Has Swiping Killed Dating? Has Hinge Fixed the Problem?

girlfriend caught her boyfriend swiping online girls on a dating app

My opinion of dating apps  is well-documented. Like much 21st century technology, it’s incredible progress that creates and easy frictionless environment to meet strangers. The problem, of course, is that it’s too frictionless. There’s nothing at stake. There’s little profile information. There’s no time or emotional investment. And then we’re surprised that dating apps are so frustrating. Again, it’s like the shallowest version of online dating (which is already impossibly shallow).

Thankfully, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Justin McLeod, the CEO behind the dating app Hinge also gets that their technology isn’t often  used as a force of good.

In fact, most people really do want to find real connections – even when they use dating apps for their convenience.

“Essentially, swiping is an addictive game designed to keep you single. This is perhaps fine if you’re just looking to have fun, although there is growing research that indicates even in this case it’s neither fine nor fun, instead leading over time to anxiety and depression. Regardless, to call swiping apps ‘dating apps’ is a very unfunny joke at the expense of those looking for relationships”Š–”Šof which there are many. Currently when we ask Hinge users privately, 87% are open to a relationship, with 45% looking exclusively for a long-term relationship.”

Just goes to show that, in fact, most people really do want to find real connections – even when they use dating apps for their convenience.

McLeod continues: “Though most are not willing to join the baby boomer generation on expensive, old-fashioned websites like Match and eHarmony. We believe technology has incredible potential to help people find compatible partners with which they can form successful relationships. Given the current state of our culture, it’s now more critical than ever that there exist a service that helps those bold enough to seek real relationships find meaningful connections, while still being accessible to the millennial generation. What became clear through our research was that swiping would never achieve that mission. This new service would have to break the mold.”

After nine months of work, McLeod  relaunched Hinge this fall. Since I’m a married guy, can you go on there and tell me if it’s a better user experience than, say, Tinder? I’d love to have a dating app I can wholeheartedly endorse.

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

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  1. 21

    @  Barbara & Stacy2

    Firstly, about the golden rule, there IS a caveat. In the end, the next level UP is not to treat others as you would yourself wish to be treated, but to treat them as THEY want to be treated. Which also entails knowing people. That being said, the golden rule is a good starting point.

    Wanted to comment on the “going it alone” baby-making scenario. In my view, to voluntarily deprive a child from having and growing up with a father, which DOES happen a lot, and IS highly positive, making exception of a % of nut cases, strikes me as the epitome of navel-gazing selfishness. Completely contrary, imho, to the reasons WHY anyone should have a child. Notwithstanding biological-clock craziness, the best option if you  do have the means and no prospective father on the horizon is to adopt.  The whining “But an adopted child is not part of me” typical retort is just more of the same “Me, me, me!” attitude.

  2. 22

    I haven’t tried Hinge. Is it on android yet? I think they don’t have users in my area anyway (not listed among the cities they serve). I tried Tinder. Lots of swiping, a fair amount of messaging, but zero face to face meetings with anyone. I’m trying eHarmony again, now that they have a new CEO and it sounds like he’s poised to improve the old site. At the moment, I have to wait for free communication weekends to do any chatting online, since the last time I paid money for the service I got involved in messaging men on eH, and they dragged me through their endless formulaic “get to know you” questions for days on end, and then the guys ghosted me anyway. It’s a lot more effort than Tinder for the exact same results – and a higher price tag to boot. So, I’m not holding my breath, but I am *hoping* the CEO will make enough positive changes that I will wind up with  some real matches who are interested in talking face to face (or at least on the phone). It’s too hard to get a real date, and too easy to waste endless hours of your time slogging through structured “dialogue” that goes nowhere on eH. I hope they will fix that. The only dates I have had in years I always get on Craigslist. There are not very many *good* matches on Craigslist, but they also don’t keep   you   hanging around the   website for too long. On Craigslist,   most of the time I can move from emails to phone to meeting in person in a public place fairly quickly (7 to 10 days after the first message). Traditional dating sites need to help people *meet* – not just *chat.*

  3. 23
    Gabe Asher

    I lie about my age online. If things don’t work out, I use this as an excuse to break up with her. I tell her my real age, seven years older, hoping this will end it, but in nine years, not once has it happened. Every single time, it’s a non-issue. Most barely even acknowledge what I just said. They said things like ‘ok’, “fine”, “whatever”, “it doesnt matter, I love you” etc.

    For me, it would be a big deal and I would leave her. I’m 44, and not one has been over 27. I’ve come to the conclusion that women don’t care so much about age.

    1. 23.1

      I think it’s more likely that women that young have fewer boundaries about what is OK, as they haven’t been f&**** over quite so much by men.   If a man were to admit that he is an out and out hypocrite, like you just did, that would be a red flag for me and I’d bail straight away.   One thing I have learned in life is that relationships don’t work with hypocrites.   When they push boundaries but keep their own iron clad boundaries and break up over things they themselves expect to be forgiven for – that is the mark of an emotional abuser to me.   I think it’s more a mark of the maturity of women you are with then the fact that women don’t care that you are a liar and admit it. Most women over 40 would care. Of that, I’m sure.

      1. 23.1.1

        Gabe Asher and Kanga:

        I would or wouldn’t care depending on the circumstances. If he admitted he lied because he’d had little success getting dates when he told the truth, I might consider it–but not if he was 13 years older than me. I married a man 15 years older. Now, I’m still young in spirit and look younger than my age, while he looks his age and acts oldish.

        In Gabe’s case, he’s lying about his age to have an escape route and he wouldn’t want someone to exhibit the same behavior toward him. That’s the mark of a self-centered person who lacks empathy.

        Through reading about antisocial behavior, I’ve become pretty good at spotting narcissists and hypocrites. They give themselves away without knowing it because–unless they are actively trying to change for the better–they can’t help it.

        A person who is actively trying to change their obnoxious and disrespectful behavior would apologize when it rears it’s ugly head. A person who has no desire to change won’t do that because he doesn’t think anything’s wrong with him.

        Like you intimated, Kanga, at 27, I lacked the skill to spot such behavior. Plus I exhibited   much of it myself–much more than I do now. I’m still not free of it but I have learned to recognize when I’m going there. Because I don’t want to be a narcissistic hypocrite, when I realize I am being one, I typically regret it, apologize, and stop it.

        In Gabe’s case, if I had the wisdom I had now when I was 27, I wouldn’t have even go out once. Online, if he sent me a longish message, I’d recognize his narcissistic and hypocritical character traits–because he wouldn’t be able to hide them and I know what to look for–and decline further contact. If he sent me a three-word message, I’d ignore him.

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