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No doubt about it ... singles are ditching dating apps for *actual* dates

Andy Phillips   |   Fri, 18 Nov 2022

First things first: Couple recently had the pleasure of speaking with the industry pros at about how online speed dating is changing the way singles connect. They wrote an awesome piece about Couple’s mission and platform – definitely give it a read, and check out their site for more app reviews!

The article got us thinking about the trend of online speed dating in general. Specifically, is it a “trend” at all, or does it represent something less fleeting and more permanent?

Call us biased, but our conclusion is that online speed dating is here to stay. Not only that, but it’s quickly becoming the gold standard in how people meet and connect authentically.

We wouldn’t toot our own horn without hard data to back it up: 92% of our users rate their Couple experience as “as good as or better than” traditional dating apps, which is a pretty remarkable stat for a platform that’s both new on the scene and a stark departure from the apps that have dominated our dating lives for the last decade.

But if numbers alone don’t move you, here’s a rundown of why we believe a shift away from swiping and toward online speed dating is inevitable ... and already underway.

Online speed dating prioritizes people, not profiles

Perhaps this is a controversial opinion, but we’re going to put it out there anyway: swiping sucks the fun and humanity out of dating online. Yes, there’s a certain efficiency to the process (and it can be great for quick hook-ups), but after months or years of using traditional apps, you feel less like you’re meeting people and more like you’re window-shopping personas.

Similarly, knowing that people are looking for the shiniest object when they scroll through their matches means you have to market yourself hard. On top of editing your pics to perfection, your profile needs to be provocative enough that it stands out in a sea of singles. In other words, straightforward sincerity doesn’t sell on most apps, which ultimately can cheapen the overall dating experience.

Compare that to online speed dating, which skips the swiping altogether and puts you face-to-face with real people right away. The fact that you can meet amazing people who you might have overlooked based on their profile alone (and vice versa) is a total game changer. When you can’t rely on staged photos, carefully crafted bios, or pre-drafted DMs, you get to the heart of the matter much more quickly: do I vibe with my match in person?

Furthermore, cutting to the chase by going straight to dates makes the online-dating experience actually fun. Couple users tell us that on traditional dating apps, they’ll spend hours browsing profiles with no guarantee that the effort will result in a date. That’s a lot of life sacrificed to the swipe. They appreciate that online speed dating is interactive and immediate. Log in and BOOM … you’re on a live date from the comfort of home. Tough to beat that selling point.

Computer screen showing two single people on an online speed date

Online speed dating is better than one-off video dates

Of course, many dating apps now offer users the option to go on video dates with their matches before they meet in person, which is awesome. But the primary mechanism for introducing you to that match is ... drumroll, please ... the standard swipe-and-DM duo.

While it’s a nice perk to be able to vet a match by vid before you meet IRL, the feature doesn’t fundamentally change the way traditional dating apps function. Bit of a drag for those of us seeking more simplicity and sincerity in the ways we connect with romantic partners.

With online speed dating, you can log in to an event and automatically have 10-15 video dates in a single hour. And, if the platform does things the right way (ahem-Couple-ahem), your dates will be with curated matches – not total randos – which improves the experience even more.

Online speed dating scares away scammers

We’ve covered this in The Vibe plenty, but it’s worth mentioning again: online speed dating kills the ability to catfish.

Kind of a no-brainer, since it’s a lot harder to fake your physical identity on a real-time speed date than it is through DMs. Our users report that they feel more confident that the person they’re talking to via video is who they say they are, which makes the entire dating experience more relaxed and enjoyable. We love that the platform provides singles a sense of security.

That’s not to say that the format is perfect at keeping people honest. There’s no stopping someone from fudging the details of their life, and there’s plenty you can’t learn about a person in a three-minute speed date. But it does weed out the worst offenders, and that’s a big perk.

(Couple) online speed dating creates communities

And here’s where we have to talk up the Couple platform specifically. One of the huge differentiators between it and other dating apps is that our events are not solely focused on dating. Every Couple event is a big, social party. You’ll date your matches (duh), but you’ll also meet/play games/hang with everyone at the event.

Many Couple users have made friends and built communities that extend far beyond romantic relationships, which is pretty unique to the platform. When singles realize that online dating doesn’t have to be an isolating experience, they start to rethink their go-to apps and attend more online speed-dating events.

Bottom line, every dating app serves a purpose, and swipe-style platforms are great in certain scenarios. But there’s a growing surge of singles demanding an elevated dating experience that prioritizes real people over online personas. And here at Couple, we don’t see that demand disappearing any time soon.


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