Here I go again, writing a blog about something I know nothing about.
Actually, it covers two things I know nothing about – dating and online dating apps.
I got lucky.
I think in high school I had three dates; one to my freshmen year dance, one to my sophomore year dance, and one my junior year that was supposed to lead to a date to the junior prom.
Fast forward to college, and “dating” didn’t seem to be a thing. Nonetheless, I was fortunate to meet my wife near the end of my junior year, and we’ve been together for the past 40-plus years.
That should make it clear I know nothing about dating.
And since I’m happily married, and over the age of 60, I know nothing about dating apps.
Sure, I’ve heard of them, and I know many people who have used them quite successfully (at least one of which has led to an engagement), but I tended to think that such outcomes were the exception, rather than the rule.
Well as it turns out, according to an article in the WSJ by Peggy Drexler, the use of dating apps may lead to stronger relationships.
There is evidence that online dating could, in fact, be improving the likelihood of romantic compatibility—and making marriages stronger. According to a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, half of all Americans know someone who uses online dating or has met a spouse or serious partner that way.
A study of more than 19,000 participants, published in 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the “relationship quality” of partners who meet online may be higher—and the rate of separation or divorce lower—than for partners who meet offline.
A 2017 study by researchers at the University of Essex in the U.K. and the University of Vienna in Austria, published in the social-science journal SSRN, found that marriages created online were less likely to break up within the first year than marriages that started offline.
The researchers and dating experts offered a few potential reasons why this may be the case:
- a greater pool of potential spouses might give users more options and allow them to be more selective
- more anonymous online communications produced greater self-disclosure—and stronger feelings of affection—than face-to-face communications, laying the foundation for more enduring relationships
- Online dating sites and apps make it possible to reach out in a way that doesn’t make most people uncomfortable, according to Eric Resnick, a professional dating profile ghostwriter in Orlando, Fla., who met his wife online
- Online dating requires singles to understand and articulate their own values and goals in a way many never have. Amy. Schoen, a dating coach, notes that “knowing yourself is the first step in knowing what you need from a good partner, and how to be one yourself.”
- people who meet online are more likely to be compatible precisely because they’re matching with partners they might have otherwise overlooked.
I’m guessing that if I were a twenty or thirty-year-old singe today, I would be an avid user of online dating apps, just because it seems like an easier, and much less painful way of meeting somebody.
I could afford to be deliberate in my responses, and not have to worry about trying to come up with something clever right on the spot in a typical face-to-face dating situation.
Plus, I think my Tom Cruise profile picture would make it easier to attract people to at least check me out online (swipe right), something that would be less likely to happen if someone were to catch a glimpse of the real me at a bar. Such a glimpse would lead to the equivalent of a swipe left.
*image from New York Times