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Dating Apps

How we meet our partners and ultimately fall in love, has changed vastly in the last 20 years. I’m going to put this out there, I am happily married, have been for years. The last time I was single, online dating wasn’t really a thing. It was just beginning but nowhere near the industry it is now. It was always something that older people used but now it seems like it’s the go to for people of all ages.

However, that tide may be turning

A recent poll found that 45% of Americans who had used a dating site or app in the past year reported feeling frustrated by the experience, whereas only 28% reported feeling hopeful.

As life continues its return to normality, more and more people have voiced their desire for more organic way of meeting a partner. So, a new question must be asked: Are we ready to ditch the dating apps for good?

Falling in Love

Whether or not dating apps are destined for the bin or not, their impact on dating habits and the ways we connect is undeniable. Online dating can create endless choices for us all and can lead to people assuming that there is always a better choice around the corner. There is also a dopamine hit created when we ‘swipe’ and this creates a feeling of winning if we are selected. This hit can be addictive, we are always looking for the high of swiping on a new person.

Faulty First Impressions

When you stop viewing other users as actual people but rather as profiles, it can remove some of the human aspect of dating that you would experience in a face-to-face meeting. It’s possible that you may make a snap judgement based on someone’s online profile which you might now have made in person. Online dating can also create the illusion that there is an endless stream of potential dates which can create unrealistic standards. There can also be an element of superficiality as selecting a date online is based on a very narrow selection process, a picture and a brief bio. Chemistry isn’t present online

Research shows that physical attractiveness is one of the largest predictors of dating decisions made on dating apps. And while physical attraction certainly factors into connecting with someone in person, it's a shallow decision-maker.

Not only have dating apps totally redefined the concept of first impressions, but they also eliminate much of the mystery that often makes dating so thrilling. We can all be terrified of making mistakes in the dating world and seek perfection in our romantic partners, but this can stop us from taking a chance and making a real connection with someone

When so much energy is put into "getting to know" a person before actually meeting them, two personas are forged: the real version of that person and the idealized, possibly perfected and curated, version you've created in your mind. Then when we meet that person, they may not live up to the persona we have created for them in our minds.

The Algorithm Matchmaker

Users aren't the only ones to blame for this loss of mystery and magic—artificial intelligence plays a role, as well. It's common knowledge that potential partners presented to you on dating apps are chosen by that app's algorithm. It’s not left to chance.

Essentially, when it comes to dating apps, everything is calculated. The person whose profile you're swiping through has been selected for you and that all sounds a bit creepy to me.

But now that the apps have become so common, the more organic ways meeting a partner, for example, set up’s by friends, have fallen to the wayside. In fact, for many people, meeting a potential match organically and in person feels more difficult than ever.

People feel it’s tough to meet in person these days not just because everyone is on the apps but because everyone is so online in general and constantly looking at their phones and some people find it hard to interact with people directly. How many do you know who consciously avoid making a telephone call and actually speaking to someone?

Taking It back to Basics

Breaking the cycle that dating apps have created will require many people to get out of their comfort zone. Pursuing connections in the real world, away from the security and familiarity of modern dating apps, can makes people feel nervous and potentially vulnerable. It’s undeniably harder to meet someone face to face then it is online, but it could be that the time is come to get back to basics and get out there again.

The ease of swiping takes out the emotional component of dating, including the risk and reward adrenaline rush of approaching potential partners and seeing what unfolds.

The reality is that dating isn't always easy, wherever you choose to meet a partner. Dating apps create the illusion that people are disposable as soon as they appear imperfect, but forging a deep, meaningful connection with another human being, requires effort, patience, and time. People are imperfect—that's what makes us all human. And the most human aspects of dating are often the most fulfilling.

What are your thoughts on a move away from dating apps back to more traditional ways of dating and meeting a partner? xx

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