15 to 20 years ago, lot of people considered dating services such as websites like Meetic.com and Match.com as a perverted way to meeting new people. When these kind of websites grew to become an industry accepted worldwide, the Middle Eastern countries started using dating websites but in a very secret way.
People were first interested in these websites because it gave them the opportunity to meet new people and spend some fun time. They were able to hide away behind their computers and often behind a fake picture that will attract the bigger number of interested people because of all the taboos and the “what will someone think of me” if they discover their identity.
Came the time where these people started accepting the process of the dating websites as it became an easy way to find people looking for companionship, friendship, relationship and new sexual life all over the world.
Nowadays mobile applications for dating purpose became the “it-app” to have on its mobile. No need to call people when feeling alone, location on our phone will lead us to a certain community interested in the same subjects, events, hangouts and activities (either for fun or for sexual relationships).
These applications facilitate surely the dating process for individuals who might feel lonely, unsuccessful in previous relationship, unsecure enough socially or simply too busy in their life to actually take the time to go out, wait to meet someone date him/her etc.
When it comes to gay dating websites and right now dating apps, the feeling of belonging to a certain community where people feel safe enough is the major reason for subscription. These apps are not only used to find a partner but also to find friends, people to talk to and who can listen. In all cases, gay community has now more than 25 known and successful dating apps all over the world allowing people to meet, to hang out, to construct love relationship and to find consensual sexual partners easily.
First, dating apps are a secure and fast way to meet people when someone is looking for a love relationship. The selection criteria is organized and shared to the users in an easy way. Individuals can look for profiles of people who might fit their idea of an ideal person.
Having the choice is in itself, a reason for using dating apps that much. In “real” life, people meet others but are not able to know beforehand what to expect. Through dating apps and even though fake profile are very common, people can adjust their choices to their multiple needs.
Then, dating apps allow people to feel wanted, as they can know the number of people who looked into their profiles. The feeling of self-confidence and self-esteem can be much higher than during real life first meetings. Individuals can easily open up behind a screen because they can stop talking with the other part just by switching off the application or by signing out. Virtual conversation helps them say what they usually cannot say directly and/or helps them hide their emotions easily as the other cannot see the body reactions to a certain sentence or subject.
Dating apps are also an easy way to construct common grounds and interests with people. Individuals can meet and if the chemistry did not function, friendship can always be an option.
Therefore, dating apps are surely an easy way to be more open to the others because behind a screen, people can be more open than in public spaces, especially for the gay community.
Once met, two individuals can go from there and build any kind of relationship needed and wanted without having to invest lot of time in dating.
However, risks of dating apps are not to be minimized. Fake profiles are very common, predators and pervert people often enjoy using dating apps to degrade others, especially gays. Individuals should not trust people anyone while using dating apps even if their profile seems fit to all their fantasies, desires and needs. A certain fear of the unknown is not bad when it comes to meeting in person the person virtually met and public spaces should be the only option for first dates.
The other risk is related to the mechanisms of
dating through dating apps: Meeting virtually becomes so easy some people tend to hide from “real life” and start avoiding going out and live their fantasies online. This fact makes them less social than usual and they can end becoming lonely.
The last common risk individuals using dating apps talk about is becoming addict. Numbers of people met online, than seen in person, been in sexual relationship with become so replaceable than with time individuals will need more and more people to meet. The extreme use of dating apps become no less dangerous than drugs and any other behavioral addiction.
In conclusion, to use dating apps or not to is not the question… What each one should question before getting into any kind of relationship is the real reason why we want to be with someone and what are our expectations? We should ask ourselves what brings us happiness. What do we want and finally why do we hope that technology will provide shortcuts to real connection?