Impact of Dating Apps on Relationships
For some, dating apps have become a fast and hasty way of forming relationships. For those who seek commitment and a lasting relationship, they may be frustrated with the process.
Despite the downsides, some people find success with the apps. Some even met their spouses through them! However, there are many factors that affect the way we use these apps.
1. Increased Loneliness
Research has shown that using dating apps can lead to higher levels of loneliness. This may be because people tend to present a positive version of themselves on their profiles, which can cause feelings of low self-esteem if they are not met with the expected response. It can also be a problem because it is often hard to maintain offline relationships when you are spending so much time online.
Additionally, many people become addicted to these types of apps, spending hours swiping through profiles and messaging potential partners without ever going on dates in person. This can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as isolation from those around you.
Several studies have indicated that the use of dating apps can lead to sexually promiscuous behaviour. For example, Choi et al. found that app users who had been using the apps for more than a year reported having more lifetime sexual partners and sexual experimentation, and were more likely to have unprotected sex with their partners. Similarly, Knox et al. found that people who used the apps regularly were more likely to have STIs than their non-app users.
Harm reduction practices could help reduce these risks by promoting safe sex discussion and condom use among dating app users. In addition, longitudinal studies are needed to better understand the relationship between hook-up app culture and long-term relationships.
2. Decreased Social Interactions
The use of dating apps can lead to a decrease in face-to-face interactions. It can also lead to negative dating behaviors such as ghosting, breadcrumbing, catfishing, and cheating. These types of behaviors can cause confusion, hurt, and distrust in relationships.
Many people use dating apps for various reasons, including finding love, casual sex, and friendships. Some research suggests that certain personality traits influence the way people use dating apps. Lyons et al. found that individuals high in Machiavellianism and psychopathy were more likely to use Tinder for sex-seeking than those low in these traits.
Other research has found that some dating app users develop serious relationships with their match through the app. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that these couples are happy in their relationship. In fact, one study found that married couples who met through dating apps are more likely to get a divorce than those who met in person.
The number of sexual partners that dating app users have also increased in recent years. This trend may be because of the ease with which users can connect to potential partners. Despite the increase in sexual activity, some researchers have also noticed that people using dating apps are not always discussing STI risks or using condoms. This can cause serious health problems in the future. However, it’s important to note that the majority of sexual partners in a dating app setting are casual and not serious.
3. Decreased Self-Esteem
Dating apps are a breeding ground for negative dating behaviors like ghosting, catfishing, breadcrumbing, and cheating. These behaviors can cause feelings of betrayal, confusion, and hurt. They can also lower self-esteem and confidence.
In addition, swiping can be an addictive behavior. It’s easy to become obsessed with checking the app for new matches, and this can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and anxiety. It can also make you feel bad about yourself, especially when you get rejected by someone you’ve shown interest in. Studies have shown that social rejection activates the same pain pathways as physical pain, so it can leave you feeling down and out.
Several studies have linked dating app use to sexually promiscuous behavior. One study found that people who used dating apps for two years were more likely to have casual sex partners than those who didn’t. The researchers accounted for several factors, including age, STI contraction risk, and the length of time that dating apps were used, but the relationship between app usage and sexually promiscuous behavior was still significant.
Another study found that people who regularly used dating apps were more likely to be unfaithful to their partners than those who didn’t use dating apps. They were also more likely to have a higher number of casual sex partners. The authors of the study attributed this to the increased availability of potential sex partners through the apps.
4. Decreased Confidence
Dating apps can be more fun and convenient than going out or searching for someone in real life, but they also have their drawbacks. It can be easy to get addicted to swiping and messaging, leading to an unhealthy lifestyle and even mental health problems.
Users can experience feelings of low self-esteem and social isolation, which can lead to a lack of confidence in their relationships. The apps can also make people feel like they’re not good enough, especially if they use them to meet up with people who are more attractive or who have more successful careers. This can make them more likely to avoid dating outside of the app and settle for less-than-ideal relationships.
Various studies have investigated the effects of dating apps on different aspects of mental, relational, and sexual health. Some have analyzed personality traits of users, such as open-mindedness (Castro et al., 2021). Others have evaluated socio-demographic characteristics of app users, such as age, place of residence, and income level.
Some of the most interesting findings have related to the motives and ways in which people use dating apps. For instance, some studies have found that dating app use varies according to sexual orientation and relational status. For example, gay men tend to use apps more frequently and more intensely than heterosexual women.