The pros and cons of dating apps

Dating apps are the modern Aussie’s go-to platform for seeking out new romantic connections. Having a digital matchmaking tool right in the palm of your hand is both exciting and scary – but the idea of an easier way to meet potential partners is hard to resist. Still, there are drawbacks as well as advantages, so let’s explore the intriguing world of online dating, and how it’s impacting love and relationships for everyday Australians.

Navigating the world of online dating: Exploring your options

Dating apps connect people looking for some type of romantic relationship, and they work by using matching algorithms that analyse user profiles and preferences to suggest potential matches. So, if you’re planning on finding the love of your life – whether that means a long-term relationship, marriage, kids or anything in between – then it’s a good idea to know how online dating actually works.

Users create profiles that show off their photos, personal information and sometimes answers to compatibility questions. These profiles are ultimately the basis for the app’s matchmaking process. The app’s algorithms then analyse user data and provide tailored suggestions for who might work well together. These algorithms consider factors like your age, location, general interests and relationship preferences.

According to our Choosi Swipe Right Report, online dating is the most common method used (62%) and is also the top preference (39%) when it comes to meeting people amongst active daters these days.

For extra insights into how to get the best experience out of online dating, we spoke with Love & Life coach Angela Barrett.

The advantages of dating apps

There’s a reason why online dating apps are so popular – and why there are so many of them! Here are some of the biggest benefits of looking for love online:

  • Expand your dating pool: In our Choosi Swipe Right Report, over 2 in 3 current active daters said they are using any online dating apps or websites. There really is a massive pool of potential partners on dating apps. You can connect with people you might never have met in your everyday life, which could increase your chances of finding a compatible match. As Barrett emphasises, “Given that there are more people on [dating apps], there are actually more good people on them!”
  • Convenience and efficiency: In our increasingly busy lives, dating apps are a way to meet new people without the need for traditional chance encounters. You can browse thousands of profiles, chat with each other and arrange dates from the comfort of your home or while on the go.
  • Tailoring matches to your preferences: Many dating apps let you be super-specific with your preferences and filters. This will help curate your options and ensure the matches you receive align with your interests and personal values. Having this customisation readily available can save you heaps of time and help you connect with people who are on the same page as you.
  • Access to diverse communities: Some dating apps give you access to niche communities and interest groups. Whether you’re looking for someone with a specific religious or cultural background, or a particular lifestyle, there’s probably an app around that caters to those needs.
  • Less stigma around dating: “By now, we all know at least one person who has met their partner on a dating app or site,” Barrett explains, highlighting how this has changed the dating landscape for the better, creating more options for people actively looking for a partner.

The downside of dating apps

While dating apps are all about giving you the convenience of finding potential partners, they also have their downsides. Make sure you do your research before diving head-first into the online dating pool:

  • Superficiality and image-centric culture: Apps often prioritise visual first impressions above all else, making it “harder for a person’s wonderful attributes to shine through”, Barrett describes. This has devolved into a culture that can be excessively focused on appearances, which can mean potential partners who aren’t interested in making meaningful connections based on shared interests.
  • Misrepresentation, dishonesty and catfishing: Not everyone on dating apps is genuine about their intentions – or their identity. Some dodgy daters might even try catfishing you, where they use fake profiles or significantly misrepresent themselves. This can lead to disappointment and even potential safety risks when dating online.
  • Overwhelming choices and decision fatigue: According to our Choosi Swipe Right Report, 7 in 10 people have experienced ‘burn out’ from failed dates and disappointments. The abundance of choices on dating apps is referred to as ‘choice overload’, which Barrett details, “can make us devalue the humans putting themselves out there.” Constantly swiping through profiles and making decisions about potential matches can also lead to decision fatigue and make it difficult to commit to one person.
  • Lack of authenticity makes it difficult to establish genuine connections: Some users on dating apps might not be looking for authentic relationships. And that’s totally fine – as long as they are honest about it! Unfortunately, some people say one thing and do another, which can make it really hard to find someone who shares your relationship goals.
  • Time-consuming: It can be tempting to spend hours swiping and messaging, which can detract from other aspects of your life.

Prioritising online safety: Tips for protecting yourself

To make the most of dating apps and protect your personal safety, follow these five top tips:

  1. Protect your personal information: Avoid sharing sensitive personal details like your home address or financial information with anyone you meet online.
  2. Verify profiles: Look for signs of genuine profiles, such as multiple photos, detailed information and consistency when chatting. You might even like to do a reverse-image search on their photos to make sure they aren’t catfishing you.
  3. Meet in public: When meeting someone for the first time, choose a public spot and let a friend or family member know about your plans.
  4. Trust your instincts: If something doesn't feel right, trust your instincts! It’s important that you focus on your own safety above all else.
  5. Report suspicious activity: Most dating apps have reporting features for suspicious or inappropriate behaviour. Use them when you need to!

The perfect match

Dating apps have reshaped the landscape of modern romance, but they’ve also introduced challenges around authenticity, superficiality and online safety. To make the most of them, make sure you stay open to the possibilities of finding true love. If you do end up finding the one, who knows? It could lead to marriage, kids and a long life spent with your perfect match.

If dating apps lead to a major life change – like moving in with your new partner, marriage or having kids – then make sure you consider updating your life insurance policy. You can start today by comparing quotes with Choosi online or calling 1300 363 526 for more information.