The Future of Dating

The Future of Dating. The way people date today is radically different than previous generations due to technology.
By Nobody & Partners

Several years ago, you might’ve cringed when you heard someone met their partner on the internet, but today it’s totally normal due to the popularity of dating apps like Hinge, Bumble, Tinder, etc. Although, you may elicit some judgement depending on which dating app you meet your partner.

The way people date today is radically different than previous generations due to technology.

Several years ago, you might’ve cringed when you heard someone met their partner on the internet, but today it’s totally normal due to the popularity of dating apps like Hinge, Bumble, Tinder, etc. Although, you may elicit some judgement depending on which dating app you meet your partner.

Bumble, well-known for its IPO, puts women in the driver’s seat and gives them the opportunity to make the first move.

Hinge is unofficially seen as the more ‘serious’ dating app and its witty tagline “design to be deleted” plays into this stereotype.

Tinder is where it all started but is still somewhat the wild west – that’s where you go for a hookup you never want to see again.

Regardless of these stereotypes, you can find ‘the hookup’ or the ‘serious person’ on any of these apps.

These apps give users access to thousands of potential matches, yet people still feel dissatisfied. They find these apps aren’t solving the dating problem AKA finding someone you actually want to date.

Eric Klinenberg, co-author with Aziz Ansari of NYT Bestseller Modern Romance, points out a major flaw with people assuming apps will fix their love life. According to Klinenberg, an app has as much potential of solving the ‘dating problem’ as it does solving the problem of poverty or education or democracy. Klinenberg tells us, “Dating is messy and frustrating and difficult, by definition. Most people, it turns out, are not going to be your soul mate. Even those who like you don’t want to date you…forever.”

Despite this hard truth, there are constantly new dating apps popping up trying to fix the problem. A growing number of young entrepreneurs are ready for the challenge albeit their approach may be a bit different.

Take Lox Club.

Founded by Austin Kevitch, Lox Club wasn’t created to solve the dating app problem. In an effort to get over a breakup and answer his grandma’s question of “when will you bring home a nice Jewish girl,” Kevitch created a website for a fake dating app for “Jews with ridiculously high standards.”

He thought only his friends & family would check it out. Much to his surprise, the site blew up. Thousands of people began applying for this fake dating app. Realizing he had something special on his hands, he quickly sprang into action to make Lox Club legit.

Today it’s a fully functioning dating app with thousands of members. Exclusivity remains a key feature of Lox Club which makes being a member even more enticing.

Unlike other dating apps, Kevitch is super focused on throwing immersive, real life events for its members. His reasoning behind it is simple, “The whole ethos behind Lox Club is making dating, less cringy. Rather than having dating-specific events, I want to host events around an immersive experience or activity where you can just be yourself and relax. The dating part is a by-product of it.”

He realizes it seems like a paradox to download a dating app to attend an event to meet people in real life, but members love it. While Lox Club continues to experiment with in-person events, there are other mediums that entrepreneurs are experimenting with.

Filter Off, a video-first dating app co-founded by Zach Schleien, was designed to solve the problem of matching with someone on an app but not vibing in real life. Schleien says, “It’s very efficient to go on these video dates. After three minutes, you see if it’s a match or not.”

Video-first dating apps like Filter Off are gaining more popularity especially as platforms like TikTok prove the value of video-content.

The video-first efficiency of an app like Filter-Off cuts through the BS of the never-ending swipe associated with traditional dating apps. Schleien says, “Other apps create a user experience that always feels like you’re getting close to your ‘match’, but you need to spend a little bit more money to find your person. The reality is that match rates are low and even lower for men than women. Swiping is a long process. You have to swipe to match, then message, then decide what’s next. Should you call them on the phone, Facetime, or meet in person?”

Filter Off has seen real success. Schleien is aware of five marriages that have happened due to his app. One of these marriages was actually covered in a huge spread by the New York Times.

Schleien recalls another user who found success dating on Filter Off, “We had a user who never did well online dating. He didn’t do well because he was in a wheelchair and people saw it in the photos and would swipe left. On FilterOff, he engaged in a video-first dating experience and was able to connect with women who matched with him because of his personality.”

Ariana Nathani is also trying to get people to move beyond the superficial. She is the founder and co-host of Drinks First, a dating podcast for New Yorkers.

Nathani works full-time as a digital experience designer at Johnson & Johnson. Her expertise in human centered design has given her a different perspective on dating apps, one that is similar to Klinenberg’s: “I spend all day doing human centered design. I knew right off the bat that dating apps were not designed for people. They’re designed to make money. Dating apps are businesses. At the end of the day, they need to hit a bottom line.”

So how does Nathani’s approach differ?

For starters, the visual element is completely removed. Eligible singles apply to be on her podcast, and if casted Nathani will record a 45-minute conversation. She asks guests a variety of questions about themselves. If listeners like what they hear, they can shoot their shot and Nathani will help facilitate the connection.

Of course, it’s easier said than done. Nathani says that this method hasn’t always been smooth-sailing, “We had some issues when our guests would see a photo of the listener who requested the match and dismiss it because the person wasn’t their type. I’d remind the guest that this person has no idea what you look like and just listened to you talk for 45 minutes and wants to meet you. You’re just going to say this person isn’t my type, I mean have a little bit of an open mind.”

In order to solve this problem, Nathani has listeners fill out a form to explain why they want to meet the guest and makes it photo-optional.

Ultimately, Drink’s First facilitates connections in a sincere way. Nathani says, “The goal of the podcast is to connect people whether it’s romantically or friendship-wise. Making those connections is what brings me the most joy.”