Boy meets girl.
Boy dates girl.
Boy and girl fall in love.
Boy marries girl.
Boy and girl pretend like they didn’t meet on Tinder.
Is this the new classic love story of our day? Have the days of falling in love at the office or catching someone’s eye at the bar gone? Can Prince Charming now find his Cinderella within 100 miles of his current location?
There is no doubt that online dating allows people to meet more than anytime before. The new technology allows people to take advantage of the ability to stay in bed and still narrow down potential mates.
While there is an issue for social interaction and the lack thereof, many people see it as a benefit to know what to expect from their new mate and have the other person feel special. They were picked over all the other matches. Or maybe they are one of 15 dates that week. But still, they were picked!
I mean, who would really want to date someone you met online just because their 50 word bio and 5 pictures they carefully selected appealed to them? Of course the presentation a person puts online will be appealing.
No one gets on a dating app and attempts to disgust as many people as possible, at least, most people don’t.
The bios are edited to perfection- showcasing the person’s best traits and beautiful soul. Well, except for mine which showcased my wild hair, ex-boyfriend’s Star Wars t-shirt, and a weighted blanket draped over me.
Just to be clear, I got about 300 likes and 50 super likes in the 1 day I was on the app.
But really, why is online dating the new way to find love?
The popularity of dating apps might be due to the fact that we have more control. Supposedly. There is an algorithm that many people study in order to get the most success.
Control seems really important to us as a society, however.
Personally, I go to a school of 15k people, 40% who are male, and most likely 80% of them are Christians.
My school is filled with eligible men who want nothing more than to get married in two months and have 8 kids by the time we hit 30.
But yet I chose Tinder.
Everyone on these dating apps probably wants some form of a relationship. Usually, the relationship they want is made clear within the first message they send. But hey, a compliment is a compliment, right? Plus, their message narrows down the more expanded pool of possible mates.
Honestly, online dating is pretty normal now, if not a bit frowned upon by the people who grew up in the ages of meeting at soda shoppes and church gatherings.
But so many popular media outlets are tuning into this trend.
New shows like Netflix’s Blind Love advertise finding love without the couple actually seeing each other face-to-face. The show seems to extract the pressure of actually meeting a person, but just talking to them.
Other shows require people to get married as soon as they see each other…. At least Tinder lets you unmatch at any time.
Another popular dating show, The Bachelor, puts one person in a situation with ~30 girls who all want him and all want marriage. Or otherwise, my Tinder DMs in reverse gender.
Our society is beginning to believe that we do not need to really meet a person in order to form a real relationship with them. We get our basic information over text or Snapchat. We have emerged into an online society. Plus, how else would you talk in this society? We’re all so addicted to social media and our phones, it’s only right that those are now our outlets to find love.
A recent report says that “thirty-eight percent of single adults who are looking for a partner in the US have used Online Dating Agencies or Social Dating Applications” (Gatter). 38%. I’m not great at math, but I do know that with that percentage, you almost definitely know someone in a relationship that began online or at least someone who has an online dating profile and is looking for love. “More than a third of… American adults who married between 2005 and 2012 met their spouses online” (Wickelgren). This number has more than likely escalated in the past few years as dating apps have gotten more popular and less stigmatized.
Why are online dating apps so popular? Do they really have that great of a success rate?
Wickelgren states that online dating might lead to better marriages. A reason for this claim might be that most people on the apps are ready for a relationship and have, for the most part, figured out that the person with whom they have matched seems to fit the criteria they are looking for in a partner.
They also might like this new start. So many people dream of marrying their high school sweetheart, but I, for one, have changed dramatically since high school and don’t particularly want that part of my days of too-heavy eyeliner and Fall Out Boy CD’s crammed into my car’s CD player.
Maybe they are more successful because they see it as a blessing. There is always a doubt that the person you match with on what is considered to many as ‘a hookup app’ will actually be sane.
Maybe people want to be lucky on this app. Maybe they want to say that they found success just for the story.
In opposition, maybe they want to pretend like they just met in public. Honestly, with a maximum of the 100-mile distance that the app automatically places on the matches, it is possible.
Here’s the real truth: In the end, it doesn’t matter where you meet. Honestly, it matters who you meet and when you meet. A dating app doesn’t have this magical power over marriage or love, it’s just an app. Match.com can’t really boast about success rates because it doesn’t have control over that. Dating apps are just an easy way to find someone whom you can see a future with. They’re convenient and honestly, comforting.
No matter what, you always have Tinder. And no matter what, you always have love. And who knows? Maybe those two will meet up one day and go swing dancing on a Friday night.
I wrote the majority of this article before quarantine, but maybe now you know a way to beat cabin fever while also social distancing. Just a thought.
Gatter, Karoline, and Kathleen Hodkinson. “On the Differences between Tinder[Trademark] Versus Online Dating Agencies: Questioning a Myth. an Exploratory Study.” Cogent Psychology 3.1 (2016)ProQuest. Web. 17 Mar. 2020.
Wickelgren, Ingrid. “Online Dating May Lead to Better Marriages.” Scientific American Mind, vol. 24, no. 4, 2013, pp. 13–13. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/24942462. Accessed 17 Mar. 2020.