People really don’t want to meet their partners on dating apps: Why Bumble, Tinder and Chappy are last resorts

Dating apps might provide the Edinburgh Fringe crowd with a lot of creative fodder (“Romeo and Juliet for the Tinder Age”; “Troilus and Criseyde do Bumble”), but they’re certainly not the meet cute of choice for sentimental singles.

People really don’t want to meet their partners on dating apps: Why Bumble, Tinder and Chappy are last resorts

A recent survey conducted by YouGov for Radio 1 Newsbeat has suggested that dating apps are the least preferred way to meet someone, despite roughly half of 16-to-34-year-olds using them. A considerable 37% of those surveyed opined that apps such as Bumble were their least preferred method of meeting a partner. Most people are in the dating app game, the survey found, because they’re simply “too shy” to approach people they meet in person.

There’s something to be said, also, for the romantic narrative that saturates popular culture; in a world of gooey romantic comedies, Nicholas Sparks novels – hell, even Love Island, the zeitgeist values a tactile, not taciturn, love match. Love at first sight, not love at first site.

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But it’s easy to see why dating apps are as ubiquitous as they are. Tinder, Chappy et al provide easy, no-stress means for singles to connect (that’s a literal, digital connection, not a sparks-flying-violins-playing connection, mind) without the nerve-wracking practice of having to go over to someone in a bar/park/library and initiate conversation. But given the choice between a digital connection and an in-person meeting, most of us find the latter more palatable, not least because of the romantic proclivities of the modern age.

That’s not to say that dating apps are futile; indeed, statistics show they garner some pretty favourable results. Of the 2,066 people questioned who use dating apps, over a quarter formed a long-term relationship or marriage as a result.

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We reckon that’s as good a reason as any to throw your dating app prejudice to the wind and start curating a portfolio of profile pics. Try chucking out the odd line, but steer clear of your run-of-the-mill “Hey!”; Aziz Ansari’s go-to on Master of None was the coolly innocuous: “Going to Whole Foods, want me to pick you up anything?”

After all, you catch more flies with honey than with, er, holing up in an ill-fated bid to meet someone “organically”. As long as you stay away from Toffee, the dating app exclusive to people who went to private school – a cesspit of elitism and red chinos – dating apps can be a fun, stress-free way to meet like-minded individuals. Go forth and prosper.

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