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What Dating Apps and Algorithms Don’t Tell You – Violet Lim at TEDxNTU


Technology and dating apps in Singapore have successfully brought together countless of connections.

However, dating apps are corporations. The technology created is meant to maximise revenues, profits, app usage and keep you online as long as possible. The need of dating apps is ideally to create a large userbase and to keep them there by showing a list of things they MIGHT be interested in.

Strange as it sounds, whether an individual dater succeeds or not, that’s not always their no.1 priority because as the end of the day, it’s nothing personal, it’s just business.

But dating is personal.

Keep in mind they are the people who are genuinely looking to settle down, someone to start their forever with. Life changing decisions to be made that would affect their future. So, when you have an algorithm that does not cater to the same importance that individual holds, which is to match them with their potential matches, it almost feels like cheating. But who looks into all that?

As long as the supply and demand cycle keeps going around, all is well. The constant feel of almost finding the perfect match but then missing out will eventually build up frustration and you might find yourself doing something unacceptable in love…settling.

At our offline dating service, we always insist on a blind date as we do not want our clients to be judged by photos alone. There are photo editing software and apps that goes way beyond our imagination to provide the “perfect picture” for us to upload and fish for a compliment or two.

However, it can be considered as catfishing in the dating world, especially through apps or online. Unfortunately, it is more common than we would like it to be, common enough for it’s own TV show. Even with the perfect lighting and angel, at some point you will have to face reality from all angels, under every shade. Besides, even if a picture is worth a thousand words, your personality speaks more than that.

When you meet in person, you are not just another image to be swiped right or left. You are not just another pixel that is manipulated to look attractive. When you meet in person, you don’t just attract with your looks; you also attract with your voice, your personality, your composure and your personal story.

You yourself come into life and respond to every little thing around you, from the way you order you coffee to the way you behave from being nervous from the date. This would be the starting to the answer of “How did you guys meet?”. These things play a big role in finding a potential date. Something that cannot be conveyed enough by looking through a screen.

The magic that we look high and low for, chemistry.

The vibe you send out to the world is what you tend to attract. We emphasize on that with our clients because before you look for a partner you need to be sure to have found yourself first. Our coaches are not just there for the pep talk and the butterflies in the stomach, they ensure the individuals they are helping to realise the best qualities they have to offer their dates and vice versa. Of course, it’s important to look good for your date but conversations and manners leave a deeper impression. The confidence and positivity you radiate attracts people just for through your presence. Hence the saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  

24 hours seems like a long time, but the world of dating apps has been through tremendous changes at such a rapid pace. It has reached a point where everything is decided within minutes, if not seconds. Meaning people are held on a standard where they need to make a lasting impression within that small window.

Not to mention the fear of not being “good enough” or not appearing to be a certain “type” of individual someone would want to date. The pressure is immense especially when the desire to settle down increases because nobody wants to be labelled as “not marketable”.

Adding all that into the equation results in going the great length to focus on the superficial matters. Understandable? Yes. Acceptable? Nope!

“When you're different, sometimes you don't see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn't.” - Jodi Picoult

Sometimes a fresh look on something we are so used to, such as ourselves, is a great help. Your quirks, habits and little things that makes you YOU might end up being the biggest attraction to your potential date. As a dating medium that connects two people, it is vital to be able to create the platform for the individuals to find themselves before finding a partner.

We all wish to have the meet-cute moment that we see in movies where we cross paths with our soulmate over coffee or bagel, and some of them do! But for those who haven’t, we will be the cupids in formal with a mission to find you the best potential matches.

Of course, dating apps help in almost every situation in this time and age. It would be smart for us to use technology for what it has to offer; and leverage on dating apps to expand your social circle and meet interesting people you otherwise would not have met. But, please do not leave your love life to algorithms alone.

We contemplate multiple times before making a goods purchase online despite all the tempting discounts, so how can we be so easily convinced for something far more precious and permanent? Do not get sucked into the vortex of swiping and chatting because dating that stays online stays superficial.

Most love poems were written about looking into each other’s eyes not screens. Stack the odds in your favour by meeting in person as quickly as possible, no matter how badly the butterflies keep fluttering in your stomach.

Seek out opportunities for face to face encounters because it could be the one you’ve been looking for on the other side of the table waiting for you. Put yourself out there, literally!

Watch the full video of Co-Founder and CEO of Lunch Actually, Violet Lim at TEDxNTU stage and share with your comments down below!

Tired of swiping?

Lunch Actually is Asia's pioneer and most effective dating agency that helps singles find love and happiness. Click here to request for a complimentary appointment with our dating consultant!


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