While some of us may have baulked when dating apps were introduced a mere decade ago, now love stories that began online are everywhere.
Yet, as it turns out, some dating apps are more successful than others when it comes to finding a potential date or long-term partner.
A new study from Currys asked 2,000 Britons about their dating experiences and found that Tinder saw the most success of all dating apps.
Tinder had a 16.5% success rate – meaning nearly one in five people found love on the app. This was fcatfollowed by Plenty of Fish (11.18%), Bumble (5.75%), Match.com (5.64%) and Badoo (4.91%).
The dating apps you’re most likely to succeed on
Tinder - 16.51%
Plenty of Fish - 11.18%
Bumble - 5.75%
Match.com - 5.64%
Badooo - 4.91%
Hinge - 4.08%
eHarmony - 3.55%
OkCupid - 3.45%
Grindr - 2.93%
Snack - 2.51%
Lumen - 2.09%
EliteSingles - 1.99%
Feeld - 1.88%
Happn - 1.88%
Her - 1.57%
Of the survey participants, 31% of men and 28% of women said they had met someone on a dating app who they later went on to have a relationship with.
“Dating apps have gone from, ‘let's make up a story about how we met,’ to the most common way people date in 2023,” dating coach Hayley Quinn tells Yahoo.
“Recent research from [broadband provider] Zen shows that 25% of people believe they'd struggle to find ‘The One’ without online dating, with 27% of people saying they don't know how to meet people in real life, and 22% citing being time poor as the reason they date online.”
Charly Lester, a dating industry expert who co-founded Lumen, a dating app for over-50s that was later acquired by Bumble, adds that dating apps are now the “norm” for meeting someone.
“Their popularity comes from their opportunity for passive rejection,” she explains. “Apps with swipe matching mean you're never told 'no' to your face – you're only ever communicating with people who have indicated they like you. And even if you are turned down on an app, it's a lot less painful to be turned away by someone in a text message than in person at a bar.”
Both Quinn and Lester agree that one of the biggest advantages of using a dating app is that you can meet people you would never normally cross paths with compared to those who meet through mutual friends or through work.
“Later on in life, people's friends are often coupled up, so dating apps open up a world of new connections,” Quinn explains. “They also fit around busy lives and give more opportunities to people.”
Yet, one of the downsides of using a dating app is that it can be hard to get to know the real person over messaging.
“Conversations over text message can be crafted in a way you can't craft a real time conversation,” Lester explains. “Photos can be misleading, and getting to know someone over an app, rather than in person, can result in an unrealistic image of them in your head which they are never able to live up to in real life. Obviously catfishing [pretending to be someone you're not to lure a love interest] and scamming are also risks when you meet someone online too.”
The Currys study found that both men and women were guilty of bad behaviour on dating apps – such as ghosting and catfishing.
More men than women (10% compared to 3%) were guilty of catfishing someone on a dating app, while more women than men (19.20% compared to 17.45%) admitted to ghosting someone they met on an app – which means they cut off all contact completely without explanation.
So how can one ensure success on a dating app? “Stay proactive,” Quinn advises. “There's no magical answer to success online. Having a good selection of recent pictures, a well-written, unique profile and messages help, but you have to stay in it to win it.
“Motivation can be particularly challenging, especially for more mature daters who know what their goals are. To stay excited by dating, make sure you choose dates that you'll enjoy going on, and having a quick video call with a potential date is a simple way of assessing compatibility.”
Quinn adds that it doesn’t matter which dating app you use, but it’s down to your attitude and your ability to be consistent when it comes to making an effort in this area of your life.
Lester advises using conversation-starters in your profile. “Photos which provoke questions and parts of your bio which someone can respond to [such as your favourite books or films, a favourite memory, or a travel tale] make it easy for the other person to find something to say in their first message,” she adds.
She also suggests asking a brutal friend to give you feedback on your profile, check apps regularly, try to meet up where possible, and to stay safe if you do meet up. “Meet in public places, let friends know where you are, and never share personal information with strangers.”
If you do want to meet someone, Lester says the best thing to do is to be honest. “Whatever your age, if you're using dating apps it's important to be honest with both yourself and other people about what you're really looking for.”
Watch: Sam Smith was 'chucked off' dating apps