Are Matchmakers Now Preferred Over Dating Apps?

18 Oct

It's a well-known fact that millions of people are now signed up to free dating apps. They were once signposted as the easiest way to ‘find love’ and it was thought that meeting ‘the one’ would become easier thanks to these dating apps.

Dating apps

Are Matchmakers Now Preferred Over Dating Apps?

It’s a well-known fact that millions of people are now signed up to free dating apps. They were once signposted as the easiest way to ‘find love’ and it was thought that meeting ‘the one’ would become easier thanks to these dating apps.

However, while some dating apps have seen their fair share of success stories, others haven’t, and it’s led to some people looking for other forms of matchmaking.

Marlene Alexander describes how she tried online dating for a year and ‘hated it’, and she eventually opted for a matchmaking service. Marlene stated that her personal matchmaking experience was ‘kind of old-fashioned’ but that’s exactly what she liked about it. The dating world, in the eyes of Marlene and many others, has become too digital, and while it is possible to find a partner through these means, it doesn’t work for everyone.

Dating Apps are Becoming Increasingly Impersonal

There are many ‘successful’ dating apps on the market, with Tinder, Bumble and Grindr being the most popular. However, does the thrill of getting a ‘match’ have the same effect as it used to?

It seems that dating apps are swiftly becoming a quick fix for the ego, as opposed to offering a genuine dating service. Sure, it still feels great getting a match, but it’s not really matchmaking if your potential partner is just sitting there, glaring at their phone, waiting for a message that will never be sent.

Tinder, according to The Outline, is “not actually for meeting anyone”, which was echoed by The Atlantic, who similarly claimed that “the easiest way to meet people (dating apps) turns out to be really labour-intensive and [an] uncertain way of getting relationships”.

While the concept is well-founded and the possibilities of meeting someone online may seem exciting at first, it actually takes a lot of effort, and often for very little return. “That’s how it is for [dating] apps”, claims Bustle’s Michelle Toglia, “it’s created this impersonal element that’s supposed to be personal at the same time”.

It’s all well and good having people say that dating apps haven’t worked out for them, but what do they statistics say?

Behind the Statistics of Dating Apps

A recent survey of 1,000 singles (both genders), 95% stated they’d rather meet new people in real life as opposed to an online dating app. The Express also claimed that a third of online daters never meet in person and as much as 81% of people lie about their height, age and figure on online dating apps in the UK.

Men’s Health Study Reveals Dating Apps May Cause Depression

GQ recently published an article claiming that some of the best dating apps lead to depression, specifically how Tinder users feel more shame about their bodies. The study found that users who receive no positive matches (or responses) felt more insecure about their appearance, and in extreme cases, these feelings lead to depression.

The study compared 100 Tinder users with over 1,000 non-users to identify the app’s effect on their psychosocial health. The study asked men how they felt about certain physical aspects of their body, such as the size of their arms, leanness of their stomach and their general opinion of their physical appearance.

The study discovered that Tinder users felt greatly insecure over their physical appearance and regularly compared themselves to others, when compared with non-users.

Of course, this isn’t to say that the best dating apps are actively causing depression, what it does serve to highlight however, is that dating apps do largely revolve around aesthetics. If you don’t “look good” in your profile pictures, you’re getting swiped left (rejected). That’s a pretty tough pill to swallow for many people, especially those who are already insecure about their physical appearance.

How are Dating Apps Catering for the Gay, Lesbian and the Wider LGBT Community?

There are a number of gay and lesbian dating apps, Grindr being one of the most popular. But for people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or anything under the asexual umbrella, dating apps still seem to fall short of the mark, especially when it comes to offering insights into more personal and sexual aspects of their lives.

Asexuality, generally speaking, remains poorly understood by the public. Dating apps for gay, lesbian and other members of the LGBT community suffer the same fatal flaws as ‘heterosexual’ apps – they’re not built to offer enough personal insight. And that’s not necessarily their fault, as KJ Cerankowski, an Oberlin assistant professor of gender, sexuality, and feminist studies, states:

“Historically, we just haven’t accepted asexuality as a legitimate sexual orientation, and I think we’ve been only catching up to that in recent years. If you see the categories that are coming up on dating apps, that’s part of that legacy of just not taking asexuality seriously”.

However, dating apps for lesbian, gay and the LGBT community are improving, and they are becoming more accessible. Companies such as OkCupid are changing the way their dating websites are structured in order to reach the wider LGBT community. Direct of product Nick Saretzky stated that:

“It [was] very complex to change a dating app that had been around for 10 years, and [we] were aware it would be a pretty significant investment in terms of time and money. But it was the right thing to do to create an experience that worked for everyone”.

While it’s a fairly new concept in comparison to other free dating apps such as Tinder, it’s still ahead of the curb when it comes to including all sexual identities. So, while we wait for free dating apps to catch up with the ever-evolving social community, what else does the internet hold for online dating?

Let’s Talk About Matchmaking

The main difference with matchmaking and dating apps is the amount of work you have to put in.

That may sound odd, considering dating apps were built to meet people effortlessly, but many people can testify that the entire experience involves patience, frustration, resilience and a painful amount of effort.

Matchmaking, on the other hand, eliminates those pressures by assigning you a matchmaker dedicated to finding a suitable partner for you. Not only that, but matchmakers (providing you use a good one) know what they’re doing. They have your best interests at heart and once you’ve worked out together who your ideal partner is, all you have to do is show up on the dates your matchmaker sets and be your charming self.

Your Matches Will Be Serious About Dating

Unlike free dating apps, where anyone can download them and use them how they please, matchmakers will find you people that are genuinely compatible with you. People who use matchmakers are serious about finding potential partners, it’s more than just a few swipes for a quick ego boost. It’s a service that pairs you with like-minded people looking for a serious relationship.

Matchmakers Offer Targeted a Dating Service

Free dating apps only offer a tiny bio to describe yourself to potential partners. It’s nowhere near enough to help you properly introduce yourself, let alone describe who you are or what you’re looking for. Matchmaking, on the other hand, is far more specific. During your interview with your matchmaker, you’ll be able to specify what exactly you’re looking for and you can be as detailed as possible. This could include:

  • Gay dating
  • Lesbian dating
  • Bisexual dating
  • Transsexual dating
  • Religion/race
  • Location preference
  • And many more

This will all be covered in a very informal and relaxed interview, so there’s no need to cram your personal life into a tiny bio on a dating app.

The Verdict? Matchmakers Provide the most Personalised Relationship Guidance and Society Still Doesn’t Know How to Use Dating Apps

Dating apps have been around for a number of years now, but they’re still very much in their adolescence.

The main issue with online dating apps is that it’s tough to measure success, because success is measured in different ways. Sure, you can match with people, go on dates, maybe even find love, we know how to measure success in that sense. The issue is that there’s still a blurred line between what’s considerate, what’s cruel and how we’re expected to act on these apps.

And we can’t necessarily blame the apps for that, it’s down to us, society, suffering from the same problem that comes with every technological innovation: cultural lag. We still don’t really know how to use dating apps because they haven’t been around long enough.

At least with matchmaking, the primary aim (for the vast majority), is to match people who are searching for the same thing – long-term partnerships. Matchmaking remains the only pairing system that allows a full personal profile, accurate matchmaking and puts you solely in control of the people you meet.

For more information on the matchmaking service Vida provides, you can head over to our blog. Or, if you’re considering membership or would like to know more about the bespoke service we provide, you can call or email us now via our Contact Page.

by Rachel Vida MacLynn

Founder & CEO

Rachel Vida MacLynn is reputed as being a world-leading matchmaking and dating expert. Registered as a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Rachel advocates a professional matchmaking approach based on psychological principles and professional consultation. Rachel also sits on the Board of Advisors for the Matchmaking Institute.More by this author

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