Are dating apps for hookups or for love? | The Tylt

Are dating apps for hookups or for love?

In 2012, Tinder changed the world of dating forever. "Online" dating went from being associated with older generations, and folks desperate for love, to a widely-accepted form of meeting new people. Even so, many feel that dating apps perpetuate the hookup culture and say they would never use one to start a long-term relationship. But for some, dating apps created meaningful love. What's the real purpose behind dating apps today?

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Are dating apps for hookups or for love?
A festive crown for the winner
#DatingApps4HookUps
#DatingApps4Love
Dataviz
Real-time Voting
Are dating apps for hookups or for love?
#DatingApps4HookUps
#DatingApps4Love
#DatingApps4HookUps

In 2012, Tinder transformed the online dating market by creating the first widely-accepted dating app. The concept caught on fairly quickly, and by 2014, users were swiping 1 billion times per day, flippantly scrolling through potential matches. 

In the midst of its growing popularity, many people worried that Tinder would change dating culture overall, driving hookups rather than meaningful relationships. In 2015, Vanity Fair's Nancy Jo Sales exposed how ingrained hookup culture had become among Tinder users. She sets the stage at a New York bar: 

Everyone is drinking, peering into their screens and swiping on the faces of strangers they may have sex with later that evening. Or not. 'Ew, this guy has Dad bod,' a young woman says of a potential match, swiping left. Her friends smirk, not looking up.

Sales stopped to talk with one user, a "budding investment banker," to get his perspective: 

With these dating apps, he says, 'you’re always sort of prowling. You could talk to two or three girls at a bar and pick the best one, or you can swipe a couple hundred people a day—the sample size is so much larger. It’s setting up two or three Tinder dates a week and, chances are, sleeping with all of them, so you could rack up 100 girls you’ve slept with in a year.'
#DatingApps4Love

But perhaps the initial reputation of the apps is exactly what opened up millions of millennials to the idea of finding love online. Before the world of Tinder and Bumble, online dating meant sites like eHarmony and Match.com, both of which appear antiquated and desperate to younger generations.

Dating apps may have started in the weeds of hookup culture, but they have grown well beyond it, especially as the user base crawls through their twenties. College-aged Tinder users in 2012 are now in their mid-to-late-twenties: exactly the age when most people start thinking about settling down. 

As one dating coach puts it on her blog: 

These days, sites like Tinder, Hinge, Happn, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel are very popular with commitment-minded singles. Believe it or not, many of my marriage-minded clients have tried dating apps and have had very good experiences. In fact, some prefer dating apps over traditional online dating sites!
#DatingApps4HookUps

As the number of dating apps increased, each developed its own individual reputation. Some, like Tinder, are still seen in the "hookup" light, while other apps, like Bumble, have transcended that connotation. 

Even so, as one self-proclaimed serial dater puts it: 

'...I think nowadays, any app could be used as a hookup app.'

Dating apps are inseparable from hookup culture. The idea that relationships are possible through these apps is a positive one (in theory, that's exactly what the apps were created for), but their nature falls more in-line with quick and easy hookups than it does with meaningful, long-term relationships. Dating takes time and effort, while swiping until you find a match requires neither. Therefore, hookups will always win out over relationships when it comes to dating apps. 

#DatingApps4Love

When Bumble broke onto the scene, the game changed. The app famously put women in charge of making the first move, which seems to have a huge impact on why users choose this app in particular. According to DatingNews.com:

Recently, Bumble conducted an internal survey to check in with its users and see where their heads are at. The results have validated its underlying theory that putting women in control of the dating experience leads to more meaningful interactions.
Around 85% of users said they’re on the app because they’re 'looking for marriage or a boyfriend/girlfriend.' That’s a huge chunk of the membership. Granted, the survey is reliant on them honestly reporting their goals, but Bumble is nonetheless thrilled to serve a predominantly relationship-minded audience.
FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Are dating apps for hookups or for love?
A festive crown for the winner
#DatingApps4HookUps
#DatingApps4Love