The Sign That A Man Is Ready To Settle Down Actually Resides In His Dating App Pictures

As much as dating apps have made meeting people easier, it also doesn't give those who use them much to go by. In many cases, it's just a handful of photos without any actual words, and you're supposed to surmise if you want to swipe right. Sometimes, not only do people not make the effort to write anything, but they also don't make any effort with their photos either. You can find yourself swiping left over and over again, because all you have are one or two blurry photos of someone wearing sunglasses or them posing off in the distance with a fish they caught — oh, those fish photos! — and debating whether to just give up already.


But what if there were a way to figure out what someone was looking for on a dating app without them having to say a word? Can you imagine if there were a certain key aspect to photos that would let those viewing them know exactly what that person wants? Well, you don't have to wonder any longer. The case has been cracked.

According to a 2021 study published in Evolutionary Psychological Science, women who are hoping to find long-term, serious relationships look for photos of men that show they're able to invest their time in something other than themselves. For these women, men with photos of themselves and their dependents are the clincher. But what type of dependent has women swooning? 

Dogs trump all else

While a dependent could be any pet or a child, as the researchers of the study found, it was dogs in particular that drove relationship-seeking women to swipe right on these "high-quality" men. In turn, both men and women who shared photos of themselves with their dogs were more likely to want to settle down sooner rather than later. The same couldn't be said for those looking for something short-term or just a hook-up.


"Men seeking short-term relationships tend to advertise more, their bare chests, you know, their fancy truck, things like that," psychology professor and co-author of the study Maryanne Fisher tells CBC Canada.

It seems that men without dogs know they have to try harder to sell themselves. Hence the reason for posting all those gym selfies that show off their bulging muscles, photos of them leaning on a Ferrari (that probably doesn't belong to them) and, of course, the fish photos. At least a fish photo proves that they can provide food for a partner should the zombie apocalypse come.

Although the study looked at 750 dating profiles, all of which were apparently of heterosexual people, this isn't to say that the dog effect doesn't have power in the LGBTQ+ community. No matter one's gender or sexuality, if they're looking for long-term, there must be a similar trigger that comes with seeing anyone on an app with their dog.


But why dogs?

Not only is there the sense that someone is able to commit because they have a canine buddy, but throughout history dogs have long symbolized loyalty, protection, faithfulness, and unconditional love. Art, literature, and even music — Phoebe Bridger's band Boygenius has an adorable (and emotional) song called "Me and My Dog" — have showcased dogs and all their bumbling, lovable ways since the little darlings were domesticated. Although this doesn't mean that people with cats (or any other pet for that matter) don't get any positive attention and their fair share of right swipes, the fact that cats are fiercely independent and don't need to be catered to 24/7 can suggest that one's investment in the long-term isn't as serious as if they had a dog. A cat can take care of itself for a few days, if it had to. Dogs, on the other hand, as much as they're perfect in many ways, are hopeless when it comes to taking care of themselves. Dogs need humans while cats would probably prefer if we all just left them alone and, ideally, disappeared. 


But the one thing to consider when you're swiping or posting photos is honesty. Does everyone posing with a dog have a dog? Not necessarily. Should you post a photo of you with a random dog to procure more swipes? No. Dogs shouldn't be used as accessories on your profile just so you can get a date. It's going to be really awkward when you have to come clean and admit you don't have a dog after all.