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“Think back on your bedtime stories as a child,” he writes, “and I bet these words are lodged somewhere in your brain: ‘…and they fell in love, got married, and lived happily ever after.’ These imagined happy endings stick with us as adults.” Viren Swami, social psychology professor at Anglia Ruskin University, argues that dating apps often work as outlets to pursue such “happy endings”.
“The pressure to be in relationships,” Swami says, “and the perception that there is something ‘wrong’ with remaining single, can create a drive or need to be on dating apps.” But far from easing the discontent of being single, many young people feel that dating apps have amplified it.
“I feel like I do have some weird sense of obligation to meet someone,” he says.
“Even though this is the longest I’ve ever been single and it’s probably the happiest I’ve ever been.” Tiffany, a 22-year-old who works for a travel startup, agrees that dating apps make it more difficult to be content in single life.
Alex Durrant, who runs the dating app Jig Talk, believes dating apps shift their priority when they move from a growth mindset to a focus on revenue.
“In the early stages, when there are high growth periods,” Durrant says, “dating apps need to work; they need a real positive impact in the early stage.
But despite such countless options, an increasing proportion of the UK is single.
It was a window onto a society where, despite the growing number of single people, just being single can be seen as a symptom of discontent.But it can also shorten the loyalty of the customer: if you find a suitable match, you are likely to leave the market.Terrifyingly, this means it may sometimes be in the interest of dating apps for you to stay single.About 22 per cent of straight couples and 67 per cent of gay couples now meet online.These days, 59 per cent of Americans believe online dating is a good way to meet people, while just 23 per cent think users are desperate.