The Scoop: Finding a match on a dating app can be time-consuming. Shane Co. conducted a survey to find out how long it actually takes. Using data from couples who found their partners on dating apps, Shane Co. estimated how many swipes the average person goes through before finding their long-term partner.
We’ve all heard it: Relationships take work. But how much? The quest to find the love of your life can feel like a time-consuming game of “Wheel of Fortune.” Some people fall into their forever relationship at 16, while others find their perfect partner in a nursing home. There’s no set timeline or dating process that guarantees you a relationship; it is, in part, up to fate.
Still, that doesn’t mean you should sit around waiting to find love where you least expect it. If you know you want a relationship, you have to put yourself out there. It won’t necessarily fall into your lap immediately, but once you start dating, you open the doors for love to come into your life.
In the 21st century, one of the easiest and most effective ways to find a partner is to get on dating apps. You’ll find people in your area who are single, actively want to date, and already find you attractive. Swiping is the name of the game – there’s no need to feel embarrassed to ask someone out or admit your interest in them.
To learn more about how dating apps help modern Americans find relationships, jewelry company Shane Co. conducted a study of how much time American daters spend on dating apps, how they meet their partners, and how long it takes for them to find relationships. They looked into how many swipes singles needed to make on dating apps before they actually met their partners.
Shane Co. surveyed over 1,000 people who met their partners on dating platforms to learn how many swipes they made before finding a relationship. The study then determined how many swipes the average person makes in a minute and took the average amount of time respondents said they spent on dating apps to calculate how many swipes they would realistically go through in that period.
Overall, Americans went through 3,960 swipes over eight months and 11 days before finding a partner. Apparently, relationships take looking through literally thousands of people before finding your person.
Swipe Numbers by Age
Dating looks different as you age. Romantic norms change at different stages of life. Young people may be ready to dive headfirst into a relationship with someone new, while older people may be more hesitant to introduce a new person into their world.
Different generations also have different perceptions of how picky they should be on dating platforms, how much time to spend looking at each profile, and what platforms are best for them. They also deal with how large the dating pool is on different sites and how willing they are to date outside of their age group.
According to the Shane Co. study, singles take more swipes to find a partner as they age.
Gen Z singles take an average of 3,525 swipes to find a partner, millennials average 3,801, Gen Xers are at 4,951 swipes, and Baby Boomers take the most time, at 6,189 swipes.
It’s unclear what the underlying reason is for these generational differences in finding partners, but it could be a combination of the size of one’s dating pool on the apps and the priority people place on finding a relationship.
Gen Z and millennials lead the generations in using dating apps, meaning that both of these groups have more potential partners online than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. With a bigger pool, it’s easier for these groups to find compatible partners.
The types of relationships each group wants and the importance they place on finding a relationship also factor into how long it takes them to find a partner.
Gen Z daters are often looking for a partner with little concern for the longevity of that relationship or the likelihood of marriage. Millennials, by contrast, are dating to marry. They may take a little longer to make sure their partner is right for them. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers aren’t necessarily dating to quickly get married and have kids, but they often have other responsibilities in life – adult children, senior-level jobs – to factor into their decisions to commit to someone before they take that step.
Tinder Leads the Pack for Romantic Partnerships
There’s a common perception that Tinder is the place to go for casual hookups but nothing more. According to Shane Co., that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Approximately 49% of respondents who are currently married or engaged to a partner they met on an app met through Tinder. Overall, 29.6% of respondents are married or engaged to someone from the app. Anecdotally, I know this to be true in my own circles – my cousin met her husband on Tinder, and their first child is due at the end of the month!
While many people still use Tinder for casual hookups, the sheer number of singles on the app gives users a greater chance of finding someone they like, even if profile information is sparse. With Tinder, there seems to be strength in numbers.
Tinder’s overall success is high, but it isn’t universal for each generation. Match was the best dating platform for Baby Boomers looking for love, while Gen Xers fared well on OkCupid.
Outside of Tinder, Gen Z, and Millennials had high dating success rates on Bumble and Hinge. Hinge – the app “designed to be deleted” – is a great option for young singles who know they want a relationship and don’t want to waste time swiping through the literal thousands of profiles on Tinder.
Only 5% of overall respondents met their spouse or fiancé on Hinge, but that number is likely to continue growing. After the app’s relaunch in 2016, Hinge has seen years of massive growth, making it a tough app to beat for future serious relationships.
Americans Are Finding Love Online
The traditional meet-cute is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Gone are the days of asking for someone’s number in a bookstore or grabbing a drink with a cute guy or girl on the train. Shooting your shot to a stranger in person is less common and more nerve-wracking than it used to be.
That may be disappointing for the hopeless romantics out there, but it doesn’t mean love is out of reach; the path to romance has only changed. In an era characterized by quarantines and video calls, it only makes sense that people are finding their partners on the internet.
Shane Co. says that 67% of survey respondents met their current partner on a dating app. As younger generations age into adulthood, that number is likely to increase.
Some may say that finding relationships online is negative or that it takes the romance out of dating. But in many ways, it adds new opportunities to find partners who are perfect for you. If you met your partner at a coffee shop or through a friend, your dating pool consists of the people in close proximity to you. That may help you share common interests and values, but it’s also fairly random.
By contrast, people who met their partners online looked through thousands of profiles before deciding who was best for them. They had plenty of options but narrowed it down to that one person to be their partner. There’s something romantic about weighing many choices and then choosing each other to be together.