Chart via OKCupid

Women who initiate the first move on dating apps tend to end up with better prospects (relatively speaking), according to a study by OKCupid.

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These results come from analyzing the activities of 70,000 users and finding that straight women who shoot off that crucial opening message are, according to this New York Times piece, “2.5 times more likely to receive a response than men who did the same.” The women are also uniformly messaging the site’s hottest dudes, as judged by user standards. Yeahhh buddy.

“Empowering women” is the very idea behind the dating app Bumble, which makes it mandatory for women users to reach out to men first and start a convo (I’ve tried Bumble in the past and found only limited options for guys I was interested in, maybe because not enough people were using it at the time). Anyway, NYT reports:

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The boring conversations — if you can call them that — tend to be started by men, owing to centuries of Western courtship convention that have remained mostly consistent in the digital age. But in data published Monday, OkCupid, a popular online dating site, said women who take the initiative to reach out to men are rewarded with higher response rates and more desirable men.

The stats also show that most OKCupid users are targeting people who appear to be out of their league:

OkCupid, which said it has 1.5 men for every woman on the site, said both men and women are aspirational in whom they approach — men send messages to women 17 percentage points more “attractive” than themselves, while women send messages to men 10 percentage points higher. So a woman who simply sifts through her inbox is most likely fielding entreaties from men less attractive than she is, while she’s most likely to get a response if she contacts a more attractive man.

This means “There he is...” could be the start of a beautiful relationship. Would be great to see this study replicated with different apps to see how Tinder or Match.com are different.

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These brave female souls who break the ice on OKCupid seemingly have a much better chance of scoring a date than guys who do the same:

About 12 percent of first messages men send turn into a date, while 30 percent of women’s first messages end up in a date, the site said. And yet, men send 3.5 times as many first messages on OkCupid as women do.

So: messages are turning into dates, but whether these dates become a relationship is unknown, just like dating in general. Carry on.


Contact the author at clover@jezebel.com.