can’t speak to Tinder and other “swipe based” apps, but on PoF, Match, OKC, etc you are doing this exactly backwards. Message the women who have shown interest by at least viewing your profile, not the other way around. “Cold messaging” is kinda creepy, like tapping a woman on the shoulder at a bar. She’ll look just to see who to draw the pepper spray on if he’s hanging around in the parking lot.

        Make sure your best “headshot” or “head and torso shot” is your primary picture, not on a motorcycle with a helmet.

  4. Nia Says:

    I will add a couple more hints too from a regular Tinder user:

    –use all the available space to write about yourself in a lighthearted, flattering, intelligent and articulate way. I actually swipe “left” (“no”) on every single man, no matter how hot, who hasn’t filled out a profile at all. Someone who can’t take five minutes to pull together a couple sentences, even quick stuff like “Hey, I’m 5’10”, don’t smoke, love to garden, work out, and try local breweries” or WHATEVER, he’s not the one for me.

    –include your height, smoking preferences, and if you have kids. Those are the major dealbreakers

    –Please don’t put disingenuous stuff like “no hook ups! Don’t ask!” (I’ve seen this a LOT lately) in your profile, guys. We’re very aware that it’s highly unlikely women are outright asking you FOR a hookup. They’re asking you IF you are into hookups so they can rule you in or out, dum-dum. Sigh. Or else if that’s your sense of humor, groan–every other guy on there thinks that’s “funny” too, brah.

    –Ensure your name (or nickname) and occupation are correct, or how you want them to show. That gets pulled from Facebook and auto-populated, make sure it’s not some silly in joke or borderline offensive nonsense. One time I saw an otherwise cute guy with “NOTURBIZ” as occupation. HARD PASS.

    –Ensure your photo is recent (not fuzzy or pixilated, indicating it’s older), it includes your entire head and face in such a way that we can see the context (ie, no pictures of your eye and eyebrow only, then the next picture is you from 100 feet away on a goddamn mountain top) with your body. People should have a very good idea what you look like in real life.

    –Ensure you manage your backgrounds/surroundings. No kids if you don’t have any. No club hotties hanging off your arm. No drunk guy friends goofing off in the background. No super messy houses/rooms/cars/backyards.

    For matching: manage your settings. Make sure your age limits are reasonable. They start you at like 18 and go to 100. Use that slider to set it at 5 years younger to start, 10 years older to end. Or whatever. But if you’re 24, you should not be “sliding into the DMs” of a 49 year old, she is not going to take you seriously.

    Finally, in your age range women have SO MANY options. Men in their 20s who are young, ripped, pumped, cocky, funny, and hot. Men in their 30’s who are cute, serious, making some money, and successful. Men in their 40’s who are savvy, seductive, cute-for-their-age, and maybe have an adorable niece or nephew they’re cuddling in a photo. And guess who all those guys are hitting on. That 22 year old barista who just got back from an “amazing” semester in Italy and “found pasta heaven”. She’s got lots of choices, make sure you stand out.

    Also in your messages, if you get that far, use the Giphy option or your first message and choose something NOT SEXUAL but cute–puppies, “Woody” from Toy Story giving his little howdy-do, whatever. A couple guys did that as their “hi” and I laughed and immediately responded back. It was fresh and new and cute. Don’t overuse it, but it does work!

    Good luck!

    • Jesse Says:

      Puppies? Ah, to be 22 again. I am glad none of this social media existed when I was that young. It would have driven me to such distraction I doubt I’d have ever graduated college,

  5. Brad Says:

    Rule #1 of Online Dating: Be attractive
    Rule #2 of Online Dating: Don’t be unattractive

    Seriously though, I think anyone can get value from online dating. The key is you have to accept your “tier” and most people aren’t willing to do that.

    If you’re a troll, you’d be well-served to only reach-out to other trolls. But understand that most of those trolls have an inflated self-image, so you still might get few responses.

    From what I see in online dating, there is something for everyone. Even the best looking people get frustrated.

  6. Brad Says:

    I’d like to re-iterate Moxie’s point about a stellar profile pic. For the last year or so I’ve been killing it on Tinder, but I could never quite crack the code on Bumble. I would get matches here and there, but they were few and far between.

    A friend who is a photographer mentioned that none of my Facebook photos did me justice, and agreed to take a few photos one afternoon. It took about 30 minutes, some pictures in T-shirt/jeans and some in a suit.

    After putting some of these as my Bumble profile images, my matches probably went up 1000%. But I’m the same dude??!!

    If you think your profile picture may not be great, it probably isn’t. Hire someone for a half hour to take a few candid shots (lots of them), it’s well worth it.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      Ha I like that the backwoods in-breds using Tinder didn’t care about your shitty pictures.

      • Brad Says:

        Even worse, now that I upgraded my pictures on Tinder I can’t buy a match. Time to break-out the boxers and rebel flag wife-beater again…

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      It took about 30 minutes, some pictures in T-shirt/jeans

      Jesus, what were you wearing before that, boxers and a dirty t-shirt? Jams and a tank top? It’s amazing to me that so many men don’t realize how sloppy they look in their photos.

      Bumble is not for average people with average jobs and an average education. Those people (i.e. most of us) belong on Tinder and OKCupid.

      I currently have 5 pictures on Tinder and POF – Full body / face shot, a photo of me on my motorbike at bike meet, one with my dog, one on a night out with friends, and one of me abroad.

      As someone else said, ditch the photos of you on your motorbike. Those are just as douchey as the ones of guys posed with cards or their boats. The idea that “action” shots belong in your profile is a misnomer.Guys constantly post pictures of themselves running marathons. They wither look like like their in the middle of an orgasm or just pulled a hamstring. Stop with the goddamn action photos. 99% of them are unflattering.

      As for the one abroad, make sure you’re not ten miles away from the camera, squinting because the sun is in your eyes, buried under clothes or sunglasses/hats. People constantly post pics of themselves in front of landmarks or in front of a scenic background and half the time they’re face and body is obstructed in some way.

      • BTownGirl Says:

        JAMS!!! I’d also say no Zubaz unless your name is Rob Gronkowski.

      • Nia Says:

        Heh, I think he meant “not in a suit” rather than he was upgrading to a t-shirt and jeans. But who knows, with online dating these days!

  7. Timothy Horrigan Says:

    Get rid of the one on a night out with your friends. In fact, it’s usually a bad idea to have other people in any of your shots. The dog is OK if he or she is cute and if neither of you are looking overprotective.

    • Dalia Says:

      Yea, what most men don’t realize (Which is odd because I’m quite sure they do this to women who post photo with their friends) is that your looks are being compared to your friends in the photo. If you’re not the best looking of the bunch, a woman will swipe left. Absolutely shallow, but usually the case.

      • Katie Says:

        The other one is when a guy will post a picture of him with another girl or group of girls. I don’t care if it is your BFF or sister or cousin or whatever, girls will think she is an ex and swipe left. Or that you are trying to prove you can get a girl. No matter what, those photos tend to get left swipes. Never good to include in a profile

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