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Romance online: how the identity behind a screen can influence relationships
With endless tips on how to curate the perfect profile, we spoke to 2 relationship experts to find out why identities behind a screen are fast approaching the most successful way in finding the one
Love is Blind: The Live Reunion has officially happened. As the first live reunion in the history of Netflix unites the season 4 cast, it has sparked the question of why does hiding - let that be behind a wall or a screen - blossom so many relationships. And how do you know if it’s love at first swipe?
In an interview with relationship master coach Teresha Young, we asked for some advice on finding that special person online. ‘It’s really important that you do that inner work on yourself to find out exactly what it is that you desire from your relationships. Tap into your “love vision”.’
So to start with: build that relationship with yourself first.
Love at first swipe vs sight
Business of Apps reveal that the vast majority of match making is done via our mobiles and with 337 million people using dating apps worldwide, it’s definitely a winner for finding love.
We spoke with COO and co-founder of dating app Thursday Matt McNeill Love on the importance of dating apps and to figure out why they’re so popular. ‘I think now the challenges of singles meeting are really hard, harder than they’ve ever been because you have to be so much more careful than before.’ He adds ‘I think dating apps are a good thing, because they allow people to connect.’
‘It should definitely be much more obvious who is single and who is not.’
But why do people use them? Recent studies actually found that self validation and hooking up were the motivations for dating app users presenting a deceptive self-image online. So those showing a misleading look for that swipe are only in it for themselves. And the aimless fling.
The research proved that women use dating apps for friendship seeking and self-validation whereas men search for hook ups and Mrs Right. But regardless of your aim, we’re all targets of being catfished.
Concerns of the catfish
Young tells us ‘being catfished means being deceived or tricked into a relationship or interaction by someone who has misrepresented themselves online, usually by using fake photos or information.’
63% of social media users have reported being a victim of it at least once through online relationships resulting in fraud. This is where a scammer forms a connection with someone for 6-8 months online to then manipulate them for money.
McNeill Love reveals that Thursday gets ‘absolutely loads of inauthentic profiles where we’ve had scammers trying to sell their OnlyFans and crypto.’ Luckily they can manually disapprove, because who wants to see that when swiping, right?
In episode 8 of the Debating Dating podcast, an anonymous caller exposed her own catfishing experience.
‘I matched with a guy on Tinder who looked too good to be true, but still within the realm of regular hot - I had my catfish suspicions but was hopeful. He messaged me immediately, red flag, I ignored it, then a few weeks later, I checked back and all his pictures had changed to a much less attractive guy - probably his actual face.’
But don’t panic. Teresha gives us her top tips when this happens: ‘get yourself on a video call as soon as possible’. She further explains when it comes to communication ‘only 7% of the way we communicate effectively is through words. Body language is 55% and voice tonality is 38%. So it’s really important to get yourself onto a video call asap Rocky.’
The lifespan of online relationships
Admit it, you’re the first to stalk when you see those insta-made relationships have removed one another from their bios. Deleted pictures? You’re definitely intrigued. With predictions of 440 million people to seek love online by 2027, Matt tells us about the success of Thursday so far. And safe to say dating apps are the new vows. ‘In 2022, we had 20,000 matches a week, with 4 weddings, 8 engagements and I’m sure a hell of a lot of one night stands.’
‘I think we’ll be responsible for a few babies. Some wanted, some probably not.’
Statistics say since 2015, there has been 41% increase in dating app usage worldwide. As of last year there were 256 million downloads across dating app platforms - a 12% decrease since 2019. Does this mean people have already been snatched up from swiping right? Or is the hype slowly dying for dating apps?
Tori Hazelton, 21 who met her current long-term boyfriend on Hinge discloses that the dating app actually connected them again. ‘I didn’t expect to actually end up in a relationship from using one’. They both quickly deleted the app after they matched and formed their relationship IRL.
Who would've thought dating apps had the potential to rekindle? We didn’t.
‘There is magic in meeting people on dating apps’
POV: you met your partner online and are worried if it will affect the relationship? Teresha assures us that ‘the way in which you meet somebody doesn’t have a bearing on the quality of the relationship.’ She reassures us the beauty is in the connection you have, rather than how you meet.
McNeill Love perfectly sums up the necessity of dating apps, ‘they were created to solve the problem of people’s fear of rejection, and how else do you do it?’