How Dating Apps Warp Our Standards

Dating is rough, dating apps are rougher


The other day I got into a conversation about dating apps with some friends and as we were exchanging stories from our greatest successes to our most recent failures, there was one thing I noticed throughout the entire discussion… Dating apps fucked our standards.

It’s no secret that men and women experience dating apps differently. Men tend to swipe right on a large number of profiles, while women are more selective in their choices, because they instantly get 47 likes/matches within 2 hours. As a result, men go through a habit of swiping and waiting for responses while women are bombarded with over a hundred messages. This would inevitably alter our standards on what is acceptable and expected in the dating scene.

Distorted Realities

A consistent endeavor in people’s attempts to find the one they love is the constant updates to their dating profiles. As users often present a carefully curated version of themselves on their profiles, highlighting their best qualities and hiding their flaws. As a result, we are more likely to idealize a potential partner that seems unrealistic and are often disappointed when we encounter any flaws or less desirable traits that skew away from that image.

Furthermore, the gamification of dating apps can also contribute to dehumanization in its users, because the simple left or right swipe mechanic simplifies our standards into a standard checklist making our interactions with each profile more like a task. This can make it difficult for users to connect with others on a deeper level because they may be more focused on winning the game of dating than building a genuine connection.

Everything Eventually Becomes A Red Flag

When people first start using dating apps they usually take a very unfiltered approach, because let’s be honest, everyone always wants “somebody nice, cute, and has a good personality” at first. However, prolonged usage of dating apps can alter your search and you would filter out the search by a significant amount due to everything looking like red flags (a warning signal or sign that indicates a potential problem or danger).

While some red flags should be noticed and swiped left on, prolonged usage can make us quickly dismiss someone who doesn’t meet our immediate preferences and after a while these standards devolve into downright absurdity.

For example, if somebody prefers people who are tall, they might swipe left on anybody who is 4 feet and less, however over time, this person will eventually swipe left on anything shorter than 6 feet. This kind of instant judgment can cause us to overlook the deeper qualities that might make someone a good partner.

Too Many Options

As you might have eventually noticed, dating apps create a sense of a disposable dating culture, where users can easily reject or accept a potential partner. This can make people feel like they are just another option and not a priority. In addition, this can force users to feel like they are competing with others for attention and that their value is based on how many matches they get.

This level of emotional detachment will eventually lead to a paradox of choice. With so many options available, users may become overwhelmed and feel like they are unable to make a decision, resulting in a feeling of indecision and a lack of commitment. Users may constantly search for the next best thing, rather than being content with what they have. This continuous search for the ‘one’ can warp our standards into what we end up choosing due to a multitude of options.

Emotional Burnout

Moreover, dating apps can warp our standards due to its addictive design and nature. Users may find themselves spending hours swiping and messaging, leading to a sense of obsession and a lack of balance in their lives. In cases of highly active users, they may prioritize their dating life over their personal and professional lives, which can lead to burnout and emotional exhaustion.

Typically emotional burnout in the dating scene tends to be just as destructive and draining like any other burnout. However, depending on the emotional state of the user, they might start to question their standards and attempt to get back into dating apps in a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). This sense of FOMO can drastically warp our standards and overlook important qualities in a partner that prevents becoming committed in a relationship that is ultimately unfulfilling or even toxic.

So Are We Doomed To Be Forever Single?

When we are using dating apps it is important to remember that finding a partner is not just about checking off a list of desirable qualities, but about finding someone who is compatible with us on a deeper level. It is also important for users to recognize the potential negative impacts of dating apps and take steps to ensure they are not compromising their emotional well-being in order to find the ‘one’.

What do you think? Are dating apps warping our standards or are we just overthinking it? If you liked you read, be sure to like it and follow for more related content!

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