The reality of dating apps

A graphic of two people browsing dating apps on a phone CREDIT: MAURICIO FRANCO
Online dating can be tough, but sometimes you stumble upon something real.

Online dating can be fun, but it can also be soul-crushing. According to Statistics Canada, there were 2.42 million single Canadians in 2022.

Radio and digital account manager Robert Van Ryswyck was lucky enough to meet his fiancée using a dating app but admitted that the benefits of dating apps on relationships can be mixed.

“I jumped into the dating apps world because I was not having any success in real life,” Ryswyck said. “I was tired of waiting for the perfect one to come around and decided to take the situation by my own hands using dating apps.”

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He said he initially started with Tinder and Bumble but had no luck. He added that after those experiences with those two dating apps, his expectations were low.

“I heard from friends that Hinge was a friendly app, so I decided to try it,” Ryswyck said. “I did have a little bit of hope there.”

Ryswyck said the process was slow once he got a match because they spent months talking without seeing each other.

“We lived in different cities, an hour and a half away from each other,” Ryswyck said. “We got out of Hinge quickly and kept talking for several months on Snapchat.”

Ryswyck said one thing that helped the relationship flourish was the communication they had since the beginning.

“I told her my intentions and purpose since the beginning, and she told me hers. That helped the relationship because we both knew we had the same goal,” Ryswyck said.

Ryswyck stated that the outcome of that his relationship may not have turned out the way it did had he met his partner traditionally because he described his fiancée as shy.

Registered Psychotherapist with 20 years of experience in the field, Lisa Shouldice MA, RP, CCP, said that dating apps are an excellent way to express who and what someone needs and wants.

“Dating apps are an excellent way to build confidence. If you are shy and have not had a lot of relationships or sexual experience, it is a beautiful way to play and see how people respond to you,” Shouldice said.

IBISWorld estimates that the Canadian dating services market will be worth $158.9 million at the end of 2023, with the three provinces with the highest concentrations being Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.

Shouldice said dating apps are especially significant in broadening someone’s market and exposure. She added that a good attitude is helpful because some people say rude, unhelpful things, too.

“Make sure you have a profile that introduces you adequately, beyond pictures,” Shouldice said. “I feel most people meet their partners through dating apps now. I met my wife through a dating app, too!”

Shouldice said that communication is vital in all aspects of life, but more so when people try to get to know each other.

“Say what you are looking for. It is okay to want a serious relationship rather than a casual encounter. Communicate clearly and respectfully,” Shouldice said. “No genuine bond or serious relationship has ever flourished by lack of communication.”

Ryswyck said it is easy to judge someone just by looking at pictures but to succeed, people need to give people more chances and be more open-minded.

“You have to be open-minded because, on dating apps, you would meet many people from different backgrounds, religions and even cultures,” Ryswyck said. “Even though my fiancée and I practice different religions, we found love in that difference.”