Dating Apps go from Strength to Strength

A new study from the University of Geneva has determined that couples who meet via dating apps do not experience less relationship satisfaction, and actually have stronger intentions in their relationship goals. It was found that singletons brought together by the internet, through apps such as tinder or grindr, actually have stronger desires to have children and cohabitate with their respective partners.

In a world increasingly defined by our non-physical connections online, it is no wonder that these apps have become so popular in recent years. Particularly in the past eighteen months, increasing numbers of dating hopefuls have turned to Mobile Dating Apps (MDAs) in search of companionship in a time when face-to-face socialising has, for all intents and purposes, been outlawed in most countries.

Couple with emojis. Image credit: Wyatt Fisher, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Geneva study acknowledged that ‘it is argued that the casual dating mindset promoted on apps encourages a superficial and consumerist approach to finding a match’, a presupposition that no doubt is held by many members of the population, including the users of MDAs themselves. It is also not the only research that is extinguishing the expectations (or lack of) of dating apps. A 2012 study published in the American Sociological Review showed that the method in which couples meet has very little effect on the overall satisfaction of the relationship. Perhaps making that jaw-dropping first impression isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The authors of the study determined that ‘relationships originally formed online were no more fragile than relationships formed offline during a similar period’. Understanding the results of these studies, any users on the various dating apps should not worry about the strength or satisfaction of a relationship they may enter as a result of meeting someone this way.

However, it is not all good news for those looking for love on their phones. A 2016 study carried out by the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute found that, whilst finding a partner via dating apps results in no decrease in overall relationship satisfaction, the likelihood of actually finding someone is still somewhat slim. Researchers Jennie Zhang and Taha Yasseri discovered  that the odds of a successful match (defined by having that all-important  phone number exchange) are approximately 1 in 5. Nevertheless, in a time when meeting someone offline is near impossible, those looking for a meaningful relationship should not feel discouraged at the prospect of utilising these ever-popular apps. As the new research from Geneva shows, it is more than possible to find fulfilling, long-term relationships.

Written by Lara Watson and edited by Ishbel Dyke

 Lara is a third year history undergraduate. She enjoys writing about all scientific disciplines, with a primary interest in all environment and conservation issues. Find her on LinkedIn.

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