Dating apps like Tinder and Hinge have made it increasingly easy for people on the hunt for everything from casual sex to a relationship to find each other but—according to the New York Times—that isn’t happening. What is happening? People are increasingly finding themselves in text-only relationships, or as the Times jokes “less casual sex than casual text.”
“We talked on the phone every day for almost a month and sent a lot of texts and photos and videos and sexts,” a twenty-something guy quoted in the article says of a text-only relationship he had with a woman after meeting her on Tinder. “We’d have phone sex. It felt close to a relationship without actually seeing the other person.” Eventually, they broke up, after never even meeting each other.
However, online dating apps aren’t just leading to emotional text-only relationships. Other app enthusiasts simply seem to be on the hunt for validation from as many people as possible, with many seemingly having no desire to meet any of their dating app matches. “My conversations drop off sometimes when I realize the fantasy version of online dating and the reality of it” are at odds, another serial dating app user is quoted as saying, who admitted to carrying on as many as 50 conversations with women at a time. “Then it starts to feel risky in a way it didn’t feel before. And the risk can spook you a little bit.”
And while anecdotally many believe that millennials are getting laid right and left, that’s actually not the case. A 2013 University of Portland study surveyed 18 to 25-year-olds, comparing results from 1988 to 1996 to those from 2002 to 2010. Fewer respondents in the latter group reported having had sex within the past year (59.3 percent versus 65.2 percent), and less said they had multiple partners.
Could the rise of dating apps be what’s to blame for millennials having less sex? Normally we’d say to each their own, but seriously people, you can’t have a relationship and sex with a computer—at least not yet.
What do you think of this trend? Share your thoughts in the comments!