Dating apps are killing romance says BBC presenter and historian Dr Lucy Worsley, because they make it “far too easy” for the modern-day dater.
Speaking to the Radio Times about apps such as Tinder, which an estimated 50 million people are thought to use every month, Dr Worsley says, “How could Jane Austen have written her novels about the slow, exquisite torture of love in an age of Grindr and Tinder, when bored singletons search for one-night stands with a few clicks of their mobiles?”
“Austen’s heroines worked hard to find The One by overcoming obstacles of social class, parental disapproval and the law. But these days it’s far too easy for romance to flourish.”
Dr Worsley, 41, who is presenting a new BBC series on romantic fiction called A Very British Romance, adds that although the apps make it easier to meet people, they are “bad for the writers of romantic fiction, the genre that has given us the happiest and most enjoyable of books and films.”
“As we see in period dramas, it’s when there are terrible obstacles between couples that romance thrives best.”
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at University College London shared a similar sentiment last year, saying that “People are time-deprived, careers have priority over relationships, not least because they are often a prerequisite to them, and the idea of a unique perfect match or soul-mate is a statistical impossibility.”
“Yes, some people still embrace a certain degree of serendipity, but the abundance of tools...to reduce the huge gap between demand and supply is bound to make the dating market more efficient and rational.”
While apps have made dating more convenient for the modern singleton, there is evidence to show that online dating doesn't necessarily equate to success in the romance department.
Researchers at Stanford and Michigan State University found that couples who meet on dating websites such as eHarmony and Match.com are less likely to stay together long term than those who meet offline.
The study, which polled more than 4,000 people, also found that online couples take a longer time on average to initiate a relationship than couples who met offline.
Michigan State University researcher Aditi Paul says it's probably down to the fact that even though there is considerably less stigma surrounding online dating, we still tend to take online relationships a lot less seriously than ones in real life.
“We don't put in too much thought into online relationships,” she wrote in the report. “Maybe this casualness that is associated with online relationship initiation impedes the development of the relationship in the long run.”
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