If there are plenty of fish in the sea, then dating apps are an endless Vegas all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. With over 50 million Tinder users all over the world, an average of 12 million matches a day, and approximately 1 billion swipes a day, what are the chances you’d see the same face pop up on your phone multiple times? Unbelievably, it’s not as rare as you might think. Now, if you see a person you’ve matched with before, should you swipe right again? Will things be magically different this time around?
I remember the first time I re-matched with a guy on an app and I thought, "this time we’ll message each other, get together, and live happily blah blah blah." But alas, we did not. Neither of us messaged the other and the match expired. Cut to weeks later, and the same thing happens again. I even asked a few of my friends who are particularly app-happy and they all said that they’ve experienced it, too. So, are we all just living in a bizzaro dating app version of Groundhog Day, sadly minus Bill Murray?
I connected with Meredith Golden, dating app expert, and her perspective on this subject was very refreshing. I asked Golden if you should swipe right again on a face you’ve swiped right on before and she advises, "Dating apps are great connectors but the goal is to meet someone. People only have so much time in their day, so don’t waste yours on someone that has made it clear they have no plans to meet. There are plenty of other singles who do want to meet." If you’ve matched with this person before and perhaps even messaged, but gradually your back and forth breadcrumbed slowly into a famine, then Golden suggests, "If it never advances to meeting, it means it’s time to stop wasting your time engaging and focus on those that demonstrate interest in meeting."
Now, I’m a results-oriented person. The only thing I enjoy doing that I know will get zero results is asking my cat if he loves me. (So far, he does not.) So I am a bit baffled by people who match on dating apps but then never send a message! Golden explains, "Some singles mindlessly swipe. It’s easier to swipe right continuously, see who matches, and then decide whether or not to chat. This technique is efficient but often confusing to the other user. The match is left wondering why there is no further engagement." To me, it’s like online window shopping — you fill your cart with things you want at first glance, then you review your cart and decide you don’t really want those jeans, or that hat, or those Balenciagas that look like socks.
Perhaps even more frustrating than matching but not messaging, is a person who messages but then never wants to meet you in person. Why even use a dating app in that case? Golden admits that some singles just use dating apps for entertainment. In fact, she shares, "I was once messaging with a guy, for a client, and the conversation wasn’t advancing to a date. I finally asked about getting together and the single’s response was that he had no plans to ever meet anyone, chatting with strangers helped him get through his work day!" But not all meeting-averse matches are just killing time, some are in the beginning stages of seeing someone but are still on apps. They’re waiting to see how it shakes out with the new person they’re seeing, while simultaneously keeping their inbox warm. Golden cautions, "This person still wants options if the relationship doesn’t work out. These people might message for months if the other user doesn’t stop it."
Let’s say you see a person on your dating app that you’ve swiped left on before. Is there an issue with the algorithm? Is there a glitch in the Matrix? Are we all going to die alone? Again, Golden is optimistic and says, "If you’ve already said no to matching and the rejected group resurfaces, it usually means there are no new matches. The good news is that if a user waits a few weeks and then tries again, there’s usually plenty of new singles. I love dating apps!"
Ultimately, if you’ve matched with a person before, why not go ahead and give them another shot and swipe right again? But this time, try doing things differently. Time is precious, so focus on matches who are interested in meeting you in real life, face to actual face, and if someone is not interested in pulling the trigger, move on to the next fish. And luckily, there are plenty of fish available to you at this endless digital buffet.
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