Just over half of Australians say they’ve dipped their toe into online dating – but just how prolific is the internet now in our relationships?
Valentine’s Day is looming, but instead of staying home for a pity-party of one, singles are flocking to venues around town that are hosting parties for those looking for love in unconventional ways.
The Fox Hotel is holding an ‘I Love Tinder’ party, which encourages patrons to log-on to the popular swipe-left-swipe-right app to find love while sipping cocktails at Dandy’s Rooftop – no perfumed roses or metallic balloons in sight, promises General Manager Rohan Topley.
“The idea for the I Love Tinder party evolved from witnessing so many of our staff and customers using Tinder,” says Topley. “We were looking for something different to do since Valentine’s falls on a Friday night this year. We have set out to avoid being a typical singles night – no nuts and bolts games or awkward introductions. Rather, it will be a night in our rooftop garden complete with cocktails, great tapas and lots of singles. Once you arrive switch Tinder on, reduce your range down to one kilometre, and let the magic happen. Who knows where true love is found these days!”
With the Exchange Hotel hosting an SMS Flirt party too, it seems the way to another’s heart is down the tech path. Spokesperson for dating website RSVP Melanie Dudgeon says the stigma of online dating doesn’t really exist any more.
“Many years ago you would see a stigma around it but people are becoming very comfortable online,” says Dudgeon. “They’re social-networking, they’re very comfortable shopping online – dating online comes with that.”
She says it’s about convenience, with time-poor parents and professionals wanting to look for dates on their own time.
“25 per cent of our members initially connect through mobile, and about 50 per cent of site use now takes place on mobile devices – it’s really all about convenience,” she says. “Online is incredibly convenient. Rather than trying to find people in a group at a pub, people can jump online and do it in their own time and can look for their own criteria.”