That one time I used a dating app to actually get a date

I have a complicated relationship with dating apps.

I think they’re brilliant. They allow you to meet people you otherwise wouldn’t, and they take a process we’re going to do anyway (seeing loads of people, deciding whether or not we’re interested, and — maybe — talking to the few we like) and make it way more efficient.

But… I don’t really use them. It’s just too much work. All the swiping, and the messaging, and then the asking out, and the planning, and the actually going on a date—I mean how many people do you have to swipe through before you like one? And then how many of those people like you back? And then how many of them do you actually message? And then how many of those do you ask out? And then how many of those say yes? And then of that tiny group, how many do you actually meet in person? It takes a lot of swiping to wind up on a real date.

I can’t even.

So a while ago I thought it would be way more effective to skip all the messaging, planning, even matching (sort of), and get straight to the date.

Basically, the idea was that instead of matching with me generally, you’d match with me for a specific date. So it’s not “swipe left or right on Jeff,” rather it’s “swipe left or right on frozen yogurt with Jeff this Friday at 8pm.”

I’d been really intrigued by this idea for a while, and then one day the company I worked for got everyone tickets to the premier of Beauty and the Beast. People with families could bring their families, and those without families were given tickets for a +1.

A specific activity, at a specific time, for which I needed a date.

The perfect opportunity.

So I took some new pics and updated my dating app profile:

Pics uploaded, I started swiping.

I was way more selective in my swiping during this experiment than I normally would be, because I was already committed. I had already asked her out and I didn’t even know who she was yet.

I also didn’t want to wind up with like 7 matches all expecting to be my date and then have to let 6 of them down. That was the trickiest part, actually — what do I do if I wind up with more than one match?

Anyway, the swiping was great. It seemed a lot more successful than it normally does (i.e. more matches with more attractive girls).

I wound up with not one but a few matches, which kind of stressed me out for a bit because I had no idea how to handle it, but eventually messaged a girl who… said she already had plans for that night.

Huh.

Anyway, it all worked out, but I was really curious if this was truly more effective than my normal profile, so I emailed the dating app company to ask them.

Hey Cooper,
I conducted a little experiment on Mutual over the last week to test out the “swipe yes to this date” idea. Check it out (screenshots below).
It went pretty well and I liked that way better than the typical aimless matching concept, but I’m curious how it went from a data perspective.
A friend just came up and told me his classmate (a woman) texted him a screenshot of my profile and told him I was popping up in all her friends’ feeds.
Was this a more successful profile than normal? More “up” swipes compared to the past couple days?

Luckily, they obliged with an answer:

Jeff,
The strategy worked. There were definitely more up-swipes than regular. Hope you landed a great date.
Mutual Team

It worked! It’s alive! I’m a genius!

In fact, it worked so well that… I’ve never done it again. Haha.

Not because I’m not single anymore—I just haven’t been motivated to use dating apps in a while.

But for those of you who still are, this could be an effective strategy.