With the Covid crisis being donated to New Year’s Eve celebrations and many other opportunities to seek personal romance, dating apps have flourished.
But while such technology has long been associated with connections, a study suggests that those who connect to law enforcement have just as satisfying a relationship as those who have met through traditional encounters – and it may even be better to sit down.
“We actually find that couples who have met through dating apps have in some ways even stronger long-term family formation or relationship intentions than other couples who have met offline or through other digital encounters,” said Dr Gina Potarca, author of the research. , said. of the University of Geneva.
In the journal PLOS One, Potarca examined the results of the national representative 2018 family and generation survey conducted by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office and investigated the ages of 15 to 79 on a multitude of issues, including where couples meet, and their intentions within that relationship.
Potarca focused on a sample of 3,245 partners older than 18 and whose relationship was no more than ten years old, and found that although the majority of individuals reported meeting their partner online, 104 had their partner meet through dating apps, 264 met them via dating sites and 125 found their partner through other online services.
The proportion of people meeting their partner through dating apps has increased dramatically over time.
But the analysis of answers to questions around relationship intentions showed that there was little difference in terms of marital intentions and the desire or intention to have children between those who met via apps and those who met offline. What’s more, there was little difference in relationship and life satisfaction.
Indeed, those who met their partner through an app were more likely to plan to move in with them if they were not already living together, even if factors such as age were not taken into account. In addition, women who met their partner via an app were more likely to have a child within the next three years than those who met their partner offline.
The study also found that dating apps are linked to couples forming over greater geographical distances, and highly educated women working with less educated men – the latter, Potarca says, may be because app matches are more based on appearance and less influential. can be by social stigma.
Potarca said the study pushed back against fears that dating apps threaten long-term relationships. “This moral panic usually does not reflect the real trends that are happening,” she said.
However, the study is based only on respondents in Switzerland, and some of the questions were only aimed at people in heterosexual relationships. In addition, the number of people who met their partner in a dating app was relatively small, while it is difficult to disrupt cause and effect as the study is based solely on observations.
Dr. Kathryn Coduto, an assistant professor of communications and media studies at South Dakota State University and an expert in dating apps who was not involved in the work, added that there may be prejudices in who answers the survey and how . But she said the results are accompanied by smaller studies suggesting that dating apps are not leading to a ‘dating apocalypse’.
Coduto added that while some may be surprised at the findings about dating app users who want to live together earlier and may be more important to consider children, many people download apps that are looking for long-term relationships.
“In fact, if it’s your motivation to download the app and you meet someone with the same goals, you’ll probably be ready to move in sooner,” she said.
Coduto said it would be interesting to look further into non-heterosexual relationships and how many partners individuals had via dating apps before meeting their current partner.
“It’s easy to read this study and think that all of these people got online, connected with their partner, and that they were ready and willing to have children or at least go live together,” she said. “I think it was a lot more of a blow than that, so it would be informative to know what that process looks like.”