Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
organization apps?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
organization apps?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp

There’s Something Going On With Dating Apps: Is finding your soul mate worth the price?

Updated Published
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Riverside chapter.

Personally, I have never ventured into the world of online dating—not yet, anyways. However, I have friends who have a common complaint besides the exhausting nature of constructing the perfect profile: money. As someone naive to dating apps, I had no idea you had to pay for the services, at least after you initially sign up. It turns out that in-app purchases are becoming increasingly common, just as online dating is being utilized by more and more people with 35% of adults who use these dating tools having had to pay for them. The amount these individuals pay is not cheap; Tinder offers a $499 monthly subscription, and a monthly subscription to Hinge costing about $600. The League, a dating service that prides itself on helping people who know what they want and refuse to settle, costs $2,499 for their VIP membership. All of these costs are implemented to help make finding that special someone easier, but is it worth it? 

According to Forbes, “nearly 70% of individuals who met someone on a dating app said it led to a romantic, exclusive relationship, while 28% said it did not.” With a fairly high success rate, it makes sense why more and more people are flocking to dating apps, and companies are taking advantage. In-app purchases are the gatekeepers to a successful dating app experience: paying for unlimited “likes,” broader dating preferences, increased visibility of one’s profile, and being able to see who has “liked” you. These features entice users with the prospect of making finding someone less arduous, however this is becoming a common practice that is causing users to abandon the free versions. 

Most dating app users agree that if you found success with the free version, then it is worth it to spend money on a subscription or membership. However, what does paying for a subscription truly do for users? Most paid features on dating apps give you a glimpse into what the other person is thinking, but is that what facilitates finding a good match? In the real world, dating is a much more mysterious and private affair. We all want to know what our crush is thinking, but is that really a good thing? With social media, it is possible to know everything and anything about a person’s life, from the things they like to do, their job, and what television show they are obsessed with. All of this information, things typically revealed as two people get to know each other, are now readily available and you do not have to ever interact with a person to know who they are. Yes, it can be said that social media is not accurate and most people only show the highlights of their days, but it is also necessary to see how social media has caused severe overexposure in all our lives. This overexposure makes dating less important. Why date someone when you can simply skim over their Instagram profile and decide then and there if they are worth your time, even when we all know social media is superficial? With this in mind, and the research showing dating apps are popular as ever then perhaps it is the culture of these apps that need to change. 

Emily Manus

UC Riverside '25

Emily is a third-year public policy major. She hopes to write about her passions and issues that are important to her as well as the UCR community. Emily's interests include the arts, media, and culture.