Dating used to be like this: you’d see someone attractive across the room, strike up a conversation with them, exchange numbers, go out for dinner or a few drinks, and let things gradually move from there.
Now, you can get a date in just a few clicks and swipes online. No need for awkward introductions. No more guesswork on whether someone’s interested in you. Everything is sped up; everything seems easy.
But if that’s easy and fast, then why does someone with a dating CV that includes a weekly average of 20 matches on Tinder, five matches on Bumble, and 11 matches on OkCupid still hasn’t found “The One”? Is there really a perfect match? Given that everyone has that so-called soul mate, would you find yours online?
Let’s Face It: Dating Apps Are Machines
Dating apps are machine matchmakers. They make dating simple, convenient, and fast. But let’s face it: they are not humans. They don’t completely understand the complexities of personal connections — the emotional and psychological aspects of getting attracted, meeting someone, and falling in love.
For these machine matchmakers, it’s all about the algorithm. Ever wonder how Tinder and Bumble decide who to put up on your match queue? They focus on three factors: your search parameters (age, distance, and gender); your location; and the dating app’s algorithm, which may change through app updates.
With lots of men and women on your match queue, you’d think you have a lot of options. You’d think you have higher chances of striking a match with an app than when meeting a potential date through a friend or at a bar. But isn’t that an illusion? Because, in the first place, dating apps don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.
You can argue that dating apps only give you a match, and how the date goes will depend on you. Apps, after all, provide messaging platforms, so you can chat with your match and gauge their interests, personality, and intentions before actually going out on a date with them. Here’s the thing, though. Dating apps and the rest of the digital world have made it harder for people to go out on real dates and connect face to face.