Hi everyone and welcome to “How To Win The Dating Game”. I’m Trudy Gilbert, known as Australia’s Millionaire Matchmaker, and founder of Elite Introductions International, and today’s episode is about why dating apps are ruining your love life. Now this obviously is not a new position. But in light of a new book by a major influencer in New York best selling author and journalist, Nancy Jo Sales, we thought it was very pertinent to discuss this. Also, as this podcast series is about winning the dating game towards one goal, not to have as many hookups as possible. There’s plenty of material for that. Now, it’s about finding a serious partner and building a life together. So we need to address this subject, early in this process because realistically, if you are using dating apps, as your source for love. You are destined for failure. I’m joined here today with Andy, part of the elite team. And if you are new to the show, he is also my partner.
Andy: Hi everyone.
Trudy: And we’re going to choose a fact today on why dating apps are really ruining your love life.
Andy: Yeah! So, this topic is like Trudy was saying it’s pretty timely because of the new Nancy Jo Sales book. What’s it called again Trud?
Trudy: Nothing Personal: My Secret Life In The Dating App Inferno.
Andy: Yeah! That’s right.
Trudy: Nancy is pretty legendary. She is famous for a piece that she wrote for Vanity Fair, quite a few years back called “Tinder”, and “The Dawn Of The Dating Apocalypse”. And we’re going to have a chat about this article, because it was one of the first pieces to shine a spotlight on the dysfunction of dating and how dangerous it is to seek love through the apps.
Andy: Yeah! When that article went viral.
Andy: …real spotlight piece on “Hey this is kind of crazy”.
Trudy: It’s quite amazing because it was back in 2015, when, you know, I believe apps was still in there, you know, infancy, or at least the first few years, I mean,
Andy: Tinder started in 2012
Andy: But it would have, it was by 2015. It was pretty hardcore. Yeah, a lot of people, particularly younger people were using it quite regularly at that point.
Trudy: So let’s look at a quote from that article, which I’ll read out to you now. And it’s quite interesting. Alright. “People used to meet their partners through proximity through family and friends. But now, internet meeting is surpassing every other form. It’s changing so much about the way we act both romantically and sexually. It is unprecedented from an evolutionary standpoint. As soon as people go online, they are using it in a way to find partners to date, and have sex with. In the 90s it was Craigslist and AOL chat rooms, then match.com, and kiss.com, but the lengthy heartfelt emails exchanged by the main characters and you’ve got mail in 1998”. For those of you that are in our age vintage you may remember that movie I know I do, “those emails seemed positively Victorian in comparison to the messages sent on the average dating app today. I’ll get a text that says, “wanna fuck?”, says Jennifer 22, a senior at Indiana University. They’ll tell you, “come over and sit on my face,” says her friend Ashley, 19”.
Trudy: Sorry about the swearing for you guys if that
Andy: Will put the explicit title
Trudy: Yeah, I think we need to do that I felt a bit cautious saying that,
Andy: but it’s, It’s quite it’s quite shocking isn’t it it’s just completely removed in concept, recording, obviously, but those kinds of comments are being made because they
Trudy: It’s outrageous that a platform like that, you know, people are volunteering to be exposed to that kind of behavior.
Andy: I think it’s natural, human behavior we keep removing boundaries that people will keep pushing the boundary, and the poor behaviors will push the boundary and then it will become normalized for everyone else. That’s what happens, you know it doesn’t matter what it’s about. In this, this subject, it’s about sex and dating but you know it’s just a really natural unfortunate thing that humans do.
Trudy: As we get stuck into this topic should we just first of all discuss why people use the apps?
Andy: What is the pro? Why are people– People still want to connect. Right? Everybody on that platform is there for the same reason so it gives relevant.
Trudy: No, I would dispute that. They’re not all there for the same reason.
Andy: So, whether you’re at work or at the gym or at a club or at a wedding, or whatever you, there’s an array of people in all different stages of life on different journeys but everybody on that is there for a particular reason.
Trudy: Yeah, but the problem is that reason is murky, you know some people that they’re just to have a casual encounter and other people are there for, you know, a long term relationship. Some people could be there because they just want to get practiced at dating, and they’re newly single so they want to go out and meet a few people and get back into the dating game. But, hence lies the problem that, if you have one intention. How do you know that you’re meeting people with the same intention as yours?
Andy: I’m wondering if anybody has an intention anymore. I mean they probably wanted to. But they know that that’s not the place to find relationships but they just don’t know where else to go like this, it’s very easy to assume there are no other options. This is the way of dating anyone in the world.
Trudy: Well, I would like to encourage those people to seek other options and in fact we’re doing an episode. Next, on how to meet people, you know, anywhere, and outside of the apps and just, you know, be able to use any opportunity as a way of meeting someone. Because the apps, I mean, if we really break it down, there are so many aspects that are negatives to the whole app culture I mean firstly,
Andy: I remember that Vanity Fair article introduced me to the term Tinderella. That was the first time I heard that term. I was like “God! That’s so crazy that there are these, there’s now a title for women who are actively on dating apps and now they have now they have a term for them”.
Trudy: Yeah! I mean it’s disgusting I mean what, what about the men that are on there that are sleeping with three four or five women in a week,
Andy: Oh! They are called legends.
Trudy: Yeah, so where is that,
Andy: It’s another platform but it’s the same double standards.
Andy: And I’ve always been in society,
Trudy: Yeah! It’s just terrible. I mean, I refer to it as disposable dating. There is this mindset behind using the app, that there is a sea of endless possibilities of options for
you. You know, you go on the app, and you swipe. I think you swipe left.
Andy: Yeah, I think left is no. Left is no,
Trudy: And right is yes. So you go on the app and you swipe left and you just continue swiping and then you might find someone that you like, but
Andy: That’s not how guys do it. Guys just swipe right on everything.
Trudy: Yeah, I’ve heard that.
Andy: And then wait for connections.
Trudy: I’ve heard that.
Andy: I remember hearing years ago because I had a friend who is pretty active on them. When I was first introduced to me, maybe five or six years ago and some guy out of Hong Kong had created a device, a little machine that had like the little rubber spinning wheel that you could put against your phone so you could like, you could swipe right like hundreds of times a minute. Oh my god, yeah, so you could buy this little device that would automatically swipe right on everybody in the system so you can, like, give him more chances.
Trudy: Wow! Wow! He really didn’t want to miss an opportunity. Did he?
Andy: It’s crazy.
Trudy: God. Yeah, wow! You know, that kind of approach is just breeding a disposable attitude, you know, towards dating towards people that they can be easily replace, you know, all look I’ve made a judgment of someone based on very limited information like a photo that we all know, aren’t even accurate or up to date, that people famously post photos of themselves 10 years, 15 years younger. I mean I, I know that I’ve had clients who have told me that they’ve gone on dates, and they’ve literally looked at the person and, you know, then back at the app and gone.
Andy: It’s not the same person.
Trudy: What were you thinking, like, did you think you were going to get away with it. Andy: Could you imagine if you did that and if you’re a company and did that with a product.
Trudy: Oh my God,
Andy: You will end up in a courtroom or definitely bankrupt.
Trudy: You know, but what might boggles my mind is that do you think that I’m not going to notice, I’m not going to be disappointed. Like you’re setting yourself up for failure by posting
Andy: It’s gonna be a disaster.
Trudy: …something of yourself that’s not that’s not accurate. I mean it’s amazing you know it’s mind boggling so making an assessment from, from a photo of someone that isn’t even accurate, and then swiping and just going well I’ve got so many options here 1000 people on here, I’ll just 10 out of 10, or you know 9 out of 10, but I’m not going to sell that because that’s a six or seven. What a horrible way of assessing people. What about their core values, their their humor, their intellect, you know their compassion, or their passion, you know, all of the traits that they pass interesting and unique, and they help create connection, none of that being paraded or viewed, it’s all a superficial assessment,
Andy: Talking about photos to me just, they’re just so inaccurate anyway. Even if someone wasn’t trying to deceive, somebody who’s got really strong features can look like a bit too striking in a photo and doesn’t look pretty, Like, male or female,
Trudy: But they cannot be adopted with filters,
Andy: Even if they weren’t like that might look like present well in a photo but when you meet them in person it’s really attractive because you see the moving three dimensional it’s completely different.
Andy: …someone who can look quite sort of soft and delicate in a photo because it’s got softer features might look really pretty in the photo but when you see them that makes them, you know in real life they’re less interesting or something like that so just making making these decisions, to two dimensional photos is, it’s, it’s a flawed system and
Trudy: Yeah it really is. But this whole quick judgment, and as I said the sea of options, means that you people going on dates, and finding out that well you know that person doesn’t tick all my boxes, so I’m going to go back to the app and find someone who does. There’s no investment anymore, getting to know someone. It’s just a quick, you know, it could be a quick “wham bam Thank you ma’am” scenario, you know, which as we know, the apps began from a hookup culture, you know, the forefather of the app industry so to speak, was, was grinder,
Andy: The whole male gio social thing and that that whole culture,
Trudy: And that’s carried through to now to heterosexual, you know, obviously, going on at trying to find someone for a relationship is virtually impossible.
Andy: Yeah! It’s, it’s just very difficult because the, the mentality has been, has been adopted to to be acceptable, and this whole meeting for sex has been completely normalized, and it’s such a different headspace than where you would be when you’re looking for a relationship
Trudy: That’s right. I mean you look back at the quote that we just read earlier and the reference that they made to the film you’ve got maIL, you know, I do remember that film. You know Meg Ryan and I think it’s Tom Hanks yeah and and he writes really beautiful emails to her to woo her, and they really bare their souls and, you know by the end of the film you know that they’re in love with one another.
But how can you–
Andy: That’s the journey of love. That’s the journey of connection and relationship
Trudy: That’s right!
Andy: What’s happening with the dating apps, it’s the journey towards sex
Andy: so first of all you’re looking at a 2d photo, then you’re sending a few messages and sometimes, obviously it’s horrendous, just go straight to a let’s have sex, but if not, they might have a few, a bit of a chat and exchange. And then, there’s almost an expectation that that’s, that’s the entire courting period. Now when you meet like sex becomes expected.
Andy: If you meet them and you go, I don’t really like this person, and I probably won’t ever see them again but I’ve done all this groundwork so of course we’re gonna have sex. Crazy.
Trudy: Yeah, it really is. I mean, I don’t know if everybody’s aware but there was a study done by Tinder, which showed that 42% of people on the app weren’t even single. Andy: That’s right.
Trudy: 42% So you’re chatting with people that are–
Andy: That no intention of meeting
Trudy: Aren’t even single they’re probably in still in a relationship or they’re separated or you know whatever it is they’re there, they’re just wasting your time and chatting, because it gives them a bit of a rush. It’s fun to flirt and have a chat with people, and it’s a dopamine hit and he enhanced the next problem with these apps is that there’s, there’s a sense of gamification that goes along with being on there. “Oh, I’ve got a notification, somebody likes me”. “Oh there’s a message, who’s who wants to talk to me”, it makes the user feel good so they are more inclined to go back to the app and keep using it, I mean, there was another statistic I read that said something like we’re spending, you know, anywhere between three to four hours a day on an app, you know, to, to try and, Obviously, you know, chatting, making dates, you know, fostering the relationship to see where it goes. And that’s, that’s, that’s a huge amount of your time,
Andy: Same emotional lures, social networking, but it’s gambling,
Trudy: And gambling,
Andy: For sure
Trudy: You know, it’s the whole setup is just designed to keep you on the app rather than get you into a relationship. The other thing that I want to touch on that we haven’t even spoken about yet is the emotional trauma that can come from being on an app, and how you are treated
Andy: Not to mention the potential physical dangers,
Trudy: Well yes! We’ll get to that as well. So let’s start with the emotional. things like ghosting and catfishing, I mean we all know these terms because they’ve just become part of the zeitgeist, you know the mainstream
Andy: Shocking isn’t?
Trudy: …because these things happen. And, you know, there’s, there’s no accountability people can say and do what they want and behave however they feel is appropriate in their own minds, which may not be to my standard so your standards, but yet people are allowed to get away with this, I mean ghosting people can be super traumatic, you know, you’re in an intimate relationship with someone, you’re, you’re, you’re connecting, you’re sharing you’re, you know you’re talking you’re, you’re being sexually active and then all of a sudden, just like that,
Trudy: …they disappear on you, no explanation, no warning, no reason, and you’re left completely confused, bewildered, dumbfounded, shocked then you might go into a bit of you know, like depression or mourning about what happened. Did I do something wrong? Did I say something? Why did it end? And yet, that person has just decided, well, there’s another, I’ve got a better option. Somebody else has come along that I’d rather pursue or you know yeah that was getting too heavy too emotionally invested and I don’t want to go there I want to keep it like,
Andy: You know, it’s just another example of the whole like, if you’re allowed to do it you do it, you know that that can happen. You know, people with lower character will push those boundaries first, but it becomes normalized and then you know it’s, again, it’s just a natural human behavior, all of a sudden that that stuff becomes acceptable like you’ll do it because you can get away with it.
Trudy: That’s right,
Andy: That’s, that becomes normal.
Trudy: That’s right,
Andy: Everybody’s forced to get on board
Trudy: It’s quite shocking. I think you’ve got a really good statistic that you wanted to mention about the physical dangers of being on the apps.
Andy: Oh yeah! that Columbia Journalism one that was in that article. Let me find it, there it is. “Columbia Journalism investigations surveyed 1200 women, and found that more than a third of them reported being sexually assaulted or raped by someone they met through a dating platform”
Trudy: Oh my God! That is just that.
Trudy: That’s sickening.
Andy: It’s just a representation of how normal normalized the behavior has become where you think you can get away with things, and it just, it’s a clear indication of how important it is to get to know someone before you really get to know someone or find someone that’s been introduced or have some sort of character check or, you know, of course you know the white elephant, the room is using a matchmaker, but like whatever it is you find a way to get to somebody with with this some sort of connection some sort of history where they feel, reliable, responsible for you, small town, kind of vibe right, you know, you can’t do something out of, out of whack, if you’re in a small town because everyone’s gonna find out about it. So, if that person is part of your community somehow, then you know these protections involve boundaries. But if there’s no, no protection,
Trudy: Then people can behave like cowboys.
Andy: Yeah, that’s right.
Trudy: And even worse.
Andy: It’s horrendous.
Trudy: I think that, you know, we really dis the apps, but you know there really are a lot of fundamental flaws with the way that they have been constructed, the culture, the usage, the philosophy, you know, the way that people approach it. Another problem is that they’re very male centric, in that it’s all about the visual, and it’s all about, kind of like it’s a breeding ground for narcissists who can just do what they want men meeting as many as many women as they can and betting them as fast as they can and, you know,
Andy: It’s connected to men’s evolutionary sort of inclinations around spreading the seed. So it’s, it’s a, it’s a platform to be able to tap into sort of the Neanderthal version of met. It goes against the female evolutionary process which is to find a mate to protect her and her offspring. So when you go back to the evolutionary basis, this monolith has been designed to sort of regress men back into like this primal behavior. That’s so far from the social standard, and it’s forcing women to go against theirs, in order to conform.
Trudy: Yeah you highlight a really, a really valid point there, which is another great concern. You know, so look, I mean, how do we summarize, you go on an app. You don’t know anything about the person’s true intention. You don’t even know if they’re actually single. You don’t know if their photos are recent or any of the information is accurate. You spend hours a day, swiping, searching and chatting with potential suitors so you’re wasting your most valuable asset which is time. I say to my clients, you could be on an app, you could find someone. Or you could be on there for years, it is random luck if you may, if you happen to meet someone who has the same shared values and vision, and, and motivation of a long term relationship with you, it is total randomness.
Andy: I remember that, you remember that whole thing about how many times you have to swipe right there was something
Trudy: Yeah that’s right you have to swipe right on average 61 times.
Andy: Yeah! And that’s it.
Trudy: And then only 7% of men will actually contact you.
Andy: Someone that’s been matched,
Trudy: and, once you’ve been matched and you know
Andy: % of women so it was a little bit more likely for the guys to get contacted but it was only 7% of men.
Trudy: So that’s a lot of time being spent, investing in an activity that can’t give you a guaranteed outcome. So obviously I’m a business owner so I’m all about ROI, am I going to invest my time in an activity that just doesn’t give me any guaranteed return on my investment.
Andy: So, did you see, back in the day, did you see apps as a threat to you like back when they first started and that started to take off a threat to the business
Trudy: 100% We did, so much so that we tried to get out in front of it, and I created an online version of elite. It was called Ruby radar, and we tried to make it more of a mix of, you know, a dating app versus Facebook. We tried to make it a classier more stylized way for people to meet, and we found though that the culture just wouldn’t allow it, it just kept wanting to get to that hook up stage and
Andy: You couldn’t keep it clean,
Trudy: But we couldn’t keep it clean and it just went against our values which were, you know, connection and common values and interests and sharing more of your life and Andy: Working towards a relationship.
Trudy: Exactly, and, and the base, just, just wouldn’t wouldn’t have it. So, yeah, base wouldn’t be time so we decided to withdraw from that, and return to our core, our core model which, which was the, you know, personalized introductions.
Andy: So tell me, when because now you know it’s so common. When you talk to people that are calling us about you know what their headspace is around dating apps now, it says it has been an exodus. When did that happen and what happens now?
Trudy: There has been a total shift I’ve noticed in the last, particularly in the last I’d say two years, there’s been a growing anti app movement. I speak to clients I speak to, to, you know people who ring up to inquire about the service that they are just completely over the apps they say to me, “I just can’t do them anymore”. You know, it’s soul destroying. It’s wasting my time. The caliber of people on they’re just not what I’m looking for, you know, there’s no way to check anybody’s intention, there is a there is a growing dissatisfaction among the community, that the apps are just not the place to be to find a relationship,
Andy: And you’re getting that for both men and women
Trudy: Absolutely from both genders, I’ve had men say to me that they’ve been approached by women who are escorts On the apps, looking for clients, you know, I’ve heard all sorts of stories,
Andy: While I was just going to mention that, I’ve got a younger buddy than Rekha, who’s, you know, I told him, my first thought was that it was more the men that were sort of bailing out of the dating app being mature, looking to settle down and some of that might have been the 40 plus area. And he just corrected me. He just said you know he’s got so many mates that are in their late 20s, early 30s. That just, like, feels like they’re trapped inside that the same way that the women do. They might have gotten the reward. Initially, from sort of multiple sex partners stuff, but they really realize that they’re just not getting emotional fulfillment and then they want more amazing, it’s happening to both genders.
Trudy: Yeah, I get a lot of calls from men who are over the apps as well. They are starving for a genuine connection with someone. THey want to have a family. They want to build a future with someone, and the apps just aren’t doing it. So let’s draw this together. Right, so you’re going to go on an app to meet someone that you have no idea whether they have the same intention as you, whether they’re actually who they say they are, because their photo could be 10 or 15 years out of date, their information probably isn’t even accurate. They waste your time, and, you know, even most of them might not even be single. If you do meet someone, you run the risk of being ghosted or catfished or any of the other, you know, emotional dramas. That can happen, you might even be physically abused. And yet you are willing to sign yourself up for all of this, and you go back for more. After you’ve had a bad day, someone else’s. Why, why would you put yourself through it, it’s, it’s no wonder that there’s a mass exodus, and that people are deleting the apps in drives, which is what I recommend that you do, you know, don’t lie to yourself this is not an effective or acceptable avenue in order to seek a serious relationship.
Andy: Okay, so if this is where people. Now, we’ve been made abundantly clear that it doesn’t work. So, what do people do?
Trudy: Well, Andy, I’m glad that you asked me, because that’s the topic for next week’s episode, “How To Meet Anyone, Anywhere, And Delete The Apps Forever”. We’re going to give you some insights on how you can meet anyone anywhere. How you can turn the tables on the dating app culture, and bring romance back. Bring connection back. We’re going to give you tips and insights on how you can bring connection and romance back into the dating game.
Andy: Sounds great! We’ll see you next week.
Trudy: We’re sure well.
Visit trudygilbert.com. That’s Trudy with a Y for more amazing resources on finding your ideal partner, and nurturing your dream relationship. For great video tips and advice on dating and relationships, visit the Elite Introductions International Facebook page Instapage and YouTube channel. We’re just going to trudygilbert.com, and follow the social links at the bottom of the page.