Slow-Dating: The Rise of Non-Swipe Dating Apps

Thanks to apps like Tinder, swiping through hundreds of profiles has become a reality of dating.

Terms like “swipe right” or “swipe left” have entered our everyday vocabulary - even when dating apps aren’t the main topic of conversation. For some singles, it might be difficult to even imagine any other way to find the perfect match. 

Women chatting over coffee

Long story short “swiping” determines whether we find someone attractive or not. Major apps like Tinder and Bumble are based on it, and a few thousand copycat apps have taken inspiration from the idea and incorporated it into their own product. 

Are singles saying “no” to swipe-based apps?

As much as the 50 million world wide users of Tinder may seem to enjoy the feature, swiping culture could also be the thing keeping users from signing up. 

...“slow-dating” limits the amount of time spent on dating apps and the number of people you engage with. It places more value on actually dating and not mindlessly swiping.

The yay or nay method of dating doesn’t have the same appeal as it once did. 

In 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that Hinge’s user base grew by 400% in 2017. Coincidentally, this is around the time they got rid of their swiping feature. On top of that, the dating app Once, which sends users one suggested match per day, reached 7 million downloads in May of 2018.

Happy woman

Even Facebook launched “Facebook Dating App” in Canada complete with a specialized matchmaking algorithm. You create a separate profile and it carries over your name and age. Then you’re presented with potential matches based on location and your indicated preferences

Oh, and it’s swipe-free!

You have to be genuinely interested in someone before you can connect with them by answering a question the user posted or responding to a potential date’s photos. 

As swipe fatigue sets in, users have started adopting “slow-dating” 

It’s lead to a trend in something known as “slow-dating”, which limits the amount of time spent on dating apps and the number of people you engage with. It places more value on actually dating and not mindlessly swiping.

In an interview with NBC News, social psychologist and consultant for OkCupid, Sara Konrath, compared slow dating to other mindfulness-based approaches to everyday life.

Mindful man looking out into the mountains

“Just like the slow food movement is a reaction to cheap and unhealthy fast food, the slow dating movement is a reaction to quick and meaningless hookups that can be made easy by dating apps,” she says. “It’s based on a desire for people to slow things down, get to know one another without so much pressure and focus on high quality connection and closeness. Slow dating also often means that the sexual intimacy stage of the relationship comes later, after getting to know one another.”

Slow-dating is a more relaxed way of getting to know someone. It takes more attention and patience and forces you to focus your energy on one person for an extended period of time.

It was first coined by Once (remember that app that only gives you one match per day?) It wasn’t just created to provide users with higher quality matches, but also to decrease the amount of time spent swiping, scrolling and tapping away on phone screens. 

Happy couple

"Even if your match of the day is crap, it's okay," said Jean Meyer, CEO of Once in Cosmopolitan. "Maybe you're not going to talk to that person, but at least you're going to put the app away, and you may even put your phone away and do something else with your day. You can put 100 percent into another task that's not swiping on ten-thousand profiles."

It might sound a little strange that dating apps are encouraging you to use them less and less, but if you’re only provided with a handful of options at a time (instead of an endless sea of profiles) it forces you to look at more than just a profile photo.

At Wandure you can even skip texting all together and jump immediately to the date!

Dating has become more intentional

Slow-dating is a more relaxed way of getting to know someone. It takes more attention and patience and forces you to focus your energy on one person for an extended period of time. You invest in one another through meaningful conversations and experiences. 

So decrease your time on dating apps (they’ll only serve as a distraction anyway!).

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