Let’s talk about Taylor Swift. Why? Because if her songs are any indication, she has dated many people (or a lot of friends that have a lot of experiences to share with her) (or a great imagination) (regardless, she knows a thing or two about dating).
And that is what I want to talk through today: dating in the 21st century through dating apps and websites.
Whether you hate it, love it, or something in between, it’s here and will be here for the foreseeable future. So, what can we do about it? Well, it would be good to learn about it. Just like how there is relationship science and quite a bit we have learned through the formerly traditional ways of mating and maintaining relationships, we can learn how technology-assisted dating works in the hopes to improve it for those that want improvements.
What I’ll do below is walk through what I imagine Taylor Swift’s time would be like on a dating app, as seen through actual research on this topic (more on the actual science in this week’s visual abstract and write-up).
I’ll have the back and forth between these two potential partners labeled and my own comments written like (this).
*Dater Guy has just matched with Taylor Swift*
D. Guy: If you were a vegetable, you’d be a ‘cute-cumber.’ (7% of openers are like this. No evidence of if they work or not. Mostly depends on what is being said and the receiver’s preferences. Men are more likely to use this than women, however. Men start conversations 72% of the time compared to 20% for women).
T. Swift: Ummm, I think thanks? I mean I was excited to talk to you at first, but now…
D. Guy: Haha aw thank you. How are you doing today :P (24% use this instead to open a conversation. We also don’t know if this is what is preferred or not.)
T. Swift: I was actually going to say I was excited to talk to you at first, but now I am even more excited because of that pick-up line. "'Cause you know I love the players and you love the game." (from a song called Blank Space).
D. Guy: Is that so? I never know what I should say on apps like this. It’s pretty strange. I’ve been on here but haven’t really had much luck so far. I am really looking for a long-term partner. (12% will reference their attitudes toward online dating and 10% will talk about their dating goals).
T. Swift: "I guess it's true that love was all you wanted, 'cause you're giving it away like it's extra change. Hoping it will end up in his pocket, but he leaves you out like a penny in the rain, oh, 'cause it's not his price to pay." (from a song called Tied Together With a Smile).
D. Guy: I think I see what you are saying. I am glad we have some similarities it seems! That is a good start. (50% will talk about similarities with their potential partner).
T. Swift: Thank you for sharing that. “You taught me about your past thinking your future was me” (from a song called All Too Well). But I am also seeing in your profile that you don’t like Drake. I, for one, love his songs and especially his new album. (24% will reference their potential partner’s profile and 14% will talk about their dissimilarities. Women are also more likely to bring up dissimilarities than men).
D. Guy: I’m definitely thinking about our future to some degree. But, it’s ok, we are allowed to have different tastes in music. My tastes probably aren’t as good as yours, but they can be different, right? (30% will use self-deprecation to show authenticity).
T. Swift: Well, I am liking the way you write. Writing is very important to me. And you respond really quickly too. Let’s go on a date sometime (29% will talk about how much time there is between texts, and 8% will talk about their partner’s (or own) writing style. This was a direct date request which happens 18% of the time. It is also less common for women to do the initial date request).
D. Guy: Thank you! Yes! Let’s go to [some place] at [some time].
*Now, I’d walk through the date, but the research I am referencing doesn’t actually talk about the actual date. Instead, I’ll fast forward to them deciding if they wanted go on a second date or not and what predicts that*
D. Guy: I am sorry. You’re right. I shouldn’t have kept talking about the previous dates I went on. I couldn’t help it though. You were by far the best person I have ever dated. (Talking about relationship alternatives drops the likelihood of going on a second date from 65% to 38%. Luckily only 12% bring up alternatives, such as others they have dated from the app).
T. Swift: I tried to give you another chance, but "I rewind thе tape but all it does is pause on thе very moment all was lost." (from a song called Evermore). Also, “You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath” (from a song called All Too Well). I bet you didn’t talk to others about me the way I have to my close friends. Selena Gomez knows all about you. I even wanted to talk to you about who my ideal partner is, and you fit a lot of the descriptions it seemed. Seemed, as in past tense. We are done now. Good day! (Talking about partner preferences increased the likelihood of a second date from 60% to 88%).
And that, folks, is a…realistic…dating app conversation. How many of these do you experience if you’re also on apps? Does the research reflect your experiences? Are there other experiences you have that aren’t covered here? I’d love to hear about it!