Posted By Robert Hayes on December 7, 2019
The arrival of Tinder and similar dating apps revolutionized the world of matchmaking and dating. It seems like just about every single person out there is on Tinder, looking for Mr(s). Right or at least Mr(s). Right Now. Tinder boasts almost 60 million active users as of the close of 2019, and generates more than 1.6 billion swipes per day. The site has played an enormous role in the romantic lives of people all over the world.
Even with all the technological changes that have occurred, some things remain the same, and one of those things is heartbreak and rejection. While people match on Tinder…they can also unmatch. And because Tinder doesn’t give you an explicit message to tell you that you’ve been unmatched, sometimes it’s a little confusing as to what happened. In this article, we’ll look at how to tell whether you’ve been unmatched, and how to get back in the saddle and move forward with your love life by improving your Tinder profile and creating a more fruitful Tinder experience.
Detecting an Unmatch
Please don’t take this personally. Unmatching is just a fact of life. Online, in person, over text… it’s simply a fact of life that relationships go south or just never get started in the first place, no matter how promising the chemistry seemed at first. Sometimes it’s just a difference in the way people look at the world, or a conflict of lifestyles or values. Other times, although there is an attraction, things just don’t work out.
Unfortunately, app life seems to be even more fast-paced than real life. In Tinder, there really isn’t any way to gauge compatibility other than “she looks pretty” / “he’s funny in chat”, so a lot of the time matches simply never go anywhere. It doesn’t necessarily even mean you did something wrong- who knows what’s going on on the other side of the match! While it would be super helpful if people could just be mature and say “hey, you seem nice, but I don’t think this is going anywhere so I’m going to move on. Best wishes!” before they unmatch, the fact is that having a sense of anonymity on the internet leads to frequent ghosting. Most of the time, an unmatching is done without warning, and sometimes right in the middle of a conversation that one person thought was going really well.
It’s very exciting to receive a match in Tinder. It means a new beginning, a new conversation, getting to introduce yourselves to one another and sharing that connection. This can lead to plenty of great conversations—and potentially great dates. Unfortunately, sometimes the connection fades, or is lost in translation between two users. If you’ve ever found yourself in a conversation with another Tinder user, only to find they’ve suddenly disappeared, or you’ve received a notification of a new match, only to open your app and find a lack of new notifications, this is the guide for you. Here’s how to tell if you’ve been unmatched on Tinder.
The first thing to do is to rule out a glitch. Tinder isn’t perfect, and like all software, glitches happen. To make sure that your disappearing match wasn’t just an error, start out by closing and restarting the Tinder application on your phone.
First, try to simply log out and log back in. A simple glitch might be the culprit, especially if you notice that ALL of your matches have suddenly vamoosed. To do so:
- Open Tinder
- Tap the profile icon
- Go to Settings
- Scroll down and tap Logout.
The glitch might lie in your phone’s connection, though, not in Tinder. As the ancient prophesy states, “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” Try reconnecting from your phone to see if those matches are still where they ought to be.
On iOS, this is done by double-tapping on the Home button on the iPhone 8 and earlier. On later models, you’ll need to either swipe up from the bottom of the display and hold your finger for a moment, or swipe up and to the right to open your list of apps. Find the Tinder application in your list of running apps on your phone and swipe up to force close the app from your device (on the iPhone X, you’ll need to long press on the app and click the red X in the corner of the app). Once you’ve successfully close the application, restart the app to see if the conversation and match have returned to your account.
On Android, most devices have a dedicated Recent Apps button, either on the hardware of the device or within the virtual buttons on the display. Unlike iOS, apps are presented in a vertical carousel. Force closing an app is completed the same way as iOS—swipe away the app from your list. On Android, you can also go into your App settings to force close the app without swiping it away from your Recent Apps.
Once you’ve stopped the app from running, cleared the app from your device, reopen it and check both your conversations and your notifications. It’s possible a missing conversation or match notification was an error. If your missing conversation or notification haven’t reemerged after restarting the app, then the other person unmatched you.
Consider Yourself Blocked
Sometimes when you’ve been unmatched, you might feel determined to find that lost connection again. Although it’s understandable that someone might feel this way, it’s really not productive. Since unmatching is a permanent action, there is a slim possibility that the unmatch was accidental. However, in many cases, the other party unmatched for a reason, and your best bet is to respect their decision and move on. Love is something that has to flow naturally; it can’t be compelled or coerced. And in any case, once people have unmatched, Tinder flags their accounts for one another, so that they don’t show up again in the card stack. Once the other person has unmatched you, you’re not going to see them again without an account reset.
Ready to Start Over?
It is possible that you might see the other person again on Tinder, if one or both of you resets their account. Account resets clear all those blocks and flags.
Dealing With It
The truth is that everybody gets unmatched. Hey, even Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie broke up – it doesn’t matter how good-looking, or wonderful, or smart, or rich, or whatever you are – not everyone is going to want to be with you and that is OK. Think about it, and you can probably brainstorm a dozen people you would unmatch, if given the chance. Take a deep breath and realize that while this isn’t your match, there’s still a match out there, you just have to find them. That’s why, after an unmatch, you really shouldn’t roll up in a ball and eat ice cream while crying (unlesss that’s what you were planning to do, anyway. We can’t judge. Ice cream is delicious, and emotions are natural). If that match had been right for you, they’d still be in your life. Instead, you should get back on the proverbial dating horse and find the person who IS right for you.
Reasons for Unmatching
One big cause of stress in an unmatching is that we don’t know why it happens, usually. Sometimes we can guess; “was it the hilarious joke I just made in chat about how fat she looks in her pictures?” Yeah, that was probably it. Other times we’re completely clueless; things seemed to be going great, your match’s last message was them telling you how funny you are or how much they’re enjoying the conversation, and then boom. Once in a great while, we know for sure because they tell us: “I just found out my long-lost husband wasn’t dead, he was on a desert island after his plane crashed, and he’s coming home! So I’m getting off Tinder.” In that case, tell her to tell Wilson you said “hello,” and respect her decision.
Aside from the anxiety and uncertainty of not knowing, figuring out why someone unmatched can be helpful to us because it lets us know where we need to improve our presentation or what things we need to work on. (“Maybe the joke I thought was hilarious is actually really annoying to the person it makes fun of.”) One approach is to ask your friends to review your conversations and see if they can spot clues of an impending unmatch that you didn’t pick up on. (“Sarah, in the chat you kept saying that short men sicken you, and in his profile it clearly says that he’s 5’6”.) In fact, it can be especially helpful to have someone in the same age and gender bracket as your preferred matches review your conversations to help you edit your conversation skills.
Optimizing the First Conversation
Probably the most powerful influencer of whether you get unmatched or not is the first couple of interactions you have in the chat. We often don’t perceive this, however, because while the unmatch decision gets made there, the actual unmatch execution happens later. For example, take this annotated sample opener:
Dan: “Hey, I’m Dan!” (Betty’s internal thought: no kidding)
Dan: “So go 49ers, am I right?” (Betty: My profile clearly says I’m 26. Is he illiterate? *she Googles a 49er, just in case*)
Betty: “Um yeah…so what’re you up to?” (Betty’s internal thought: OMG, he was talking about sports. I do not sports. Abort mission! Unmatch!)
Dan: “Just watching the big game! What’re you up to tonight?” (Betty: What’s the most polite way to say “gag me.”)
Betty: “Working on my graduate thesis regarding the God molecule.”
Though Dan may try his hardest, and Betty is working on being polite, this is a clear situation where a match is simply not meant to be.
First impressions are important. If you have an amazing first two lines, then the next three things you say can be pretty ordinary and natural, because your match will still have a strongly positive first impression. But if you first two lines are bland, then it almost doesn’t matter how great the rest of your material is – your match has already forgotten that the conversation is happening. It’s too late; they aren’t even listening. Accordingly, it’s critical to put forth the maximum effort on your first couple of interactions to get the most bang for your buck.
A key element of this optimization process is to understand what kind of person your match is. For the sake of this example we’re using the assumption that it is a man trying to initiate a conversation with a woman, and the woman is the one deciding whether to unmatch or not. However, the general principles in play here should be the same for any sex and any set of possible matches.
If you are lucky, you will have great information available about what kind of communicator your match is. A richly-detailed bio gives you the insight you need into your match, by showing you what kind of sense of humor they have (or perhaps that they don’t have a visible one), by giving you information about their interests, and by giving you chances to find quick and easy common ground. (“You’re from Boston? I’M from Boston!”)
Once you’ve studied your match, you have a choice of three strategies. Really, it’s two strategies plus some dumb ideas that people use to fail on Tinder. Let’s break it down.
Strategy 1: Dumb Stuff
This is the domain of “hey” and “did it hurt when you fell out of Heaven?” If anyone managed to start a real relationship with any of these openers, it was because the other person had actually fallen a great distance, injured themselves, accidentally opened Tinder while waiting for the ambulance, and couldn’t read what they had typed and just assumed it was something wonderful. Alternately, maybe the other party was caught in their feelings at that moment and responded out of profoundly deep-seated sense of pity. Neither of those are reliable foundations on which to build a romantic relationship. Just trust us here.
Other than “hey” and some of the more obviously dumb cliches, what kinds of openers are in this section? Usually, these are the worst-of-the-worst semi-clever openers served up at Tinder strategy communities like /r/Tinder on Reddit. “Titanic” (because it’s a good icebreaker, get it? Get it?) is probably the king of these. Someone, somewhere probably considers these funny, but really, realistically and practically speaking…no.
The timing of your opening line for Strategy 1 is pretty much irrelevant since the line is going to be trash no matter when it’s delivered.
Strategy 2: Play it Safe
Wait a minute, didn’t we just finish telling you that you had to do well from the beginning? Why on Earth would you want to play it safe? The reason is this: because sometimes a Tinder bio doesn’t give you the information you need to do a good high-yield opener, and a badly-aimed opener is an even greater disaster than that whole “Titanic” thing. Given the choice between a safe but not terrible opener that will at least keep your conversation viable, and the chance of your first line being absolute garbage, playing it safe is sometimes the correct path to follow.
In addition, your own personality traits and aptitudes play a big role in what your ideal strategy. If you are perpetually tongue-tied or shy, then opening with a risque double-entendre about the sexual meaning of your match’s name may not be a viable strategy for you, no matter how hilarious she would find such a (well-delivered) line. You can’t deliver it well, so it’s not in your list of options.
These “good but not great openers” are the workhorses of the Tinder users who have swiped right on thousands or tens of thousands of people and engaged in endless iterations of these same opening conversations. In general, if you are going with Strategy 2 you don’t want to immediately initiate the conversation when you get the notification. Rather, let an hour or two go by, so as to give the impression that you are one of the elite Tinder users capable of turning the app off for at least short periods of time.
Here are the kinds of openers that work well with Strategy 2.
Openers related to her photos:
- “It looks like your trip to Jerusalem was amazing! What a great opportunity!”
- “I love the photo of the dog. I’ve had dogs my entire life. What’s this pupper’s story?”
- “The beach in Acapulco? I’m jealous! How long ago was the trip?”
- “You and your friends were having such a good time, was that Club _____ in the ______ district?”
- “I’ve never seen anyone so pretty in a hockey uniform before.”
- “Not to be too forward, but that picture of you in the red dress literally took my breath away.”
Sometimes the photos just don’t have the specifics you need. A sincere and original compliment is always the best way to praise, but failing that, a sincere and generic compliment will get the job done.
- “I think you’re the prettiest woman on Tinder.”
- “(Her Name), you have the most beautiful eyes on this planet.”
- “I know I already swiped right, but I have to tell you, you’re just crazy attractive.”
Sincere inquiries about boring topics:
- “I can’t believe it’s already Monday. Did you have a good weekend?”
- “Your bio says you were just in Wisconsin. How did that go?”
- “I’m excited that you went to Northwestern! My kid/brother/sister/friend/etc might go there, how did you like it?”
Strategy 3: Yes, I AM This Handsome and Funny
Strategy 3 is the go-for-broke, impress the heck out of the match opener that they’ll remember forever, or at least as long as the relationship lasts. These are the spectacularly funny, extremely witty, and sometimes super, super dirty or risque openers that often disclose your randier intentions sooner rather than later. If you decide to go with Strategy 3, not only should you have good openers ready at any moment, but you should be prepared to jump online as soon as you get the match. (And it helps if your place is clean and your teeth are brushed, because, y’know: hookups.)
A quick entry works well for Strategy 3 choices, because that immediate contact sends a somewhat counterintuitive signal: someone who jumps right on the network when they get a match is someone strongly committed to the signal.
These are risky approaches. Even a good delivery can fail to impress. I’m going to give you some common examples; the /r/Tinder subreddit on www.reddit.com is an excellent place to research new lines to see if they are zingers or duds.
- “If you were a fruit then you’d be a Fineapple”
- “If you were a vegetable then you’d be a Cutecumber”
- “Truth or dare?”
- If she says “truth” then respond: “What’s your favorite place to hook up?”
- If she says “dare” then respond: “I dare you to call me.”
- “On a scale of 1 to America, how free are you tonight?”
- “If I were a watermelon, would you spit or swallow my seeds?”
- “Roses are red, so are your lips, sit on my face and wiggle your hips”
- “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put the D in U.”
- “I’m no weatherman but you can expect a good few inches tonight.”
These high-risk lines only scratch the surface. And please be aware, you might get cross-posted on social media if you really try some nonsense with the wrong gal.
Getting Back on the Horse
The best revenge, they say, is living well, and the best way to get over being unmatched is to go out and generate a bunch more matches. Of course, that’s not always the easiest thing to do. How can you get more matches on Tinder? There are basically three things you can do:
- Better pictures
- Better profile/bio text
- Better expectations
Getting better pictures is absolutely crucial. Your pictures are the first thing that potential matches see. It’s legitimately the very thing that rates your presence on Tinder. Make sure your pictures are well-lit, include your face, and let your personality shine through. Chest-to-crotch pictures are over. Pictures of you doing a keg stand are not impressive. Leave the family jewels out of this. Use a photo that you wouldn’t mind your grandmother seeing, but that lets your naturally attractive nature shine through.
Developing a great bio is also important. Your pictures get them in the door, your bio convinces them to seal the deal. Be yourself, as long as you’re not a jerk. While it’s easy to have bravado in a realm of anonymity, try being sincere and honest- especially if you’re just here for the hookups. It’s a very attractive quality and establishes expectations right off the bat.
Finally, managing your expectations. I have a male friend – nice guy in his late 30s, reasonably handsome, has a decent job – who complained that he couldn’t get any matches. I looked at his profile and guess what? His age range was set to 19-23, and his distance was set to 5 miles, in a relatively small community, and he swiped left on anybody with less than supermodel looks. Now, is it impossible for a fairly regular guy approaching middle age to partner up with a young, staggeringly beautiful woman who happens to live just up the street from him? No, it isn’t impossible – but those aren’t betting odds. I am not saying that you need to swipe right on everyone who comes your way, but you have to understand how the Tinder algorithms work. (And also how 19 year old super models work. That’s crucial.)
You only see people who meet your criteria, and it works both ways – if those 19 year old girls had set their parameters to exclude men over 25, they wouldn’t be seeing my friend. So not only is he only seeing a small portion of the women in his area, only a small portion of THAT small portion are seeing him. So you want to include as many people as you could reasonably be attracted to in your geographic and age criteria. You can always left-swipe on anyone who doesn’t suit you, and in fact the way the Tinder algorithms work, you are BETTER OFF swiping left on at least some people. Otherwise you look desperate and the algorithm deprecates your score.
You may have been unmatched, but with these tips you’ll be back out there meeting new people in no time!
We have a LOT of resources for users of dating sites, whether that’s Bumble, Tinder, or somewhere else.
If you’re using Bumble instead of or in addition to Tinder, you might want to read our article on how to tell if someone unmatched you on Bumble.
Be sure to check out our article on whether Tinder erased your match.
If you want to reset your account, you can read our tutorial on how to reset your Tinder account.
If you’re thinking of resetting your account because you want to get rid of all your current matches, then before you take a drastic step, read our tutorial on how to delete all your Tinder matches.
To increase your chances of success on the app, read our article on getting more matches on Tinder!
We’ve also go an article with some suggestions for writing a funny bio.