- There have been many concerns about the relationships stemming from dating apps
- New research, however, shows that relationships started on dating apps are not necessarily bad
- These couples tend to have stronger intentions of cohabitation
Dating apps which are readily available for download on smart devices have completely transformed the world of dating, raising many concerns about how these apps may "gamify" the act of looking for love and lower levels of commitment or the value of intimacy.
However, a new study conducted by Dr Gina Potarca from the University of University of Geneva in Switzerland suggests otherwise. Results show that couples formed on such apps have stronger intentions of cohabiting (living together) than those formed offline.
While conducting research for the present study, Potarca found that dating websites (which preceded apps) were mostly used by older people or divorcees looking for new relationships.
“By eliminating lengthy questionnaires, self-descriptions, and personality tests that users of dating websites typically need to fill in to create a profile, dating apps are much easier to use. This normalised the act of dating online, and opened up use among younger categories of the population,” Potarca explains.
“It provides an unprecedented abundance of meeting opportunities, and involves minimal effort and no third-party intervention.”
Swiping right for intimate ties
The study used data from a 2018 survey from Switzerland in order to conduct an analysis of 3 235 participants (over 18 years of age) who met their partner during the last decade.
Overall, the study addressed three main themes: family formation intentions; relationship satisfaction and individual well-being; and assortative mating.
Living together as the ultimate goal
When addressing family formation, it was found that couples who met on apps were more motivated to cohabitate than those who met in other ways, and the women from those couples spoke more about wanting to have a child in the near future.
When looking at relationship satisfaction, there were no differences between couples who met on dating apps and those who met elsewhere.
Diversity within couples
The final aspect observed was that dating apps allow for educationally diverse and geographically distant couples to form: “Knowing that dating apps have likely become even more popular during this year's  periods of lockdown and social distancing, it is reassuring to dismiss alarming concerns about the long-term effects of using these tools,” said Potarca.