Everyone knows someone – even if it’s your cousin’s coworker’s daughter – who met their spouse on Tinder.
Usually these stories are touted as evidence of the fact that Tinder is not, as is commonly believed, solely geared toward hookups and one-night stands.
Unfortunately, happy as your cousin’s coworker’s daughter may be, her experience seems more like a fluke than the norm. Because we all know multiple people who each met multiple matches on Tinder and never heard from any of them after the first date.
But a recent statistic gives relationship-oriented folks reason to be hopeful and to see those Tinder marriages as less a glitch in the app’s normal programming and more a real possibility. According to a Tinder survey, 80% of its users are seeking a meaningful relationship.
Of course, it’s possible that these users were simply responding how they thought they were supposed to respond. But assuming that most of them were answering honestly, that’s some pretty surprising news.
The real question is: Is it a waste of time for long-term-relationship-minded users to spend their evenings swiping left and right? Even if most people on Tinder want a relationship, is there any chance of actually finding one?
Take a look at recent research and the answers that emerge are: no and probably.
As Stanford researcher Michael Rosenfeld told The Washington Post, one possible reason why is that online-dating services allow you to select beforehand the characteristics you know you prefer in a mate. On Tinder, that might mean swiping left on the profiles that say “football fan” and right on those that say “science nerd” or vice versa.
At the same time, Rosenfeld did say that people looking for longer-term relationships tend to use the dating websites where profiles are longer and more text-heavy. So presumably not Tinder.
What’s more, one study found that marriages that started online tend to be more satisfying than marriages that started offline. Again, that’s possibly because you can sift through potential matches based on important criteria before you actually fall for someone.
Ultimately, there’s no guarantee that you won’t meet 10 people interested in hookups only on Tinder. There’s definitely no guarantee that you’ll wind up exchanging rings with someone you met on Tinder.
But perhaps the greatest takeaway from these findings is that online-dating apps aren’t so different from meeting in person. There will always be people looking for flings, marriage, or something in between. It’s just a matter of learning to quickly suss out who’s looking for what so that no one’s heart gets broken.