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Is Hinge the First Victim of the “Dating Apocalypse”?

Is Hinge the First Victim of the “Dating Apocalypse”?

The online dating world as we know it is changing. The one feature that many thought could save of us has become the bane of our single existence. One brave app has decided to end swiping once and for all, and in my opinion it’s the worst decision they could’ve made.

The “dating apocalypse”, a term coined by Nancy Jo Sales, is officially upon us and its first victim might be Hinge.

The Swipe Give Us Hope

As a dating coach and founder of, thedatingtruth.com there is one thing I know about single men and women that can’t be denied: we’re terrible at choosing our own partners. Although swiping is an incredibly fun feature, when left to our own devices, single men and women have no idea how to swipe effectively. But the benefit of the swipe is that it gives the appearance of choice, and it supplies small wins.

Imagine walking into a bar and getting a slight wink, or smile from an attractive patron. You’d feel pretty darn good about yourself, whether you had the courage to speak to them or not. Swiping provides the similar feeling of having a small win, when you make a match.

It gives you the sense that something is working, so you continue to “play” as Tinder refers to it.

A match indicates that you did something right, and it feels good to have crossed that hurdle. It’s like the first matching number of the Powerball, it gives you hope and it feels exciting. Without the swipe feature, how can you tell that you’re really winning?

I have always been a fan of Hinge, (read my article here) but by removing the swipe, Hinge has inadvertently removed the reward. It’s made it harder to feel that sensation of getting closer to a relationship.

The Swipe Gives Permission

By removing the swipe feature, Hinge literally created virtual catcalling. By the time I re-opened the app, I had 109 impressions – that means a multitude of hearts, hellos and goofy pickup lines that I had not signed up for. 109!

As much as we hate it, the swipe serves as a gate between you and all the weirdos, losers, douchebags and scammers trying to get to you.

Unless a match is made, you can’t be subjected to any pathetic attempts at a pickup line. And that’s a good thing. To open the Hinge app, and see a multitude of strange men commenting on my profile, who I probably wouldn’t even make eye contact with in real life, (sorry, not sorry) is reason enough for any attractive person not to subject themselves to that type of virtual attention.

Without the swipe, on a platform like Hinge where communication is now a free for all, it feels like riding a city bus for singles. Maybe men enjoy the litany of comments on their timeline but for women it’s not flattering. Its no different than walking into a bar and having guy, after guy, ask to buy you a drink. (Or is that just me?)

Open access given to users is a line that I didn’t know I didn’t want crossed until it was eliminated.

The Swipe Gives Us Power

The way we behave online is not the way most people behave in real life. While we eschew the judgmental nature and superficiality of swiping, it gives us the one thing we lack outside of an app. Power.

We analyze each profile, scrutinize every photo and at the end of the day have final jurisdiction to swipe left, sending the unqualified into the abyss – never to be seen or heard from again- or right, signifying their worthiness of our attention.

Most singles never feel this confident in real life. While it may not be a long lasting feeling, the swipe for that moment, means you are in charge. You’re making the decision to swipe left or right, and you’re getting a chance with someone that in real life, you might not feel worthy of. It makes matching that much more rewarding.

The Swipe Is Not The Problem

One feature doesn’t make or break a dating app, so maybe there is hope for Hinge. To take away the swipe, Hinge has eliminated a barrier, that in my professional career, I’ve never heard anyone say they wanted gone. It’s also managed to make a simple idea, such as the dating app, complicated.

The gamification of dating makes sense, because dating is a game. If you give single men and women the right tools, they can come out as winners. The swipe is just one way to play the game and ultimately, it’s fun. To me, singles don’t need less features, just better and clearer instructions on how to use them.

You can no longer swipe on Hinge, but you can pay… for what exactly, I’m not sure? Hinge, I imagine wants to make an impact on the way singles find love online, and I applaud that, but I don’t believe they’ve found the solution. If we’re actually in a dating apocalypse, the swipe isn’t our biggest threat, miseducation is.

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