This pre-pandemic prediction could be shown up if the surge of Covid-era dating app sign-ups stays afloat. Whether people decided they wanted a relationship during isolation or are just looking to get nasty again, dating apps are a great place to find a partner.
And yes, though there are algorithms that dictate what profiles pop up on your screen, we firmly believe that some stars aligning still comes into play. After all, the person who signs up on the app and is looking for love at exactly the same time you are is up to fate and the universe, proving that online dating romance is very much alive and well.
Because it’s not 2007 anymore, the need for mobile-friendly online dating isn’t just a millennial thing – people over 40 don’t have time to sit around at their home desktop, either. Dating sites that are older than most members of Gen-Z (like Match and eharmony) have been forced to give serious attention to their smartphone counterparts if they don’t want to be outgrown.
However, that statistical promise still requires patience and a game plan, the game plan being choosing the dating app with features that best fit your lifestyle – and the lifestyle of the type of person you’re looking for. Are you looking for an app strictly for sex or an app more serious than Tinder but less serious than eharmony? Or maybe, you’d just really love to find an app where queer women aren’t relentlessly sexualized by creeps and pestered by unicorn hunters.
Despite restaurant capacities returning to normal, the idea of swiping just for the hell of it isn’t feeling so normal. The expectation for a hot vaxxed summer was more realistically represented through a collective Fear of Dating Again.
But this invisible hump may play to the advantage of people looking for a connection past a booty call. After a year of watching budding relationships stay stagnant in the “It’s a match!” phase, time feels more valuable. The pent-up energy it takes to go on a date feels like it’d be better spent on someone you actually see potential with. Even the horniest of them all may be more closely considering the authenticity and personality of prospects – because as we all learned, seeing humans in real life isn’t something to take for granted.
FWIW, communication skills may have gotten better during the pandemic. Hashing out Covid-related issues with strangers required getting comfortable with personal boundaries and learning how to discuss anxieties with someone new. Tinder thinks the honesty will carry over when things are back to normal, which means you can feel comfortable knowing more people are comfortable saying exactly what they want, even if they quite don’t know what that is.
Remember that not all apps are good just because they’re, well, new. Every year, a slew of trendy apps try to set themselves apart from Tinder and Bumble: In 2017, apps like Hater (which matched people based on things they disliked, like slow walkers or Donald Trump), and The League (a snooty, members-only matchmaker with a ridiculous waitlist) were expected to be game-changers. Hater has since disappeared from the App Store while The League’s reviews have gotten increasingly questionable.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact reason as to why such promising ideas didn’t make the cut – but whether they were too exclusive, too niche, or begging for catfish, it’s clear that there’s a very special ingredient that makes apps like Hinge pop off.