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Swipe to Forever:Nurturing Long-Term Relationship in the Age of Dating Apps


Students of Digital Mental Health teamed up to write blog posts. You can read the three best posts of academic year 2023- 2024 here.

By Anita Reber & Alicia Valdivia Molina

Did you ever swipe on Tinder or did you even find love through a dating app? In today's fastpaced digital age, dating apps have become a popular and convenient way for people to connect and find potential partners. At the latest with the COVID-19 epidemic there was a massive increase in the acceptance and usage of dating apps. The probably best known is Tinder but there are plenty more such as Match, Bumble, Meetic, Badoo, Hinge, PlentyOfFish or OKCupid. The online world offers a seemingly endless pool of potential romantic partners, making it easier than ever to meet someone special. However, dating apps have certain unique challenges when it comes to long-term relationships. Despite its popularity some people express concerns about the authenticity and quality of the relationships that were established thanks to swiping (Newett et al., 2018).

If you've found love through a dating app or are currently navigating a relationship that 
began in this way, it's crucial to be aware of how this digital start can influence your 
relationship. However, most of the points below hold true for any couple, regardless of 
where they got to know each other.

Open Communication is Key

One of the most significant challenges in maintaining a long-term relationship is ensuring an open and honest communication (Vazhappilly & Reyes, 2016). While dating apps can be great for initial connections, they can sometimes make it tempting to hide aspects of your personality or life, leading to potential misunderstandings or disappointments. 

To build and maintain a strong and healthy relationship, it's crucial to be transparent with your partner about your expectations, past experiences, and future goals. Discuss especially your reasons for using the app. In general make sure that you listen actively to your partner and that you share openly your emotions and thoughts. This will help build trust and understanding between you and your loved one.

Quality Offline Time

Dating apps provide an excellent platform for initial introductions, but sustaining a longterm relationship requires nurturing the connection in the real, physical world (Chisom, 2021). Spending exclusive time together, sharing experiences, and creating lasting memories are essential for any couple. It's easy to get caught up in the digital world, but face-to-face moments are vital to strengthening your bond. Make an effort to go on dates, explore new places, and discover shared interests. These real-world experiences will help you build a solid foundation for a lasting relationship. The app can be a means to initiate a relationship, but the real magic happens when both persons are willing to commit, learn, and grow together beyond the phone screen.

Long-term Commitment

Dating apps can lead to wonderful long-term relationships. Scientists even found out that couples formed through dating apps want to move in together faster than couples who met offline (Potarca, 2020). Another group of scientists wanted to know if online or offline couples are more satisfied with their relationship. What they found is that the satisfaction in a relationship does not depend on where you found your partner (Danielsbacka et al., 2019). So, no matter where you initially met, to build a strong relationship you have to invest time and effort. Patience, understanding, and commitment are the pillars of a strong and enduring relationship. 

To sum it up, finding love through dating apps can be a wonderful way to meet someone special, but it's essential to navigate the unique challenges these platforms present. Open communication, offline nurturing of the connection, and putting a real effort into the relationship are key factors in maintaining a relationship in the long term. Keep in mind that while dating apps provide a convenient and efficient way to meet potential partners, the real work of building a lasting relationship happens in the moments 
you share offline.

Pictures: Anita Reber

  • Chisom, O. B. (2021). Effects of Modern Dating Applications on Healthy Offline Intimate Relationships during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Review of the Tinder Dating Application. Advances in Journalism and Communication, 9(1), 12-38.
  • Danielsbacka, M., Tanskanen, A. O., & Billari, F. C. (2019). Who meets online? Personality traits and sociodemographic characteristics associated with online partnering in Germany. Personality and Individual Differences, 143, 139–144.
  • Newett, L., Churchill, B., & Robards, B. (2018). Forming connections in the digital era: Tinder, a new tool in young Australian intimate life. Journal of Sociology, 54(3), 346–361.
  • Potarca, G. (2020). The demography of swiping right. An overview of couples who met through dating apps in Switzerland. PLOS ONE, 15(12), e0243733.
  • Vazhappilly, J. J., & Reyes, M. E. S. (2016). Couples’ communication as a predictor of marital satisfaction among selected Filipino couples. Psychological Studies, 61(4), 301–306.

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