You don’t look like what I thought you looked like,’ and walked away.”But other users complain of rudeness even in early text interactions on the app.Some of that nastiness could be chalked up to dating apps’ dependence on remote, digital communication; the classic “unsolicited dick pic sent to an unsuspecting match” scenario, for example.(Today, she can no longer remember what it was.)Plus, Mike lived in the next town over.He wasn’t that far away, “but I didn’t go where he lived to hang out, so I didn’t really mix and mingle with people in other cities,” she says.Indeed, some daters bemoan the fact that meeting on the apps means dating in a sort of context vacuum.Friends, co-workers, classmates, and/or relatives don’t show up to flesh out the complete picture of who a person is until further on in the timeline of a relationship—it’s unlikely that someone would introduce a blind date to friends right away.An expanded radius of potential mates can be a great thing if you’re looking to date or hook up with a broad variety of people who are different from you, says Madeleine Fugère, a professor of psychology at Eastern Connecticut State University who specializes in attraction and romantic relationships.“Normally, if you met someone at school or at work, you would probably already have a lot in common with that person,” Fugere says.
With the launch of Tinder in 2012, i Phone-owning people of all sexualities could start looking for love, or sex, or casual dating, and it quickly became the most popular dating app on the market.
“Whereas if you’re meeting someone purely based on geographic location, there’s definitely a greater chance that they would be different from you in some way.”But there’s also a downside to dating beyond one’s natural social environment.
“People who are not very similar to their romantic partners end up at a greater risk for breaking up or for divorce,” she says.
There’s been plenty of hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth over how Tinder reinvent dating: Maybe it would transform the dating scene into an endless virtual marketplace where singles could shop for each other (like an Amazon for human companionship), or perhaps it would turn dating into a minimal-effort, transactional pursuit of on-demand hookups (like an Uber for sex).
But the reality of dating in the age of apps is a little more nuanced than that.