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    125. The psychology of dating apps ft. Bumble

    Dating apps offer a valuable opportunity to explore what you truly want in a relationship and challenge your expectations. Additionally, the pandemic has highlighted the need for platonic friendships, which platforms like Bumble are addressing.

    enSeptember 11, 2023

    About this Episode

    The new reality of dating in your 20s is that the majority of us who are single are on the dating apps. Tinder, Hinge and Bumble have completely changed how we approach dating by expanding our options, making dating convenient and accessible and are increasingly becoming the way many of us meet our partners. A study conducted by the Pew Research Centre found that almost half of us between 18 and 29 have used a dating app. Yet, this has also transformed a lot of our offline behaviours towards dating. In this episode we break down the psychology behind dating apps including: 

    • The impact of choice overload
    • The psychology behind our romantic preferences 
    • The scarcity effect 
    • Seeking validation through dating apps
    • Dopamine and swipe based dating 
    • Dealing with rejection and dating app burnout 

    We are also joined by the wonderful Lucille McCart from Bumble who discusses how we can use dating apps to their full potential in our 20s. She explains how we can convert our online matches into real world connections, why you should be the one asking people on dates and the benefit dating people outside of your 'type'. All of that a more. Listen now. 

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    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Dating apps have revolutionized the dating scene, offering convenience and a multitude of options, leading to a shift in how we approach dating and interact with potential partners.
    • Dating app preferences are not an accurate reflection of who we truly connect with, as our romantic preferences are influenced by genetics, familiarity, similarity, and self-esteem, and change over time. Relying solely on a dating app to judge personality and compatibility limits our understanding of a potential partner.
    • Dating apps offer an abundance of options, but they can also create a sense of overwhelm and hinder genuine connections. They often provide temporary validation, leading to a focus on online affirmation rather than forming meaningful relationships.
    • Using dating apps requires effort and resilience, but it's important to remember that rejection is not a personal failure. Changing tactics, taking breaks, and ensuring safety are essential for success.
    • Bumble empowers women to make the first move, fostering kindness, respect, and inclusivity in conversations to create healthier and more equal relationships.
    • Bumble empowers women by giving them agency in choosing who they want to connect with, challenging traditional norms and changing how we approach romantic connections.
    • Dating apps offer a diverse range of potential partners and have contributed to increased societal diversity, expanding dating prospects and fostering meaningful connections beyond immediate social circles.
    • Shifting focus from casual encounters to genuine connections and engaging in deeper conversations can lead to meaningful relationships on dating apps.
    • Find potential partners who align with your desired goals and intentions on dating apps by answering questions honestly and focusing on compatibility.
    • Finding the right person requires a balance between having faith in fate and actively participating in the dating process, which involves learning skills, setting boundaries, and being comfortable with meeting new people.
    • Give dating a chance, even if you're unsure at first. Meeting in person reveals true qualities. Focus on humor, emotional compatibility, and engaging conversation, while prioritizing your own satisfaction.
    • Dating apps offer a valuable opportunity to explore what you truly want in a relationship and challenge your expectations. Additionally, the pandemic has highlighted the need for platonic friendships, which platforms like Bumble are addressing.
    • Bumble for Friends helps you meet new people and offers fun ways to engage with others, ultimately enhancing your social life and experiences.
    • Enjoy the process of dating, explore different types of people, prioritize self-enjoyment and personal growth, and view dating as an opportunity for building confidence and skills.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    The Rise of Dating Apps and Its Impact on Modern Dating

    Dating apps have become an integral part of dating in our twenties. They have drastically expanded our options and made it possible to meet people from all over the world. While there may be differing intentions on these apps, it ultimately depends on how we approach and use them that determines our experience. Dating apps offer convenience and efficiency, allowing us to dip our toes in and out of the dating pool from the comfort of our own homes. They have not only changed the number of options available to us but also how we approach dating in real life. Overall, dating apps have brought about a societal shift towards convenience and have redefined our behavioral approach to dating.

    The limitations of dating apps and the evolving nature of romantic preferences

    Our preferences in dating apps may not accurately reflect who we truly connect with in real life. While these apps allow us to be specific with our choices, such as age, height, and race, these decisions are based on our perceived attractions. However, research suggests that our romantic preferences are influenced by genetics, familiarity, similarity, and even self-esteem. It's important to recognize that these preferences are not fixed and can change over time. As we age, our conception of an ideal partner evolves, placing less emphasis on physical features and more on traits important for long-term compatibility. Therefore, relying solely on a dating app to judge someone's personality and compatibility can be limiting due to the limited and curated information available.

    The Paradox of Dating Apps: Choice Overload and the Illusion of Connection

    Dating apps can lead to choice overload and hinder our ability to make meaningful connections. With an abundance of options, we may find ourselves overwhelmed and unable to take action. Consequently, many individuals using swipe-based dating apps end up meeting very few people, if any at all. However, despite this lack of actual dates, the validation and ego boost from matches and likes can provide a temporary sense of self-worth. For some, the allure of discovering who finds them attractive online outweighs the desire to go out and form real connections. This suggests that dating apps may serve as a source of public affirmation rather than a platform for genuine romantic potential.

    Navigating Dating Apps: From Addiction to Real-life Connections and Safety Precautions

    Dating apps have been designed to be addictive and to manipulate how we receive Dopamine, leading us to approach them like a game for validation. However, to find success in dating apps, we need to put in the effort and actually go on dates, talk to people, and translate connections to real-world interactions. It's important to acknowledge that using dating apps regularly can lead to feelings of rejection and frustration, but it's essential to remember that it's not a personal failure. Dating app burnout is a real thing, but instead of giving up, it may be helpful to change tactics, take a break, or try matching with people outside of our usual preferences. Safety is also a concern, and it's necessary to conduct basic investigative work before meeting someone from a dating app.

    Changing the dynamics of online dating, one swipe at a time.

    Bumble, a popular dating app, was created with the intention of changing the dynamics of online dating. The founder, Whitney Wolf, experienced internet trolling and toxic behavior while working for another dating app, which led her to question why people treat each other so poorly online. Alongside this, she noticed that many successful women still held traditional views when it came to dating. With these ideas in mind, she established Bumble, where women have the power to make the first move in heterosexual matches. This shift in power dynamics aims to foster kindness, respect, and inclusivity in conversations, ultimately leading to healthier and more equal relationships. Over the years, the app has seen numerous success stories, including marriages and engagements.

    Bumble: A Platform for Meaningful Connections

    Bumble differentiates itself by not only being a successful business but also by providing a platform for meaningful connections. Bumble aims to encourage conversations and real-life meetings rather than just accumulating matches. The 24-hour timer is a feature that ensures active participation and engagement from both parties. It allows women to have agency in choosing who they want to connect with in their private lives. This shift in dynamics challenges traditional norms and empowers women. Dating apps like Bumble have also changed how we approach romantic connections by providing a sense of abundance and infinite possibilities. However, the abundance of choices can sometimes lead to decision paralysis. Overall, dating apps have greatly influenced how we navigate romantic relationships, particularly in our twenties.

    Expanding dating options through apps

    Dating apps have expanded the dating pool, allowing individuals to connect with a more diverse range of people. Traditional methods of dating, such as meeting through work or friends, often limited options and potential partners. Dating apps offer the opportunity to interact with individuals from different professions, backgrounds, and age groups, enhancing the chances of finding a compatible and diverse partner. Moreover, research shows that dating apps have contributed to an increase in interracial relationships, indicating a positive impact on societal diversity. These apps have also challenged individuals to step out of their comfort zones, forming connections beyond their immediate social circles. Despite initial skepticism, dating apps have proven to be a valuable tool for expanding one's dating prospects and fostering meaningful relationships.

    Moving Beyond Small Talk: Creating Meaningful Connections on Dating Apps

    Shifting online interactions on dating apps to real-world settings can lead to meaningful connections. Jemma mentioned experiencing burnout and fatigue from using dating apps for a long time. However, when she decided to change her approach and focus on building genuine connections, she experienced success. Lucille highlighted that many people have similar experiences, where they find a special someone when they least expect it. Jemma attributed her success to her mindset and attitude. She was no longer interested in casual encounters but wanted to connect on a deeper level. The person she is now dating stood out by asking thought-provoking questions instead of engaging in small talk, which sparked Jemma's interest. This implies that moving beyond surface-level conversations can foster more meaningful connections on dating apps.

    Using dating apps to find compatible partners.

    Dating apps can provide valuable information about potential partners if people answer honestly. By answering certain questions on their profiles, such as whether they want children or if they're looking for a long-term relationship, individuals can gain insights that might be harder to acquire otherwise. This helps in discerning compatibility and saving time by avoiding those who are not seeking the same things. It is important to focus on finding people who align with one's desires and goals rather than wasting time on superficial matches. While dating is partly a numbers game that requires interaction and going on dates, it is also about taking action and having intention to find the right person. Both perspectives of dating as a numbers game and leaving it up to fate are partially true, but one must actively engage in the process while keeping their intentions clear.

    The Combination of Fate and Active Participation in Dating

    Dating is both a combination of fate and active participation. It is important to have faith that the right person will come along and that fate will play a role in the process, but it is equally important to be actively engaged in dating and put oneself out there. Dating is a skill that needs practice, just like any other skill. It involves learning how to discern what you want from a partner, setting boundaries, and going on enjoyable dates. Being comfortable with meeting new people and engaging in one-on-one situations is a skill that can be developed and can boost confidence in various aspects of life. Therefore, while fate may have a part to play, actively participating in the dating game is crucial to finding the right person.

    Navigating the world of dating: The importance of practice, pushing through discomfort, and prioritizing personal satisfaction.

    Dating is a process that requires practice and pushing through initial discomfort. It is important to go on dates even if you're not completely sure about the person, as it provides valuable experience. The idea of expecting immediate sparks and fireworks is unrealistic. It is crucial to push through the automatic response of feeling unsure at the beginning of a date, as it often subsides after some conversation. Meeting someone in person can reveal their true qualities that may not be apparent online. Important factors in building a connection include humor, emotional compatibility, and engaging conversation. When dating with intention, it is essential to prioritize your own satisfaction and not solely focus on pleasing the other person.

    Navigating Dating: From Fun to Long-Term Partnerships

    Dating with intention requires clarity on what you want. As you navigate dating in your twenties, your desires and goals may change. It's important to be aware of whether you want to have fun and meet new people, or if you're looking for a long-term partner. The value of dating apps lies in the ability to experiment and discover what you truly want and don't want in a relationship. These platforms provide opportunities to meet different types of people and challenge preconceived notions. Additionally, the conversation highlights the impact of the pandemic on social connections and the growing need for platonic friendships. Bumble's new app for friend finding addresses this need, especially among Gen Z individuals who may feel lonely due to remote work and learning.

    Building connections and expanding your social network

    Connecting with others in real life is important, especially in a post-COVID world where people have become more insular. Bumble for Friends is a great way to expand your social network and make new friends in your local area. It provides opportunities for platonic connections and allows you to meet people you wouldn't normally interact with in person. Additionally, Bumble's In-App Speed Dating feature offers a fun way to engage with others and go on more dates. It's a mix of speed dating and blind dating, where you have three minutes to chat with a match before deciding if you want to see their profile and other information. Building connections and experiences is crucial for building a fulfilling single life.

    Approaching Dating with Openness and Fun

    Dating should be approached with a sense of openness, curiosity, and the willingness to step outside of one's comfort zone. The speaker emphasizes the idea of dating different types of people and not being afraid to go on dates without the pressure of a massive commitment. They encourage individuals to have fun, enjoy the process, and view dating as an opportunity to build confidence and skills. It is important to have clear intentions but also prioritize self-enjoyment and personal growth. Regardless of whether one finds a long-term partner, going on dates can lead to great experiences, new connections, and a more positive outlook on dating overall.

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