Life

This is how many people we can talk to at once on dating apps

Posted by
Emily Reynolds
Published

Finding it hard to keep up? This might be why.

Keeping up with the conversations on your dating apps can sometimes start to feel like a bit of a chore – life admin that you don’t particularly enjoy but feel obliged to trudge through anyway.

But now, new research has shone a light on why we often find it so difficult to keep up with – and it could be to do with how many people we’re trying to talk to at once.

Researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute used data from dating site eHarmony to find that we have a “maximum limit” of people we can communicate with at once. The majority of us send message requests to, at most, 12 new people per week – and can concentrate on no more than seven replies at once. 

If you consider yourself ‘attractive’, you’re also less likely to respond to or initiate conversation and are likely to have fewer chats going at once. 

“Though it may be expected that people who online date would possess a ‘more is more’ approach in their search for a partner, the opposite is true,” said researcher Taha Yasseri.  “In the study, singles were actually fairly restrictive in the number of people that they communicated with at any one time. 

“This may indicate that they are more invested in their search for a truly compatible partner.”

Researchers say they were inspired by research on the “cognitive limit on the number of social connections humans can maintain”, a phenomenon sometimes known as the Dunbar number. 

This theory goes that the largest group we can know and keep in social contact with lies somewhere between 100 and 250. 

Meanwhile, dating app Tinder has released its ‘Year in Swipe’ trend report for the first time.

March was the busiest year, with Monday at 9pm proving the most fertile time for matching. The most popular TV shows mentioned in user bios were Friends, Game of Thrones, The Office, Love Island, Doctor Who and Sherlock, and Drake’s ‘In My Feelings’ was the most popular ‘profile theme’. 

The UK was also the only place where the word ‘mum’ made it to the top bio terms. Bless. 

Images: Getty