Not long ago, you would need to approach a person and get their number in order to date them or hook up with them.
Well, times have changed.
And now, more than ever, dating is a numbers game.
Tinder, Match, Bumble, PoF—these well-known dating apps and websites are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to online romance.
You can swipe and click and message an almost endless supply of potential matches which makes the whole dating process much different to what it once was.
Let’s look at some of the core reasons why dating is a numbers game, and how you can win.
Why Dating Is A Numbers Game
People are not numbers. Imagine going to a bar and trying to get the most phone numbers that you can. Would any of those people be willing to date you knowing and even seeing what you did?
That’s how things have been for a long time, but now people connect quite differently. So, here’s why dating is a numbers game for real:
1. You meet a lot of new potential dates.
If you wanted to, it would now be possible to go on a date with a different person every day of the week. And the week after that… and so on.
You have more choice, more variety, more matches to get to know and judge—because, yes, that’s exactly what we are doing when we go on a date with someone. We judge whether they could be a potential partner, or at the very least whether they deserve another date.
And the numbers can really stack up over time. People are going on more first dates than ever before because it’s so easy to find new people to connect with. That’s partly because…
2. Most people use dating apps/websites.
There are lots of people out there who are just as lonely as you are, hoping to find the right match.
Most of them have dating profiles and are waiting to connect with the right person. They may be on several apps or websites at once because many are free and they all have the potential to provide new dates.
The more time you spend swiping and liking and messaging, the more dates you can arrange. That’s why it’s a numbers game for many.
3. Not everyone will like you, and the opposite.
Not everyone is going to like you, and you’re not going to like everyone you meet either.
So, you’ll have to date multiple people—sometimes all at once—before you can find someone you feel has real potential as a life partner.
When this is done online, it makes you less aware of it than if it was happening in a bar. So, be aware that everyone has options, and so do you.
You’re all looking for that someone who’ll be special to you, among a lot of people that don’t seem that special to you (but might to someone else).
4. Practice makes perfect.
The more dates you go on, the better you’ll get at it. You’ll learn from every experience, even the worst ones.
You will realize some of the mistakes you’re making and prevent them in the future. You’ll also learn how other people behave and adjust your standards, expectations, and dealbreakers accordingly.
So, the more dates you go on, the more likely you are to go on the right one.
Ultimately, it’s not about trying to go on as many dates as you can, but by going on plenty, you stand a better chance of eventually meeting someone you click with.
5. Modern dating can happen from anywhere.
You could take acting or dancing classes, join sports clubs, visit the gym, or find people anywhere you go. However, getting someone’s phone number or even approaching them in person can be difficult.
Modern dating, on the other hand, with all its apps and websites means you don’t have to be in the same room to get in touch.
What’s more, you’re all looking for the same thing—not to be alone. In other places, people are looking for different things, while on a dating site/app, you’re free to try to connect with them and go on a real date.
6. People are picky.
Dating is also a numbers game because people are getting more and more picky as the possibilities they have open to them widen thanks to all those apps and websites.
Someone who creates a good dating profile with the intention of finding their perfect match is not going to waste time chatting with you about the weather. So you have to send lots of messages—lots of GOOD messages with interesting conversation starters—to stand a chance of getting a date.
And many people are doing the same thing which means lots of good messages and lots of choice for some people, especially the more objectively attractive out there whose photos appeal to a large number of folks.
How To Win At The Numbers Game
So, dating is definitely a numbers game, but how do you win it? How do you get what you want and catch the big fish?
Well, the most important thing to remember is that too many of anything is generally bad, and that applies to dating matches too. Yes, play the numbers game, but don’t allow that number to get too big.
Let’s dig deeper into what you need to do.
1. Have standards.
The first thing you need to know is that your standards matter. Don’t settle for just anyone who is willing to talk to you.
Know what kind of person you’re looking for. How would you describe them? Feel free to use a pad and write it all down if it helps you gain a clear picture of your ideal partner.
Write down the must-haves and the dealbreakers. Save that paper to remind you not to settle for someone who’s not right for you, because it’s easy to wish so hard for something that you accept less than what you are looking for.
2. Know what kind of relationship you’re looking for.
Are you looking for eternal love, a casual relationship, or anything in between? Be clear on your relationship goals and remember to be transparent about them when searching for someone to match those goals.
Hey, there are a lot of people in the dating world, remember? Some of them want the exact thing you do. Others want something entirely different.
So, increase your chances by being clear about it from the start and prevent breaking anyone’s heart, including your own.
3. Look for a meaningful connection.
You’re not going to connect with everyone you meet in person, even if you’ve connected online… but you will connect with someone.
So, on every date, you need to ask yourself: is this connection meaningful? Does it make me feel the way I should, and does it align with my goals, or is it just a passing infatuation?
Look for something meaningful even if you’re just looking for a one-night stand. Find the right person or wait until she/he comes along.
4. Don’t jump to conclusions.
Don’t judge a book by its cover or a person by their dating profile. People are not their profiles, they’re human beings looking for the same thing you are.
Give a chance to some people you might not have picked based on their profiles because they’re not who they appear to be online. No one is.
Try to stick to the list you wrote above, but be willing to look the other way and give a chance to someone you might not have given it to based on first impressions.
People can surprise you. So, keep in mind that everyone is too picky these days, and while you should choose carefully, don’t stick to your goals and wants blindly.
You might not see the ideal person standing right in front of your nose if you focus too much on your idea of them.
5. Don’t rush things.
The most important part of winning the dating game is taking it nice and slow, smooth and steady.
You need to build a foundation with a person and not just jump into their arms because they are opening them for you.
You will get to your ideal partner, so don’t settle for the first one available, and don’t rush things even if they seem like The One.
See what’s out there while you still can, and stay single until you find the right match. Once you do meet a potentially ideal partner, get to know them better in person, because online chemistry has little to nothing to do with real life.
6. Wait for real chemistry, not just anyone.
As already mentioned, online chemistry can be very misleading. So, wait for the real deal.
Date multiple people, sure, while you’re in the talking stage, but don’t rush to get attached and commit to just anyone. Have patience and the numbers will sort themselves out.
Always remember that it’s not just them who is choosing you, it’s you who are choosing them too.
So, see the numbers game as a test period where you evaluate the dates to see how many of them you want to go on and whether it’s worth the time.
7. Prepare for and accept rejection.
You are going to reject a few people and people are going to reject you too, even if you like them a lot. Dealing with rejection in dating is just part of the game.
Be ready to face a person who likes you and let them know you’re not interested because you’re not compatible enough.
Most importantly, be ready to accept that not everyone will like you, no matter how much you like them.
When this happens, you can treat it as a regular breakup, and give yourself time to heal before getting back to the game. It’s okay to hurt when rejected, and you don’t have to rush to deal with it.
Are you ready to play the game?
Dating is a numbers game, but it’s a game that you should play slowly and choose your players wisely. Eventually, the number that matters most is ONE–the one you forge a relationship with (unless you’re into non-monogamous or polyamorous relationships).
Follow the steps and you’ll get the number you need.
The truth is, dating is a numbers game, but it’s not about collecting them. It’s about getting the right one, without too many expectations too soon. You only need one number to win the game, the rest is just the test.
So that is why dating at the same time is and isn’t a numbers game.
Don’t forget though, hours, days, months, and even years are also numbers that matter… So take your time and choose your dates wisely.
Go on several dates and get to know the people you’re dating before deciding which one you’re going to get attached to and build a foundation with.
Most importantly, when it feels like you’re losing the game, take some time off and dedicate yourself to self-care. Go back out there as the best version of yourself and pick those who fall into your league, instead of letting it be the other way around.
Remember, it only takes a few numbers to win the lottery, but you have to play several times, rely on luck, and know when to walk away.