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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Looking for love? New study shows Tinder might be the way to go (or not)

Assistant News Editor Sonya Gugliara holds a phone during the 2023 “Sex and Relationships” photoshoot. Gugliara and Managing Editor Viola Flowers took to Tinder to find out what college students are really looking for. TIM GIORLANDO/THE STATESMAN

Ever wonder what the guy on Tinder’s real intentions are but are too afraid to ask? The Statesman did the work  so you don’t have to.

We matched with 100 guys on Tinder. Here’s what we found. 

The method

The age range was set to 18-24, and the distance to 20 miles away. 

And since we like playing hard to get, we only asked men who messaged us first. 

We each created our Tinder profiles with five photos. Sonya’s interests were coffee, tea and world peace. Viola’s interests were reading, writing and coffee as well. We added our education level, zodiac signs (Scorpio and Cancer, respectively) and a few of our interests. We were both “still figuring out” what we were looking for. 

We turned on the “Smart Photos” feature, meaning the app would test each of our photos and select the best one to put first. We also blocked all of our contacts, but somehow a few familiar faces still popped up in our decks.  

Our matches knew what they were getting into; Journalism 101 taught us that transparency is key. Sonya’s bio was “Aspiring journalist, can you help me with an article (seriously)” and Viola’s was “Wanna help me with an article?” 

In the name of uncompromised journalism, we stopped entertaining conversations after we got our answers. No time to waste — even though we’re both single, The Statesman has our hearts. 

The suitors were asked a series of four questions: what are you looking for; why did you swipe right on me; what do you have to offer; and what is your ideal first date. 

Over the course of four days, and out of over 250 matches, we found 100 eligible bachelors who made it through all four rounds of questioning. We compiled some data for you all to consider before you dive into the world of Tinder, as well as some of our favorite lines. 

The results

Question 1: What are you looking for?

Much to our surprise, a third of our men were looking for true love on Tinder. In typical male fashion, 27% weren’t sure what they wanted, but 13% were honest enough to tell us they were just here for the sex. 

Question 2: Why did you swipe right on me? 

The top reason men swiped on us were for our eyes and smile — how wholesome. After that, we had a variety of thoughtful answers, ranging from cute, beautiful and pretty all the way to attractive! Some of our suitors were turned on by journalism, while a few others had a thing for Sonya’s glasses (kinky?). 

Question 3: What do you have to offer? What are your best qualities?

The good news is that you’ll probably end up matching with a comedian on Tinder. The top quality men said they have is being “funny,” with other high-ranking traits being loyal, kind and honest. Notice “humble” didn’t make the list. 

Question 4: What’s your ideal first date? 

Asking about our matches’ ideal first dates proved that these men could use a few lessons in originality. Going out to eat was the go-to first date for 44% of our Tinder matches. One guy even specified a dive bar barbecue place, because “If a girl isn’t afraid to eat messy food, then she’s a little more real.”

Road bumps

Obviously, if love is easy, you’re doing it wrong. Here are some of the obstacles we overcame during this quest for romance. 

Sonya kept matching with far older men “by accident.” But we know where her head’s at. 

The Tinder algorithm also couldn’t keep our men local to us, with about a third being out of our preferred 20 miles range. Perhaps it’s a sign that soulmates are worth the distance? 

We almost had to add a new data point: How many athletes matched with Viola?

Finally, many participants did not take our honesty at face value and questioned the legitimacy of this article. To the men who doubted us, we’ll be sending you this link. Thank you for your contribution!  

Honorable mentions

To give everyone an idea of our Tinder experience to its fullest extent, we knew we had to share our honorable mentions. Here are some tidbits from our brief, but meaningful, Tinder conversations. Although these remarks had no impact on our data, they certainly made an impact on our hearts. 

One user thought he could get Viola on a date by role-playing a reporter with, “Lets go out and i’ll write you an article.” Fine, but we won’t copy edit it for you. 

Another match proved his unwavering patriotism to Sonya in his opening line: “On a scale of 1-America how free are you tonight.” We have to give him points for creativity.

Titles for this article were also suggested to us, one being “The sexy man I met off Tinder.” We love the self confidence and all, but journalists don’t play favorites. 

Another user thought boldness was the way to go (it wasn’t), saying to Sonya “You must be here for the free t***y massage.” Thanks, but no. 

And they say chivalry is dead. 


We were never fans of dating apps — and nothing has changed.

Both of us were surprised that most of the responses we received were pretty tame, but the Hawthorne effect is real. How many of these men altered their responses because they knew they were being documented? 

Regardless of if they were honest or just putting on their best “nice guy” performance, neither of us have any faith that our soulmates will be found on Tinder.

But we aren’t giving up hope. Perhaps Christian Mingle next time? We heard Hinge is classy, too.

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About the Contributors
Sonya Gugliara, News Editor
Sonya is the News Editor of The Statesman. She is third-year journalism major and has been a writer for the paper since the beginning of her freshman year. She has written for the Staten Island Advance. Sonya does not know what else to say about herself.
Viola Flowers, Editor-in-Chief
Viola is the Editor-in-Chief of The Statesman and a third-year journalism student at Stony Brook University. She is currently an intern with NBC Dateline, formerly with NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. She has written for The Suffolk Times, Riverhead News-Review, Northforker magazine and local publications in her hometown of Waterbury, CT. Outside of The Statesman, Viola runs the blood drives on Stony Brook's campus and is a local dance teacher.
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