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Dating Apps: Is the Modern Solution to Love Really Worth It?

Do we need ‘the one’ or just ‘the one for now’?

Shutterstock/ Studio Romantic

Finding dates and making new relationships has never been easier with the range of different dating apps and websites today. But, how successful are these apps for somebody in the search for love?

When it comes to meeting people, dating apps seem to be the go-to method of finding new people in your area to chat with, meet up with and eventually date.

Many find that dating apps open you up to a whole variety of people, and help to tailor exactly what you are looking for.

Swansea university student, Erin Marcolini said ”I found moving to the university that dating apps have helped me find people, not just for love but for friendships too”.

On the other hand, Cardiff university student Lacey Mannell said ”I would recommend dating apps to people open to going on dates and meeting new people but would warn them that love is not always the objective for most people on these apps”.

Couple joining smartphones together. Photo credits: Shutterstock/ Antoniodiaz

Why dating apps may not be so good for those looking for love

According to a study by Cloudwards, there were 323.9 million dating app users in 2021. Out of this number, 1/4 of users were not looking for any form of commitment.

Along with this, 19% of users have admitted to talking to more than 11 people at once. With this in mind, does this make dating apps less desirable to those looking for a long-term, serious commitment?

A study by PewResearch, online dating can be a place for harassing behavior, especially for women under 35.

According to the study, 60% of women between 18-34 say that they were continually contacted after expressing no interest, and 57% also send unwanted explicit images or messages. On the other end, ‘ghosting‘ also seems to be a common misfortune with dating apps…

Whilst dating apps can be a good way to make new connections, from a psychological point of view- there is a deeper issue with them, that goes beyond people who are just too persistent.

The real reasons behind the swipes

According to an article by STYLIST, the Psychology Today writer Dr Liu says that dating apps are becoming an ‘addictive game’.

Woman on bed whilst logging into tinder. Photo credits: Shutterstock/Teerawit Chankowet

Dr Liu says that ‘Swiping right can cause a release of neurotransmitters, including a flood of dopamine, something that underlies many addictive behaviors. Because of this, matching becomes ego-boosting.

Interestingly, after speaking to dating app users this idea of dating apps all being a ‘game’ seemed apparent.

Alice Lumley, a Cardiff university student said ”I used to use dating apps for casual dating, but now I just use them for more of a self-esteem boost”.

Emily Ledgeway, a student at the University of South Wales said ”Sometimes when you’ve gone without having someone giving you reassurance and validation, you rely on those apps to make you feel less insecure, as you seek that validation”.

Furthermore, Dr. Liu also has concerns with the algorithm intended to help you find your ‘perfect match’ in fact makes people lose sight of what they’re really looking for.

She said ‘I worry that having algorithms that curate to our preferences means that we lose sight of our values, the space to have difficult conversations or the courage to embrace emotional vulnerability’.

Lacey Mannell added ”On the surface level, the process of choosing who to match with is quite superficial, but it can sometimes transform into something deeper if people spend more time together”.

Erin Marcolini said ”I think it depends on the people you meet on the dating apps, Some are superficial, but there’s definitely a mix as it relies on other things, such as hobbies and music taste- not always photographs”.

On the other hand to Dr. Liu, Brides writer Lisa Marie Bobby recommends ‘soul searching’ before joining a dating app, so you know what you want.

She says that there are positives to online dating, as everyone is looking for something, and you will have better chances of meeting someone interested in making a relationship- whereas, in person, you can’t always tell if somebody is single.

Written By

Hiya, my name is Megan! I am currently studying towards a degree in Journalism in Cardiff. I am in my third year, and my goal is to be a successful writer for a women's magazine one day, and possibly specialise in media law! I want my brand to be feminine, meaningful and boundary breaking. Some things about me: Christmas is my favourite holiday, even though summer is my favourite season and I am the oldest sister, daughter and grandaughter!

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