Love, Lindsay

I Asked People 'If You Met An S.O. On A Dating App, Would You Lie About It?'

"I think it's pretty normal at this point and definitely better than some of the other possibilities, so ..."

This week, I took to the streets of New York City to ask women and men about dating apps. According to eHarmony, 40 million Americans use them, and a 2016 Pew Research Center survey showed 59 percent of Americans think dating apps are a good way to meet someone. Better yet, 20 percent of people in current, committed relationships met their partner online, and 7 percent of couples married in 2015 met on a dating website

But even with all the positives associated with online dating apps, and the IRL campaigns working to de-stigmatize them, many people still embarrassed to admit they met their S.O. on an app (myself included!). I wanted to learn why people still feel this way and what we can all do to better celebrate our real-life love stories. 

So I asked men and women about their personal experiences on — and off — dating apps, culminating in the question: "If you met a significant other on a dating app, would you lie about it?" 

Recommended

Elise, a single woman currently on dating apps, told me, "Um, I would tell the truth about that. I mean, I actually have been in a situation, I have been in a relationship with a guy and it's OK. In New York City, it's fine to tell other people. My family at home is a little less understanding maybe, but it's OK. My family's coming around to it ... But you do feel the need to justify yourself a little bit. You're a bit defensive at the end of it. Like, 'I met on an app, but ...' With friends, it's fun, you can laugh about it. All of my friends are on apps so it's kind of expected now." 

Another single woman, Stephanie, said she'd felt embarrassed admitting she was on a dating app in the past, but knowing that her coworkers were also on dating apps and talked "about it very openly in the office" helped her realize it was totally OK. Even so, when I asked if she'd lie about meeting a significant other on a dating app, she told me, "I may tell a white lie at first, but then eventually I'll come out with the truth. I think with friends it would be much easier, and then with family we'd have to ease into it a little bit, for sure." 

On the other (right-swiping) hand, Erica, a single woman, said, "No, I wouldn't be embarrassed. I think people tend to be embarrassed talking about [dating apps] but I think, lately, everyone is doing it, everyone's on dating apps because no one can meet people otherwise so everyone's resorting to dating apps. So I don't think it should be something to be embarrassed about." 

And for one man and his dating app success story, it isn't. Nick met his current girlfriend on OKCupid and has been totally open about it. "I tell them [friends and family] that we met on OKCupid. I think it's pretty normal at this point and definitely better than some of the other possibilities, so ..." 

Though Nick had no problem sharing his online love story, he was quick to acknowledge that being so open about meeting a significant other on a dating app may not depend on who you're talking to. "I think they should do whatever makes them feel most comfortable. Feel free to censor what you're gonna say depending on your audience. if you think it's not going to go over well with certain people," he said. "But also, it shouldn't be embarrassing. I mean, everything we do these days, or a lot of stuff we do these days are on our phones, right? So your music is there, everything is there, so why not just meet someone there?" 

That's a good question, and one any dating app user can — and should — ask themselves the next time they feel a bit sheepish about revealing their relationship origin story. After all, as dating apps become even more normalized over time, we can only assume there will be even more people answering that question with a resounding, "Why the hell not?" 

Love, Lindsay Investigates, an offshoot of the Love, Lindsay column, is a series where A Plus's relationship guru/columnist ventures out into the world to ask people how they feel about a range of topics related to dating, relationships, and sex. Because, let's face it, everyone has an opinion when it comes to love. 

Want to see more Love, Lindsay Investigates? Check out last week's rendition where I took to the streets of New York City to ask men and women how they feel about the new male birth control pill

And if you've got a burning love question you want me to answer or a relationship topic you'd like me to take to the streets, submit to lovelindsay@aplus.com

More From A Plus

GET SOME POSITIVITY IN YOUR INBOX

Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.