Sad, paranoid and still single: How dating apps destroy us

The likes of Hinge and Bumble have turned dating into a cesspit of ghostings, blind panic and rampant dehumanisation, and many have had enough. Eloise Hendy talks to experts and app veterans about our current romantic crisis

Sociologist Eva Illouz, who argued that the culture of capitalism has led to close, intimate relationships becoming increasingly defined by economic models of bargaining and exchange – imagined as things to be evaluated, measured, and quantified.

Eloise Hendy©

Jenny’s plan was to go to Chinatown and get some chicken. It was a first date – she’d met a guy on Hinge and arranged to meet at Leicester Square at 6.15pm. After messaging that she was setting off, she hopped on the Northern line. Emerging on the other side, back into phone signal range, she suddenly sees two messages from her date pop up. “Are you pranking me Jenny,” one asked. Then, she realised his WhatsApp photo had disappeared. He’d blocked her. It was 6.17pm – she was two minutes late.