Love and dating – what do Millennials really want?
Since dating apps became indispensable in our search for romance some surprising behaviours have been revealed.
Last March, a student loan organisation asked nearly 10,000 of its young customers why they use dating apps and the answer was not to find love, but because it can be a confidence boost.
Then, data released in June reported that Millennials are more likely than other age groups to feel both lonely and burnt out by dating.
And a report released in December found that nearly a third of Millennials surveyed would consider dating a robot.
Are young people really so insecure they seek confidence from dating apps? Are we really jaded by dating? And would we actually rather AI over IRL?
Dating apps have become entrenched in the way young people socialise and interact. Despite worries that apps are making Millennials incapable of real life relationships, it would seem young people are looking for love in both places.
When it comes to dating apps, the challenge is navigating the reams of singletons online while trying to find a true connection. While we enjoy the element of surprise, there needs to be fundamental things we have in common. Whether this is our value system, beliefs, or vision for the future, having a similar life experience means there’s a better chance we will connect.
The Inner Circle is one such dating app that believes this is vital to meeting the right person. Unlike other dating apps, where anyone can join, The Inner Circle members have all been pre-approved by the app’s team to make sure you are getting that quality instead of vast quantities. It is a selective dating app, and no, that doesn’t mean elitist. It is simply making people a priority rather than luring millions of users to its platform.
Although The Inner Circle is a dating app the team behind it also know that people want face to face interaction. To bridge the gap between on and offline, they host monthly meet ups for their members (to see if there’s one near you, sign up and check out their event calendar).
Speaking to Millennials who use dating apps, it is apparent that while they use dating apps to initiate connections it’s still important to meet people face to face.
James, 27, has used dating apps for five years. Although an online courtship can be exciting, he feels that timing is key.
“I don’t like texting for too long online or it can kind of dampen the spark. The thrill and ‘chase’ when you first start texting someone you fancy on a dating app is like a whirlwind of excitement,” he says.
“But, this feeling dissipates quickly when you run out of stuff to talk about on text. For me, it’s a maximum two-week turnaround from ‘matching’ to meeting face to face. It’s about a week of texting, then a date sometime in the second week.”
Due to incessant texting, streaming, ‘gramming and snapping Millennials are often accused of having short attention spans. While this may be the case, is it really such a bad thing? It is hardly in our interest investing time and energy in somebody we just don’t dig.
Anna, 27, knows all too well the pitfalls of false connections.
“You don't want to invest too much time talking to someone who ends up being awful in reality,” she says.
“I spoke to a guy for hours, staying up until 4am thinking he was so cool but in the end, he just wasn’t. All those wasted hours! If they could make me laugh then I'd be keen to grab a drink pronto.”
Therein lies the beauty of dating apps. We put our best virtual foot forward and when the result is that we make them laugh, or they get our weird streak of sarcasm, it really is something special. That said, an online spark certainly has a shelf date and as exciting as it is initially, it can’t quite compare to the real thing.
“You can never capture someone’s personality fully through a phone, especially sarcasm and humour,” James points out.
For Ana, 32, the key to success means quality over quantity.
“Dating apps got better for me after a friend of mine gave me some advice that should have been obvious, which was to only meet up with people I was excited to meet,” she says.
“I didn't go on that many dates after that- maybe five over the past year. However, my current (amazing) partner was one of those five.”
And as for that confidence boost we are all chasing, apparently it really is true. James has no qualms acknowledging that dating apps made him more confident in meeting people.
“Dating apps, for me, have changed the entire landscape of meeting someone. I was shy growing up in school and even in college. I had no confidence approaching girls and found it very intimidating,” he says.
“But now, I can take my time getting to know someone by messaging first then finding out more about them by meeting up in real life.”
All is not lost; finding the spark has not been trumped by swiping. As much as they love dating apps, Millennials also value face to face interaction. With The Inner Circle, you really do have the best of both worlds; from their own experience the team knows just how important real life meet-ups are.
They hold dating events in the places you want to go; think fun tiki bars, casual dinner parties, poolside soirees and festival-type bashes. Once you are a member you are more likely to be matched with people you connect with, plus you can take those connections into the real world via there Insta-worthy events.
To sign up for Inner Circle, register here for free.