Technology

Where is the Love?

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The Gist: People still think the best chance at love is meeting someone for the first time in person.


“Willing to say we met at Whole Foods,” joke many of the eligible Millennials on dating apps. While the stigma of online dating has certainly decreased (59% of U.S. Adults agree that “online dating is a good way to meet people”), anecdotally there still seems to be a cringe factor for many when sharing how they met a significant other. When the explanation of how you met is a swipe of the finger, there’s just not much magic.

However, what matters in all of this is matters of the heart.

We might loathe online dating, but do we still interact with it in the hopes it can yield something meaningful?

Dating apps may be all the rage, but only 14% think it’ll lead to a lasting romantic relationship. 40% of US adults think meeting in person is the best bet for a solid relationship. My heart goes out to the 20% who aren’t sure–we’ve all been there. Just over a quarter of US adults think there’s equal opportunity to meet online or in person.

An estimated 15% of all adults are on dating apps, but the general population still believes in the randomness of an interaction on the street. Men are slightly more likely to think people can find relationships online.

People influenced by social media (and heavy Snapchat users) are more likely to believe people are “Equally likely to find relationships online or in person.” It seems familiarity with technology overall doesn’t mean you’re trusting it with matters of the heart.

How does age factor into our takes on love?

The most significant generational difference is found in Baby Boomers. This group is more likely to think that relationships start in person, rather than online. Millennials, presumably the generation most familiar with dating apps, are most likely to believe you’ve got an equal opportunity both online and in person to establish a lasting relationship. For a generation that does most of its socializing online, this is surprising. 

Of course, it’d be oversimplifying to assume everyone on an app is looking for a lasting romantic relationship. However, it’s interesting to see how little faith US adults have in primarily using apps to find relationships. Tinder has an estimated 46 million users globally, and Bumble is projected to make $200 million in sales this year. Perhaps there’s a disconnect when it comes to making genuine connections?

While a favorable sentiment towards online dating may be growing, across all demographics, people are still more likely to believe the best relationships start by meeting in person. 

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