Are Dating Apps Just For Hookups? Here’s What You Need To Know

One of arguably the best and most controversial 21st century developments seems to be dating apps. For better or worse, you can skip any quaint courting ritual and go straight to getting it poppin’ and sneaking out the morning after. But the question remains: Are dating apps just for hookups? If you’re no longer interested in hookups or never were, it’s easy to get jaded with modern dating. Whether it’s your friends, pop culture, or your own lackluster experiences, it might seem that dating apps are just for one-night stands, FWB situations, and flings at best. You’re left wondering, “OK, is there a version of my swiping, matching, and messaging on dating apps that can get help me get back to actual dating?”

Ultimately, it comes down to a mix of your intentions, those of your potential matches, and which app you’re on. Looking at the big three (Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble), you’ll find that yes, you can find a committed romantic relationship on dating apps. A 2017 study found that about half of U.S. couples met online. On average, 39% of straight couples met via the internet and 60% of queer ones did. So, never mind any preconceived notion of what dating apps have to offer. And as it turns out, there’s a lot going on behind-the-scenes that puts the odds in your favor — beyond curing horny Friday night boredom.

Mauro Grigollo / Stocksy

For starters, there’s Bumble, which is founded explicitly on respect. That’s evident in women holding the power to make the first move on the app, subverting gendered power imbalances. It’s also evident in new features like d*ck pic detection, aka “Private Detector,” which goes live in June 2019. More than the app’s reputation and features, a 2018 survey found that 85 percent of Bumble users are “looking for marriage or a boyfriend/girlfriend.” Less than four percent of people were looking for a hookup.

So if you’re looking for someone to date on Bumble, it’s truly just a matter of specifying what kind of dating you’re interested in. “Not everyone is looking for the same thing when it comes to dating, so we encourage our users to make it clear what they are looking for on their profiles — to help set expectations on both sides,” says Alex Williamson, Bumble’s chief brand officer.

One tangible way to do that is by customizing your Bumble profiles badges. Do you want casual dating, a long-term relationship, or marriage and kids? Whatever you’re looking for, don’t be shy about it. You can even filter what other folks are looking for, too, Williamson says. She also explains that she and Bumble staff hear from app users all the time about how they’ve found love. Williamson has already officiated a Bumble couple’s wedding and will be officiating more later this year. She adds, “I was just getting coffee somewhere in Austin wearing my Bumble hoodie and our waitress pulled out her phone to show me a picture of her Bumble baby!”

Alexey Kuzma / Stocksy

Hinge, too, makes a compelling case for romance over hookups via dating apps. Its tagline is “Designed to be Deleted.” Basically, that means Hinge was designed with IRL dates and (fingers crossed!) a budding romantic relationship in mind. From the jump, Hinge encourages users to put their most authentic self forward. It invites you to add tidbits like lifestyle habits to your Hinge profile or fill out its monthly, thought-provoking prompts. Then, the app’s “Most Compatible” feature takes care of the rest. The algorithm takes into account likes you and the community have sent within the past 24 hours, and then analyzes in-app behavior. By limiting likes, too, Hinge ensures that users’ likes are meaningful. The app also prompts people to reply when its their turn in the convo, cutting down on accidental ghosting in the process.

The “designed to be deleted” slogan doesn’t just apply to Hinge’s “getting to know you” set-up. The app’s interface was literally designed to help you focus on your match and get on a real date with them. The ample white space, cute drawings, and gentle splashes of royal purple, lilac, and yellow are intentional.Hinge’s Director of Design Lucy Mort said, “The colors and illustrations invoke a sense of optimism in a process that can often feel draining. We want the warmth and spiritedness of the new design to motivate our members to get off the app and out on a date.”

The changes appear to work. “The new illustrations, rounded corners, and more whimsical palette do make the design less serious or sterile,” UX designer and cognitive researcher Maxim Leyzerovich told Elite Daily. “By designing experiences that are aesthetically calming — but also visually balanced and laid out — the inherent anxiety of using the app can be decreased.

Studio Firma / Stocksy

And then there’s Tinder, the one with a reigning reputation as a hookup app — a playground of nothing long-term, nothing serious. It seems the data reflects that, too. Tinder’s 2018 survey of more than 1,000 singles from 18 to 25 years old found that 72% of millennials have “made a conscious decision to be single for a period of time.” Of that group, 62% made this decision to focus on their own needs and 47% did so to focus on school.

So, yes, millennial Tinder users may be staying single for responsible reasons, like nurturing their ambitions and working on themselves. And the fact that 40% of respondents said they wouldn’t “settle for the wrong person for the sake of being in a relationship” could be encouraging. You can even be explicit about what you’re looking for in your Tinder bio. But the bottom line is: The vast majority of Tinder users aren’t looking to be boo’d up anytime soon. Bumble and Hinge are going to be your best bet if you’re looking for a serious relationship.

So, if you’re out there on dating apps, there is a chance you might run into one or two or five matches you really like (who just want to hook up). But there’s an attitude shift, on behalf of dating apps and app users, that’s looking super promising for finding love online. With the right app and intentions, know that a potential spark is only one swipe away.

 

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Sun Stories: Jazmin – Guess Girl – Chapter 5

I’m wiping down the counter when Jaz enters the salon. Here is one of the prettiest women I’ve ever met and there’s such a penalty hanging on my head on this one.

It’s not a free tanning session. (I do that one all of the time and they all buy packages) I buy upgrades for the pretty girls I like. This is a brand new situation. This is a foreign lady who has caught me in a comprising position with a girl in the gym and is prepared to expose me on Yelp and social media if I don’t comply with her orders.

It all seems weird to me and I’m having oceans of anxiety about this incident. I wish it all never happened.

I’m wiping down the Alpha 6800 when Jazmin had entered the salon at 7:45. Fifteen minutes before closing. She looks stunning. Vermillion blouse, black pencil skirt, and heels. Her legs are bare and stunning.

“Hi, Charles. How are you?”

“I’m good.” (I want to sound enthusiastic for her so it’s not weird.)

“I’m so tired today.”

“Well corporate America can be a bitch!” (I’ve worked in the corporate rat race since the ’80s, so I really know)

“Well, have you decided?”

“I have.”

“What is your answer, Charles?”

“Yes… You’re lovely Jazmin. How can I refuse your request?”

It’s been an unconventional request but some of the best things in my life have come to me when I least expected them. Actually, all of the most magical moments have come to me in unexpected ways.

“So yes… I will do whatever you want, Jazmin”.

God, this girl is on the right side of thirty and really pretty. I can’t believe the crazy things that have happened to me working at this salon.

Thank you Achilles.

The salon is now closed. The silence surrounds me.

Should I turn the music back on?

I decide to leave it off unless Jaz asks for it. I call her Jaz because I’m about to become intimate with a client and it’s wrong.

How can I even say that after what happened between me and Kita? (See: Kita – Reckoning and Double Dip)

Jazmin goes tanning and after about fifteen minutes comes out of the Cadillac.  (We call that sunbed that because when it’s closed it looks like the front of an old Caddy.) She looks amazing. Her skin is darker and she’s just gorgeous.

“Where do you want me?”

This is insane.

“Go ahead and have a seat on the sunbed in room 9.”

I can just get down on my knees to do the deed.

I actually hate calling it the deed. Because I’m the benefactor here. A super beautiful girl holding me hostage to go down her. How bad is my life?

I stop by room 9.

“Charles, I’m frightened.”

“Then you can go now and we’ll never speak of this, Jaz.” (I’d never force a girl to do something she didn’t want to do.)

“I want this. But now I am feeling so much fear. Can you help me?”

“Jaz… you opened this event. Reach into yourself. You really want it to happen, right?”

“Y…yes.”

“It’s going to be so nice and you’re not comprising your virginity or your virtue. You’re just going to have some good feelings and then you’re done.”

I am literally Dr. Love at this moment. This extortionist that has tried to pull some blackmail sex on me is now feeling nervous and scared.

If Jazmin will just relax, she’ll have a feeling she’s never known.

Jazmin is a virgin, so I need to go very slowly and be really gentle.

She’s sitting on the edge of the sunbed when I reach the doorway. I’ve brought a chair with me and I put it outside of the room in the hallway. I sit down. I don’t enter the room. The room is small and she’s going to need her space at the beginning of this event.

“I’m really scared. I can’t do this.”

“Okay. What do you want to do? Jaz, we don’t have to do anything. It’s okay.

“I think I need a moment. I still want to have this feeling, but I just need a moment.”

(Which could mean: Never.)

“Just breathe, dear.”

Jazmin takes a deep breath.

“In through the nose. Out through the mouth. Slowly.”

“Thank you for being so patient with me.”

This is a completely different woman than the one I met the other day. She seemed so confident and almost arrogant in regard to what she was demanding from me. Now she’s sitting here like a frightened teenager.

This is going to totally suck if she doesn’t pull herself together.

“Jaz. You can trust me. We’re not going to do anything you don’t want to do. You’re just having a little stage fright. You decided you wanted to experience this feeling and here we are.”

“You’re right. Thank you.”

She seemed to be calming down.

“I assure you, Jazmin. You’re going to enjoy this experience. I know what I’m doing in this department. You’ve witnessed my work first hand. It’s just one of the many services I offer at this fine salon.”

She cracks up. That’s exactly what I was going for. Bring in a little humor to get them giggling to lower the tension.

“You’re so funny. Okay. Let’s do this.”

“Okay.” I remain seated. No need to rush.

“Wait.”

“Yes, dear.”

“How do we do this? Should I remove my skirt or just hike it up?”

“To provide the maximum amount of freedom of movement I would recommend you remove the garment. But when you do that, I’m going to close the door so that you can disrobe in private. You’ll also want to remove your undergarments as well. Then I would ask that you take that yellow towel over there on the table, and place it over your pelvis to cover yourself. I’ll come back when you’re ready.

“Okay…”

I think she was surprised at my tact. But it’s how I operate. This is a serious, life changing transaction. It has to be right for Jazmin. I can’t have a misstep here.

I return to the chair. I can hear her removing her skirt. Then the sound of her panties slipping down her slender caramel thighs.

I’m performing a sexual act under duress, but at the same time, I’m trembling with excitement with what I’m about to do. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. To orally pleasure a beautiful virgin. I’ve relieved several women of the burden of virginity. I’ve been gentle and loving every time. This is no different. I will do my absolute best to bring Jazmin to orgasm as many times as her body and mind will allow for the very first time.

All without penetrating her.

I’ve got this.

I’ll be honored if she goes through with this. She could open the door fully clothed and call off the whole thing. Then what happens? Do we try again? Does she go with the evil Yelp review, contact the authorities, or just drop this matter entirely? I’m sitting here in the quiet salon.

It’s as silent as a morgue.

What am I doing? I should put the music back on. Just to create some atmosphere in this weird moment, I run to the front and hit the tablet. I pick an internet station that sounds like something sensuous.

I slowly walk down the long hallway back to the chair outside of room 9. I sit once again and wait.

“Charles?”

“Yes, Jazmin.” (Can she hear my heart beating?)

“I think I’m ready…”

 

 

Read the next episode of Jazmin in 2 weeks!

 

 

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