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“Whereas if you’re meeting someone purely based on geographic location, there’s definitely a greater chance that they would be different from you in some way.”But there’s also a downside to dating beyond one’s natural social environment.“People who are not very similar to their romantic partners end up at a greater risk for breaking up or for divorce,” she says.Her now-husband Mike, though, was “clean cut, no tattoos.Completely opposite of what I would usually go for.” She decided to take a chance on him after she’d laughed at a funny line in his Tinder bio.The 30-year-old Jess Flores of Virginia Beach got married to her first and only Tinder date this past October, and she says they likely would have never met if it weren’t for the app.For starters, Flores says, the guys she usually went for back in 2014 were what she describes as “sleeve-tattoo” types.
For Flores and her husband, having access to a bigger pool of fellow single people was a great development.
There’s been plenty of hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth over how Tinder reinvent dating: Maybe it would transform the dating scene into an endless virtual marketplace where singles could shop for each other (like an Amazon for human companionship), or perhaps it would turn dating into a minimal-effort, transactional pursuit of on-demand hookups (like an Uber for sex).
But the reality of dating in the age of apps is a little more nuanced than that.
An expanded radius of potential mates can be a great thing if you’re looking to date or hook up with a broad variety of people who are different from you, says Madeleine Fugère, a professor of psychology at Eastern Connecticut State University who specializes in attraction and romantic relationships.
“Normally, if you met someone at school or at work, you would probably already have a lot in common with that person,” Fugere says.