Twenty years ago couples would meet through their friends or family, in university or other educational institutions, in bars, at work, on the street, at festivals, at sports games, and so on.
Nowadays, dating apps are the most common way for people to meet and start a relationship. It is so convenient for new generations to stay at home with their smartphone in hand, looking at pictures of potential dates, and sending them emojis rather than go to a bar to talk in person with potential dates.
It all started with personal advertisements in newspapers where people wrote their dating profiles. Tall, black hair, blue eyes, a 34 years old man is looking for someone to share his life with. Couples would go on many dates and try to get to know each other well before sexual activities, which was the only way to build trust, attraction and respect in their love relationship.
A new era of dating called online dating began alongside the rise of the internet’s popularity, where people started communicating and meeting each other online. Before going on a real date they would check their social media profiles, what they are posting, commenting, liking, and this is how they get the impression of knowing their potential date well.
Match.com was the first online dating provider back in 1995. With the launch of Tinder in 2012 and later with other best dating apps a new era of online dating began. This had a revolutionary impact on dating behaviour too.
Here are 5 ways that dating apps changed the way we do dating:
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1. Instantly choosing who to date just according to appearance instead of personality
The truth is dating apps presented us all kinds of possibilities. Just a few clicks on our smartphone and we have so many choices. We spend less than a few seconds, just by looking at the pictures, in making decisions to date someone on dating apps.
That is almost instant, isn’t it? Appearance is very important in the online dating world. But is that really important to a good relationship? Not really.
Personality, character, a sense of humour, education, lifestyle, fashion… you can’t know that just by seeing someone’s photo. The way we objectify people through dating apps clearly has changed in our society
2. Swiping and texting instead of dating
Dating apps somehow changed our objectives when it comes to dating. Instead of helping people find love, it turns out that this helps people have some fun alone.
People would rather stay at home and go through other profiles and texting with them than go to a bar and start chatting with some stranger. It gives them a feeling they are doing something and making some effort in finding a partner, but are not really dating.
There is no commitment, if they get bored, they just stop the conversation and that’s it. Sometimes they called it dating, but it is actually just looking.
3. Getting to know someone before you meet in person
It all starts with a catchy icebreaker or one of Tinder’s best conversation openers. If it goes well, chatting weeks or even months before you meet, and you get the impression you really know that person even though you never meet face-to-face.
You have high expectations because she is funny, a quick thinker, polite, knows grammar well… But you don’t know how she smells, the sound of her voice, the real color of her hair and eyes, how she laughs…. The moment you finally meet in person can be a bit awkward.
Suddenly, you are faced with a real person and not just your texting imagination. You don’t know what to say or how to behave in front of this person. Although you two have been exchanging messages for so long, you suddenly realize you don’t really know this person.
Very often this can result in some very tense first moments of a first date or even in great disappointment.
4. Rudeness level is higher than ever before
To be rude to someone on a real date is normally not an option for anyone, ever. However, sending unsolicited genitalia pictures through dating app chats has become common nowadays. Is there anything more rude on Earth than showing your genitalia to someone who didn’t ask for that?
Of course, NO! But somehow, rudeness became very common on dating apps even in early text interactions.
Online daters didn’t experience rudeness just exchanging messages on dating apps. Some people complain about rudeness on the first date after they met through dating apps.
It is not so unusual that person A is sitting in a bar and waiting for person B. who she chatted with on dating apps. When person B shows up, looks at her and says: “Oh. You don’t look like what I thought you looked like,” and walks away, that’s rude.
Person A might just stay in shock for the rest of her life. Rude, isn’t it?
5. Too many fish in the sea makes it harder to choose the right one
We are chatting with more people on dating apps at the same time and having fun with all of them. No obligations to any of them, no relationship, just pure fun and online flirting.
That gives us a sense of freedom and control. It can’t hurt us in any way. But once we decide to go to a real date with one of them and meet them in person, we question whether we really made a good choice.
Are the other ones we chatted with a better match for us? And we decide while still on a date to go to the bathroom and talk to the other people on Tinder. If we have more choices, it is harder to make a decision.
All the above doesn’t really have to mean that dating apps changed our dating activities in a bad way. The glass can always be half-empty or half-full, it depends on how we see it.
Dating apps help us to find someone to love or to have fun with much faster and easier than ever before. If the match is right it is wonderful. If the experience is not good or the match isn’t what we really expected, that is fine too.
The good thing is that with dating apps we always have many choices. It was never easier to move on in dating.