I'm always surprised to hear the common complaint that people on dating apps are just looking for hookups, because the numbers never back it up. In fact, a new report by ReportLinker, a technology company that specializes in data, looked at how over 500 U.S. singles use dating apps and found that one of the major drawbacks for users was that they felt others weren't looking for something serious.
But I find that weird because 60 percent of respondents — or more than half— said they were looking for something serious. And other reports point to 13 percent of users becoming married or engaged to someone they met on a dating app. So it seems strange that so many people keep complaining that they can't find anyone looking for something serious, when most people on these apps are looking for something serious. Surely, if it's just a numbers game, dating apps are a great tool?
"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.”
That being said, I know they're far from perfect. So what problems do people have with online dating? Here's what ReportLinker found:
1. Other Users Not Being Serious
A lack of seriousness was a big problem. Thirty percent of single users said it was the main drawback of using dating apps. And granted, everyone I know has gotten some hookup offers — but they've gotten date offers too. It's all out there.
Actually, "more lies" is what they actually said, but you get the idea. Twenty-one percent said that the dishonesty of online dating was what they really struggled with — and I totally get it. Even when people don't mean to misrepresent themselves, they can be totally different in real life. And some people do try to misrepresent themselves, which is even more frustrating.
Sixteen percent said that there were problems with personal information security. TBH, I was really surprised when one dating app I used gave away last names when you matched with someone, meaning that I suddenly got a lot of confrontational messages about whether I was just chatting to them to get material for an article (I wasn't).
It can be weird feeling — like you're putting information out there that you don't necessarily want to.
4. They're Time-Consuming
5. They're "Unreal"
I'm not sure what "unreal" is, but 12 percent of users aren't liking it. My guess is that it just means how weird and unnatural the whole thing can feel. And I felt that too, especially at first. But it's the reality now and, at least personally, I found that I got used to it pretty quickly.
Online dating is far from perfect, but I hardly know anyone who's single and hasn't tried it in one form or another. It's good to know if you're finding dating apps frustrating, you're not alone. It's become a necessary evil. But I met my girlfriend on Tinder, so I'm not complaining too much. No matter what you're looking for, it's probably on there — just stay strong.