Let's Debunk Four Major Myths About Millennial Dating
A Tinder survey reveals some hard truths
Illustrated by Jihyang Lim.
How many times have you uttered or heard the phrase, “Apps aren’t for me, I’d rather meet someone in real life”? Seriously, jog your memory and take a tally. It’s probably a lot. I mean, I’ve personally said it at least five times in conversation. Many people hold tight to the meet-cute idea romantic comedies have popularized but, sorry to burst your fairy tale bubble, as it turns out, millennials might be onto something with their habitual right-swiping habits.
Tinder and the Morar Consulting company teamed up to conduct a recent survey (the largest millennial-focused one of its kind), polling nearly 10,000 adults, ages 18 and up. The groups were asked numerous questions about their love, dating, and social lives. And the results helped debunk some common myths about who fares better on the wild quest toward finding the one.
Ahead, we highlight the most interesting findings.
Myth #1: Apps are for serial non-committers
Apps aren’t just for convenient, quick hookups (though they are for that, too… we’ll get to that later). Apparently, those who date online are more likely to have committed relationships than those who don’t.
The survey finds that 51 percent of those who have never online dated before have only had one committed relationship in their adult life, compared to 26 percent of frequent online daters. Once coupled up, both men and women with apps on deck also find it easier to maintain a committed, monogamous relationship than those without. Fast-forward a couple of months into the relationship and findings show that Tinder users are 5 percent more likely to tell their partner they love them within the first year of dating.
Myth #2: Matches don’t turn into IRL dates
Of course, offline daters are skeptical of apps resulting in IRL dates—they're just not used to dating at all. That's because 40 percent of non-online daters have never initiated asking someone out, making finding romance a very elusive pursuit. The real action seems to be happening online now, where 79 percent of online users have initiated dates. And that action happens fast: Ninety-five percent of Tinder users who do end up meeting up, do so within two to seven days of matching.
And since they're likely going on fewer dates, those not participating in apps are also more likely to be, how do we put this, socially awkward. Non-Tinder users are three times more likely to initiate a conversation about the weather.
Myth #3: You have to look stereotypically hot to get a right swipe
This one is an easy trap to fall into. Tinder doesn’t leave a lot of room to sell yourself as the interesting, smart, intriguing individual you undoubtedly are. Things get lost in translation often, particularly in bios. So, the assumption is that people are selecting you based on your looks, and your looks only. But that might not be the case. For Tinder users, age and education are actually the most important factors, with looks coming in third place.
Another interesting takeaway: If your political views don't line up, don’t expect a spark—be it offline or on. Seventy-one percent of online daters and 66 percent of offline ones wouldn’t date someone whose values differs from their own.
Myth #4: Online dating is home to a ton of dick pics
Well, this might be true. But, turns out, it goes both ways. Regardless of gender or dating preference, unsolicited nudes are sent across the board. But, at least, protection is being used! Sixty-seven percent of Tinder users always use condoms when having sexual relations for the first time, compared to 58 percent of non-users. The younger half of the demographic (18 to 25) is the most wary of staying safe because the children are our future.
On the flip side, Tinder users are more likely to jump into bed with a match sooner, but they value faithfulness more than their offline counterparts.
Moral of the survey: If you’re truly interested in pursuing a long-term relationship, it doesn’t hurt to download a dating app or two. In fact, it might actually help. For the most part, the more you engage in conversation and entertain the idea of meeting new people, the more you’ll actually meet new people. Imagine that!
The findings do help remove the stigma regarding online dating and the idea that it’s only for the really, really desperate, but we want to stress that the choice is ultimately yours when it comes to how you approach finding love. Swipe right, swipe left, or don’t swipe at all. Dating is hard, online and off, and we wish all embarking on—or in the throes of—the journey well.