Do Online Dating Filters Really Help You?

A woman on her phone setting up her online dating filters on her dating app.

One of the main benefits of online dating is that you can search for and find other singles who fit the criteria you’re looking for. Using filters you can target by age, location, whether or not someone has kids, and sometimes even body type or ethnicity. And all of this helps you narrow down your options and find the one who’s right for you… Or does it?

According to data from the over 40 million members on the online dating site and app Zoosk, using filters while online dating may actually make it harder for you to meet someone you’re interested in.

After looking into how different people connect and start chatting, Zoosk found that people who used filters tended to send out more messages (22 messages compared to the average of 15.7) but got 11% fewer replies.

People who use filters tend to find a lot of people they’re interested in, so they’re more engaged in reaching out to those people and starting a conversation. However, they’re not leading to a deeper connection.

So what does the data mean for those of us trying to find someone? Well, while we often have a pretty good idea of what we’re looking for in another person, it may pay off to be more open-minded. Maybe we don’t actually know what we’re looking for until we find it.

One of the main benefits of meeting people in real life is that you can feel the chemistry and start a conversation with someone you might have overlooked if you’d only judged them by their basic information. Maybe you thought you’d never date someone shorter than you, but once you started talking to that short guy at the bar you found out he was hilarious and that you both work in education. Maybe you thought you’d never date a single parent, but when your friend introduced you to their next-door neighbor with two kids at a party, you couldn’t keep your eyes off her.

Online dating works the same way. While it’s good to know what you want, it’s also good to keep in mind that you might want something you haven’t even thought of yet.

Dating is a process of discovery, and what you may discover is that the person who makes you the happiest isn’t who you thought they’d be.

Megan Murray

Editor-in-Chief of The Date Mix

Megan Murray is the Editor-in-Chief of The Date Mix and works at the online dating site and app Zoosk, that has over 40 million members worldwide. She splits her time between writing for The Date Mix and working on the Zoosk product, which gives her behind-the-scenes knowledge about the world of online dating.

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