Still Looking for a Date on Valentine’s Day? Maybe You Should Read This

Still wondering when you’ll meet your Prince Charming? Or perhaps you’re still searching for the girl of your dreams. Well, look no further.

Over the past few years since the introduction of dating apps like Tinder, the popularity of meeting new people through dating apps surpassed doing it in a more traditional way. A recent research on the performance of these apps is astounding: there are 1.6 billion daily ‘swipes’ on Tinder, one of the most popular dating apps on the market. Likewise, there are also 22 millions active users on Bumble, another fast-growing dating app, but on this particular platform, only women are permitted to start a chat with their male matches.

With nearly two million people unmarried over the age of 15 and a daily mobile usage of 96%, it is unsurprising that dating apps like Tinder would find Hong Kong a ripe market in which they could prosper. Shortly after Tinder was first introduced in Hong Kong, the app and its ability to foster a more hasty form of dating was quickly adopted by the myriad of singles in the city.

Anyone who has spent time in Hong Kong would tell you that this is a city driven by efficiency. Whether while transferring lines at an MTR station or walking down the streets during lunch hour, people always try to find ways to fill their time by doing something productive.

Figure 1 – People using phones on MTR rides.

For some, this may be writing emails that they haven’t had time to reply yet. For others, this may be trying to find a partner for a dinner date later that night. In Hong Kong, working hours are often longer and more strenuous than in many other cities. That’s where the convenience of dating apps come in – these allow users to avoid barriers to conversations and streamlines the process of meeting new people.

According to Angie Chan, a 27-year-old long-time user of Tinder: “It’s just easier to meet people this way. Instead of relying on fate or chance to present an opportunity to start a conversation, Tinder makes it less-awkward to approach someone that you want to talk to.” With a slight grin, Angie admits that she has allowed herself to meet more people than she expected when she first downloaded the app.

Additionally, a recent survey conducted by the magazine Esquire has revealed that more than half of Tinder users swipe profiles out of boredom. Surely, swiping profiles to look for someone to talk to and potentially to meet can be a fun alternative to blankly staring out the window while on a bus.

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Figure 2 – A match on Tinder

Clearly, Hong Kong’s socio-economic structure has developed in a way that allows dating apps like Tinder to thrive fruitfully. In a city that values efficiency and effectiveness, having the ability to allow people to maximize their time and bring in more social opportunities into their daily routines is essential.

However, according to a South China Morning Post article, even with a large number of active users on dating apps and its growing popularity, most users remain uncertain and unsure about developing meaningful relationships with the people they meet on dating apps. Rather, it is easier to have flings or simply remain as friends with the matches.

Figure 3 – Tinder allows people connect their profile with Facebook accounts.

“It’s definitely possible to find a long-term relationship partner through dating apps,” said Monica Fong, a 22-year-old student in Hong Kong, “but most doesn’t hold high expectations in that regard.”

As some may have expected, users of dating apps often come coupled with the impression that they are simply looking for short-term get-togethers or flings.

Raymond Tong, a 25-year-old university student, said, “I think it might be more common for guys to be looking for flings on dating apps, but not necessarily for girls. A lot of the girls I’ve met there said they are looking for relationships.”

According to the same survey done by Esquire, more than 60% of female users responded that they were looking for meaningful relationships from dating apps rather than just hook-ups.

Renee Yeung, a 23-year-old student in Hong Kong, met her boyfriend on her first tinder date in 2015. The two are planning on moving in together this summer after their three-year anniversary. “I consider myself very lucky to find someone I really connect with on my first try,” said Renee. “I do believe we can find long-term relationship partners on dating apps. My college friend found her husband on tinder; I have heard stories from many people who have found stable relationships through these dating apps other than myself.”

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Figure 4 – Couples having dinner in Mong Kok

Liana Wong, a 21-year-old student in Hong Kong, has been using Tinder and a number of other dating apps over the past 3 years. She believes that going on dates with her matches on Tinder actually makes her more confident as she considers herself as an introvert.

“It is definitely intimidating at first to have dinner with a stranger,” said Liana, “but it is fascinating how you will meet people that you might never have a chance to know in real life or even connect with as an acquaintance.”

Many people agree that using dating apps allows users to be exposed to a larger dating pool. Tinder recently revealed that on average, there are approximately 1 million dates per week. Likewise, Bumble has claimed that they were responsible for 5,000 weddings and engagements up until 2017.

There are definitely pros and cons of using dating apps, but their large followings and countless success stories clearly indicate that there is something in their algorithm that works. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, maybe it’s time for you to give it a shot.

After all, like Wayne Gretzky once said: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Editor: Mayuri
Reporter: Aegean
Copyeditor: Seungyeon
Content Manager: Iris

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