Are Dating Apps Killing Romance?

Dating apps are quickly becoming the new and easy way to find Prince or Princess charming. But do they work? Claire Wilsher took on the challenge of trying to find a soulmate through one of the most popular dating apps on the market: Bumble. Here, she gives a comprehensive list on how NOT to find Mr or Mrs Right.

Dating apps do have their benefits. With advancements in dating technology, you will never again fear the phone number of the man of your dreams being washed off your arm in the rain, or fear that you might miss the secret message the guy at the bar wrote to you in salted peanuts. You will, however, be painfully reminded that yes, you did once swipe right to Gary from Scunthorpe whose main interests include ‘being a #lad’ and ‘the sesh’. You will be reminded of Gary the #lad, because he takes your lack of reply as a green signal to send yet another dick pic and invite you over to his freshly-laundered bachelor pad on a gloomy Tuesday night. Go to bed Gary, ‘the sesh’ can wait.

And now, there’s a new kid buzzing round the block: Bumble, the dating app that let’s girls take the lead. Talk first, and talk fast. Once you’ve matched with someone, you only have 24 hours before that match disappears. Forever. Well, just from your Bumble profile. In the typical Leeds way you’ll probably steal a cheeky glance at the one who could have been ‘the one’ by the chopped tomatoes in the Hyde Park Sainsbury’s.

“Can you really find the love of your life when Bumble so regularly compares dating to a beehive?”

As someone who has always thought dating apps were possibly the worst invention since skimmed milk (pour water on your cereal and save on packaging), the initial outlook for Bumble wasn’t exactly positive. But Bumble really does have some great features. For the indecisive lot out there, you can grab back those profiles you accidentally swiped past in a moment of madness. Just a shake of your phone, and Steve, 22, Engineer is back. Making the girl talk first, although increasing the chance of terrible introductory dad jokes, does limit the chances of those silly humans who take Tinder as an opportunity to kick-start their modelling career. It’s 2017. It shouldn’t be needed, but somehow it still is, and Bumble has not so subtly found a way to sidestep an issue plaguing dating apps everywhere.

But, like most things, it has it’s problems. Firstly, we need to talk about the puns. Yes, we all love a good pun, but does Bumble go too far? Can you really find the love of your life when Bumble so regularly compares dating to a beehive? Occasionally, it’s possible to forget that it’s a dating app and start feeling like you’re back in year 9, on FarmVille. Doesn’t exactly make you hot under the collar. More importantly, Bumble has neglected a large part of our society, left them totally alone in the fear of never finding love. Imagine the scene. You are a young adventurer in the field of online dating, striving to find ‘the one’- or in my case, anyone at all. You think that the only path to success is Bumble. Then you realise something. You are allergic to bee stings. That’s it. The quest is over. No one wants to put their life on the line for a quick snog. Through its casual use of inappropriate puns, Bumble has condemned some of us to a life of solitude forever.

The pun problem is twofold. The puns aren’t just confusing and excluding, they are addictive. When the only reply you can think of, for any question that James, 23, Student, asks, is “none of your beeswax”, the quest for love can get slightly problematic. Will James, 23, Student, find this funny? ‘No’ is the tried and tested answer, he will not.

“Dating apps cross social bridges in a way that can leave you feeling stranded and alone in a sea of  inappropriate GIFs”

To add to all the puns buzzing round your brain, the 24 hour time limit to speak to your new matches is stressful. Really, really stressful. Can you think of the line that will capture the Bumble-bae of your dreams in 24 hours? Bumble makes a moment in life, which is meant to be enjoyable and organic, yet another deadline on top of the others. It’s like being told to hand your dissertation in on Christmas Day- no one wants that.

But most importantly, Bumble is still a dating app. It still contains all the potential for terrified dives behind bins as you spy the human you most recently let ‘into your hive’. If you haven’t messaged them, you’ve basically said: “yes at first I thought you might be acceptable, but after your 24 hour probation period where I found out nothing more about you apart from re-judging you off three photos, I have confirmed that I am too good for you.” It’s not exactly the start of a budding friendship. But if you have messaged them, how do you even go about bumping into someone who you’ve had a cheeky flirt with, maybe even shared a saucy GIF or two with, whom you’ve never even spoken to in real life? Dating apps cross social bridges in a way that can leave you feeling stranded and alone in a sea of inappropriate GIFs.

It might feel like every man and their dog – and let’s be honest where Tinder’s concerned, every man with a dog ensures you know that he has one – is using Tinder and dating apps nowadays. In reality, however, only 8% of people currently in relationships met their partner on a dating app and 39% still have the joy of meeting through friends. So, when Emma tells you that you might really fancy her mate, don’t turn your nose up. Unless, that is, you want to go for Gary and ‘the sesh’!


Claire Wilsher


[Image: Bumble]