Ever fallen in love with someone just by looking at their profile? Then, after spending countless hours analysing every detail of their bio, you decide it’s time to swipe right. You’ve already planned the wedding, you’ve already emptied half the wardrobe to find space for her – your parents will love her. But alas, despite giving her the green tick, there’s no instant match. That’s okay, maybe she hasn’t seen your profile yet? Days pass and still nothing. A new study can explain why the love wasn’t mutual.
Analysing data from online dating sits in four major cities, scientists used an algorithm to investigate different “leagues” in the online world.
In order to work out desirability of profiles, potential suitors were ranked based on the number of messages they received and how those senders ranked. In short, if you are messaged by someone desirable, you are equally if not more desirable.
Researchers worked out that online daters will typically type longer messages if the recipient ranks higher in desirability or higher up the hierarchy.
However, in only one of the four cities, longer messages increased reply rate.
Further, the study found why so many messages go unanswered on dating app: singles will typically message matches who are ‘out of their league’, and equally, those people won’t reply if the match is deemed less attractive.
“I think a common complaint when people use online dating websites is they feel like they never get any replies,” says the study’s lead author and sociologist, Elizabeth Bruch.
“This can be dispiriting. But even though the response rate is low, our analysis shows that 21 per cent of people who engage in this aspirational behaviour do get replies from a mate who is out of their league, so perseverance pays off,” continue Bruch.
Interestingly, for men, desirability increases with age up to 50 years while for women, desirability peaks at 18 ( the minimum age to sign up) before declining.
There is, however, no need to panic to if you think you’re head’s not overly pleasant. Different women, different tastes.
“There can be a lot of heterogeneity in terms of who is desirable to whom,” concludes Bruch.
“Our scores reflect the overall desirability rankings given online dating site users’ diverse preferences, and there may be sub-markets in which people who would not necessarily score as high by our measures could still have an awesome and fulfilling dating life.”