The Dating Game in the Digital Age

The Dating Game in the Digital Age

The dating game has changed significantly over the past few years, thanks to the emergence of various dating apps and the popularity of dating shows on TV. TORRO Cases, a luxury leather iPhone 8 case supplier, has explored just how different it can be to find ‘the one’ in the digital age…

The most popular dating apps & websites

Head into either the iOS or Google Play Store and you will find that there is a wide variety of dating apps available to download — each with their own unique selling points and varying designs. However, one survey carried out by Statista will come in handy if you believe that when it comes to the dating scene, having more people will heighten your chances of success and happiness.

The statistics portal looked into the share of individuals who are either current or past users of online dating sites and apps in the UK as of June 2017. According to the results, 45 per cent of respondents are either currently using or have used and another 45 per cent were active or had been active on Plenty of Fish. The top three was rounded out with Tinder, with 40 per cent of respondents either currently active or had used the portal in the past, with the full top ten as follows:

  1. com – 45 per cent
  2. Plenty of Fish – 45 per cent
  3. Tinder – 40 per cent
  4. badoo – 32 per cent
  5. Eharmony – 23 per cent
  6. Zoosk – 23 per cent
  7. OKCupid – 18 per cent
  8. Friend Finder – 16 per cent
  9. Dating Direct – 15 per cent
  10. Academic Singles – 15 per cent

The numbers behind these dating sites are also sure to catch the eye. According to themselves, for instance, more than 1.3 million people have met their partner on the portal and over 300,000 members have taken up the opportunity to attend a Match event. Plenty of Fish — or POF as they are also known by — also claims to have four million daily active online dating users, 65,000 new users each day and that one billion messages are sent across the portal per month. Then there’s Tinder, which claims to record 1.6 billion swipes each day and one million dates each week. This is on top of the site stating that it has achieved more than 20 billion matches to date.

These figures from just three of the many dating sites available showcase just how popular the online dating world has become!

The popularity of dating shows

It is not just with dating apps and websites where dating is an incredibly popular topic in the digital sphere, as dating shows are also in high demand when we switch on our TVs.

ITV’s Take Me Out will likely be one show that instantly jumps to mind when focusing on this category of our small screens. Despite being on air for almost a decade now though, the show presented by ‘matchmaker’ Paddy McGuinness is still proving a ratings success — the opening episode of series seven had an average audience of 2.97 million when it aired at the beginning of 2015, for instance.

Channel 4 has enjoyed plenty of success when airing dating shows too. When the tenth series of First Dates (a show focused on strangers going on blind dates in a restaurant filled with first dates) aired on the channel earlier this year, it launched with 1.3 million viewers tuning in and then had 1.5 million viewers by the second episode. Naked Attraction, which offers a much talked about spin on the dating show format and is presented by Anna Richardson, also began in 2016 with 1.4 million viewers watching — a better share than an episode of Big Brother that was airing at the same time on Channel 5.

This is not to say that Channel 5 has lost out when it comes to dating shows though. They had the honour of bringing hit 90s show Blind Date back in 2017 after a 14-year hiatus. The series, which saw Paul O’Grady taking up hosting duties from the late Cilla Black, premiered last summer with a peak audience of two million viewers.

We even seem fascinated by the dating shenanigans of the rich and famous! This is highlighted by the fact that the fourth series of E4’s Celebs Go Dating was the most watched of the show’s history, with an average of more than 700,000 viewers watching the final episode of the series alone when it aired at the beginning of March.

Tips from a psychiatrist & psychotherapist about dating in the digital age

We’ve established that there are many dating apps and websites available which are bustling with activity so far then, not to mention an abundance of popular TV shows which could be giving us ideas as well as serving as light entertainment. However, what is the best way to play the dating game when the scene has become so digitized?

Shirin Ali, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist in private practice in New York City, is on hand to assist. In a guide written for Psychology Today, Ms Ali acknowledges that those who set up a date via a dating website or app will be arranging to meet a stranger. She underlines: “I’m not saying this to cause ‘stranger danger’, but to point out that you actually don’t know this person before meeting them.”

Ms Ali goes on to state that people can also easily present flawless versions of themselves using dating websites and apps, as well as their social media accounts if communication leads to interaction via these sites, before advising people to not rely entirely on the notion that someone ‘ticks all the right boxes’ by saying: “Part of the point of dating is to figure out if the other person has the capacity to attach, if you can have fun together, if they can relate to you, respect you, and communicate with you an honest and dependable way. This takes presence of mind and heart and investment of time. The check boxes are no substitute for finding out how someone relates to others. You actually have to relate to the other person to find out.”

Rounding off her advice, Ms Ali has the following tips when it comes to actually approaching a date via digital means:

  • Send no more than three messages without a reply.
  • Only send a few messages to each other before attempting to arrange a phone call.
  • If a phone call is successfully arranged, observe whether the person on the other end of the call is enjoying the conversation.
  • Observe how well someone handles other relationships, such as their ties with family members, friends and former partners.
  • Be fair by being honest with what you are looking for from the start. This includes stating whether you are currently looking for something short or long-term, as well as a casual or meaningful relationship. These may change as you get to know someone, but at least the other person will know where you stand initially.

Whether you prefer the traditional or more digital-savvy methods of the dating game, here’s hoping ‘the one’ is just around the corner for you!


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