How Does Swiping Work

Online Dating

How Does Swiping Work?

Cassey Ashley Sua

Written by: Cassey Ashley Sua

Cassey Ashley Sua

Cassey blends her background in social and human behavior, along with digital marketing, seamlessly into her writing. With a versatile portfolio spanning Tourism, E-commerce, Tech, Hospitality, and Medical industries, she weaves meaningful narratives that resonate with audiences. Connecting words into sentences is her craft, but Cassey also finds joy in forming genuine connections with people from all walks of life on LinkedIn.

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Edited by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is a dating and relationship expert who has penned over 1,800 lifestyle articles in the last decade, and she still never tires of interviewing dating professionals and featuring actionable advice for singles. She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

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Reviewed by: Chloë Hylkema

Chloë Hylkema

Chloë Hylkema loves using her writing skills to tell stories that matter. Her time as an English student at Emory University molded her into a detailed writer with a knack for the relatable. She has previously worked as lead campaign writer for an animal advocacy group and now brings her passion for engaging and actionable content to

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Swipe left, swipe right. What exactly is swiping?

In the modern dating game, swiping is like the remote control of the love world. If you’ve ever found yourself on a dating app with your thumb ready, that’s swiping!

What do you do when a profile catches your eye? Swipe right, of course! It’s the online dating way of saying, “Hey, let’s chat?” And if the feeling’s mutual, they’ll swipe right on you, too! It’s a match made in digital heaven.

But what if the profile you stumble upon makes you yawn or, worse, cringe? Maybe they don’t like puppies (the horror!), or their idea of a date is the complete opposite of yours. That’s a “swipe left” moment, and just like that, they vanish from your queue of potential matches.

This swiping saga has revolutionized how we search for romance, making it easier than ever to find your next date, or possibly, The One. Swiping is all about swift decisions and instant connections, wrapped up in a user-friendly package of photos and witty bios. It’s a modern love story, one swipe at a time.

History & Evolution | How It Works | Psychology Behind Swiping

History & Evolution of Swiping Apps

The internet gave way to how we’re able to connect with others in different parts of the world, whether a few states over or even an entirely different country, naturally increasing the dating pool. And as it turns out, a ton of us are swiping on digital cupids.

many americans have tried online dating

According to Pew Research Center, at least 46% of Americans have taken a whirl on dating sites or apps at least once in their dating history. It didn’t matter if it were casual meet ups or the hunt of The One, Americans are sold on the idea of being able to connect romantically online!

Origins of Swiping

Can you believe that the swiping game started with Tinder in 2012? Yup, that’s when the dating scene got a major revamp and turned finding dates into a game of “Hot or Not.” With its launch in 2012, Tinder brilliantly decided that dating should be fun and not some daunting task. The app introduced singles to the now-famous swipe right for “Yes, please!” and swipe left for “No, thanks.”

The beauty of swiping is its simplicity and efficiency. Swipe right if the person catches your eye or left if you’re not feeling it. When the stars align, and you both swipe right on each other, it’s a match! You’re now one step closer to (possibly) having a decent chat or even meeting up in person.

tinder introduced swiping

Other dating websites definitely did not turn a blind eye to this ingenious mechanism. Tinder’s contemporaries quickly jumped on the swiping train, some with their own fresh twist. On Bumble, the ladies take the lead in the swiping game.

And Hinge? The app initially played hard to get (dubbing itself anti-swiping), but eventually, the team gave in and embraced the world of swiping — though they aimed to foster deeper connections by encouraging more detailed profiles.

Success Stats

Americans have a real “it’s complicated” relationship with online dating. About 53% of singles said they felt at least somewhat positive about online dating. And 14% went as far as to say they felt very positive. On the flip side, 46% of singles are swiping left, labeling their cyber quest for love as a less-than-stellar experience.

online dating is complicated

Despite this divide, a OnePoll/Forbes Health survey found that nearly 70% of singles who met someone on a dating app ended up in an exclusive, romantic relationship. That’s right, from swiping right to making it official! However, not all swipes led to sparks — 28% didn’t find their plus one.

Not all hope (or time) is lost! If you’re between the ages of 43 and 58, you’re apparently in the prime time of your dating app life, with a 72% success rate of finding romance. So, whether you’re a hopeless romantic or just looking for a dinner date, it seems that dating apps might just be the wingman you need!

The Mechanics of Swiping

Behind every swipe is a brainy algorithm playing matchmaker based on where you are, what you like, and how you swipe. It’s tirelessly crunching data to throw you into the arms of potential soulmates (or at least a decent brunch buddy).

swiping right

Let’s dive into this digital dance of thumbs and hearts, shall we?

  1. Right swipe: Swiping right is like giving the thumbs up to love in a digital nod of approval. If the person on the other end is also into you and swipes right, you can now chat, swap dog pictures, or plan a date!
  2. Left swipe: This is the “thanks, but no thanks” of online dating. Swiping left is a polite way of saying, “I’ll pass.” It’s like ducking out the back door of a blind date without the public embarrassment. No harm, no foul, but no connection this time. Their profile vanishes from your stack and is replaced with new possibilities.
swiping left
  1. Up swipe: Feeling extra spicy about someone? Throw them an up swipe for a Super Like or a Boost! This is akin to skipping to the front of the line at your favorite club. A Super Like indicates that this fish stood out in the sea of admirers. And a Boost? That’s your profile on digital steroids, tossing out more bait and catching more eyes.
  2. Down swipe: The down swipe is a less common mechanism, but don’t underestimate it. Swiping down can mean many things depending on the dating app. Made a mistake? Simply swipe down to undo. See something shady? Swipe down to report.

The Psychology Behind Swiping

Swiping through dating apps isn’t just about looking for your next date — it’s peeking into the modern love playbook. This whole swiping culture isn’t just changing our date night plans but is actually reshaping our love lives and attitudes toward finding “The One” (or “the one for now”). In some ways, swiping has ushered in the age of emojis and ghosting because it encourages quick connections without accountability.

Gamification of Dating

Dating apps have turned looking for love into a bit of a game, right? It’s giving slot machine vibes with the swipe, swipe, swipe, and match! The unpredictability of it sends a little buzz of excitement through the bloodstream with each match, and that keeps us hooked. And guess what? Studies show how this sticky design can lead us to swipe for longer than we might have planned.

Mental Health Suffers

Swiping left or right might feel like a harmless and super speedy game of “Hot or Not,” but it could be messing with your head. That instant decision-making on dating apps, often based on little more than a photo and a quick vibe check, can do a number on mental health.

some studies show swiping could have negative impacts

Swipe-based dating feels like a never-ending quest for likes and matches. It can really warp self-esteem, especially among younger daters. This constant cycle of looking for approval (or fearing rejection) based on surface-level judgments can really shake up a single person’s sense of self-worth.

Factors That Influence Matches

Getting the hang of some behind-the-scenes tricks can amplify your matchmaking game. Swiping in the digital dating world is not magic or fate; it’s science mixed with a little bit of personal flair. Your profile is your wingman — it’s got your back with your bio, photos, and all those likes and dislikes. Your swiping history is the secret sauce that helps a smart algorithm figure out which profiles are most compatible with you. The more you swipe, the smarter it becomes.

GPS plays a factor, too. The app’s geolocation features ensure you’re not matching with someone on another continent (unless you’re into that). It narrows down the love search to your neck of the woods, making sure your potential soulmate is just around the corner.

Impact on Real Relationships

Turning those swipes into something meaningful is the real challenge. Many online daters are trying to out-cool each other, which can lead to letdowns when the real deal doesn’t match the online brochure. Making the leap from date to soul mate takes some serious effort and a dash of intentionality.

The trick? Keep it real — like, actually real. Share your quirks and all – because, believe it or not, those flaws might just be what someone else finds irresistible.

swipe mindfully

Just as you would exercise caution in real life when getting to know someone for the first time, be careful when you meet strangers online. A little mystery goes a long way. Instead of sharing your home address or workplace, share the many things that make you tick!

Swiping Apps Revolutionized Romance 

It’s important to take a second and think about how all that swiping helps or hinders folks seeking a true connection. Looking down the road, we anticipate the next big thing in app design and user experience will bring us closer to those heart-to-heart connections, rather than racking up matches like a high score in a dating game.

As we ride the wave of digital romance, let’s not forget to swipe mindfully. It’s all about finding that sweet spot where technology meets genuine intentions. Here’s to navigating the online dating world with a bit of humor, a dash of skepticism, and a whole lot of hope for finding the perfect match (or at least someone who gets your sense of humor).