Life Advice



Erika Ettin: How to improve the world of dating apps

Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

It’s no secret that men and women are different. I’ve been seeing that difference compounded in my clients when it comes to dating apps, like Tinder and Bumble. Men and women, regardless of orientation, use the apps in a very different manner from each other. Of course, this is a generalization, and there are exceptions to every rule. But I want to share some insights on the way people approach the dating apps, as I’ve learned from coaching clients for the last 10 years.

It starts the same for both men and women: You see someone’s first profile picture. You don’t like it. You swipe left. (Swiping left means you don’t like someone; swiping right means you do.) Done.

Now, here’s where the decision tree takes a turn…

As women, if the first picture passes the test, then we look at the remaining pictures. Gym selfie? Swipe left. Holding a slimy fish? Swipe left. Unnecessary shirtless pic (as in, you’re not at the beach)? Swipe left. Pictures with lots of hot women? Definitely swipe left.

If we’re still on the “yes” train, now we spend some time looking at the profile. (I recommend 25 to 40 words, something catchy, something quirky, and something unique.) We look to see what, if anything, the other person has written. Nothing? Likely a left swipe. Something with poor grammar, anything remotely sexual, or something very negative? That also gets a left swipe.

Now, once we view all your pictures, and none of the faux pas above have been made, and we also like your profile, we swipe right. Decision tree complete.


Many men, on the other hand, if they like the first photo, will immediately swipe right. Decision tree complete.

So, on the whole, men are often using the app liberally, to see who matches with them, whereas women use much more discretion and only swipe right on people who might potentially be a good fit.

Do you see a mismatch here? I do. So do my clients.

When a woman matches with someone, she thinks it means something. She writes a message… and nothing. On the other end, someone is only now reviewing her whole profile, making a decision, and then replying or not based on that decision. This leaves many women upset that their messages go unanswered.


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