When you create a profile on a dating app, you really lay it all out there, or as much as you feel comfortable with. Compared to traditional, or old-fashioned dating, there is a lot more upfront information that we deem necessary to share. We want to know if someone drinks alcohol, and if so, how often and what kind. We want to know if someone wants children one day, has them now, or wants to get married in the future. We also want to find out whether potential matches have similar interests.
And while none of these are necessarily topics that are new to dating, they’re certainly presented in a different way on a dating apps and websites. They’re a part of who you are when introducing yourself to countless strangers, and they make up the qualities that’ll get you either a right or left swipe.
Why does this matter? Well, according to The Wall Street Journal, dating apps may be making stronger marriages, largely due to the experience of sharing so much about yourself from the get go. The Wall Street Journal interviewed Lola Vanderstrand, who met her husband on match.com. She told the paper that she really had to be honest about who she was while using Match, which helped her find the right partner for her.
“I was not at all shy about asking, almost always before we met in person, questions like, ‘What sort of commitment are you looking for?’ and ‘What happened in your past relationships?’,” she said. “Questions that might be a little intense for a first or even second date.” This honesty, and the comfort around having these kinds of conversations from the start, can help a couple get to know one another in a more authentic way.
The Wall Street Journal isn’t the first publication to note the effect of dating apps and websites on marriages. At the University of Chicago, a study was done that discovered about a third of people who married between 2005 and 2012 met their partner online. When the study was published in 2013, it was shown that the rate of divorce among couples who met online was 25% less than couples who had met under different circumstances.
It makes sense when you think about it. There’s an entire generation of people who feel entirely comfortable communicating via text message. Getting to know someone before deciding whether they want to date provides a sense of comfort. Using dating apps and websites, or even meeting someone through a social media platform, can help a couple feel closer to one another than if they had met in person first.
The Wall Street Journal piece also interviewed Amy Schoen, a dating coach, who noted that people are often quick to introduce their goals to a potential partner faster on a dating site than they would otherwise. She told WSJ that “knowing yourself is the first step in knowing what you need from a good partner, and how to be one yourself”.
Like all things dating related, there will always be some people who feel more comfortable getting to know someone in person. Granted, all online relationships will likely go off-line eventually. But it is interesting to see data showing how sustainable relationships that start online are. People are being a bit more careful, honest, and goal-oriented when dating online. And in the end, it may just provide the bedrock for a long-term, healthy relationship.