Nearly two-thirds of Tinder users are already in a relationship, and nearly half aren’t actually interested in finding a date, according to a new study.
Researchers interviewed 1,400 users, aged 18 to 74, about their motivations for using the dating app and the number of times they’ve matched and dated.
They also asked about their self-esteem and whether they felt lonely.
Research shows that many people choose to stay active on dating apps, even if they’re not looking for a date or a date, for the same reasons they use social media.
For these users, these platforms have become a source of entertainment and social connection, while providing them with a confidence boost through collecting likes and matches.
Study co-author Germano Vera-Cruz, a data scientist and professor of psychology at Université Jules Verne in Picardy, France, said the dynamics lead to a “deception game.”
This is because those who really want to connect in real life are less likely to succeed because there are fewer users with the same intent.
Professor Vera Cruz said: “Some people feel cheated by using dating apps because every time there’s a new platform, people think they might actually have found someone.
“Then people go from platform to platform, but every time they get there, they’re not satisfied.”
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The researchers found that the Tinder users who were least satisfied with the app were those who used the app to cope with negative emotions and other issues, such as an avoidant attachment style or psychological qualities such as impulsivity.
Another co-author, Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, a professor of clinical psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine, said the findings fit with what he’s heard from patients telling him they’ve decided to ditch the dating apps after trying them for years.
“There’s a sense that they spend too much time using them as entertainment or to distract themselves from other things,” he said.
Mr Abujaoud added: “It can be overwhelming and in some cases it can lead to the idea that the grass is always greener on the other side, like there is always greener grass outside. Good choices as well.”
Justin Mateen, Tinder’s marketing officer at the time, told The Guardian in 2014: “We never intended it to be a dating platform. It was a social discovery platform that facilitated introductions between two people.”
The company questioned past research examining users’ marital status, saying in 2015 that “every week, we are emailed hundreds of success stories about new engagements or marriages”.
Sky News has contacted Tinder for comment on the latest research.