8 Reasons Why You Only Match With Losers on Tinder

Tinder gives users plenty to complain about, just like online dating in general does. It’s easy to make some pretty big mistakes when you’re new to online dating. There are plenty of do’s and don’ts in online dating with which you should probably familiarize yourself. But if you’ve been using Tinder for a little while, it’s possible that you’ve run into a few problems already. One of the most common is getting few matches on the app, or only matching with people that you really wouldn’t want to take on a date, whether you’re looking for girls or guys to talk and meet up with.

There are plenty of reasons why you might only be matched with losers on Tinder. Some of them have to do with the way you’re presenting yourself in your photos and your profile, while some might relate to the way other people perceive your class or your race, while still others are likely related to your location and the standards that you’re setting for yourself. Read on to find out why you aren’t matching with the people you’d really like to meet on Tinder, and see if there’s something you can do to make using the app more fun.

1. You’re being unrealistic about your criteria for matches

Man looking at himself in the mirror

Not getting many matches on Tinder? Maybe you need to be a little more realistic with your search criteria, or what kinds of profiles you’re swiping right on | iStock.com

Remember when Tinder asked you about the genders, age range, and geographic radius you wanted in potential matches? The slim pickings you’re seeing in your matches now might be thanks to unrealistic or overly specific search criteria. But there’s also another possibility that may explain why you’re only matching with people you wouldn’t really want to take on a date, or not getting any matches at all.

There’s no nice way to put this, so we’ll just pull the Band-Aid off quickly: One reason why you might not be getting any good matches, or not getting any matches at all, is that you’re primarily right-swiping on people who are significantly more attractive than you. That can be a hard pill to swallow, especially if you think that you’re a pretty attractive person. But bear in mind that if you’re only right-swiping on pictures of people with model-like looks, you’ll likely only have a chance with them if you have a pretty above-average face as well.

2. Your photos aren’t doing you any favors

Man taking a selfie with his smartphone

If you aren’t getting good matches, maybe your photos are holding you back | iStock.com

Sure, it helps to have modelesque looks and great lighting when you’re taking a photo for your Tinder profile. And you’ll probably get the most matches if you’re extremely attractive. But even if your looks could best be described as “average,” you can still have photos that will get great matches to swipe right, not left, on your profile. Don’t use selfies, poorly-lit photos, or photos where you’re standing in a group of friends. Instead, choose photos that show your face clearly, in flattering light, and depict you in an outfit that looks good on you. You should use high-quality photos, and a site called Tinder Seduction recommends using pictures that maximize your looks in order to get people right-swiping.

3. You aren’t in an urban area

Row of colorful garden homes

Unfortunately, Tinder may not be the best online dating platform for you if you aren’t in a major urban area | iStock.com

Cities like New York and Los Angeles are the best place to use Tinder, since there are plenty of other users on Tinder in those areas. But if you’re using Tinder in a suburban area, you’re much less likely to get great matches. We’re not saying that there’s nobody cool in the entire population of small cities or suburban areas, but you can’t expect to see the same volume of awesome matches in a suburban town as you would while using Tinder in a major metropolitan area. So what’s the solution? If you aren’t planning on picking up and moving soon, there may not be one. You’ll probably just have to realize that the dating pool is smaller in a little city than in a major metro area.

4. You’re too boring

Grabbing a beer on a date

Another reason you may not be getting any good matches is that your profile is making you seem too boring. | iStock.com

As Anne Helen Petersen reports for Buzzfeed, “most of the fun of checking people out isn’t actually talking to them, but thinking about whether or not you’d talk to them and how” as you’re swiping through profiles and checking out photos on Tinder. People choose to swipe right based on all kinds of intangible factors. But even if you think that you’re a relatively attractive and interesting person, that may not be obvious to other Tinder users. Choose photos that communicate something about you, instead of ones where you stare expressionless into the camera. And share your interests on your profile instead of writing a vague description, using only emoji, or saying you’re fluent in sarcasm.

5. Your photos are sending the wrong signals

Man and woman taking a picture together on a smartphone

You should always be yourself. But at the same time, make sure that your photos are sending the right signals and painting the right picture |  iStock.com

Petersen reports that factors like race, class, religion, and culture all play a role in our attractions to others and the profiles that we swipe right on. (OkCupid’s Christian Rudder has plenty of data on race and attraction, if you’re looking for a good read on the topic.) Petersen notes that “No one wants to believe their attractions are racist, or classist, or otherwise discriminatory,” even though sometimes they are. With that in mind, you’ll want to be careful of how you’re portraying yourself if you want to maximize your matches.

If you want your profile to read as middle or upper-class, don’t choose a photo where you’re wearing a cowboy hat or hanging out next to a pickup truck holding the fish you just caught. Or, if you don’t want potential matches to subconsciously label you a hipster, don’t choose a photo in which your beard is grown out and you’re wearing your hair in a man bun. If you don’t want people to assume that your religion is very important to you, then don’t choose a photo that displays signifiers of it prominently. There’s nothing wrong with being yourself, but look objectively at your photos and determine whether they’re projecting the image you want them to.

6. You’re projecting some creepy vibes

Man looking at himself in the mirror

Not getting much interest on Tinder? Make sure you aren’t coming off as creepy |  iStock.com

Many users like Tinder better than traditional dating apps since only people they’ve expressed interest in can contact them. But you might not be getting a lot of people expressing interest in you if you’re projecting creepy vibes. Photos that feature unfortunate facial hair, bad clothes, dark sunglasses, a weird facial expression, or other questionable choices can be a major turn-off for potential matches. Nobody turns to a dating app to be harassed, so if you make yourself look like the kind of person that others want to avoid in bars, you’re not likely to get good matches. That means no photos where you look angry or grumpy. And if you aren’t suggesting dates in public places, you may be scaring off the users who are interested in you.

7. Your description sounds passive-aggressive, creepy, or desperate

Man texting on his smartphone

It’s important to have fun on Tinder, not to sound desperate or entitled | iStock.com

We all have our flaws, and nobody who might want to hook up with or go on a date with you is expecting you to be perfect. But a description that sounds desperate, passive-aggressive, entitled, or just plain disagreeable isn’t going to get you any right swipes. People use Tinder to have fun, whether they view the whole thing as a game or are hoping to enjoy the process of dating. So don’t take the fun out of it by being negative, or by sounding like a loser in your description. Don’t write about the kind of body type you desire in a date. Don’t use clichés, don’t brag about your sexual expertise, don’t make it sound like you think you’re entitled to sex or a relationship, and don’t play off of outdated gender roles.

8. You’re too old for Tinder

A piece of chocolate cake on a plate

Finally, maybe you’re only matching with losers on Tinder because you’re really too old to be using the app | iStock.com

People of all ages use dating apps and dating sites. But Tinder is a particularly young dating service. Dylan Matthews reports for Vox that 52% of Tinder users are between ages 18 and 24, and 33% are between ages 25 and 34. While the app’s user base has been slowly getting older over time, you probably aren’t going to get good matches if you’re significantly older than most of the other users on the app. Doree Shafrir makes the case for people over 30 using Tinder, since as you age, the pool of eligible people shrinks. But if you’re on Tinder and routinely finding it difficult to find good matches, then maybe the user base in your area is simply significantly younger than you are.