Over the past few years, online dating apps have made online dating apps very popular. And, understandably, there are many excited, young people who are looking for a lasting relationship.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption With attention to detail, matches on Tinder are seen as modern
Is it because the pace of technology is making online dating more “normal”?
Hardly – one startling statistic underlines the fact that online dating is still a bit weird.
When psychologist Jodi Basu made a questionnaire for people to fill in to get a better idea of what they look for in a potential match, the results revealed that 96% of potential partners were asked the same questions.
This included identifying the previous night’s catchphrase.
Which, in the heterosexual world, usually means OK Cupid.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption As a form of modern “psychic counselling”, the questionnaire was seemingly certain to find mismatched love
The “if we’re still single a year from now” question also asked what the first thing about the potential partner was – perhaps an oblique reference to how something about that person stood out.
But from the pure numbers, you’d be forgiven for concluding that the vast majority of people were more in the mood for that second cocktail, or that dream night out than a potential partner.
Then there’s what we know about the top responses:
Over a third indicated how attractive they are.
Around 16% selected their suitability as someone who would talk to them 24 hours a day.
10% said they had a “dark secret”.
9% said they had an emotional attachment to the person.
Of the 20 million people on average who used one of the seven of the dating apps in the UK, women shared the traits with 37.5% of potential partners, while men were 34.5% of all matches.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Is online dating still a bit weird?
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Over half of the responses on the questionnaire were identical to previous experiences
Online dating is significantly cheaper than going out. Where’s the harm?
Tracey Cox – health and relationship blogger at honeymoonathome.com – recently wrote about the sensible caution she took on the very first date she had with the founder of a dating app called JustTakeAHint (an online dating game to release game modes and their joke slogans).
In a nice touch, it’s actually your match’s choice of words and actions, right up to their favourite meal, that determine how long the relationship lasts.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Modern app terminology can appear odd in certain contexts
The annoying thing about online dating apps is that there is a real danger the endless stream of mixed messages, shared photos and empty questionnaire statements will drive us further away from each other, instead of closer.
In this context, it is understandable that people might have a visceral reaction to a trend, like the Love a Person and Smile at the Food craze.
If that’s what we want? OK, let’s go with it.
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