What happened when I swiped right to literally everyone on Tinder

I got 43 matches after just five minutes

I’m not really sure when, but it happened somewhere between a bottle of wine and a pitcher of sangria on the first really beautiful day of Chicago’s patio season. Maybe it was the heat, but I decided to open my mind further than usual when looking for summer love. 

How it all started

So I opened Tinder and started swiping on men and women ages 25 – 35 within five miles of my location. I was looking for a Tindercorn (Tinder Unicorn, basically a perfect 10+). After a lot of left swiping, I finally found a person that interested me. His profile was funny and charming, and he seemed interesting. The bottom of his profile said, “I swipe right for everyone.” I’d seen this before in the profile of a bunch of guys. At first I was put off, then I wondered why they did it. Sure, it maximizes the number of matches and, by association, access to more people… But was that it? I swiped left.

I thought about it a lot and ultimately decided to embrace the tactic. That night I began my right swipe experiment. I set ground rules. The first being that I had to swipe right to everyone. I also had to correspond with anyone that messaged me. What if my person was somewhere in the Tinder-verse, and I never met them because I didn’t respond to their message?

Despite the rules, I didn’t obligate myself to chat with anyone that made me feel uncomfortable or harassed me in any way. I had to try and participate in conversation—no one-word answers. I wasn’t allowed to ignore messages, even if a conversation died; I had to be the one to message last. No ghosting. If someone asked me out or suggested a date, I said yes. Unless I was concerned for my safety, I said yes. I wanted the experiment to challenge me to talk to and meet people I might not otherwise have given a chance.

I thought I would swipe right for an entire hour. Get 20 or 30 matches, have some people message me, talk to them, and maybe find someone interesting. My first right swipe was a match. I kept swiping, but I got a little frustrated because I kept getting stopped. “It’s a Match!” Swipe, swipe, swipe “It’s a Match!” Something that used to make my stomach turn with excitement was now the most irritating. I decided to count my matches after five minutes. 43. I was overwhelmed. Then the first message came. I looked at his profile and he was not my type at all. “Give him a chance,” I thought to myself.

Paul. He’s the kind of guy that lists his height in his profile, which, I acknowledge that many people like, but is a total turn off to me. His main picture is a screenshot from Snapchat, and I wasn’t feeling it. “Hello Maggie.”

As I’m typing a response, another message pops up. “Hey whatchu on tonight?” Timmy’s profile says he’s super busy with work and “just looking to eat some pussy”.

I put Paul on the back burner. While I’m reading my second message, another one pops up.  Shadell! He’s actually cute, 27, likes whiskey. He writes, “Thanks for the swipe, it’s nice to kinda sorta virtually meet you.” His grammar is on point. He seems fine. “Maybe something good will come from this,” I’m almost embarrassed to admit.

I go back to Paul. Now the messages are more overwhelming than the matches, and I need to put my phone down. It only took eight minutes.

For the next few weeks, I right swiped everyone on Tinder for five to ten minutes, four to five days a week and responded to every message. I thought I would be going out with a different person every night. That was not the case.

In four weeks, I matched with over 500 people. I messaged with about a fourth of the matches. Four people asked me to meet them in person for drinks or coffee. I met three of these people in real life. I was surprised by the outcome of the experiment. The majority of my matches were men, despite my settings. For one day, I changed my settings to women only, but after ten minutes of right swiping and only three matches, I switched back to men and women. Of all the women I matched with (which was very few), only one sent me a message.

The biggest surprise to me was that more guys didn’t ask me out. Most of them seemed content to carry on a conversation via text, nothing more. Many of the conversations barely went past the initial “Hello.” It made me wonder how many of them were doing the same thing I was, only to send all of their matches a message and see who responds.

I’ve heard from male friends that Tinder has a bit less activity for men, which is probably why some men swipe right to everyone, but I was tired of not connecting with anyone. I’m not talking about a connection like on The Bachelor, but a moment of positive conversation with another person.

I didn’t start this experiment with an end in sight: I would do it until I was tired of it. After four weeks, I decided it was time to be done. The conversations I had were lackluster and forced. I wasn’t going out more. I was staying in, on Tinder, responding to messages. The three people I met were very cool, but would I have swiped right on them if I had the option? Probably not.

Since the experiment ended, I’ve returned to my old Tinder ways: drunk swiping at bars and cruising for dates to bring to weddings. I’m sure my Tindercorn is out there somewhere, and I’ll keep swiping (left and right) until I find them.