Dating apps will not suppress love, research finds

Key points

  • Online dating apps are a very popular way to meet people, but they have many misunderstandings.
  • Some people believe that application users have no good intentions and do not seek long-term relationships.
  • However, there is little scientific evidence to support this. A recent study found that couples met through dating apps have “stronger intent to live together” than those who met offline.

Since COVID-19 makes it difficult (if not impossible) to meet potential partners in real life, dating apps have never been so popular. But they have never completely escaped the accusation that they are a breeding ground for untrustworthy people with dubious motives.

For those singles who have reservations about user intentions, some good news comes from the recent publication in Public Library One. Gina Potarca, a researcher at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) in Switzerland, found that couples who get together through dating apps actually have “stronger intent to live together” than couples meeting in a non-digital environment.

Research result

The study analyzed data from a household survey conducted by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office in 2018. Dr. Potarca studied a subsample of 3,235 people over the age of 18 who had relationships with people they met in the past ten years. She investigated the couple’s intentions to start a family, their relationship satisfaction, and their Personal well-being.

Dr. Potarca found that before the advent of mobile dating apps, dating sites mainly attracted people over 40 and/or divorced people seeking romance. “By eliminating the lengthy questionnaires, self-description and personality tests that users of dating sites usually need to fill out to create personal profiles, dating apps are easier to use,” Dr. Potarca said in a UNIGE press release. The act of online dating is open to use among young people. ”

Dr. Gina Potaka

The Internet is profoundly changing the dynamics of how people meet. It provides unprecedented rich meeting opportunities with minimal effort and no third-party intervention.

— Gina Potaka, PhD

The results of the study show that compared with couples meeting in a non-digital environment, couples formed by the application have a stronger willingness to live together. Women who find a partner through dating apps are more eager and want children than those who find a partner offline.

In addition, the partners who met on the dating app showed the same satisfaction with their relationship as the partners who met offline​​. Another positive finding is that online dating apps make it easier for people to meet potential partners from different social and educational backgrounds and geographic regions.

“The Internet is profoundly changing the dynamics of how people meet,” said Dr. Potarca. “It provides unprecedented rich meeting opportunities, and requires minimal effort and no third-party intervention.”

Matthew Solomon, life coach

Dating apps can provide convenience for you to find anything. For example, although Tinder is often seen as a hookup app, I know that several people met their husbands and wives there.

— Matthew Solomon, life coach

Is it time to reconsider your attitude towards dating apps?

Of course, relationship coach, speaker, and best-selling author Matthew Solomon said. “Just like people used to say that Twitter is full of tweets about what they eat for breakfast, a common misconception is that dating apps are only for hook-ups,” he said.

As a relationship coach and someone who has been in the dating pool for the past few years, Solomon speaks from experience. “Dating apps can provide convenience for you to find anything,” he explained.

“For example, although Tinder is often seen as a hookup app, I know a few people have met their husbands and wives there. Most apps give users the opportunity to share what they are looking for, whether it’s hookups or long-term relationships. Or anything in between.”

Irene Schreiner, LMFT

I always tell my clients that dating apps can be used as filters to help you eliminate qualities you are sure you don’t want and quickly identify the qualities you are looking for.

—Eileen Schleiner, LMFT

Solomon believes that being able to understand your needs in advance is a major benefit of dating apps. “You can explain what you are looking for, and then find someone who is looking for the same thing,” he said. “When I first used these apps, I just ended a relationship and didn’t look for anything serious. I said this and went on multiple dates. Likewise, when I was relationship-centric again, I made it clear…There are still many appointments.”

During the COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions of the past few months, online dating apps may provide people with the only opportunity to connect with others. “Many applications include video features, so you can have a video date with someone,” Solomon pointed out.

Dating apps 101

If Dr. Potarca’s research persuades you to try online dating apps in 2021, it pays to be prepared. “It is very important for people to research and find applications that meet their needs,” said Irene Schreiner of LMFT. Remember, this is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. “Depending on where people are in the dating process, they may be looking for different things, and there are different applications to meet these needs,” Schreiner added.

A study published by Stanford University in the New York Times found that nearly 40% of married couples in the United States met online Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences In 2019.

Although no dating app can guarantee happiness forever (of course, if this is what you are looking for), it might be a good starting point. “I always tell my clients that dating apps can be used as a filter to help you eliminate qualities you are sure you don’t want and quickly identify the qualities you are looking for,” Schreiner said.

She recommends identifying your must-haves and deal breakers so that other users know what you are looking for and are completely honest in your profile.

Irene Schreiner, LMFT

Remember, one of the disadvantages of dating apps is that you cannot get instant energy from someone when you meet. If the picture is not immediately attractive, please do not rush to fire someone.

—Eileen Schleiner, LMFT

Solomon agrees that being yourself is the most important thing, and honesty should extend to the photos on your online dating profile. “Post the latest photos that represent you and your personality,” he said.

“It’s a good thing to have a close-up face and a full-length photo. When you want to connect on the app, try to avoid posting group photos so that users don’t have to be detectives to figure out who you are.”

Another suggestion from Schreiner is to keep an open mind. “Remember, one disadvantage of dating apps is that when you meet in person, you can’t get instant energy from someone,” she said. “If a photo doesn’t immediately appeal, don’t rush to fire someone.”

What this means to you

No matter how you meet people, whether virtual or face-to-face, it goes without saying that dating is really hard. It is important to be open to all the ways and opportunities to meet that special person, but also remember to check yourself and your mental health.

The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means that you may receive updated information while reading this article. For the latest updates on COVID-19, please visit our Coronavirus News page.