Dating apps are the least preferred way to meet someone new – despite around half of 16-34-year-olds using them, a Radio 1 Newsbeat survey suggests.
Almost a third of those who use apps like Tinder, Chappy and Bumble do so because they’re “too shy” to approach people they meet in person.
It also suggests that almost half of those who use them do so for the first time before they’re 21.
And nearly a third expect to find a “fling or casual relationship” on apps.
More than a quarter of the 2,066 people questioned who use dating apps have formed a long-term relationship or a marriage as a result.
Relationship psychologist Madeleine Mason Roantree believes more people are using dating apps because they want an instant fix.
“When we match it’s almost like a little dopamine hit – it lights up the pleasure sensor in our brain so it can be quite addictive,” she explains.
But she says it can also lead to feelings of depression as people are opening themselves up to more rejection.
What does the survey suggest?
- 45% have used a dating app at some point
- 37% say dating apps are their least preferred method to meet a new partner
- 17% met their current partner on a dating app – the second most common method
- 18% met their current partner through friends, family or on a blind date
- 45% used a dating app before they were 21
Taken from a YouGov survey of 2,066 16-34-year-olds conducted on behalf of BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat during 3 – 10 April 2018.
Twenty-six-year-old Jordan agrees with Madeleine: “Dating apps kicked off a lot of issues with my mental health – with self-doubt and anxiety,” he tells Newsbeat.
“I’ve been on nights out where I’ve found it hard to meet people, so I’ve gone on an app while I’ve been standing on a dance floor.
“It seems to be that they’re platforms where people think they can get away with saying things they wouldn’t say to your face.
“You’re judged for the person you are on screen, not for the person you are, and for me that’s very hard to deal with.”
Talking to people on apps is “a way to connect with people you may not be able to meet otherwise”, Sam Dumas from Chappy explains.
“We’ve seen a trend of physical spaces of bars and clubs closing – they’ve become fewer and fewer over the years.”
Newsbeat revealed how half the UK’s nightclubs have shut their doors in just 10 years.
That’s the reason Jamie and Ivana, both 32, turned to dating apps three years ago.
“I found you just couldn’t meet people in bars,” Ivana tells Newsbeat.
The couple met on Bumble and, now engaged, are six months into travelling the world.
“The world’s changed now – everything is geared to online,” Jamie, originally from Stirling, explains from Bali.
“You’ve just got to give it a chance and give people the benefit of the doubt.
“There are a lot of negative connotations that come with online dating, and apps, but we’ve proved that it does work.”
Ivana couldn’t agree more, saying: “It’s mad to think all this started by swiping right.”