Dating app fatigue

The 4 design flaws of Tinder, Bumble and Hinge


After hearing more and more people complaining about dating app fatigue, we decided to investigate.

We found out 4 fundamental flaws of current dating apps. We believe there is space for different concepts in that market.

  1. Paradox of choice

Choice can be good. Too much choice creates a paradox.

While deciding when to stop swiping, have you ever caught yourself half-swiping to peek at the next person? Just in case he/she might be better.


The seemingly endless amount of potential matches has also standardized behaviors like ghosting.


3 to 5 choices at a time seems to be a sweet spot.

Explained by psychologist Barry Schwartz in his book The Paradox of Choice

Explained by psychologist Barry Schwartz in his book: The Paradox of Choice

  1. Paradox of choice

  1. Binary likes

Dating apps offer a binary choice: yes or no. The reality is more nuanced.

If you really like someone, you’ve got no opportunity to add a thoughtful, personal touch.

This is where “Superlikes” fail. They don’t feel personal; they exist to sell you a premium subscription.

Hinge shines here, it’s the only one that encourages you to be more thoughtful. Meanwhile, Tinder allows premium users to send a comment, but it forbids free users to be able to read it.

  1. Binary likes

  1. Delayed first impression

Photos can be deceiving. There is so much of the “vibe” of a person that you don’t get from a dating profile.


This leads to disappointments. A lot of effort is spent before you can finally meet and get an accurate impression.


This feels tiring because it is the opposite of how human interactions naturally occur. In other words, dating apps are making us trade an inaccurate 1st impression for exposure to more people.

  1. Delayed first impression

  1. Manipulation of self-esteem

Tinder’s algorithm assigns you a popularity rank — from 1 to 10 — and shows your profile to people with a similar rating.

We’ve seen people lower their standards because they didn’t “perform” in dating apps’ algorithm. If that sounds dystopian or Black Mirror-ish, that’s because it is dangerously so.


Swiping and matching triggers a dopamine release, just like social media tactics. It might feel addictive for a while, but it will crash back down.

  1. Manipulation of self-esteem

Tinder introduced the swiping interaction and it has become the dominant design. Hinge is so far the only one trying to deviate from that design to create a more thoughtful experience.

There’s a lot of space in this market for different concepts. These problems are worth solving and the company who does that will win big.

And who knows, maybe the solution is not an app? How would ideal dating app/service look like?

If you have any product or strategy issues, leave us a message.

— Written by the Pantry team in Tokyo


Upcoming articles in your inbox

As seen in:

Dating app fatigue

The 4 design flaws of Tinder, Bumble and Hinge


After hearing more and more people complaining about dating app fatigue, we decided to investigate.

We found out 4 fundamental flaws of current dating apps. We believe there is space for different concepts in that market.

  1. Paradox of choice

Choice can be good. Too much choice creates a paradox.

While deciding when to stop swiping, have you ever caught yourself half-swiping to peek at the next person? Just in case he/she might be better.


The seemingly endless amount of potential matches has also standardized behaviors like ghosting.


3 to 5 choices at a time seems to be a sweet spot.

Explained by psychologist Barry Schwartz in his book The Paradox of Choice

Explained by psychologist Barry Schwartz in his book: The Paradox of Choice

  1. Paradox of choice

  1. Binary likes

Dating apps offer a binary choice: yes or no. The reality is more nuanced.

If you really like someone, you’ve got no opportunity to add a thoughtful, personal touch.

This is where “Superlikes” fail. They don’t feel personal; they exist to sell you a premium subscription.

Hinge shines here, it’s the only one that encourages you to be more thoughtful. Meanwhile, Tinder allows premium users to send a comment, but it forbids free users to be able to read it.

  1. Binary likes

  1. Delayed first impression

Photos can be deceiving. There is so much of the “vibe” of a person that you don’t get from a dating profile.


This leads to disappointments. A lot of effort is spent before you can finally meet and get an accurate impression.


This feels tiring because it is the opposite of how human interactions naturally occur. In other words, dating apps are making us trade an inaccurate 1st impression for exposure to more people.

  1. Delayed first impression

  1. Manipulation of self-esteem

Tinder’s algorithm assigns you a popularity rank — from 1 to 10 — and shows your profile to people with a similar rating.

We’ve seen people lower their standards because they didn’t “perform” in dating apps’ algorithm. If that sounds dystopian or Black Mirror-ish, that’s because it is dangerously so.


Swiping and matching triggers a dopamine release, just like social media tactics. It might feel addictive for a while, but it will crash back down.

  1. Manipulation of self-esteem

Tinder introduced the swiping interaction and it has become the dominant design. Hinge is so far the only one trying to deviate from that design to create a more thoughtful experience.

There’s a lot of space in this market for different concepts. These problems are worth solving and the company who does that will win big.

And who knows, maybe the solution is not an app? How would ideal dating app/service look like?

If you have any product or strategy issues, leave us a message.

— Written by the Pantry team in Tokyo


Upcoming articles in your inbox

As seen in:

Dating app fatigue

The 4 design flaws of Tinder, Bumble and Hinge


After hearing more and more people complaining about dating app fatigue, we decided to investigate.

We found out 4 fundamental flaws of current dating apps. We believe there is space for different concepts in that market.

  1. Paradox of choice

Choice can be good. Too much choice creates a paradox.

While deciding when to stop swiping, have you ever caught yourself half-swiping to peek at the next person? Just in case he/she might be better.


The seemingly endless amount of potential matches has also standardized behaviors like ghosting.


3 to 5 choices at a time seems to be a sweet spot.

Explained by psychologist Barry Schwartz in his book The Paradox of Choice

Explained by psychologist Barry Schwartz in his book: The Paradox of Choice

  1. Paradox of choice

  1. Binary likes

Dating apps offer a binary choice: yes or no. The reality is more nuanced.

If you really like someone, you’ve got no opportunity to add a thoughtful, personal touch.

This is where “Superlikes” fail. They don’t feel personal; they exist to sell you a premium subscription.

Hinge shines here, it’s the only one that encourages you to be more thoughtful. Meanwhile, Tinder allows premium users to send a comment, but it forbids free users to be able to read it.

  1. Binary likes

  1. Delayed first impression

Photos can be deceiving. There is so much of the “vibe” of a person that you don’t get from a dating profile.


This leads to disappointments. A lot of effort is spent before you can finally meet and get an accurate impression.


This feels tiring because it is the opposite of how human interactions naturally occur. In other words, dating apps are making us trade an inaccurate 1st impression for exposure to more people.

  1. Delayed first impression

  1. Manipulation of self-esteem

Tinder’s algorithm assigns you a popularity rank — from 1 to 10 — and shows your profile to people with a similar rating.

We’ve seen people lower their standards because they didn’t “perform” in dating apps’ algorithm. If that sounds dystopian or Black Mirror-ish, that’s because it is dangerously so.


Swiping and matching triggers a dopamine release, just like social media tactics. It might feel addictive for a while, but it will crash back down.

  1. Manipulation of self-esteem

Tinder introduced the swiping interaction and it has become the dominant design. Hinge is so far the only one trying to deviate from that design to create a more thoughtful experience.

There’s a lot of space in this market for different concepts. These problems are worth solving and the company who does that will win big.

And who knows, maybe the solution is not an app? How would ideal dating app/service look like?

If you have any product or strategy issues, leave us a message.

— Written by the Pantry team in Tokyo


Upcoming articles in your inbox

As seen in:

Dating app fatigue

The 4 design flaws of Tinder, Bumble and Hinge


After hearing more and more people complaining about dating app fatigue, we decided to investigate.

We found out 4 fundamental flaws of current dating apps. We believe there is space for different concepts in that market.

  1. Paradox of choice

Choice can be good. Too much choice creates a paradox.

While deciding when to stop swiping, have you ever caught yourself half-swiping to peek at the next person? Just in case he/she might be better.


The seemingly endless amount of potential matches has also standardized behaviors like ghosting.


3 to 5 choices at a time seems to be a sweet spot.

Explained by psychologist Barry Schwartz in his book The Paradox of Choice

Explained by psychologist Barry Schwartz in his book: The Paradox of Choice

  1. Paradox of choice

  1. Binary likes

Dating apps offer a binary choice: yes or no. The reality is more nuanced.

If you really like someone, you’ve got no opportunity to add a thoughtful, personal touch.

This is where “Superlikes” fail. They don’t feel personal; they exist to sell you a premium subscription.

Hinge shines here, it’s the only one that encourages you to be more thoughtful. Meanwhile, Tinder allows premium users to send a comment, but it forbids free users to be able to read it.

  1. Binary likes

  1. Delayed first impression

Photos can be deceiving. There is so much of the “vibe” of a person that you don’t get from a dating profile.


This leads to disappointments. A lot of effort is spent before you can finally meet and get an accurate impression.


This feels tiring because it is the opposite of how human interactions naturally occur. In other words, dating apps are making us trade an inaccurate 1st impression for exposure to more people.

  1. Delayed first impression

  1. Manipulation of self-esteem

Tinder’s algorithm assigns you a popularity rank — from 1 to 10 — and shows your profile to people with a similar rating.

We’ve seen people lower their standards because they didn’t “perform” in dating apps’ algorithm. If that sounds dystopian or Black Mirror-ish, that’s because it is dangerously so.


Swiping and matching triggers a dopamine release, just like social media tactics. It might feel addictive for a while, but it will crash back down.

  1. Manipulation of self-esteem

Tinder introduced the swiping interaction and it has become the dominant design. Hinge is so far the only one trying to deviate from that design to create a more thoughtful experience.

There’s a lot of space in this market for different concepts. These problems are worth solving and the company who does that will win big.

And who knows, maybe the solution is not an app? How would ideal dating app/service look like?

If you have any product or strategy issues, leave us a message.

— Written by the Pantry team in Tokyo


Upcoming articles in your inbox

As seen in:

Others copy the competition.

Others copy
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Others copy the competition.

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©2023 Pantry

©2023 Pantry

paris <> tokyo

paris <> tokyo