The dating world is really good at convincing you to want less.
I online dated for a decade. In case you’re cautious about reading my work, fearful that I haven’t put the research in, ten years. Ten years of dating websites and apps of every permutation, deploying every strategy in the book. Never mind that the book was being written as we read it because by humanity’s calendar, online dating is still a novelty. I was a dating app lab rat, and while I like to think that in a few years from now there will be real consequences for abhorrent practices from people on dating apps and from the people who build them, for ten years they were working out the kinks (sometimes literally) on me.
Online dating isn’t designed to find you a partner. It’s designed to keep you single. Please understand that dating apps are businesses, one of which just IPO’d for 2.15 billion dollars. The last thing a business wants you to do is stop using its product. Just the opposite. It wants you to use it a lot, for a long time, and if it’s really smart, it will get you to think you need it. Why would a dating app want you to partner up, and stop giving it money?
The couples who actually meet and form partnerships via dating apps are always used as bait. Bait to get struggling singles back in the lion’s mouth. Because there is no better bait on Earth than romantic love. In addition to it just feeling amazing, our society has made romantic love and sex between two consistent partners the most celebration-worthy thing on earth. The only party bigger than a wedding is the fucking Oscars. Of course the couples who meet on apps are going to be used to hold onto everyone that doesn’t. There’s nothing the marketing team at a dating app loves more than a happy, attractive couple it can trot out like prized livestock.
It’s the cruelest taunt. Well, I found my husband on a dating app, and I don’t have to use dating apps anymore, so you’d better go use dating apps more! Hearing why I should do something painful and optional from someone who no longer has to do something painful and optional is really fucking annoying if I’m honest.
Online dating isn’t made for the people who get to stop using it. Happy couples who are currently together because they met via online dating are little…