Getting Fewer and Fewer Tinder Matches? You’re not Alone.

Last updated on 2019-03-24

First off, it is important to differentiate whether you’re getting fewer matches than you used to, or getting no matches at all, whether suddenly or from the beginning. If your problem is the latter, I’ve got you covered in the linked post.

If you got significantly more matches in the past, but have seen them dwindling over the past months or year, or if you took a long hiatus from Tinder and just came back to dismal match rates that make you think your app might be broken, then this article is for you and the many people sharing your experience; Because yes, you are not the only one and it’s probably not your fault

 

Possible reasons for why you’re getting fewer Tinder matches than you used to

There are many possible explanations for the disappointing decline in matches many Tinder users – primarily men – have been experiencing. The following are the most likely theories, in my opinion.

Tinder has been crippling the standard/free experience

While we have seen a gradual decrease in matches over the years following Tinder’s prime in 2014, there have been two noticeable drops in match rates in recent Tinder history.

In both cases it makes sense from a business perspective to limit organic matches just enough for people to get frustrated and decide to spend some money to help things along.

Boosts let you experience a flood of matches in a short time span, after which the drought of “normal Tinder” seems unacceptable. For many Plus users, the one free boost a month is the only time the app feels worth using anymore. Luckily, you can buy more (/s).

In the case of Tinder Gold, people with limited matches may feel more inclined to use the “likes me” feature to not miss out on any potential matches

All that being said, you do not automatically get more matches as a Plus/Gold user.

There may be fewer women on Tinder than ever before.

While Tinder, as opposed to Bumble, has never released official information on its user demographics, an unofficial report from 2015 estimated 38% women among its users. Since then, things seem to have only gone downhill.

This is not only bad because of the odds at face value, but because it contributes to the vicious cycle of Tinder that keeps making the app more and more frustrating for guys.

You haven’t been keeping up with the competiton

You may still be using the same profile as when you were (more) successful on Tinder, but while this serves to show that there are other factors at play, it may very well be part of the problem.

The competition hasn’t been sleeping and many have been improving their profiles and pictures a lot, taking Tinder and online dating more seriously and putting more effort into it.

It may just be time to up your game.

You’ve been ruining your secret elo score

Tinder has a secret rule book, and inadvertently breaking those rules (for example by swiping right on everyone) means the Tinder algorithm lowers your desirability score, which in turn means your profile gets shown to fewer people.

Is it fair to set rules to a game and not tell the players? Maybe not, but now that you know you have an advantage.

Update: In Tinder’s updated scoring system, they appear to be using image and text recognition software, which may further limit your pool of possible matches, although the intention would have been to tailor your matches to your personal preferences.

 

Conclusion

While it’s possible that you are partially responsible for getting fewer matches than you used to, there seems to be a systemic issue with Tinder. Personally, I believe both the crippling of the standard experience as well as the declining percentage of female users are the main problems facing Tinder, and if they don’t do something to address these issues soon, the app may not survive much longer.

The thing that has helped Tinder most so far is a lack of any serious competition in their niche, but it’s only a matter of time until a new player disrupts the dating market as much as Tinder did back in its heyday.

Bumble is a good alternative and may just be the better option for you, and there are many contenders like Hinge, or OkCupid, but depending on where you live, they just don’t have the users (yet)

In the meantime, all you can really do is to work on your profile, maintain a healthy score, and not take it too personally if you don’t get many matches. Or, you could give Bumble and other dating apps a try. One of them might just be a better match.

What do you think? What has been your experience with Tinder as of late? Feel free to leave a comment below, or visit the SwipeHelper Subreddit. See you there 🙂

10 Comments

  1. Hi there,

    I used to have tinder when it first became popular a few years back and I got matches on a daily basis.
    I deleted the app back then and just recently years later have downloaded it again, I even bought the tinder plus subscription for a month to see the difference. Here is what I got so far:

    Nothing lol… I mean literally not one match
    Now I’m for sure not the hottest guy around but I know I’m pretty decent looking and had never an issue to hook up with girls and as I said before in the past when I installed tinder for the first time m, the matches were storming in. I don’t swipe everyone right so that mentioned elo System can’t really be the issue.
    I also have a good profile, quirky smart and funny with a lot info and good pics in the right order so it really doesn’t make any sense that I haven’t even gotten one match so far, even using the booster with tinder gold, just nothing.
    I also noticed that already swiped right girls and swiped left girls continue to appear again. I mean if I swiped someone right already why do they appear again?

    I’ve tried deleting the account and started from scratch and again same thing… nothing

    So what’s the explanation for that one? Really curious what’s happening

  2. Is it possible to completely reset tinder account only by waiting for some months? I’dont want to make mew Facebook or get a new phone/phone number and I still want to link spotify and instagram… thanks

    • Yeah, that’s the “abstinence” method from the rest guide. You have to wait 3 months after deleting your account.

  3. Hi there!!

    So my issue is going to be a long one. I really hope you can help!! It would mean the world to me if I could solve this issue!

    So I started using tinder years ago, but in June 2018 when I downloaded Tinder Plus, I started to use the reset option more than usual… I was eventually banned in September of 2018. I used my moms number under the same Apple ID for a month and I was banned again.

    Without realizing the issue of why I was being banned, I used another friends number, and it worked for a few days, and then one day I got the “unable to change locations option,” when I tried changing my location using tinder plus. It also said “please try again later…” I was still using the same Apple ID from when I was banned with the first two numbers.

    I got scared and deleted the account. Wasn’t sure if i was banned or not at the time… but I assumed I was banned considering the other two numbers were banned under the same Apple ID.

    At the time, i didn’t know the Apple ID was a possible issue, so i tried a text now number That didn’t work for more than a couple of days… and I asked another friend for their number. Same thing happened after a few days where it said i was “unable to change my location” and also got a “sorry please try again,” once again.

    All together I got a new phone, and changed my Apple ID. I used my first friends number again (the # of the first time around when I got the unable to change location) & it worked!!!! So it was confirmed i wasn’t banned, and i got matches….But a few days later I got the unable to change locations error again.
    ( to clarify, this number was also used on the old Apple ID that officially banned my first 2 accounts so maybe that’s why that’s happening? Just weird that I was able to start an account again on my new Apple ID if that’s the case)

    I tried my second friends number (the one i used for when i got unable to change location my second time) again under the new Apple ID and I got an error again after a few days. (Same thing, this number was also used on my banned Apple ID)

    I used my first friends number for the third time on the new Apple ID ), and recreated an account. I deleted that account bc I got ANOTHER error again.

    Mind you,whenever I ever get this error, I delete my account right away because I am scared it could be a potential ban. Could it be a network issue maybe? I don’t delete for resets since my very first ban in September of 2018. Ever since my bans, I have also used new emails every time I get a new account back. But I restore my purchases with the Apple ID that’s giving me the error messages every few days of recreating an account. I also have my Instagram connected always and just recently connected my Spotify since I read in one of your articles tinder can’t track your Instagram if Spotify is connected.

    I took a break from tinder for 2 more weeks and decided to change my own personal number altogether. Hopefully getting rid of any past trace..

    I changed my number but used my Apple ID I was using for my 2 friends numbers (just to remind you again, those numbers were also linked to my old Apple ID accounts that were banned officially).

    It was working just fine but the SAME unable to change location error popped up. It also said “something went wrong, please try again later & “unable to change location”). I got scared and deleted the account again and reactivated it with my new phone number again along with the Same Apple ID.

    The account is working again but I’m scared I will get those errors again…My ELO also seems super low. Barely getting matches. I get them here and there but not as quick. This wouldn’t be considered a ban if I’m able to recreate my account again correct?? But then why does it say unable to change location & something went wrong please try again later after a few days?

    I was thinking about creating a third Apple ID, and using my current phone number that’s linked to the “unable to change location” Apple ID ( not my old Apple ID that’s officially banned)

    Will that help my ELO and prevent me from getting those error messages that could potentially mean bans? I don’t want to keep resetting my account!! I’m only resetting so much because of these constant error messages. And no matter how hard I try, I feel like my Apple ID and all the numbers I’ve tried on each Apple ID will be linked to tinder.

    I hope getting a new Apple ID will fix this problem. But not sure if my number that I will be using for my new Apple ID is linked to my other “error message” Apple ID.

    I hope this made sense. If possible, can we also hop on a scheduled call to discuss this further. Not sure if you all have that service.

    Your articles have helped so much but I want to know the right approach in my case. I’m even too scared to request a data report from tinder as I am now scared to be even too active on tinder. Let me know what I should do!

    Best,
    Ash

  4. I think a change in the algorithm might be partly responsible.

    I recently deleted my account and started over, the attractiveness of the girls I was swiping on with a new deck was much, much higher then before.

    I think tinder is sorting the deck with attractive people first, bumble does this too. It makes you feel good when you’re swiping but craters any chance to get matches because average people never see each other.

      • On that occasion, definitely not an improved score. I deliberately reset my account with the same information and didn’t get the noob boost. I just wanted to clear away my old matches and have a second shot

        Conversely, after finishing that, I have just started a new parallel second account (using different everything except phone, even bought a new tinder gold) and the quality of my deck has been more varied, from hot to ugly. I got 10 quick likes (I could see them with tinder gold) but then things went very quiet. So quiet that I set my interest to men to ensure my account wasn’t bricked. Thankfully it wasn’t.

        I think the most serious issue is the lack on women using the app. I think it’s really died away this year. I still do well if I passport to Africa or Asia.

        Where have all the women gone? Are they on bumble? Happn? Back to irl pickups in bars?

  5. Most likely answer for this is simply increased competition. It becomes a positive feedback loop for attractive guys – they just stay on the app forever because they get so many matches.

    Also, if you make a fake female profile nowadays and go look at other guy profiles, a lot of them have wised up. Many guys have pro photos now, good bios, etc.

    It’s getting harder and harder to compete if you are an “average” guy.

  6. I think it’s a combo of reasons. I’m a gay male who lives in a big city and before those Gold and Boost features, Tinder was a “good place to live”. I’ve reset my account a couple of times, changed the text several times and also added a “loop”. I can’t say I’m getting “no matches at all”, maybe one each 15 days (mostly out of my “geofence”). Creating a fresh new account (new facebook, new phone, new email) – surprisingly – gives me less matches than reusing my account! Also, sometimes the app acts kind weird: a couple of days ago, loops and “9 pictures” was missing; suddenly, a short bio info and some Instagram photos starts to showing above the photos; and suddenly again, loops and “9 pictures” reappeared, saying goodbye to “short bio” over the photos. And finally, people who isn’t getting any matches is choosing between two paths: leaving the app (without deleting the profile) or “buying” an account (when it’s too late). Unfortunately, Bumble or OkCupid aren’t good options for my profile and area, so I’m crossing my fingers for Facebook Dating…

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