Dating coach Connell Barrett gives advice on how to get more swipes on Tinder, the secret to approaching with confidence, and the way to make yourself rejection-proof.
I’m struggling on Tinder. It’s weird because I got a lot of matches when I first launched my profile, and then they dried up. I upgraded with some better photos—just like you suggested—but still it’s crickets. Any idea how to get more swipes on Tinder?
—Marvin, 24, Queens, N.Y.
It’s the worst: You KNOW you have a good Tinder profile, with photos that show you looking your best, and you still don’t match with women you find attractive.
The likely culprit? Tinder’s algorithm. I talk about this in my new book, Dating Sucks but You Don’t. You see, everyone on Tinder has an internal score based on factors such as how many right-swipes you get and how often you use the app. When you’re new to Tinder, the app wants you to feel good and get mucho matches, so your profile is awarded a higher score. This gets you shown to women who also have high scores—including lots of attractive women. With a good profile, you’ll match with some real cuties.
But over time, your score degrades, and the algorithm stops showing you to the best of the best. So that means you can upgrade your photos and profile but still not have your profile shown to women you find attractive.
You’ll see them, but they won’t see you! It’s like if you approached the hottest woman in the club, and she literally didn’t see you there because you were invisible.
Try these two fixes.
Fix no. 1: Boost your profile. This should get you seen by more high-quality profiles. But boosting doesn’t necessarily make your internal score a perfect “10”—it just takes you a notch or two higher than you were. The attractive women you’re swiping on still may not see you. So if boosting is a bust…
Fix no. 2: Close out your Tinder account. Delete that baby, and then re-join a day or two later. This should give you the “newbie boost” that gets your profile shown to head-turning girls you’re swiping-right on, so that they see you and (knock on wood) swipe-right back. A caveat: Don’t delete-and-relaunch too often. There’s always the chance that the algorithm gets wise to this hack and stops you from signing back up.
I live in Dallas, which is filled with stunning women—at the bars, the gym, the parks. They’re everywhere. Just one problem: I can’t approach! I want to, but I feel like I would be that creepy guy who hits on a girl. Am I overthinking this?
—Dale, 44, Dallas
You may think it’s creepy to approach, but it’s creepier to WANT to approach—and do nothing.
When I started learning how to approach women, I was at a trendy hotel lounge in New York City one night. My wingman challenged me to approach a table where a cute brunette and her blonde friend sat with a muscular guy.
At that point, I was still nervous about talking to women, let alone dealing with a potentially pissed-off boyfriend. And this guy was huge, like a bottle of Muscle Milk made corporeal. But I summoned the courage, walked over, grabbed an empty chair, and offered a warm hello.
The brunette’s eyes widened and she leaned forward. “Oh my god! You came right up and talked to us. Do you know what you are?” I thought, Umm, a creep who’s about to get his butt kicked? “You’re normal!” She tilted her head toward a fellow sitting a couple tables away. “That guy’s been staring at us all night, and it’s creeping us out.” Oh, and the hulking dude I was worried about? Super friendly.
I traded numbers with the brunette, who was as charming and friendly as she was pretty.
Most men don’t approach women, often from a fear of appearing creepy. But it’s much creepier to want to approach yet do nothing and stare instead.
Your move, Dale? Follow the Three-Second Rule.
When you’re in a social environment and you see a woman you’d love to meet, approach her immediately. Begin walking toward her within three seconds of spotting her.
The longer you wait, the heavier the weight.
Three, two, one… go!
You know what really scares me? Dating rejection. How do you get over this? I feel paralyzed. Whether it’s asking out a girl I like or sending a message on Match, I just feel frozen up.
—Mark, 49, Columbia, Mo.
Dating sucks because rejection sucks. You take a chance with your heart—you ask a girl out, you approach, you send that flirty text—and if you get turned down, you feel wounded.
But what's causing the pain is not rejection itself. It’s how you interpret it. You turn it into something painful. You turn it into evidence that you’re not attractive to the kinds of women you yearn to date.
You see, all men (and all people in general, really) want to feel special and important. We want to feel significant. This driving force is hardwired into our psyche. It’s why we climb mountains or pump iron.
Hell, I wrote a book—Dating Sucks but You Don’t so I can tell the world, “I’m an author, bitches!” It makes me feel cooler.
One of the most powerful ways to feel special and significant is through dating. Validation from the right woman can be intoxicating. It helps you realize something important: You are enough. And there’s nothing wrong with this.
But when you get rejected, it can make you doubt your romantic worth. You feel less special, misinterpreting that rejection as a sign you’re unattractive. Then you extrapolate: If you’re not attractive to women, then you won’t be able to give or receive love, and that would lead either to loneliness or to settling—both awful outcomes. That’s heavy stuff.
Viewing rejection through the lens of significance turns any romantic risk (an approach, asking for a date) into Judgment Day for your worth. So you probably don’t take risks and pursue the kinds of girls you’re drawn to, because rejection would cut deep. It would make you feel insignificant. And if you do “man up” and take a chance, you’re likely so full of tension that you can’t relax and be your best, most attractive self, which leads to MORE rejection. It’s a vicious downward spiral.
What you want to do is this: See rejection through new eyes.
When I take a client out for in-person wing-man training, I want him to see me get rejected. I have him choose a scary approach situation—say, a large group of girls on the dance floor—and I go in, talking to the cutest one. I often (but not always) get rebuffed.
I do this not because I’m a masochist. My client needs to see rejection not as something to fear but as part of the dating process. It’s required. You can’t approach women and not get rebuffed. You can’t swipe on Tinder and not get ghosted. It’s part of putting yourself out there.
What if you saw rejection as painless? What if you were immune? You could be bold and pursue your dream woman, and with lots of confidence.
I want you to see rejection for what it is: no biggie. A woman’s rejection is not—I repeat, not—evidence of your significance or worth. It’s merely evidence that she’s not interested. Maybe you’re not her type. She’s tacos, and you’re pizza. Both great, just not compatible.
Rejection means next to nothing. You can brush it off, just as you do when the restaurant hostess “rejects” your request for a brunch table on a busy Sunday, or when the Delta ticket agent “rejects” your request for a free business-class upgrade. Look at dating rejection the same way. Your worth isn’t on the line. It’s not personal.
Now, you might be saying, “You’re nuts! Of course it’s personal. It’s my love life!”
The truth is, rejection may feel personal, but a woman who barely knows you can’t possibly reject you.
Now, if your long-term girlfriend says, “I no longer love you, you’ve never made me orgasm, and I’m leaving you for Fabio,” okay, now THAT is rejection.
But if a woman you’ve just met blows you off, she may simply be saying she’s the Beatles, and you’re the Stones. No shame there. The Stones fu*king rock.
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Connell Barrett is a dating coach for men. He has been called one of the best dating coaches in the world. In addition, he appeared on talk shows such as Access Hollywood and The Today Show. Furthermore, he has also been published in magazines such as O Magazine, Maxim, Cosmopolitan, and more. Connell helps men develop confidence and connect to women authentically. Leave a question for Connell below!
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