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Are Dating Apps Worth It Anymore?

In today’s dating world, more and more singles are using dating apps. But are dating apps worth it? We rounded up the deets to help you out.

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In today’s world, dating is different than it used to be. People are busier, and time is limited for meeting and connecting with someone in person. As such, online dating sites and apps have become staples in the dating universe. There are lots of reasons for this, but that’s fodder for a whole different article. For the scope of this one, we have other questions on our minds: Are dating apps worth it? Do they make the time you invest in them worthwhile? Let’s explore.

Fun Ideas for Dates With Adventures From Scratch

If dating apps are worth it to you and you’re finding matches, use Adventures From Scratch: Date Edition to help make your date memorable! With 50+ scratch-off date ideas, it’s the perfect tool to help you plan a creative and spontaneous first date, and there’s even space to journal how it went for fun memories to look back on. Planning dates becomes much less stressful when you can simply open your book and scratch off an adventure!

Are Dating Apps Worth It: The Positives

Going to a bar or club may be fun, but it’s not easy to find love in those environments. With online dating platforms, singles can filter out their ideal match and connect with them in a private chat room. Popular dating apps let you connect with people worldwide, offering a better online dating experience than traditional methods. Gauging your compatibility can be tricky, but these apps make it easier. Let’s dig into a few ways dating apps can help your love life.

1. They help with courage.

In the past, dating required a lot of guts. You had to gather the courage to ask for someone’s phone number and then summon even more courage to call them for a date. Shy or awkward people often missed out on their perfect match due to the inability to make the first move.

For those who get nervous, dating apps are a real game-changer. They make it easier by first matching you with potential dates, boosting your confidence to say hello. Even if there’s no filtering, rejection on a dating app is simpler. Not getting a reply or a quick “not interested, sorry” is much easier to handle than a clear rejection in a bar or other public place.

When you have a connection and build up the courage to go on a date, take a look at “The Ultimate List of Date Ideas for New Couples” before you head out!

2. You get a lot of information before you say hello.

Dating apps allow you to see a quick view of a person through their dating profile and real photos before starting a conversation. In the past, all you had to go on was someone’s looks when you first met them. Now, with an app, you get a complete profile with details like a personal introduction, hobbies, height, build, and interests. This information makes conversations on first dates that much easier. Isn’t that a big advantage in the dating world?

3. Most singles have joined a dating site or app.

According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted July 5-17, 2022, “Americans are turning to the internet to help them find companionship, commitment, or casual encounters. Three in ten U.S. adults say they have ever used a dating site or app.” The most popular app is Tinder with “about eight of ten adults under 30 [saying] they used it.”

“About three in ten online dating users—equaling roughly one in ten adults overall—report ever using Match or Bumble. OkCupid, eHarmony, and Hinge have each been used by roughly one in five online dating users (6% each among all adults), [and] Grindr and HER are used by small shares of online dating users overall,” according to Pew Research Center.

Coffee Meets Bagel is growing in popularity because it doesn’t want users to have tons of profiles to pick from; it cares more about giving good matches, especially to women. Their main focus is on providing quality connections. It’s not surprising because dating apps and sites offer a new way of dating that many singles haven’t experienced before. Most even have free versions.

COVID caused some dating sites, like Match, to become more popular. Match Group adjusted to the lockdown, keeping singles connected to the outside world. Now, Match has millions of visitors and active members every month. These numbers aren’t surprising. The perk of online dating is singles don’t have to worry so much. Potential partners took the time and effort to sign up, so they’re just as eager to socialize as you are.

4. Matching is a good start to a relationship.

Most dating apps use a matching algorithm before letting people chat. Some apps are more open, letting anyone approach anyone—they’re just swiping randomly. However, more traditional dating apps utilize time-tested and research-based models to connect you with someone you’re more likely to have a real connection with. This reduces search time and brings potential matches together based on common interests, which is often a stronger foundation for a serious relationship than just appearances.

5. Dating apps widen your dating pool.

Using dating apps is a smart way to broaden your dating options. These apps provide access to a diverse pool of potential matches that you wouldn’t encounter in your everyday life. By expanding your dating pool through these apps, you increase your success rate of finding someone who shares your interests and values or someone who introduces you to new perspectives and experiences. It’s a modern and efficient way to open up opportunities for meaningful connections and potential true love.

6. You can talk with multiple people at the same time.

Traditional dating meant focusing on one person at a time, getting to know them, and deciding whether to stick with them or move on. You could date more than one person at once, but it required an excess of time, effort, and money. Dating apps changed that.

Now, you can talk with many people at the same time and have important chats with potential matches before wasting too much effort. You don’t have to date all of them, but you can quickly go through more options until you find someone who really interests you. What used to take a year or more in traditional dating can now happen in just a weekend of chatting on a dating app.

Are Dating Apps Worth It: The Negatives

Dating apps come with a few downsides. Some people on these apps aren’t truthful about who they are, which can be disappointing. Also, using these apps a lot might make it harder to talk to people face-to-face. Spending too much time swiping and messaging can take away time from other things in life. Lastly, not everyone on these apps is looking for a serious relationship. Hold on to your hat because these are just the starters!

1. There are lots of fake profiles.

The proliferation of dating apps has led to a rise in fake and scam accounts, resulting in issues like catfishing and financial fraud. These scams often focus on middle-aged or older women and, to some extent, men. Some dating platforms have gained a bad reputation due to these problems. Stories of scams are a real deterrent for some serious daters.

If you’re an older dater trying to get back in the mix, check out “The Best Dating Apps for Seniors.”

2. Hookup culture can dominate these apps.

Many people now link the phrase “dating app” closely with “hook-up app” and the overall culture of casual hookups. Some argue that apps contribute to a more transactional view of relationships, making sex seem less meaningful. Some say they just fulfill a desire for immediate satisfaction in our society. While not everyone agrees with this perspective, the idea that dating apps contribute to a culture focused on instant gratification remains a strong viewpoint that’s hard to ignore.

3. Too many options can be a problem sometimes.

People have valid complaints when it comes to dating apps, like matches not responding, sudden disappearing acts, and unsolicited intimate photos. No matter how genuine someone’s pictures, descriptions, or texting may be, a digital profile can’t really show the whole person. It’s too flat and limited. Most importantly, these apps can’t predict if there’ll be a connection or chemistry in person. Only meeting face-to-face can reveal if there’s a spark. However, going out with 50 different matches and not finding someone can make you feel jaded about dating.

4. Everyone is the same.

Even though we just talked about having too many options, it’s also tough to tell one person from another on these apps. People talk about the same things, have similar hobbies with small differences, and try to be unique but end up less unique than they think. They all go for similar types of pictures or sometimes don’t put in much effort. What truly makes people different and special doesn’t come across well in online messages. While some might have deep online conversations, most people chatting online never get to that point. It’s not that people aren’t unique and special; it’s just hard to show it in these online conversations.

5. They can get expensive.

Using dating apps and sites can become costly. While many apps offer free basic features, some essential functions and premium features often come with a price tag. Subscriptions, in-app purchases, and premium memberships can add up quickly. It’s essential to be aware of the costs associated with using dating apps to avoid unexpected expenses. While the convenience and potential for finding a match are there, users should consider their budget and weigh the financial commitment that comes with some of these services:


  • Tinder Plus: Prices can range from around $9.99 to $19.99 per month.
  • Tinder Gold: Prices may range from approximately $14.99 to $29.99 per month.


  • eHarmony Premium Memberships: Prices vary, with monthly subscriptions typically ranging from $35 to $60 per month.

  • Subscriptions: Prices can vary but often range from $20 to $45 per month, depending on the subscription duration.


  • OkCupid A-List: Prices may range from $9.99 to $24.99 per month.


  • Bumble Boost: Prices can range from $7.99 to $22.99 per week.
  • Bumble Premium: Prices may vary but generally fall within the range of $14.99 to $32.99 per month.

It’s essential to note that these prices are approximate and subject to change. Users should check the respective app or site for the most up-to-date pricing information.

6. Dating apps can make the dating experience feel corny.

Have you ever asked a couple how they met and they looked down at their feet while ashamedly saying, “We met on eHarmony”? Some people believe that meeting their match on a dating app takes away the special feeling of romance in the story. Swiping right just doesn’t seem as fairytale-worthy as falling in love from across a crowded dance hall or meeting through a mutual friend.

7. You may get unwanted advances and explicit messages.

Sexual harassment is unfortunately a concern in the realm of dating apps. Some users experience unwelcome advances, explicit messages, or uncomfortable behavior from others. These incidents range from inappropriate comments to more serious forms of harassment.

Dating apps are working to address these issues with advanced safety features, reporting mechanisms, and community guidelines to create a safer environment. Users are encouraged to report any instances of sexual harassment, and platforms are taking action against offenders. Despite these efforts, it remains essential for individuals to prioritize their safety and report any inappropriate behavior encountered while using dating apps.

Using Social Media as a Dating App

Lots of folks use social media to find someone special. It’s a big social network where you can meet new people or reconnect with old crushes. Millions of people are scrolling through pictures and posts, trying to find someone who catches their eye. You might see someone who likes the same music, movies, or cute animal videos. People often send messages to start chatting and getting to know each other. Social media is a giant matchmaker where you can share bits of your life and see if there’s someone out there who wants to share theirs with you.

Just be careful. There are even less safeguards on social media than on dating sites. You really have no idea who you’re getting on the other end of the line.

Dating Apps Vs. Real-Life Meetings

If given the choice, most people would probably prefer a real-life story of how they met, started dating, fell in love, and got married. However, it’s unfair to think that nothing genuinely romantic or interesting could start from an online dating app. You do eventually have to meet in person, and you’ll have to win them over all over again in some ways. It’s not like you totally get out of having to date. Dating apps can be a useful way to get your feet wet before jumping all in, especially for those with limited time or a lack of social graces.

On the flip side, there’s a sense of accomplishment when things work out on real-life dates. Dating apps can make things too easy and encourage you to take things for granted. They also perpetuate a slippery slope that our culture is heading down… one with very little real human interaction.

It’s a personal preference, really. Some prefer a more traditional meeting- and falling-in-love story, while others find dating apps appealing. These apps have the extraordinary power to connect people romantically, so they will always have value for those who need them. The choice is yours, and there’s no shame in the game!

Closing Thoughts

So, what do you think? Are dating apps worth it?

Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. For some, the convenience and wide pool of potential matches make them a valuable tool in finding love or long-term relationships. On the other hand, concerns about fake accounts, hookup culture, and the potential for a less magical love story may make some hesitant.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons, considering personal preferences and priorities. Ultimately, the worth of dating apps varies from person to person, and the key is finding what works best for you in the pursuit of meaningful connections. If you’re having trouble finding anyone in your hometown and you aren’t sure where else to look, then give a dating app a try! Be careful. Do your research, and choose one that fits your vibe. It might just be the best thing you ever do for your love life!

If you decide to use dating apps, your profile is important, so check out “The Dos and Don’ts of Dating Profiles” for better results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dating apps even worth it anymore?

The best dating apps can be a great tool for those who are short on time or have trouble approaching a potential match. Just watch out for fake profiles and unwanted harassment.

Why is dating so hard today?

Some Americans claim dating is getting harder. Busy schedules and waning social engagements are partly to blame. Many turn to dating apps and creative tools like Adventures From Scratch to help!

Do dating apps have a downside?

For many people, dating apps do have downsides. For instance, you may have to contend with fake profiles and hookup culture. The dating experience may feel less special, and apps can get expensive.

How can dating apps help?

Dating apps provide prior information about matches, widen the dating pool, and allow you to converse before meeting. If you don’t know what to talk about, check out these conversation starters.

Which is better, dating apps or real life?

For some, the convenience and wide pool of potential matches on dating apps make them a valuable tool. For others, it seems more romantic to meet traditionally.

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