Online dating experience for women
A few years ago, one of my friends and I decided to conduct an experiment. We used face apps to generate gender-swapped images of ourselves and created accounts on dating apps to see how our experiences differed.
Now, before you think about whether or not using face apps that probably stole our data is worth it or not just for a simple "catfishing" experience, let me put your questions to rest. No, it was not worth it.
However, we did gain some valuable insight at the end of the experiment. My friend's female counterpart reigned supreme with around 30 matches in 24 hours. On the other hand, my male counterpart with his roguish charms of a near-sighted STEM student barely mustered up 10 matches.
Even now, I still think the experiment encompasses the dating experience for women (and men) pretty well.
Speaking from personal experience and anecdotes from friends, online dating is generally skewed in favour of women. Getting a decent number of matches is accomplished with little to no trouble, whereas men might have to go to great lengths to get the same results.
For women, one of the general expectations from dating apps is perhaps to get a sense of validation. There is a weird sense of affirmation in getting match after match, or seeing that a ton of people swiped right on you. Achieving this usually does not require a ton of effort as I've had decent results with merely a few average-looking pictures and either a bland bio or nothing at all.
Clearly, the bar for standards is in hell at this point.
However, if you're looking to actually talk to people and make meaningful connections, then things start to get a little tricky. Statistically speaking, women do tend to get more options than men in terms of matches. Additionally, men often feel the burden of messaging women first.
This cuts down on a lot of effort from our end, as the first messages require some forethought. Unfortunately, with this comes the caveat of having to filter through some "interesting" messages.
The task of sorting these messages from your matches can be quite distressing, to say the least. These texts can range from a simple "Hello, how are you?" to massively inappropriate things you should never say to people, let alone a stranger.
You are Sisyphus and the invasive messages are your rock.
In order to streamline this process, it would be beneficial to have a somewhat solid idea of what it is that you're actually looking for. From my experience, women tend to avail the use of dating apps to make friends and socialise. On the other hand, some women are looking for casual dates or even a full-fledged relationship. Others are open to see where things go from the app.
Keeping what you want in mind will help the other party to see if their goals align with yours, which will save time and energy for you both.
However, if things do get out of line, the unmatch button is always there.
Fatima Jahan Ena is a sub-editor at SHOUT.