Gone are the days when you’d spot someone from across the room. You’d strike up a conversation, have a few drinks, exchange numbers and let things gradually move from there.
With the proliferation of dating apps, those romantic ideas of meeting your someone special seem to be in the distant past. Grindr, Tinder, and now even Facebook have become the meeting grounds for quick hook-ups and flings.
It seems that 2018 could be the death knell of dating apps, and here’s why:
Dating app fatigue
“Having constant access to a pool of potential matches at their fingertips is making people more impatient, causing unrealistic expectations for first dates and a general decline in effort,” Michelle Jacoby, owner of DC Matchmaking and Coaching, told The Washington Post when asked about declining online dating trends.
“Obligaswiping” is a term coined by Cosmopolitan Magazine referring to bored twentysomethings swiping blindly on dating apps, without any serious intention of ever meeting up. They swipe because they feel they have to, and then never really make any plans to meet up with potential matches.
Signing up to a dating app means doing so at your own risk. This can leave you open to many unwanted advances. And don’t just think men are the main perpetrators when it comes to trolling. The Conversation carried out a survey with Tinder users and found that women’s trolling behaviour has increased and become similar to men’s trolling behaviour.
It’s just an illusion
Do you really know the person you are chatting to on the other side?
“Many people have been heartbroken to discover that they have fallen in love with an online illusion and are embarrassed to admit this,” says psychotherapist and relationship expert Louisa Niehaus.
It’s all about the hook-up
Chaim Kuhnreich is a PhD candidate in marketing at Concordia University. He uses psychology and marketing theories to try and understand how we choose to present ourselves on dating apps.
What he found was that gay men on Grindr used the app purely for seemingly meaningless and often anonymous sex.
Sliding into your DMs
Instagram has more than 800 million users worldwide, so it was only a matter of time till it became a meeting ground for future couples.
“It’s basically a portfolio for your dating life,” Halen Yau, a PR manager from Toronto told The New York Times.
The platform is basically a collage of your life, expressing your interests and likes. If someone wants to connect, they’ll just DM you. Bring on the stalkers!
Guys are setting up to two or three Tinder dates a week with what they call “Tinderellas” - girls whom they get together with purely for casual encounters.
“It’s rare for a woman of our generation to meet a man who treats her like a priority instead of an option,” wrote Erica Gordon on Gen Y website Elite Daily.
It’s a sign that the abundance of women provided by online dating app gives men the upper hand and less inclined to prioritise her.
Sexologist and relationship guru Dr Nikki Goldstein is the author of “Single but dating: A field guide to dating in the Digital Age”. In the book she observes that online dating makes us “distracted and disposable.”
Vanity Fair’s Nancy Jo Sales first made note of Tinder and the dating apocalypse in a 2015 article. She consulted David Buss, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas who specialises in the evolution of human sexuality.
“Apps like Tinder and OkCupid give people the impression that there are thousands or millions of potential mates out there,” Buss said.
“One dimension of this is the impact it has on men’s psychology. When there is a surplus of women, or a perceived surplus of women, the whole mating system tends to shift towards short-term dating. Marriages become unstable. Divorces increase. Men don’t have to commit, so they pursue a short-term mating strategy.”