Swiss researchers have demonstrated that the couples who met on dating apps are set up on living together and giving birth. Moreover, such apps encourage building a long-distance relationship and uniting people with different educational backgrounds.
In the last few years, dating apps have been growing in popularity all over the world. But as their popularity grows, so does the criticism of them. It is quite widely believed that dating apps encourage only casual dating, they interfere with building long-term relationships, and worsen intimacy between people. Scientists from the University of Geneva decided to find out whether this is true.
One of the researchers, employed at the Institute of Demography and Socioeconomics of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Geneva, Gina Potarka, claims that the Internet is fundamentally changing the dynamics of how people meet. It provides an unprecedented abundance of opportunities for meetings.
At the same time, she adds, minimal effort is required, and there is no third-party intervention. The majority of mass media claim that dating apps cause a negative impact on the relationships’ quality since they make people unable to be fully stretched in exclusive or long-term relationships. However, she underlines, there has been no evidence that this is the case until now.
The researchers used a family survey, conducted by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office in 2018. They studied a sample of 3,235 people over the age of 18 who had been in a relationship or dated someone over the past decade. So they explored the couples’ desire to create families, their satisfaction with relationships, and individual well-being. The researchers found out that dating sites, which were the forerunners of apps, were used mostly by people over 40. However, it was the dating apps that turned out to be more attractive as they are simpler in use. This ensured their popularity among young people.
In addition, the researchers showed that the couples who met on the apps were more inclined to live together. They note, however, that this does not indicate an intention to marry. Still, the researchers believe that many couples may consider cohabitation as a trial period before marriage so that not to make a wrong choice in life. The scientists emphasize that this is crucial for Switzerland, where about 40% of families break up.
The researchers also studied out that the women who found their partners on the app mentioned their desire to have a child in the near future more often than the ones who found their partners in any other way. Moreover, the scientists have shown that the couples who met via dating apps are satisfied with their lives and the quality of their relationships.
The researchers also paid attention to the social aspect. They noticed that dating apps encourage meetings of people with different educational backgrounds, especially of well-educated women and poorly-educated men.
This is due to the fact that dating apps are primarily focused on the visual perception of a person through a profile picture. Furthermore, such apps increase the number of long-distance relationships. Gina Potarka concludes that dating apps have probably become even more popular during periods of isolation and social distancing this year. Therefore, it is quite reassuring that the disquieting concerns about the long-term consequences of their use have not been justified.