Stop me if this feels familiar: You matched with a bunch of people on Tinder/Bumble/Hinge/The League/your app of choice these days, and the sheer number of conversations you're juggling right now is more emotionally draining than your last therapy session. You're pretty sure you're talking to too many people at once. I mean, how many Tinder matches is too many? When are you going overboard?
I'm pretty sure I'm guilty of matching with too many people. Here's my typical cycle: I get caught up in the fun of swiping left and right — give me a glass of Pinot Grigio and an iPhone, and I'm swipe-happy for a solid hour. But then I get too overwhelmed to initiate conversations with everyone (I usually send the first message regardless of whether I'm on Bumble or not, because life is too short to waste passively waiting around for a guy to say "sup"). And by the time I get messages back, I'm bored. The next day, I have tons of people to respond to, but it's tough to work up the energy to send a dozen or more responses. So I don't.
In other words, I can spend hours on dating apps and have zero dates to show for it.
I'm frustrated by my own methods, and worse, I know that they're rude. I'm wasting my matches' time. It's not cool.
So I reached out to Meredith Golden, a dating expert who swipes around on dating apps for a living (she's the founder of matchmaking company SpoonmeetSpoon). I asked her to give it to me straight — how many matches should I have at once?
Aim To Have 10 Conversations At Once
"It’s not as much about the number of matches as it is about number of the conversations," Golden says.
Her recommendation: Carry 10 conversations at a time.
If you've written an awesome bio, chosen on-point photos, and are sending fiery, funny, creative opening lines to every match, you could theoretically get 10 conversations from sending just 10 messages. But hey, no one's batting average is perfect, and if you need to send 100 messages to drum up 10 conversations, that's NBD.
Your match-to-conversation ratio also depends on which app you're using. Golden has tried pretty much every one under the sun, but recommends Hinge as the app most likely to spark a connection. She says you might get fewer conversations up front, but the quality of conversations is way higher, since users have to like or comment on specific photos or answers, rather than swiping on an entire profile.
Once you hit 10 conversations, stop swiping, and focus on chatting with your matches. After all, that's why you're on a dating app in the first place, right? Some of those 10 convos might naturally fizzle out over the next few hours or days, but hopefully, you'll produce at least one sparkling chat that leads to a date.
If you're finding that it's still too much to juggle 10 people at once, try scaling back to eight, or five, or three.
If you're dreading talking to any number of people at all, consider the fact that you might be a little burned out on the dating game. Consider deleting your apps for awhile and re-downloading them when once you're actually excited about dating again.
And when you're ready to date again, you know — take it slow. There's no need to swipe through the entire city when you can focus on just 10 conversations.
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