“According to Tinder every guy is at a lake holding a fish & every girl is on top of a mountain & that’s why it’s so tragically hard to meet.”
I was at my friend’s wedding last weekend in Mammoth Lakes, California. The bride and groom met through online dating and are now commencing into what will be one of the happiest marriages I’ve ever seen. They met online in Fall 2015 and boom 2 and 1/2 years later wedding bells rang.
This got me thinking about a fairly recent tweet I saw:
“Don’t use tinder. You’ll match with a girl and 3 years later be unknowingly doing a group project together and have to exchange numbers only to find out she already has your number saved as “Evan Tinder”.
While there is some humor to Evan’s tweet, it also made me realize how much of a hot topic dating apps are these days. And most of it’s not in a good light. I’ve never seen such hatred plastered all over the internet for various dating apps. I get it. It seems corny. Swipe left. Swipe right. One-night stands. Not knowing who this person is. Horrible photo. Amazing photo. Photo of a cat. Photo of chicken and waffles. Photo of a monkey.
Dating apps and the people we meet on them are an easy target these days for some harsh criticism.
We like to make fun of what makes us uncomfortable.
If we make fun of things that make us uncomfortable we immediately put ourselves on a self-fulfilling pedestal.
We say to ourselves that we’ll swipe right a few times. We’ll swipe left a few times. You know…when we’re bored. If we have a moment.
Many of us (but not all) assume people on dating apps are only looking for hookups, one night stands, and bad news general.
The assumption that the dating app world is mostly sketch to me is quite sad.
It’s also just…the worst.
If you don’t have anything good to say to anyone, please don’t go to the party.
Imagine signing up for a meet and greet near your home then arriving and making fun of everything you see at the person’s house and every person you meet at the house. That’s petty.
But I get it, there are a lot of trolls on dating apps. There are bullies people online. It’s true. But in disregarding the bad people, it’s easy to also disregard all the good people. This is not an article about online bullying but rather it’s a note to all the people assuming that the vast majority are bullies.
I read an article over the weekend that really got me thinking about Tinder, Bumble, Match, OKCupid, Happn, The League, and the many other dating apps we see all over the internet.
It was written by the brilliant Rachel Moscovich who was diagnosed with Breast cancer. In it she gives her account of the guys that made a difference in her life on Tinder after her diagnosis.
There were a handful I like to call “my Tinder guys,” and there were others. For those who believe Tinder to be a shallow cesspool, know this: Some of the most supportive men in my life last year, I met by swiping right.
I wasn’t serial dating while going through treatment. As a single person I had a roster of guys I was in touch with, whom I’d dated previously or was involved with at one stage or other of hanging out or text-message courtship. They would reach out with a “Hey … what up?” and I would, gulp, tell them.
In the state I was in, I doubted they’d want to hang out with me, but they did.
There were guys who offered to take me out and have fun: “Have you ever been shooting?” Or come sit with me through the hard stuff: “I can go uptown or downtown, buddy.” They said we could talk about it or not talk about it. Whatever I needed.
Believe it or not, in my experience with dating apps, I’ve found there are a hec of a lot of real, genuine people on them looking for love or at the very worst friendship.
We like to mock the trolls understandably. However, in doing so we use these trolls to define what dating apps are. I don’t really know why. Perhaps it’s because dating apps are still somewhat of a novelty.
The thing is, there’s actually a lot of people really finding success on dating apps.
Let’s look at the stats.
There are 40 million Americans using online dating websites and those users range from young to old.
Ok so roughly 40 million people in the USA alone are using dating apps. That’s a lot of people. But it goes further than that.
I was curious how many people really do WANT to find love online. Ya know, those that have the right intentions.
If we cut out the trolls, how many people are really looking for romance on dating apps?
During an April 2017 survey, 84 percent of dating app users stated that they were using online dating services to look for a romantic relationship. A further 43 percent used online dating for friendly contact and only 24 percent of respondents stated that that they used online dating apps and services explicitly for sexual encounters.
84% of people on these apps really do want a serious relationship! Those are the hard statistics.
Ok, good to know. But now the toughest question of them all.
How many people are finding LASTING love online?
The thing is, dating apps are still fairly new to the party. We don’t have statistics yet on long-term marriages. However, we do have some early statistics as far as if dating apps are mostly one-night stands, casual dating, long-term dating, relationships, and marriage.
So if you break down that chart roughly 36% of people that are getting at least 1 date online are entering into relationships lasting 6 months or more.
Question: If according to current statistics you have nearly a 50% shot of entering a longterm relationship (6 months or more) based on someone you met on a dating app, don’t you think that’s pretty good odds?
Answer: Absolutely. Keep Swiping.
That’s startling. And 13% of them are ending up engaged or married.
We’re all busy in this crazy 2018 world and finding people to date much less anything serious longterm is hard enough.
I want to make one more grand point and that’s that I noted above that 84% of people online really do want to find love. Personally that to me means those would be people not wanting a one night fling or casual hook-up.
First off, the thing everyone needs to keep in mind here is that people are inherently flawed. We are not all going to be perfect. Especially between the walls of an online dating app. So it’s easy to make fun of each other through these apps to our friends, on social media, or wherever else.
Secondly, we should note that just 20 years ago we didn’t have these apps. And we couldn’t walk around a social setting with a pocket recorder getting everyone’s words down so that we could then show everyone how flawed this person was before we’ve even met them.
Because we have documented words in a dating app it becomes much easier to point out all these “flaws” of our fellow humans.
There’s always going to be mistakes and misinterpretations, there’s always going to be people who speak a different love language than you do, and there’s always going to be people who even though are genuinely looking for love, aren’t the nicest of people.
News Flash. This is humanity. Dating apps just document it. Last I checked, in-person dating is not recorded in text. But people are just as flawed and prone to mistakes in person as they are within the walls of a text box.
Also, Many people in the text are going to look sketchy somehow because text is one of the most easy things on earth to misconstrue.
In closure, if 84% of people are on dating apps for the right reasons / are looking for love and currently roughly 36% of the total people are ending up in 6 months or longer relationships, what’s the bottom line here?
Dating apps are working. Stop making fun of them.
Originally published at theascent.pub