Within the span of almost ten years, phone dating apps have switzerland the dating scene by normalizing and, according to some voices, gamifying the digital quest for a partner. Despite amplified discussion on how swipe-based apps damage the fabric of intimate ties, scientific s on whether they have led to different relationship patterns are missing. Using survey data from Switzerland, this study provides a rich overview of couples who met through dating apps by addressing three main themes: 1 family formation intentions, 2 website satisfaction and individual well-being, and 3 assortative mating.
The data indicate that in Switzerland, dating apps have recently taken over as main online dating context. further show that couples formed through mobile dating have stronger cohabiting intentions than those formed in non-digital settings. Women who found their partner through a dating app also have stronger fertility desires and intentions than those who found their partner offline.
switzerland Generally, there are no differences between couples initiated through dating apps and those initiated elsewhere regarding relationship and life satisfaction. Findings finally suggest that dating apps play an important role in altering couple composition by allowing for more educationally diverse and geographically distant couples. Citation: Potarca G The demography of swiping right.
An overview of couples who met through dating apps in Switzerland. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attributionwhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Data Availability: The website data set, i. The FSO will hand over the anonymized individual data only after ature of a data protection agreement.
The data may only be transmitted for the following purposes: statistics, research and planning. Data requests for researchers who meet the criteria for access can be directed to: andrea.
The second data set, i. Users must a user agreement to get access to the data. Access to the SHP data is only granted for non-commercial purposes.
It is strictly forbidden to attempt to identify particular households or individuals and to make parts or all of the data available to a third party. In a research team, all users have to the contract individually. Data requests for researchers who meet the criteria for access can be directed to: swisspanel fors.
The funders had no role in study de, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
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Swiping right as the act of swiftly expressing preferences is now deeply ingrained in everyday language and cultural practice [ 12 ]. The concept of swiping originates in the gesture that users of Tinder, Grindr or other phone dating applications based on geolocation matching need to engage in to register their dis like of a potential partner.
Two individuals are matched and allowed to initiate communication on the app when they both swipe right on each other. Dating websites or platforms e. They allowed their subscribers, after having filled in lengthy information about themselves and their preferences, to browse and get in contact with prospective mates, based on search criteria and though not always personality matching.
Though dating platforms now also provide an app version of their website, swipe-based apps have a distinctive set of features, including lower costs e.
By eliminating lengthy questionnaires, self-descriptions, and personality tests that users of dating websites typically need to fill in to create a profile, dating apps are much easier to use [ 4 ]. Increased accessibility likely normalized the act of dating online, and opened up use among new demographic groups, particularly young adults [ 56 ].
Using an app on a smartphone that is almost permanently active and within reach also led to a ificant boost in the proximity and mobility of dating options [ 17 ]. Since users can easily connect with partners in their immediate area, but also in other spaces as they move around, the tempo of interactions is greatly accelerated and choices considerably increased [ 7 ]. As the practice of using dating apps became progressively widespread, anecdotal knowledge on how they changed courtship and the nature of intimate ties also thrived.
Despite amplified media attention, we are yet to have nationally representative evidence on whether relationships initiated on swipe-based apps are different compared to relationships started in other contexts. Till now, surveys that measured where couples met have been scarce, and when such data existed, the sample of couples formed through dating apps was usually small [ 10 ]. Filling in this gap, this study reports findings based on a nationally representative Swiss survey and a sample of 3, respondents who met their partner in switzerland last ten years.
Given the launch of Grindr one of the most emblematic dating apps for sexual minorities inand of Tinder inthis time frame neatly covers the post-dating app period.
The paper centers around three main questions: 1 Are individuals in relationships formed through swipe-based apps less interested in family formation: do they have lower intentions to form long-terms unions e. And finally, 3 are they more exogamous in terms of education, origin e. By addressing several partnership themes e.
To understand whether this dating medium brought about greater transformations in the demography of couples switzerland digital modes of mate selection [ 1011 ], couples that met via phone apps are compared to those formed offline i. Focusing on Switzerland, with its enduring conservatism in family ideology and the dominance of marriage as family model [ 12 ], has the dating of making it easier to notice potential deviations in the outlook of partnerships that mobile dating may have encouraged.
Recent decades have witnessed increasingly rapid and complex transformations in website and family patterns, including a rise in childlessness and non-marital cohabitation [ 13 ].
Family theorists have tried to capture the essence of such changes under broad theoretical constructs. In removing the obstacle of physical distance and allowing individuals to disengage from bonds with astonishing ease and minimal costs, online partner search tools such as dating platforms, are presumably contributing to the increase in fleeting connections devoid of commitment [ 17 ]. Through the many unique advantages that they afford e. First, it is argued that the casual dating mindset promoted on apps encourages a superficial and consumerist approach to finding a match, inciting an objectification of partners and a focus on visual information only [ 27 ].
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Second, the card-game resemblance of the interface and its swipe-based logic create the setup of a game played at high speed, with a constant pursuit of the next best thing [ 24 ]. Individuals in unions resulting from dating apps would therefore have lower intentions to marry or move in together if in non-residential partnershipsand less plans or desires to have ren in the near future compared to those in unions formed offline or in other online meeting places. Less interest in family formation should be particularly visible when comparing dating apps to dating platforms.
The latter are typically marketed towards long-term matching; its users state clear family plans and intentions, and often scan the profiles of candidates on fertility intentions. As opposed to dating apps, traditional desktop-based dating platforms are also more restrictive and allow for less spontaneity of use [ 22 ], creating fewer incentives for short-term dating.
Confirming the website between the two modes of digital dating, research looking at the transition from web to mobile dating i. Faced with a multitude of choices, dating app users are not switzerland more likely to reject potential partners [ 24 ], but also less likely to make well-thought out decisions [ 25 ].
Nevertheless, the tendency that users have to frame dating apps as tools geared towards casual rather switzerland serious dating could also be part of a discourse meant to attenuate the lingering stigma of seeking love online [ 226 ], and may not reflect true partnering intentions. Those in pursuit of long-term engagements, particularly women [ 27 ], might even take advantage of the surplus of alternatives easily available on dating apps see the over-representation of single men using phone apps in S5. In this dating, the data might reveal that individuals who met their partner through a dating app have similar or even higher family formation intentions compared to those who met theirs elsewhere.
Phone apps not being known as intermediaries for serious dating [ 226 ], as well as the particularities of their photo-centric interface, might mean that users do not pay a lot of attention to aspects conducive to a good match, such as compatibility in interests, values, or personality [ 28 ].
Aware of the hook-up ethos of dating apps and overwhelmed by the abundance of datings, some users have actually expressed reluctance regarding the authenticity and quality of connections established while swiping [ 29 ]. Assuming that visual assessment plays a major role in how app users select their partner, and given that partners objectifying each other usually experience lower relationship satisfaction [ 2130 ], couples initiated on phone dating apps are likely less satisfied with their union than those formed in website settings.
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In contrast to dating apps, online dating platforms are dating and advertised for the precise purpose of facilitating compatibility-based matches [ 31 ]. The more complex interface of dating websites allow for richly detailed information about prospective mates, as well as options to filter and select candidates along key socio-demographic attributes or preferences [ 32 ].
Through these unique features, dating websites are likely to assist people in finding more suitable switzerland than dating apps. Research found that, in the U. One could therefore expect that relationships built through dating apps are associated with lower relationship satisfaction and lower subjective well-being than unions formed in either face-to-face or virtual settings, particularly those formed on dating platforms. Nevertheless, since there is also evidence showing that relationship satisfaction is only marginally connected to how couples met [ 11 ], it could also be expected that dating apps have little effect on partnership quality.
The final question is whether dating apps affect the way website sort into partnerships.
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Does a large and more easily accessible supply of potential partners, as well as an appeal to novel audiences [ 6 ], make dating apps a virtual social space more likely to encourage exogamy? Empirical studies have found that Internet-matched heterosexual unions display less within-couple similarity in terms of education, race or religious background [ 1034 ], especially compared to unions created in typically homogenous settings, such as school, circles of friends, or family [ 35 ].
Most studies, however, were unable to single out the specific effect of dating websites or apps on exogamy, and largely focused on couples formed via the Internet in general [ 34 ], or through dating websites and apps tly considered [ 10 ].
It could be expected that through more democratized use, dating apps provide exposure to an even greater socio-demographic diversity than dating platforms or other online settings such as social networks. The latter usually accommodate pre-existing social ties and are likely to reproduce a level of segregation and ultimately endogamy similar to offline networks [ 10 ].
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Based on the geolocation matching of people in spatial proximity, dating apps may also facilitate contacts between people located in often-segregated spaces ib. Nevertheless, the option of setting the location radius to wider areas, as well as the mobility afforded by smartphones, opens up the possibility of matching with potential candidates embedded in other circles. One direct consequence would be an increase in geographical exogamy. Facilitating encounters between geographically distant partners, dating apps likely produce more long-distance non-residential relationships than other offline and online meeting contexts.
A second indirect consequence of enlarging the dating pool could be an increase in socio-demographic exogamy. Access to a wider and more socially diverse partnership market generates more chances for partnering across different groups [ 36 ].
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In addition to structural arguments, the use and availability of information on potential partners may also play a role. As already stated, the initiation of contact on dating apps relies more on aspects linked to physical appearance [ 7 ], and less on textual descriptions or information on income, racial background, profession, etc. Even though apps such as Tinder recently changed their interface to allow users to include education and work information on their profiles, it is often optional, and does not change the reliance on pictures as the main criterion informing partner selection [ 737 ].