Digital algorithms powering sites such as JDate, shaadi.com, AsianDate, and Bae have taken over the favorite pastime of Jewish shadchamin and rabbis, Indian and Asian aunties and uncles, and Black elders, respectively.
The extensive questionnaires and filters built into dating apps are doing what matchmakers once did. And while many of these matchmakers are not too happy that their passion is being disrupted by technology, there’s evidence that this modern-day matchmaking actually works.
As today is Valentine’s Day, we decided it’s time to rekindle the romantic in us and partake in the spice of life by exploring the online dating trend.
Some people believe that dating apps make dating more superficial because you’re making a decision based solely on someone’s picture?
This is not the case at all. Before you even see people’s pictures, you go through multiple rounds of filtration. You’ve already indicated the age range you want, what ethnicity, religion, and political views you prefer, how far away from you your matches should live, and whether you want your match to have a master’s degree, be able to cook, be a neat freak, and share similar interests (among other things).
Today’s youth are increasingly moving towards dating apps to meet potential partners. Dating apps are based on the same principles as traditional matchmaking, but instead of your parents and the village elders making the initial introduction, it’s a digital algorithm. There is evidence that couples who meet through dating apps actually get married faster than couples who meet offline (4 years vs. 10 years). According to Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford University, there are two things going on here.
The first is that dating apps allow you to be more selective because you’re able to seek out traits that you know you want while filtering out others.
The second is that a lot of communication takes place between the two parties before the first date, so you’re able to gain more information faster.
Both of these factors set the tone for relationship satisfaction. A national study conducted between 2005 and 2012 found that marriages that were initiated online were slightly less likely to end in separation or divorce compared to marriages that were initiated offline (Cacioppo et al., 2013). Even those who meet on apps that are more catered towards casual dating or hookups, such as Tinder, Tingle, and Blendr, often end up in long-term relationships. Once you’re in a relationship, it doesn’t actually matter how the relationship started. A lot of dating apps also have impressive success rates, contrary to popular belief. For example, 33% of couples who meet on match.com have relationships that last longer than 6 months. Incidentally (or not), these same factors are at play with traditional matchmaking. In India, where arranged marriages are still common, only 1 in 100 marriages end in divorce, and couples who had arranged marriages report greater satisfaction in the long-term compared to those who did not have arranged marriages (Dolakhia, 2015).
So how do you decide which dating app is right for you? It all depends on what you’re looking for in a partner. For example, if you’re looking for a Jewish partner, check out JDate. In the same way, shaadi.com focuses on people who identify as South Asian. People who identify as Black might be drawn to Bae, especially because on other sites Black male daters typically have to send 10 times as many messages as their White counterparts to get one response and Black women are often fetishized and flooded with inappropriate messages. Looking for a casual hookup with someone who lives nearby? You might check out Tinder. If you’re a gay, bisexual, or bi-curious male, check out Grindr. If you want someone highly educated, sign up for The League.
If you’re looking for guidance on how to go about finding a romantic partner and navigate the dating apps scene, check out a relationship and life counselors on Konversai.
Konversai is a knowledge-sharing platform that brings together providers and seekers of knowledge about any topic all via live video. Koversai believes all of us possess knowledge and experiences and that all knowledge and experiences are valuable. When you want to share what you know, you come to Konversai as a “provider” and when you come to learn from others, you come as a “seeker.” Given Konversai’s belief that all knowledge and experiences are valuable, knowledge providers have the option of charging for their time. Konversai encourages users to be both knowledge providers and seekers on as many topics as they wish. Therefore, even if you’re not looking for a romantic relationship but are still looking to build life-changing connections online, you’ll want to check out Konversai. Whether you’re moving across the country, planning a backpacking excursion through Europe, struggling with algebra, auditioning for a play, or expecting your first child, there is someone on Konversai who’s been in the same position and will gladly share their experiences and knowledge with you. Konversai is a testament to the positive role that technology can play in bringing together people who may not have otherwise had the chance to meet.
Get on Konversai today. You never know who you might meet or where that interaction might lead.
- Cacioppo, J.T., Cacioppo, S., Gonzaga, G.C., Ogburn, E.L., & VanderWeele, T.J. (2013). Marital satisfaction and break-ups differ across on-line and off-line meeting venues. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- Dolakhia, Utpal. (2015). Why Are So Many Indian Arranged Marriages Successful? Psychology Today.
- Emery, Lea Rose. (2016). This Dating App Is Most Likely To Lead To A Long-Term Relationship. Bustle.
- Ferdman, Roberto. (2016). How well online dating works, according to someone who has been studying it for years. The Washington Post.
- Goldwert, Lindsay. (2017). Bae, The Top Dating App for Black Singles, Is Going Global. Fast Company.