Sick of swiping left or right? Youre not alone. As dating through apps and online platforms like Match continues to become the norm, people across the globe have embraced searching for potential matches from the comfort of their couches. But others are tired of relying on selecting potential mates from overedited profile pictures. Daters are complaining that people show up for in-person dates not looking like their photos, are flaky due to the number of prospects an app like Bumble can provide, and may only be interested in casual flings versus long-term relationships.
So, if youre ready to swear off virtual dating, take note. Even though it may not feel like it, especially in a pandemic-era world, experts say it is entirely possible to still meet people face-to-face. And though it may seem like everyone you know is meeting their partners online, thats not necessarily the case.
“Statistically speaking, the number of successful people meeting someone special on dating apps is very similar to those meeting someone on their own,” says Amber Kelleher-Andrews, a relationship expert and the CEO of Kelleher International. “In fact, it is surprisingly close, with 54 percent saying they met a significant other on a dating app.”
Kelleher-Andrews explains that while dating apps like Tinder have doubled their revenues since 2015, she and her matchmaking team have been seeing a push for the return of in-person dating as of late. “It feels like we have finally hit a tipping point, and users themselves are getting tired of these hookup sites,” she says. “Not to mention they take tremendous effort to keep up with.” And after a year of lockdowns and social distancing, people are jumping at the chance to get out and attend parties and barbecues and grab dinners out on the town, making it the perfect time to turn back your attention to mingling with singles in real life.
If you have “failed” on a dating app, dont take this as a sign that you have failed in finding love, as, statistically, not finding love on an app can be a common outcome. “It is so common to be frustrated in not finding love online that I personally feel those that have met their significant love on a dating app got lucky,” Kelleher-Andrews says. Tammy Shaklee, founder of the gay and lesbian matchmaking service H4M, says to look at online dating this way: “The apps may work for half the population of singles, and you are simply in the other half.” And celebrity matchmaker Bonnie Winston reminds us that many people on apps arent always truthful about their status and may be married, in a relationship, or simply looking for swipes in order to boost their ego. “In my experience, after speaking with hundreds of people who tried dating apps, for every 20 swipes, one might be a match; therefore, it seems like 19 people are rejecting you,” she says. “Youre not a failure; its the algorithm that is simply not in your favor.”
“Dating apps are an option, not a requirement,” explains Shaklee. “They can supplement your search, or they can steer you towards volumes of singles with which you have absolutely nothing in common.” When leaving the apps, she suggests making a list of things that were missing in your search. Ask yourself what qualities and values you are truly seeking in a compatible single that would make for a sustainable long-term relationship. You can take this list to a certified matchmaker and tell them the particulars of what you are looking for in a compatible partner. “Outsource your search, and let a professional comb through your options and introduce you to someone seeking what you are seeking,” Shaklee suggests.