MANILA -- Worried you won’t find love in the time of COVID? Fret not, you are living the 21st century and we have an app for everything — including dating.
While these smartphone apps have long been associated with mere hookups, flings and superficial relationships, a new research suggested that those who found their partner by swiping right were keener in committing to a long-term relationship than those who met offline.
Using a 2018 family survey data by the Swiss federal statistical office, Gina Potarca, a researcher at the Institute of Demography and Socioeconomics in Switzerland's University of Geneva (UNIGE), studied a sample of 3,245 adults who were in a relationship and had met their partner in the past decade.
According to Potarca’s findings, couples who matched via a dating app indicated stronger "cohabiting intentions" than lovers who met traditionally. Women who found their partner through a mobile app also exhibited stronger “fertility desires and intentions” than those who found their partner in a non-digital setting.
“The study doesn’t say whether their final intention was to live together for the long- or short-term, but given that there’s no difference in the intention to marry, and that marriage is still a central institution in Switzerland, some of these couples likely see cohabitation as a trial period prior to marriage. It’s a pragmatic approach in a country where the divorce rate is consistently around 40 percent,” Potarca explained.
The gathered data also suggested there were no differences in terms of relationship and life satisfaction between partners who paired up through dating apps and those who got together by more conventional means.
“The internet is profoundly transforming the dynamics of how people meet… It provides an unprecedented abundance of meeting opportunities, and involves minimal effort and no third-party intervention,” Potarca said.
She went on: “Large parts of the media claim they have a negative impact on the quality of relationships since they render people incapable of investing in an exclusive or long-term relationship. Up to now, though, there has been no evidence to prove this is the case.”
The results of the study also insinuated that dating apps promote “altered couple composition” by giving more opportunities for “educationally diverse and geographically distant” individuals to meet.
According to the research, the mobile technology encourages “mixing of different levels of education,” particularly between high-educated women and lower-educated men.
Potarca said the “diversified socio-educational profiles may have to do with selection methods that focus mainly on the visual.”
Meanwhile, mobile dating apps allow users to connect with singles within a customizable radius such that the tech makes it easier to meet persons you normally wouldn’t cross paths with, leading to an increase in long-distance relationships.
“Knowing that dating apps have likely become even more popular during this year’s periods of lockdown and social distancing, it is reassuring to dismiss alarming concerns about the long-term effects of using these tools,” Potarca said.
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