There are no doubts anymore that we live in a society where “immediacy” has taken a place over everything else. Our everyday life is spent surrounded by technologies that facilitate and simplify our lives. This is a fantastic thing in many ways, but maybe in other aspects, it makes us in some way lose ourselves and then choose wrong, probably not once or twice, but again and again.
In the world of online dating, even if it might seem impossible, everything is actually quite simple. We can forever continue inventing methods to meet other people, but in the end, everything will be reduced into the only thing that has always and ever worked: the chemistry that exists between two people. A dating application should only be considered as a medium that offers you more opportunities to meet that special someone, but they can never replace a cross of looks, a beautiful smile or the feeling of a caress. If you think that the possibility of a real connection with an interesting person happens through a quick swipe, chances are that you will end up choosing wrong again and again. There are so many ‘dating apps’ that promise to heal your loneliness that you have probably never stopped to think about one thing: are you actually giving others the opportunity they deserve to meet you?
In Appetence, we decided to find out if we really are as shallow as the rest of the dating applications want to make us believe. For this, we have gathered together the answers of users from the United States, Europe and Asia. The results were surprising and fascinating. These are some of the questions we presented.
IS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT A CLICHÉ?
With the data that we obtained, it is again clearly demonstrated that the tendency in any dating application is for the user to be guided exclusively by the profile picture. This is something that we all already knew and in Appetence we wanted to investigate this issue a little further. We focus on situations as common as: Would you let it affect your opinion of wanting to get to know someone, if she/he would wear a color you don’t like in their profile picture? Would you change your mind if it was your favorite color? Do we really feel capable of accepting or rejecting someone for something as simple as that? Well; we wanted to go even further and decided to focus exclusively on the consequences of acting so superficially when really wanting to meet our future partner. The data obtained, were incredibly impactful. We discovered that almost half of the women who participated in the survey (49.38%), would never have chosen to come in contact with the person that the application introduced, if they had been guided exclusively by the profile picture. Is that not incredible? How many huge opportunities of meeting someone have been lost by the reason of a simple photograph? What if your “potential special someone” actually just never felt too comfortable in front of a camera, or had a picture with dark circles around the eyes from a night with too little sleep, or just appeared next to a beautiful dog in the picture, when you only have eyes for cats? What if this person had more in common with you than any other person you have ever met before? And what if you missed the opportunity to feel all these wonderful things that life has to offer, just because that photo did not show the perfectly charming smile that you look so much for in the other person? We also want to highlight the results obtained among male users. The generalized idea we have about men, which is related to the “myth” that claims they like absolutely everyone when using dating applications, also seems to be less real than we think. 41.74% of Europeans and 35.64% of the US users said they would not have chosen to get in contact with these women, if they had been guided only by their profile picture. This practically equals the results obtained between the male and female gender. It seems however in this aspect that for the male users in Asia (22.27%), the image they see of women is less important than for the rest.
In conclusion, the tendency is quite clear: users who are guided exclusively by the image with a swipe right and swipe left are losing too many chances to find what they supposedly are looking for in this type of applications. No one can deny that physical attraction is a part of the equation, but the question that these results leave us with is: Is a simple image capable of transmitting that possible attraction?
IS CHEMISTRY BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE IS SO IMPORTANT?
Looking for an answer to the question with which we closed the previous point, we wanted to know the opinion of our users about physical attraction by asking them what they had experienced with the people they had come in contact with. “That guy with the ugly shirt turns out to be someone I’ve laughed a lot with while talking in the chat.” “Now that I got to look better, it seems like he actually has that smile that I like so much”. The results obtained among the women of the three continents were practically identical, with an average 81% who answered our question affirmatively. Again, it is confirmed that discovering and getting to know little by little the person behind an image, helps a lot in showing ourselves in a more natural way to the eyes of someone completely unknown. This may not change completely the perspective of the other person’s physical appearance, but what is certain, is that for the vast majority of women, emotional attraction is just as important as physical attraction when it comes to finding a long-term relationship.
But what about the males? The responses in this aspect were also very similar regardless of the nationalities. Europeans and Americans share practically the same percentages (93.5% and 91.3% respectively), surpassed minimally by the Asian men, with an incredible and striking 96.55%. What once caught our attention in relation to the false masculine myth of “I like everything,” now confirms the tendency that they also value emotional and physical attraction equally.
But for us, there are even more important questions: What about all those people who are not as photogenic as the rest? And what happens to all those people who “catches our eye” and with whom we think we have something in common, but in the end, we realize that there is nothing to share? What happens to all those who are tired of being judged to be too attractive? In a society like today, where the physical appearance is so important, the same opportunities should be generated for any user. Do we not all deserve to show who is truly behind our image?
ADVANTAGES OF TAKING IT SLOW?
When we asked about the probability of finding a stable relationship, women and men showed almost the same pattern in their response. The search for the “ideal love” has in recent times become almost impossible, partly due to the mistrust that invades the online dating applications. Almost all of us have in our circle of friends someone who compares this kind of applications with a “market” of meaningless profiles. Perhaps the simple fact of not exposing oneself publicly in front of the eyes of thousands and thousands of users, gives more meaning to the significance that should accompany online dating services. The effort of getting to know little by little the other person, eliminates in a high percentage all those users who are not looking for something deeper than a night of passion. This demonstrates once again that women, especially in the United States and Europe (93.5% and 94.3%, respectively), compared to 81.6% in Asia, positively perceive that there is someone on the other side of the screen wanting to start a conversation that is more than an uncomfortable exchange of “Hello”, “How are you?” and “Let’s meet?”. This makes them trust more at this point than ever, that they will be able to find what they are really looking for. On the contrary, the men of Asia have responded most positively to this question, with 97.1%, compared to 88.3% of Americans and 90.8% of European users.
There is no doubt that percentages as high as those obtained, confirm that even when distrusting the online dating applications, they are the fastest way to meet other people. But do we just want to meet someone or are we actually wanting to find something more? Do we use “filters” when exposing ourselves publicly to other people? Do we start a conversation naturally or is there a generalized “stereotype” that prevents us from acting real in a dating app? The only thing we know so far is that, for many people, taking things more slowly, generates trust and makes them rely more on their search for a stable and lasting relationship.
THE JUMP FROM THE SCREEN TO THE REAL WORLD?
Finally, reaching perhaps one of the most problematic aspects in any dating application, we look for the answer to the question that every user asks when registering in these types of services: Will it be worth the effort, if in the end the other person does not dare to make the step to the real world? As in the previous point, statistics confirm that insecurity and lack of confidence are two of the main reasons for why so many users do not dare to take the next step, bringing to reality what is already shared on the screen of their smartphones. “What if the other person is not really as he or she said?” “What if we do not have anything in common?” Once again, the “what if…” and the doubts close the door to a possible real meeting.
But now, we are the ones who ask the questions: What if you don’t accelerate the “tempo” and rather dedicate your time and energy in getting to know the other person better? What if the rush, in the end, only delay that frightening moment? Once again, statistics show that no matter how much distance, culture or language separates us, we all share the same feeling when we seek a real and lasting love. In any corner of the world, mutual trust is the key. The 86.91% of the American women to whom we presented this question, stated that knowing more in detail the person who they had come in contact with, encouraged them to make the definitive jump into real life. Likewise, 84.24% of Europeans and 77.62% of Asians confirmed this tendency. With the males, the data only corroborate this question. 89.13% of the men affirmed that hurry and rush, when talking about love, are not the best options. Perhaps, moving away from the senseless search of that imaginary and over-perfected being, distances us from what is really important: real people and real connections.
Living in a physical world does not change the way we search for a long-term relationship. The images we see in any kind of dating application are determinant in a first instant, but the reality is imposed when we decide to really get in contact with the person who hides behind the profile picture. Most conspicuous of it all is that, this reality will be imposed equally for men, women or any other gender identity. The meaning of a “stable couple” extends beyond languages and cultures. We all perceive the same kind of initial sensations when meeting and getting to know someone. The chemistry that arises between two people remains as a golden key in any kind of relationship. But is chemistry important enough to make us change or reconsider the physical ideals we have created in our minds? The answer to this question becomes increasingly complicated, partly due to the social stigma which we -consciously or unconsciously- live with every day: the handsome with the handsome and the ugly with the ugly. Does it really all boil down to a simple classification of people by their physical attractiveness?
There are no doubts about that physical attraction is a determining factor when it comes to “connecting” with someone unknown, but if we think from a more emotional perspective, what measure should we give to our feelings? Putting on a scale the same amount, not more nor less one than the other would be perfect: 50% physical attraction and 50% emotional attraction. But is that possible in our world today? For us, there is only one answer: OF COURSE IT IS.
In Appetence we wanted to publish a study that shows, once again, that the search of true love should not be reduced into a simple “gallery of images”. It is never too late, no matter how much and how often the society might want to deny us this opportunity.
We collected responses from a total of 1.056 users surveyed, among the following locations: 412 users in the USA (221 women and 191 men), 342 users in Europe (197 women and 145 men) and 302 users in Asia (180 women and 122 men). The target age was the following: 38.023% users between 18-24 years, 41,753% users between 23-34 years and 7,900% users between 35-44 years of age. This study was realized during the months of July and August of 2017.
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Download the presentation of this study here