So, we decided to investigate people’s views on dating apps, especially how they perceive them during a life-changing pandemic
For a while, ‘‘happily ever after” was the most important thing to aim for. After all, Belle fell in love and found happiness with the Beast-Turned-Prince (Beauty and the Beast), Cinderella caught the eye of the most eligible bachelor at the ball (allowing her to change her life, instead of being an unpaid maid to her step-mother and sisters) and finally, Sleeping Beauty was saved by a brave bloke who rode his horse through a scary forest to make sure she wouldn’t ‘‘sleep” forever.
But slowly, things have been changing. Rory (Gilmore Girls) rejected her rich-and-handsome boyfriend’s marriage proposal to focus on her career as a journalist. Summer (500 days of Summer) wanted to play the field for as long as possible, only settling down when finding the perfect person for her.
We see that there’s been a shift in how pop culture portrays love and lovers – from having one classic narrative of how a happy ending should look like, to how we see now, a broadening of what an ideal love story looks like, with a whole range of possible plotlines pointing towards happily ever after.
Anna saved her sister (Frozen) through ‘‘an act of true love”(an action which showed unconditional, selfless love, leading to breaking the curse and thawing her frozen heart)
By using our proprietary Culture AI, we reviewed hundreds of Reddit posts on dating apps across multiple threads and we were able to identify five main consumer segments and their opinions on finding love.
Some have always aimed to date intentionally, but for many, the pandemic changed everything. For instance, this one Reddit user shared his current perception of dating:
‘‘I feel the common conversation that comes up (with my friends and friends of friends) is a newfound appreciation for people/connection because of the pandemic…
… Perhaps I’m being too hopeful, but I am optimistic that by summer/fall when things ideally open up more there will be a lot of emotionally available people. People that are looking to make those genuine connections after being deprived of them lol.”
Earlier, this group took “going out on a date” for granted. Now, with social distancing being key to health (and mortality), they’re being more thoughtful about who they date, the way they date, and ultimately, their need to build emotional connections.
Some are even initially meeting through Zoom calls, to make sure they find a suitable match before ‘‘hanging out” in ‘‘real-life”. This screening process is becoming increasingly common in the consumer journey, helping users to ‘‘assess” potential partners (perhaps in a way that takes much longer than meeting in person right away).
A Tinder report noted that almost 50% of its users had a video call with a match during Covid-19, and two-fifths plan to continue to use this more ‘‘personal” tech to get to know others, even when the pandemic is over. A Reddit member shared their thoughts on this experience:
…One added funny [stories] at the end, so we could both laugh about his mishaps. I really valued that they took the time to make this for me. And of course I also presented myself via PowerPoint. It was a fun activity throughout lockdown and also a bit insightful to [sum] up my life in only a few slides.”
Almost half of the people on dating apps (%) hope to find a significant other online
Not every romantic has a positive experience. ‘‘Ghosting” bothers a lot of users, making them feel confused about why someone else was engaging in a chat with them in the first place. This unfortunate experience might turn ‘‘Romance Finders” into ‘‘The Hopeless” sort of consumer, knowing no matter how hard to try, they continue struggling to move things forward.