Online dating has reached record highs in the western world whereas it has helped break social barriers in on the eastern front.

  • In 2015 15% of all adults in US used online dating sites or apps.
  • Between 2013 and today, the share of 18 to 24 year olds who use online dating has roughly tripled from 10% to 27%. For 55 to 64 years old this number has gone from 6% to 12%.
  • Nearly 70 million adults use online dating in UK. (
  • India has witnessed a 400% increase in tinder downloads in the past year. (The Hindu)
  • China and the middle-east have seen a boom in online dating primarily because of – in the former societal pressures to get married in the right age (the one child policy has resulted in a highly skewed sex ratio) and in the latter again societal pressures to get married and avoid flings.

Statistics reveal that the attractiveness of a particular person on such an app or site is dependent on a lot of factors which also include the relative attractiveness of the people visible before that person in the swipe deck.


Many a times your profile is judged in relevant terms to the profile just before you – if you are more attractive than the previous profile, you can successfully gain a like. ( But then if you are likeable enough why does is matter how likeable the previous guy or girl is?

This type of relativity is also explained by Dan Ariely, a prominent professor of behavioural economics, in his book ‘Predictably Irrational’. He explains when a choice between two pretty faces is difficult and thus a person is indifferently attracted to both, including a much lesser pretty face in the deck (a decoy) incites the person to make a clear choice between the former two by virtue of which of the two is clearly superior to the decoy. He exemplifies,

“…..the existence of a colonial-style house needing a new roof might push you to choose a perfect colonial over a contemporary house – simply because the decoy colonial would give you something against which to compare the regular colonial….”


A lot of people also get intimidated by extremely good looking people and dislike the profile out of inferiority complex.

Since women use more of retouching and men use more words (21.9% more words than women do!) and more messages, the only way that you can look beautiful online is by posting your candid images and just trying to look better than the previous people (which anyways you have to in order to not give the other side a surprise when you meet). So if you look like George Clooney, nobody’s gonna believe you but if you accept that you look like Leonard, there’s a Penny who’d adore your honesty.


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