When will we accept the fact that you can meet someone on a dating app and have a long-term relationship? For some reason, even though it feels like the online dating stigma is disappearing, the myth of dating apps only being for hookups still exists. But new data shows that it's totally ridiculous.
The folks at SimpleTexting, an SMS Marketing service, looked into dating app habits to find out what people are looking for on dating apps— and how successful they are. They shared the data exclusively with Bustle to give an idea of how common long-term relationships from dating apps actually are in the real world. And— spoiler alert! — they're probably more common than you might think. Their data from 500 dating app users, ages 18- 65, showed that a lot of serious relationships are coming from swiping.
It doesn't surprise me at all. I went to a wedding last year where the couple met on Tinder, I'm going to one this year where the couple met on OkCupid. Hell, I met my girlfriend on Tinder and we've been together over a year and a half now. It may not be the way that people our age dreamed of meeting someone when we were kids, but now virtually everyone I know is on dating apps — and that's totally great! Sure, dating apps aren't perfect, but they do give you the opportunity to be exposed to a bigger pool of people.
"Dating apps have the portability factor, so you can use them while you’re on the bus or waiting for an appointment,” New York–based relationship expert and author April Masini tells Bustle. “Because they’re so easy to use on phones, you can take them with you and use them all over the place. Your life can be a lot more flexible with these portable apps. They can be big-time savers and success builders in dating.”
Still not convinced? Well, I'll let the numbers do the talking. Here's what SimpleTexting found:
1 Most People Are Looking For Something Long- Term
Contrary to popular belief, a whopping 38 percent of men and 44 percent of women are long for long-term relationships on apps. Although I thought some of the other stats were more interesting— three percent of men looking for a free meal? Seven percent looking for boosted self-esteem? Not exactly heartening, but interesting for sure.
2 Over 13 Percent Said They Got Engaged Or Married From An App
Damn. So while nearly a quarter of people said they'd never had more than one or two date flings off of apps (and another quarter said 'other'), if you look at the more long-term options you might be pleasantly surprised.
Seven percent had reached between six months and a year with someone they met on an app, 15 percent said had reached longer than a year, and 14 percent said they were engaged or married— so it really does happen, if that's what you're looking for.
3 Southern Courtship Still Prevails
Where are people settling down from apps? Well, it happens all over— but the South was definitely the big hitter for engagements, with 16.3 percent of respondents saying that they were engaged or married from an app.
4 Most People Have *Never* Had A One-Night Stand From An App
OK — barely over 50 percent, but still — over 50 percent of users said they had never had a one-night stand from a dating app. Although lots of us are having them (and there's nothing wrong with that, BTW) it's clearly silly to think that's the main purpose of these apps for everyone.
5 Photos & Descriptions Are The Most Important Factors When You're Swiping
So what actually comes into play when using the apps? Well, photos were the most important for men, but if you look closely you'll see that women cared more about the descriptions.
6 But Shirtless Photos And Group Shots Are Turn- Offs
There are a lot of ways you can go wrong with your dating app photos, but shirtless ones and not being able to tell who you are the big offenders.
7 Finally, Being Funny Is Key
And when it comes to messaging, what are people responding to? Well, the most popular messages are the ones that make you laugh, but even a simple 'hey' performed surprisingly well. I always say, if you're lost, to write something that shows you read their profile — and 24 percent of users agreed.
It's not a guarantee that you'll find a long-term relationship on a dating app. But the numbers don't lie — people are looking for long-term relationships and finding them, all on dating apps. So keep your mind open and start swiping.