For every successful date a man goes on, there are scores of prospects who refuse to give him the time of day. For every serious girlfriend he has, there are hundreds of interactions with women that sputter after the initial stages. Dating is a progression, and there are prospects who drop out at each step of the way. This is the meaning of Tinder being a “numbers game.” How many matches, then, does one need to get a date?
To answer this question, I’ve outlined the main “filter points” on Tinder in order of progression, and the percentage of girls who will make it through to the following step (note: these are intended only to be VERY rough estimates to illustrate a point).
Initial interest exists, but you must message immediately to maximize chances of a response. This is where percentages will diverge most between users. Some very attractive men with optimized profiles may match 1 in 15 girls, others may match 1 in 300. Most will be somewhere in between.
Response To Initial Message
She’s at least somewhat interested in you. Above a certain threshold of credibility (e.g. no sappy compliments on her appearance), what you say doesn’t matter as much as her interest in your looks, her circumstances (is she glued to her phone, or does she match with you and then hit the gym for an hour?) and your air of non-neediness. Perhaps 50% of matches will pass through this filter.
Getting The Phone Number
This is the first leap of faith, the first major choke point, and the first move that requires actual work on your part. In the vast majority of circumstances, you have to get her phone number so you can continue the interaction off of Tinder. Even girls who look at Tinder as a joke will sometimes give their number if you act decisively. About 25% of girls who respond to the initial message will give out their phone number.
The Post-Tinder progression has two important steps: Get her to agree to a date (50% through this filter), and have her actually show up on the date (80%). Then you can take the interaction wherever you desire without “meeting on the internet” playing a significant role in how she views you.
This blueprint suggests that you have a 5% chance of meeting up with a girl you match. Put another way, the average man will have to match about 20 girls for every in-the-flesh date that occurs. Your mileage will vary, but this is a reasonable expectation for a mid-to-late twenties man of average or slightly above average attractiveness with reasonable swiping standards in a large city.
The point of this fuzzy math is to illustrate that you should stop looking at Tinder as a “dating” app in the classic sense. It’s not matching you with people who are similar to you or likely good partners, so treat it as simply another funnel adding prospects to your ever-progressing dating filter.
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