Do Dating Apps Actually Work? Can You Find Love Online?

09/06/2019     Author: Billy Gray

The world is changing and relationships are changing with it. But can you really find love online and is it the same as finding it in the ‘real world’?


The world of dating is a minefield. Anyone with a bit of dating experience knows that. There are lots of potential suitors out there, but also a lot of creeps and weirdoes. This has only been exaggerated when it comes to online dating.


When people can chat to you before you’ve been able to make a real-life judgment on them, you’re prone to get a few oddballs trying to make a move on you. It’s the same the world over. On to top of that, there are so many people who treat online dating as a quick and easy way to get laid.

This is largely down to the origins of popular online dating – namely Tinder, which started out as a way to rate how attractive people were at college parties in the US. The beginners were pretty much about getting drunk and hooking up with someone, and this was later drawn into the culture of what Tinder is.

Dating apps nowadays have recognized that a large percentage of the population don’t want this and they’re now marketing themselves to reflect this. Online dating is more accessible to people who are looking for a genuine connection with another person and something serious over something casual.

Does online dating really work?

With all these apps now claiming to help you meet people who you’ll get along with and want to form a genuine relationship with, you do have to wonder, does this actually work or is it just companies trying to fill a hole in the market?


There are many people out there in relationships who met online. There are also many people out there who have met people online and it didn’t go so well. That’s just the way it is. Relationships are a mixed bag and you’re never going to have one set of people having it perfect from one source.

There are obvious reasons as to why a relationship might work out better if you’re meeting someone through a mutual friend or colleague – someone who knows you and knows the person they’re about to try and match you up with.

That being said, there are cases when people meet someone online and make a good run of it – get married, even. At the end of the day, online dating apps are just a tool to connect you with other people in your area that you wouldn’t otherwise meet. If you just use them for that, then you can very well meet someone who you might end up with for a long time to come.

This is especially true if you actually take the time to fill out your profile with information about yourself and what you like. If you match with other people who take the time and care to do the same, then it’s much more likely that you’ll be meeting genuinely interesting people rather than those who are just looking for something ‘fun’.

How to make it work

If you’re going to use online dating in the hope of meeting someone special, then you should be very careful about who you’re actually meeting in the first place. There are certain warning signs that you should straight up avoid meeting someone in the first place.


Avoid people with no bio: If someone hasn’t taken the time to fill out their bio, then it seems that they either don’t want to share anything about themselves, or they have nothing to share. Either that, or they’re using so many different dating apps that they simply can’t be bothered to write something on every single one of them. Try to match with people who have taken the time to share a little bit about themselves.

Avoid people who don’t know what they want: Now, this is actually a tricky one. First of all, people can bullshit you. Second of all, some people might want something serious in the long run but don’t think that it’s a good idea to throw all that pressure on a person they’re meeting for the first time.

If you can, try to understand what the person is looking for without being totally direct with them. They might indicate this in their profile (some dating apps allow you to filter through people based on what they’re looking for in the relationship) or you could get an idea of whether they’re settled and responsible or whether they’re floating and indecisive.

If someone has a stable job, their own place and a car, then they’re more likely to stick around than if they’re a Danish backpacker here for a summer job. Try to take the hint and always trust your gut instinct (the only other thing you have to go on is their word).


Be clear about what you’re looking for: On top of figuring out what your match wants, make sure that you’re very clear about what you want from this. Your match is not a mind reader and you do have to let them know what you want, otherwise they’re left to assume all sorts of things.

Always bear in mind that most people can rack up a fair few matches on dating apps if they put the time in, which means that they can be talking to several people at once. If you’re not clear about what you want, then they might just assume that you’re floating between five people and looking for one that suits you at any given time. This is especially true of men. Guys, you’ve got to be clear about your intentions.

Face-time them: Several dating apps actually give you the option to chat to someone via your phone camera. This is a great way to get to know what someone is actually like before you meet them. This is especially useful for young women, who can make sure that the person they’re talking to is indeed the person they claim to be.


This is also a good way to get a better idea of what a person is looking for and maybe an insight into how and where they live. Bear in mind that you might be asking the person to talk when they don’t feel like they look good – or maybe they’ve just jumped out of the shower. They might want to take a rain check – they might just be busy. But to be fair, catching them unaware is a handy way of confirming what they’re like in their day-to-day life, rather than how they present themselves on a dating app.

The wrap-up

Overall, online dating can be a good thing – but it really helps to play your cards right in order to save you unnecessary legwork in the process. At the end of the day, how well online dating works for you will involve a bit of luck, some work on your part, and just who you end up meeting. Maybe you’ll find that special someone straight off the bat, or maybe you’ll meet five people and they’ll all be complete oddballs. Either way, good luck on your journey!

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