As a matchmaker, something I’ve heard increasingly from our male clients over the last few years has been that they’re done with online dating. Yet these guys are rich, talented, good-looking—and they’re getting no matches. Zero. Nada. Zilch. What’s going on?

The mainstream advice is largely the same: Improve your photos. Make your bio unique. Think up intriguing opening messages.

Obviously these are all extremely important measures, but for me this is only the beginning of the story, and it doesn’t explain how so many ridiculously eligible guys are struggling to get even a single date. And as it turns out, there’s more going on below the surface with dating apps. Literally.

The queue and the algorithm

Dating apps draw on users’ data and feed them into algorithms. Tinder is the most widely known example, but pretty much all other platforms use algorithms to work out who to show to whom as user after user swipes on through.

The primary element of the algorithm is the Elo score. The Elo rating system originated in chess, in which it calculates players’ relative skill based on who they beat and who they lose to. Apps like Tinder operate in a similar way: The more attractive the singles who are swiping right on you, the higher your so-called desirability score, and the further you’re boosted by the algorithm. And in a positive feedback loop, the more desirable singles you then see as you continue swiping.

All of this determines where your profile is positioned in the fateful “queue,” the order of male profiles that female users swipe through. Disabuse yourself of the idea that the order of the queue is random—it’s the opposite. The queue is precisely configured so women see the most attractive and desirable men first. And because evolution has adapted men and women with vastly divergent sexual selection strategies, it’s easy for a woman to get a date on an app with pretty much any guy she wants. Women swipe methodically because they’re looking for quality, not quantity, and they swipe slowly because of the sheer number of matches they’re getting.

For most men, the opposite is true on both counts—and this has only become more true as the years have passed and the number of dating app users has skyrocketed. It’s rare for a guy to match with a woman he might consider not only attractive, but also genuinely desirable as potential life partner material.

If you indicate to the apps that you have no standards, they will take you at your word

There’s more to the algorithm. It’s not a static process, but rather is constantly learning about you based on your swiping habits.

Let’s put this in real terms. Lots of guys end up swiping right on every woman out of frustration or desperation based on their abject failure to get a single match, never mind a date. But while this behavior is understandable, it’s not doing your Elo score any good. Swiping right unconditionally, regardless of how attractive or desirable you find the lady on the screen, signals to the algorithm that you don’t care. Women with empty profiles? Brilliant! Women with no photos of themselves? Yes please! Women whose profiles make them seem more like bots than humans? Bring ’em on! And sure, eventually you may end up getting some actual matches—but only with woman who you have no interest in dating.

You can come back from a low desirability score—but it takes time and effort

If you’re getting few or even zero matches, it’s probably time to rethink your swiping strategy—because the app has likely scored your desirability as low. But I must reiterate: This is truly no reflection of you as an individual—hundreds of millions of guys the world over are going through the exact same issue, right now. The difference is that you’re reading this blog, and you’re determined to address the issue, or at least attempt to do so.

First, implement a healthy swiping strategy. It’s simple: Swipe right only on the women who you would actually like to go on a date with.

But if that doesn’t work, there’s a shortcut—of sorts. You can reset your account and create it from scratch. This cuts out the laborious process of rebuilding your Elo score by swiping in a “healthy” way, as above. However, if you delete and rebuild your profile too many times, the apps will shadow-ban you, meaning you’ll no longer show up in female users’ queues, but you’ll be totally unaware, still swiping away with no success and wondering what’s going on.

There’s an alternative to dating apps—and it pretty much guarantees you dates with amazing women

There’s a time and a place for dating apps. Or at least, there was during the first few years after their inception. But these days, in my opinion they’re a bit of a waste of time for most guys. So if you’re tired of the hours of fruitless swiping every week, frustrated at your lack of dates when you know you’re a good person and desirable as a partner—we can help.

Maclynn is a boutique, multi-award-winning introductions agency with offices in New York, New Jersey, California, and London. We’re world-renowned for bringing together highly compatible singles within our vast network of attractive, intelligent professionals, and our matchmakers are relationship experts in their own right. Get in touch today, and prepare for genuinely meaningful dating—just like you deserve.