There’s a growing trend of redditors sharing their personal dating experiences via data visualization. In the Data Is Beautiful subreddit, these graphs offer big-picture looks at the finer points of matching, messaging, dating and ditching.
The visualizations on the Data Is Beautiful subreddit are raw and personal, an open invitation to view the users’ paths to love and lust, and maybe even learn from their efforts. Here are a few other infographics.
Earlier this year Melissa McEwen posted an infographic on Reddit titled “How I met my boyfriend — 6 months of dating in 2016.” McEwen has tracked her dating life since 2015, recording which online app she uses for each interaction and how far along the messages go.
“I frankly wasn’t very good at online dating at first because I’d never really dated before,” she says. “I was one of those people who would just end up in relationships with people I already knew.”
Some of her early mistakes didn’t require Excel to see where she went wrong, such as partaking in a six-hour tasting menu on a first date, but the tracking helped her refine the process, especially when it came to dealing with the deluge of incoming messages common for many straight women on Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge and other apps. She learned to limit her swipes on Tinder and that incognito mode (where you can see potential partners’ profiles but they can’t see yours) was the way to go with OkCupid. Before that, filtering through all the messages had been nearly impossible.
McEwen sat on her findings for a while before sharing publicly — “It’s pretty pointless data if I can’t point to a positive outcome, so I waited until I’d been in my relationship over a year.”
In “Results of 6.5 weeks of mostly online dating for a single white 37 year old woman,” a Denver redditor who asked to be identified as Rose (for the sake of privacy) charted how more than 40 percent of her online interactions resulted in harassment or rape threats.
“There seems to be this myth that men do all the messaging, and therefore take on all the risk, and that women have a much better rate of return,” she says. “I found that I also had a very low rate of returned messages and I had to put up with abuse I imagine men don’t experience.”
“I was surprised by the anger and vitriol seemingly normal men sent my way for no reason other than that they just hated the fact that I existed,” she says. “I had never spoken to them, never rejected them, nothing at all, and they felt free to either be abusive or threatening. It makes me question how many men around me are harboring horrible, violent thoughts towards women all the time.”
Rather than being dismayed at Rose’s experience, some redditors complained about the design of her infographic. This wasn’t a surprise, she says.
Going through the messages and analyzing the data made her so upset that she has since deleted her OkCupid account.
Redditors were more kind to Teresa Francke, a 31-year-old pansexual who lives in Lima, Peru. In her post “My 2017 of successful Tinder unicorn dating,” she explained how she’s game to hook up with both partners in a couple without any emotional expectations. (If that sounds rare to you, you get why she’s called a unicorn.)
Francke is a selective right-swiper, and more than 75 percent of her conversations on the app resulted in some kind of hookup. She prefers tourists and always says no to one question a potential partner asks before agreeing to meet them, to gauge how they might deal with consent. Thanks to Tinder, she had 23 one-on-one hookups last year, not to mention sex with another 20 groups of two or more.
She says she wasn’t surprised by the results after pulling together the data, but it was fascinating to see it all in the aggregate. When she revisited past conversations to collect the data, she marveled at how comically shallow some of them were, especially in relation to how well she eventually came to know some of her lovers.
“I’ve always known I’m somewhat of a statistical aberration, so it seemed like a fun idea to see how my data would compare to other people’s,” she says. “It was also a nice trip down memory lane. Anyone sees numbers where I see meaningful connections, stimulating conversations, amazing people.”