Women have made major inroads in nearly all aspects of modern life. But when it comes to online dating, new research reveals that they still have trouble leaning in. Conducted by the online dating mecca OkCupid, the study found that women are much less likely to send the first message than men are.
By analyzing data pulled from its extensive user base, OkCupid learned that women made the first move a median of three to four times while men sent a median of nine to 15 first messages, depending on the age of the user. The company itself was surprised that women were passing up the opportunity to be the aggressor, according to OkCupid’s chief product officer, Jimena Almendares.
It turns out many women still prescribe to antiquated notions of dating, which usually means that making the first move is a man’s job. At least that’s how Live Happy editor at large and licensed psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser sees it. “Fear and rejection are feelings that go along with that,” Kaiser said.
But according to Alemandares, women should take advantage of the paradigm shift that online dating presents. “Ten years ago, online dating wasn’t the norm, but today, it’s the new normal,” she explains. “However, the one norm that has yet to change is who makes the first move. This is why women who shift this dynamic have such a big advantage.”
That advantage is a 30% increase in likelihood that a first message turns into a conversation, if that message comes from a woman. As for the contents of that message, Kaiser suggests keeping it casual. “You don’t need to call it ‘a date’ if he just wants to hang out or grab something quick,” she says. “Also, it is always good to rope in a friend to help, or getting a group of people to go out, and then you can make sure you sit next to him, find time to flirt, etcetera.”
Your move, ladies.
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