Online dating: if you’re not doing it, you’ve heard the horror stories, and love in 2015 wouldn’t be the same without it. So what was a single girl to do when the news came out this week that online dating could be giving you an STD?! With a little help from your chosen sexual partner, of course.
Yep, cases of syphilis have risen by 33% in the last year, with good old gonorrhoea up 19%, and Doctor Peter Greenhouse is putting the blame on dating apps.
Speaking to Newsbeat, he said “you are able to turn over partners more quickly with a dating app, meaning you’re more likely to get infections. What really worries me is that we are just at a tipping point for HIV”.
Now that’s not good. We can’t deny the facts, but are dating apps the real cause of our poor sexual health? When match.com first went online a whole 20 years ago, dating changed forever, and meeting the potential love of your life became a lot, lot easier.
Fast forward to 2015 and things have definitely sped up. You no longer need a dial up connection and desktop computer to meet your next date – just swipe right and you’re good to go. So is it really Tinder’s fault that we’re not using proper protection? We spoke to some of online dating’s head honchos to find out what they had to say…
Rosette Pambakian, Head of Communications at Tinder, says “Tinder is about connecting people. Sometimes Tinder leads to a few great dates, true love, or a wasted half hour at a bar – just like any other date. And sometimes dates lead to sex. There is no real evidence that Tinder causes an increase in STDs. In fact, research indicates that people are now more likely to use protection with a new partner”. Not getting any matches? You need our ultimate guide to Tinder.
Marie Cosnard, Head of Trends at Happn, doesn’t think apps should be to blame for the rise in STIs. “Dating apps are following social trends and changing behaviours that have been unfolding for decades: there’s a liberalisation of attitudes towards the number of partners you have. The problem is much wider: people need to take responsibility, no matter how and where they’ve met their partner”. If you need a refresher, we've got the lowdown on Happn here.
Once is the newest app on the scene, using an actual human matchmaker (old-school, right?) to give you one potential partner every 24 hours. Jean Meyer, CEO of matchmaking at Once, thinks the link is unclear. “What is clear, though, is that there are too many 'hook-up' apps that focus on quantity over quality, where numbers and the speed of matching takes priority. It's time for dating apps to slow down and promote a safe, responsible attitude to relationships and sex". Now that's what we like to hear.
If all of this has put you off online dating for life, here's why offline dating could be the thing for you