4 Major Myths of Online Dating and Millennials, Debunked
When you swallow bubblegum, it sits in your stomach for seven years. Drinking a cup of coffee can accelerate the process of sobering up if you’ve had one too many cocktails. Lightning can’t strike the same place twice. What do these statements have in common? They’re all well-known myths, or tidbits of so-called “wisdom” that we naturally come to believe as fact. Myths run rampant in the dating world too, especially where online dating is concerned.
If you’re active on dating apps, you’ve probably internalized some of these myths without even realizing it! This February, Tinder set out to determine if there’s any truth behind them. Based on findings from over 7,000 Tinder users and an additional 2,500 millennials speaking more generally about their dating lives, the survey tackled four major online dating myths. Keep reading to learn more about what Tinder discovered about this folklore of the digital age. (Spoiler alert: All four myths were debunked.)
myth 1: dating apps have ruined dating
Reality: People who’ve tried online dating in the past report being in more serious relationships than those who haven’t dated online. Only 26 percent of online daters said they had zero to one committed relationship in the past, which means that nearly three-quarters of the millennial respondents had multiple experiences with faithfulness and fidelity in love. Overall, people are finding more success with love online than off: 77 percent of people with online dating experience reported having been in love, compared to 67 percent of offline dates who reported the same.
Tinder users are five percent more likely to tell their partner they love them within the first year of dating (compared to those who date offline). Tinder sociologist Dr. Jess Carbino found these results particularly interesting. “Those who have online dated in the past are slightly more open to expressing their feelings,” she says. “Where we saw the biggest difference was among those who have never said I love you. Nearly 20 percent of offline daters have never said ‘I love you’ versus just 11 percent of those who have online dated in the past.”
Contrary to popular belief, dating apps aren’t a magnet for the commitment-phobic. Just nine percent of men on Tinder reported struggling in committed relationships (compared to 30 percent of men not dating online who said the same).
Myth 2: having a rewarding conversation on a dating app is impossible
Reality: App daters are less likely to open a conversation with a generic pick-up line or icebreaker. (Umm, Kimmy Schmidt quotes, anyone?) According to the survey, offline daters are three times more likely than Tinder users to initiate conversations with observations about the weather. Boring!
If the conversation’s good, online chats can turn into IRL meet-ups. About one-quarter of online daters wait between just two and seven days to meet a match in-person. Just 15 percent of offline daters reported the same.
Myth 3: Only the really good-looking find success on dating apps
Reality: “We found that beauty and brains matter, with education and age being the most important factors for all singles,” Dr. Carbino says. When considering a potential love interest, education was important to 96 percent of online daters, while appearance ranked third on the list of important factors for Tinder users.
The survey shows that politics matter in online dating, as in life: 71 percent of online daters (compared to 66 percent of offline daters) said that differing political views are a deal breaker. In fact, nearly one-quarter of the Tinder users surveyed said that political disagreements would be the number one reason to call it quits with an online match.
Online daters are more likely to keep an open mind about professional matters, while exclusively offline daters only want to date people with career aspirations similar to their own.
Myth 4: Dating apps promote unsafe sex and promiscuity
Reality: 70 percent of online daters reported safe sex practices, compared to 63 percent of people who do not use dating apps and sites.
Forget what you’ve heard. Dating apps haven’t killed commitment. Loyalty is the name of the game for respondents looking for love in the digital age: 93 percent of online daters reported that fidelity is somewhat or very important within a relationship (versus 90 percent of offline daters). Based on the survey, men who date offline are least likely to prioritize fidelity (compared to women, as well as men who do use Tinder).
What can we learn from the debunking of these myths? “These survey results predict that online daters may become more committed to their relationships,” Dr. Carbino says. “Their heightened sense of investment is apparent. This study also illustrates that, contrary to popular belief, online daters are relatively similar to offline daters in terms of their values.”
Have you found these online dating myths to be true or false? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)