The Pros and Cons of Online Dating Apps


Whether you’ve been on the dating scene for ages or are just now ready to get out and leave your mark on the world, you’ve probably been presented with the option to try online dating.

Let’s be honest, we’re big fans of online dating here, and we applaud anyone who wants to try their hand at what we think is the best and easiest way to date. But even though we love most of the online dating platforms — and all the good that online dating can bring — we also understand that it can be a pretty difficult and sometimes frightening decision to start online dating. Not to mention the whirlwind of emotions you can have once you’re in the thick of all that online dating provides to you.

You might lose some money and waste time, but you also might have the time of your life and meet the new love of your life. Honestly, we’re down for that gamble a bit with online dating, and we hope you are too. But we also completely understand that not everyone is as excited as we are for all that online dating might bring to you.

And one of the best ways we have learned to deal with complex decisions where there’s no clear right or wrong answer is by making a pros and cons list! Here are all the biggest pros and cons that matter when you’re questioning if you should try to online date or not.

The Cons of Online Dating

In case you can’t tell, we love dating apps and all the possibilities they can bring you with so much ease. But we also understand that using apps and websites isn’t everyone’s first choice. They might not find as much success or love from them, even if they spend all their time, money, and energy on the apps.

We admit that dating apps are a little strange, and they bring a whole new dynamic to the dating world. They can be tough to navigate and sometimes a hassle to learn and figure out. Thankfully, our website has many guides and dating app reviews that will give you all the best advice when you’re beginning online dating.

But if you’re wondering what some of the biggest cons about online dating are before you invest your time and energy into the platforms, here are some of the most glaring ones that make people want to avoid the online dating scene.

There’s No Guarantee of Success

While we’d love online dating to be a one-size-fits-all platform for everyone, and everyone who tries it walks away with exactly what they want, no one can promise success. Everyone’s experience on dating apps is different, and everyone will find and match with different people looking for different things and in different stages of life.

That’s a lot of outside factors that don’t even begin to cover what your involvement or energy you spend on the dating app does for your success when you’re on them. There’s a huge gamble involved when you decide to start your online dating journey.

While many people succeed in online dating, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find the right person at the exact right time.

Because online dating — like dating in general — involves many outside factors, it’s not as simple as logging on to the app and finding your person. That said, the more you put yourself out there, the better the odds of finding success.

Many Quality Dating Websites Cost Money

While you don’t need to spend money on a dating app or website, many of the highest quality and best-result-driven dating apps cost money. That being said, dating app subscriptions rarely break the bank, and there is a massive benefit to using a paid-for version on most platforms.

One of the perks of paying for your apps or websites is that there is more of an investment. Thus, most parties on these platforms are usually more active on the sites and more eager to find their person and get off the apps.

Also, if you start paying for an app’s premium subscription, you’ll get more perks than those using the free version. Choose a premium subscription to Bumble, for example. You’ll be able to see the people who have already swiped on you and shown you interest. You also have unlimited swipes and several other benefits that come with the premium membership.

But, even if you get to unlock perks and benefits from a prepaid plan, it still can be a ‘waste’ of money, and you still might not find your person

Just Like Dating in Real Life, It’s a Game

I’m not saying that people on the apps are trying to play games with you or mess with your head; it’s more that the algorithm is a game. If you’re going to join a dating app or website, you’ll have to learn to play the game.

A huge factor in finding success when trying online dating is to swipe or match with as many people as possible. But you also want to avoid matching with people you’re not interested in, so you might try to filter out anyone who isn’t the age you want to date or in the location you want to go to. But that being said, if you restrict who you see on the apps too much, you might miss your person if they’re one or two years older or younger than your restrictions.

We don’t want to scare you or make you anxious about any of your decisions on the app. It’s just a vast numbers game when it comes to finding your person and making any decision, really.

The way you ‘beat’ the apps and win the game is by playing the numbers game correctly and to the best of your abilities. Swipe and match with anyone and everyone you can to find your person. Don’t say no to someone if they don’t have everything you’re looking for. Be open, but also be honest. It’s all a game, and we have confidence that you’ll be able to play it well. It just might take some time to get the hang of.

It’s Very Fast-Paced

This could be a very positive or a negative thing, depending on how you view and approach dating best, but I’m going to put this in the cons list because it does stress me out.

Online dating is super fast-paced. You can get on the app, swipe on forty people, match with ten, then be signed up for two dates that night. It’s a revolving door of people who want to get into a relationship (or whatever else they might want from their dating app experience, we don’t judge).

Most people don’t want to keep dating apps on their phones forever, so they won’t. Hinge’s entire slogan is “The dating app meant to be deleted,” and it works.

While dating apps can be fun for a while, they’re not something many people necessarily always want to have on their phones. So if you match with someone, there’s a good chance that person will delete their app soon, and you better make a good argument for them to stay on it. I only downloaded dating apps for 24 hours and then deleted them when my boredom was quelled. It worked for me.

But if you’re not on the app as much as other people, or if you don’t message back in a certain amount of time, you might lose your connection with someone. Not to mention, if someone is messaging a person you matched with as well, they’ll more likely get the relationship and move on with them. I’ve left countless matches because someone else showed me more interest or was even on the app when I was on the app. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time, and that’s sometimes a more considerable time commitment than we want to make.

The time limit also adds another element that makes dating apps seem like a game you must know the rules for and play. If you’re not giving it your all, staying invested and energized when you’re on them, you can be benched for the season.

If you like a fast-paced dating environment, dating apps can be an excellent way to date. We’re not saying the time limit is all bad. People on dating apps are also less likely to stick with their matches when they don’t feel a connection with someone. This is nice because none of you will be wasting time on a spark that will never actually get set off.

The talking stage also moves very quickly, making one of, what could be, the most awkward and tedious steps of dating take only an hour sometimes. It’s really all about getting in, finding someone, and getting out.

The Pros of Online Dating

All this being said, don’t let us dissuade you from trying dating apps. For every negative quality dating apps have, they have many more positive attributes. Yes, dating apps aren’t for everyone, but there is a way to make them work with and for everyone, no matter where they are in life.

Here are our favorite things about dating apps.

You’ll Have More Choices

graph showing the most popular dating apps in the US

If you’re getting on a dating app, you’re going to be presented with more suitable choices than you’ll know what to do with. The options are so innumerable that we have guides on spotting people who are right or wrong for you on dating apps because you need to narrow your choices.

While the multitude of choices can be overwhelming, if you’re playing the numbers game, it’s more likely to come out in your favor because you’ll have a vast number of people from whom to choose.

You’ll also be able to see all of your options and weigh out what you really like or don’t like. This will help you in the long run because you can learn about your type and what you’re looking for in a partner in a low-anxiety and high-reward environment.

It’s Easy

This is one of the most significant deciding factors for most people when thinking about online dating. No matter what cons on the list above stand out to you, ease almost always trumps everything else.

There is no other method of dating in the world where you can sit on the couch in your sweatpants watching The Great British Baking Show and swiping on your future husband. It was my favorite thing to do to pass the time.

Not to mention, the majority of people on the app are looking for something at least slightly similar to what you’re looking for, so it’s not like you’re putting yourself out there to a slew of people who couldn’t be less interested.

While we’re not going to sugar-coat the anxiety that often comes with dating apps and all that’s involved, the payout is so worth it. All you lose is about an hour of your time spent scrolling on your phone.

There’s a Sense of Community

I know this might sound strange or like I’m trying to romanticize something that doesn’t need to be romanticized, but there is a sense of community that comes with matching with people online.

You create fast connections with people you would otherwise have never met, you are all looking for some version of the same thing, and it’s a safe and encouraging environment for the most part. There aren’t many people who are going to waste their time and money getting onto an app where they just cause hell for the people around them (although you should always be safe when you’re approaching online dating), and you’re more than likely going to get flirted with, flattered, and even a date out of your time.

There’s also something so exciting about logging onto an app and matching with people with whom you share a genuine interest. It takes the awkward, ‘She loves me, she loves me not’ out of the mix, leading to a more direct conversation.

It Has Been Very Successful for Most People

While we can’t guarantee your success with online dating, the numbers don’t lie. Because of the sheer number of users on these dating apps, you’re more than likely going to match with many people you have something in common with and whom you genuinely like.

We’re not saying every match will be the best, and we can almost promise there will also be some duds. Make those failed relationships into funny stories and move on. In the end, we can’t make a decision for you.

But we can look at the statistics for most dating sites and see all the active users and assume that in the thousands or millions of people on these dating apps who are all trying to find one, you’ll probably match with at least some of them, and who knows? It might be your happily ever after.

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