How the gamification of online dating could actually be hurting our chances of finding love

Being unlucky in love might have something to do with the way we use our favourite dating apps, according to a clinical psychologist.

If you’ve ever navigated the world of online dating, you’ll know well what a minefield it can be. And even if you haven’t fallen down a scroll rabbit hole while searching for The One yourself, you’ll have heard some horror stories from friends over a glass of wine.

Don’t get me wrong, many people have dating app success stories. Tinder – which has brought together over 55 billion matches since it launched – claims that the success rate for heterosexual women on the app is an impressive 52%. According to Hinge, 72% of meet ups arranged via its app lead to a second date.

So where have the rest of us been going wrong: getting ghosted or sitting through an awkward first date until a socially acceptable amount of time has passed to make excuses and leave?

It might not just be bad luck that’s leaving you in a dating dry spell. According to clinical psychologist Dr Alina Liu, it could actually be the way that many apps are designed that is causing us to be unlucky in love.

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Writing for Psychology Today, Dr Liu explains that the thousands of dating apps on offer have capitalised on dating becoming an “addictive game”.

And it’s true, when we’re spending a lazy Sunday swiping through all the potential partners within a five mile radius, does it not sometimes feel more like an entertaining distraction than a serious quest to meet someone? Read more