Dating Apps: The Good, The Bad and The Awkward

Online dating has been a massive game changer in the way people interact socially with the hope of meeting new people for friendships, casual flings and potentially much more. We’ve read some good reports about dating apps, and some not so good! So what is the objective reality? It’s time to tell it as it really is!

 Photo composition: Burn the Night.

Photo composition: Burn the Night.

The once stigmatised industry now has a multi-billion dollar market and shows no signs of slowing down. Online dating sites and mobile apps are used by millions of users world wide; as the number of smartphone purchases increase, so does the number of downloaded dating apps.

Almost 85% of singles in the US have used online dating sites / apps at some point, with the average customer spending $243 a year on dating services. In 2015, Pew Research Center’s survey concluded that 59% of American adults agreed with the statement that ‘online dating is a good way to meet people’.

With those kind of statistics, it’s no wonder that apps such as TinderBadooOKCupidCoffee Meets Bagel are hugely popular amongst millennials due it’s ease of use, fresh, contemporary graphics and targeted marketing. However, there is literally a dating app for everyone as many people in their late 30’s, 40’s and 50’s also use apps / websites such as Match and eHarmony. Different demographics are likely to favour different dating apps. This is also applies to the intent of the user, i.e. what you are looking for when perusing a dating app is also likely to effect which app you are more likely to download and use.

PEW dating app statistics.png

There are three main types of dating apps: purely fun, hook ups and long term dating.

Purely Fun

There have been some great new offerings in the digital dating world that seek to break the monotony and fatigue that often arises from flicking through so many dating profiles. These dating apps are a new kind of breed; designed mostly to entertain and for socialising. The focus is on fun, interactivity.

 Photo credits: F*ck, Marry, Kill.

Photo credits: F*ck, Marry, Kill.

A great example of this is F*ck, Marry, Kill; the brutally honest dating app that allows you to decide which of the 3 candidates, that appear on your screen, you would f*ck, marry or kill. You can play alone or with friends and compare your scores, chat to new people or just see how you generally fair in the game. Though, it has to be said that the developers wouldn’t recommend you actually killing anyone, it’s just a game people! However, if you guys ended up having great consensual sex or even getting married… cool!

You can try it for yourself via the Lazeeva App Store.

The Good

  • It’s interactive, fun and there’s no fixed aim or emphasis on actual dating. How you approach it is entirely up to you. Plus, you could end up meeting some really fun and interesting people along the way.
  • Such apps tend to be the easiest to use. No need to spend years of your life writing up a profile, as it tends to consist of only the bare minimum.
  • Privacy is usually less of an issue than other apps as far less personal data is required for you to sign up and play. Though, it’s advisable to check out it’s privacy policy beforehand so you know what data is obtained, how it is used and what security measures are in place.

The Bad

  • There is the obvious in that it can be incredibly shallow as such apps tend to be more focused on how the person looks. However, people don’t always respond in the best way to the ‘most attractive’ candidates. If you look particularly arrogant in your images, you’re likely to receive fewer hits than someone who is attractive but looks far more friendly and / or approachable.
  • If you have a low self-esteem, it might do more harm than good playing such games as you may not always get the results you hoped for. If you don’t require social validation, play on!

The Awkward

  • If you’re playing with friends, be careful not to gloat if you have more positive hits than they do or vice versa. It’s not about who comes out best. Just enjoy the playful nature of the game, it should be taken in jest or rather with a pinch of salt. Of course, if you end up having a great connection someone as a result of your interactions, it’s another win.
  • People might assume that if you show some level of interest by, for example, pressing ‘F*ck’ on F*ck, Marry, Kill, you might want to actually meet up and have sex. You might have to set the record straight if this wasn’t actually what you had in mind.

Hook-Ups

Apps like Tinder are often seen by users and the media alike as the ‘go to app for hook ups’. Whilst there are a number of users that use apps such as Tinder for meeting new people abroad, as it displays the people that are aligned with the key, user-defined parameters including distance, it’s fair to say that the vast majority use Tinder to vet potential casual partners, holiday booty calls and long term partners.

 Photo credit: Tinder

Photo credit: Tinder

The profile is fairly basic in that it largely comes down to how people respond to your images, age and short bio. If you have some great photos of yourself and a remotely interesting one liner, you’re bound to get some right swipes and maybe even some super likes.

The Good

  • Apps like these are really easy to navigate and somewhat time-effective. Rather than reading a persons life there and then, you get a short snippet that can potentially open the door to far more interesting one-to-one conversations where you can learn more about the person through direct communication.
  • Due to being so popular around the world, you will find users in many destinations. According to Wikipedia; Tinder alone is available in 196 countries.
  • If you are a millennial looking to date other millennials, apps such as Tinder are ideal as Business Insider UK reports, 85% of users are between the ages of 18 and 34 years. Across the entire dating app spectrum, the largest age group of users are in fact millennials.
  • A lot of people have had positive experiences with such apps whether it’s for hanging out with new people, having great casual sex or even meeting a long term partner. There’s been several “success” stories where people have gone on to get married after initially meeting on Tinder and dating in real life.

The Bad

  • You often find a certain level of falsity and shallowness in a number of profiles, in order to appear more socially successful, affluent or attractive. Occasionally, you might even come across someone who is already in relationship! Some people are no longer active users and just simply haven’t deleted their profile yet, or have deleted the app without deleting their profile first. Other times however…
  • People often bend the truth in order to obtain more likes or swipes purely as an ego booster but not necessarily with any interest or intent to actually get to know the people they are interacting with. Including users who aren’t actually single and just want to know that they ‘still got it.’ Honestly, this happens far more than you think.
  • Fake profiles of attractive, young people (usually women in bikinis or lingerie) telling you to ‘join this website to chat’ or ‘click this link to see my nude photos’ when it’s clearly a spammy ad or worse, a link to some ransomware. Never click them!
  • The person may have been in the area when you initially messaged them but then when they respond, you realise that they’re actually 2650 km away and was on their way home when you messaged them.
  • Having your Facebook account linked means that it’s easier for people to online stalk you through dating apps. Be careful with what information you share on or link with your profile.

The Awkward

  • Sometimes, you may not receive notifications of all your messages from your matches and you could be unintentionally ignoring people.
  • If the date or conversation didn’t go so well, if you are staying in close-proximity of each other, you could easily bump into each other in the street.
  • Some users jump the gun far too quickly and expect an immediate hook up based purely on how attractive their profile must seem to others. Or want you to ‘send nudes’.
  • Seeing distant or recent ex’s on apps such as Tinder that are ‘just looking for fun’.
  • People assuming you’re fake just because there are bunch of fake profiles on there of ‘attractive’ people. It’s a nice compliment that’s easily overshadowed by how annoying it is that you need to defend the fact that you do actually exist!

Long Term Dating

If you are looking for someone who has interest in establishing a long term connection, then it’s likely that you will use apps that are designed specifically for finding someone with similar passions, interests and / or principles. Websites turned mobile apps such as eHarmony and Match, were some of the first to venture into online dating, when the internet was still in it’s infancy.

 Photo credit: Match.com

Photo credit: Match.com

Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, online dating wasn’t as socially accepted as it is now. More often than not, people (especially young people) assumed that these services where strictly for the ‘old and desperate’, though this wasn’t the case. While many people in their late 30’s – early 60’s were using the sites to find meaningful connections, it certainly wasn’t the ‘weirdo-fest’ it was made out to be. In fact, Match have long boasted that their service has ‘matched’ more singles than other, and that such matches have also lead to more long term relationships and marriages than any other.

The Good

  • These types of apps tend to be more in-depth and aim to find out more about core personality traits, interests and perspectives so that you are more likely to converse with someone that you have an authentic connection with.
  • There are number of new dating apps that are geared around specific lifestyles and interests such as vegetarian dating, religious / cultural matchmaking, lovers of the arts, single parents, kink interests etc.
  • People are more likely to be genuine when they present themselves to a potential love interest as they are seeking someone they can spend significant time with.

The Bad

  • As these types of applications / online websites require more in-depth information, fleshing out your profile can be really time consuming. Then you could easily spend hours trawling through copious amounts of information on prospective partners.
  • No platform is fool-proof, while some of these platforms tend to do thorough checks, there will still be chancers that aren’t anything like what they are portraying themselves to be, even some to the point where they create an entirely new persona. Think ‘Catfish’. So if it seems fishy to you, do some research before you allow things to get too
  • Subscriptions to such services can be costly depending on the service provider and the amount of services / type of subscription you sign up to.

The Awkward

  • Cyber creeps are known to stalk on these type of platforms, more so than the ‘hook up apps’, due to the amount of information they can provide about a person. Security should always be at the forefront of your mind.
  • Investing time getting to know someone only for their profile to vanish without a trace, before you can even get a contact number. Sad but it happens.
  • Coming across your loser ex on a dating app!

The Conclusion

There’ll always be good and bad factors with absolutely everything. Nothing is perfect. Regardless, you can still have a great online dating experience if you take these key points on board and remember that there is never any pressure to be dating. Also, if one doesn’t work for you, there are so many others to try and see whether or not online dating is the method for you.

Written for Lazeeva by Burn the Night.

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