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Do Average Guys Struggle the Most on Dating Apps? Science Says Yes

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If you’re struggling to meet the love of your life on dating apps, there’s probably someone who’s having a worse go of things: average-looking men. According to a new study conducted by Aviv Goldgeier, a Junior Growth Engineer at the dating app Hinge, average guys struggle on dating apps more than most other guys.

If you’re not familiar with the dating app Hinge, it works slightly differently than other apps by allowing users to “like” certain aspects of other people’s profiles. According to Goldgeier’s research, a small percentage of very attractive men on Hinge are receiving the majority of likes from women, leaving average-looking dudes in the dust.

Goldgeier found that among likes sent by a woman, half of them go to only about 15 percent of the male population. In contrast, when it’s a man that’s initiating, half of their likes are spread among about 25 percent of female users.

This disparity seems to stem from who’s initiating. Among Hinge users, men are three times more likely to send the first like.

However, when it’s a woman making the first move, their likes are distributed among a much smaller group of men. Presumably because they’re being ultra discerning and only giving their likes to the most attractive gents on the app – and rightfully so.

While this is disappointing news for middle-of-the-road men, as a single female on dating apps, this behavior makes a lot of sense. Women get a lot of attention period online. Unlike men I’ve spoken to who admit to using a blitzkrieg-like strategy to meet women online (liking and/or messaging any woman they find attractive), as a female, it’s in my best interest to be more selective. I already get an overwhelming amount of messages, so if I’m going to be potentially adding to that pile, I want to make sure it’s someone I’m really interested in. Usually, they’re hot. #SorryNotSorry

That isn’t to say that I don’t find average-looking guys attractive (because I do), it’s just that, unless they have something really eye-catching in their profile – for example, we share a really obscure interest or they’ve done something interesting with their life that makes them intriguing (like posted a photo of themselves at Machu Picchu), they don’t stand out as much for me. With that said, if an average-looking guy messages me and he has a good personality, I’m game.

But – before you start crying tears of sympathy for those average guys out there – here’s something to consider. According to Goldgeier, likes are much more evenly distributed between men and women who are under the age of 25, so if you’re an average guy in that age bracket, you have nothing to worry about.

However, if you’re an average dude struggling in the age of apps, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of receiving that much-sought-after female attention online.

First of all, post good photos. An average-looking dude with good photos – i.e. ones that are well-lit and show him smiling and generally looking approachable – are way more appealing that a “gorgeous guy” who has taken dimly-lit shirtless photos in his smudged bathroom mirror (shudder).

Secondly, pose with a dog! A 2014 study from social networking site Skout found that men who featured photos of themselves posed with canines were more appealing. Having a pup by your side (even if it’s not yours), “gives the impression you are friendly and caring, but rugged at the same time.”

The same study found that including yoga as one of your interests also had a positive effect. While I’m not suggesting you go out and immediately purchase a yoga mat, what this points to is that women dig men who do activities (like yoga) that show they’re active, but relatively chill and non-aggressive. So, if you’re really into a certain activity, mention it in your profile or include it in your profile photos. But make sure you stay true to yourself. If you’re more into Dungeons and Dragons than doing the downward dog – own it.

(FYI, this study also found that those bathroom mirror selfies pretty much have an inverse effect on your dating chances – just in case you didn’t believe me the first time, fellas.)

Lastly, don’t be creepy. Often, it’s not that we won’t “like” or swipe right on profile because the guy is physically unatractive necessarily, but rather because there’s something else that’s off-putting about his profile. Whether it’s half-naked photos, sexually suggestive language or photos that don’t show your face clearly – trust me, we have our reasons. If you’re unsure about your profile, show it to a female friend to get her critique and adjust it accordingly.

At the end of the day, remember you’re an average dude. Life is already pretty good for you across the board. You’ve got this.




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