So THAT'S Why It's So Hard To Get A Date From The Apps Right Now

New research reveals a worrying trend among users.
Delmaine Donson via Getty Images

If you’ve ever used the apps to try to find love, 1) want to see if there are two-for-one therapy sessions out there? and 2) you’ve probably, at some point, downloaded Tinder.

The app has gained a reputation for being the more, uh, physical option for those seeking a little amour. And it’s also gotten a bit of flack for the struggles lovelorn users face on the app.

Unanswered messages, bland profiles, and bad dating behaviours are common bugbears among daters. But a recent study called ‘Finding Intimacy Online: A Machine Learning Analysis of Predictors of Success’ revealed that actually, it’s really not your fault if you’re struggling.

Their research found that not only are “only 50.3 percent of app users... using it to meet someone offline,” but a majority of profiles are also from people in relationships.

So, we thought we’d look a little bit further into the damning data.

65.3% of app users are already in a relationship

The study, which involved 1,387 Tinder users completing an online questionnaire, found that ” 65.3 percent of app users were married or “in a relationship.”

That’s almost two-thirds of the sample studied (woah). And in case you’re wondering why those people are on the apps in the first place, the study suggests that they’re using it like social media – to boost their self-esteem and ease boredom.

The research also looked into the satisfaction app users got from using Tinder, and found that the motivations behind downloading the app affected users’ satisfaction rates. Those who downloaded it to cope with negative emotions, or to cope with issues like an avoidant attachment style were less likely to get what they wanted from the app.

A spokesperson for Tinder has said in response to this study’s claims: “Based on Tinder’s data and understanding of our members, the findings highlighted in this study are wholly inaccurate and misleading. Within the survey, respondents were essentially given three options to describe themselves – ‘celibate’, ‘in a relationship’ or ‘widowed’ – with no option for ‘single.’ This resulted in a completely skewed and false depiction of who Tinder members are and what they are looking for.”

Tinder’s then-marketing officer, Justin Mateen, also said in 2014 that “we never intended it to be a dating platform. It’s a social discovery platform, facilitating an introduction between two people.” The study also only looked into one app, so Tinder may well not be the only offender.

6% of UK app users found their long-term love online, YouGov says. So, the app-based pursuit for a relationship isn’t totally fruitless. Still, if you’re on the app looking for genuine, lasting love, you could well be in the minority.

As Professor Vera Crus, a co-author of the study, said, “some people feel deceived with the use of dating apps, because each time you have a new platform, people think they might really find someone. And then people go from platform to platform, but each time they are there, they are not satisfied.“

Ah, the joys of dating...

This story has been updated to include a response from Tinder.