Social Dating: What is it? and should you be doing it?


We know what online dating is. We’ve been there, done that, gone to the dodgy bars. And of course we know what social networking is. But I was intrigued to see that there is now a new kind of dating – social dating. And according to that’s what you should be doing now. Coincidentally, that’s exactly what they offer. Here they explain just what “social dating” is, why it’s a change on normal online dating and the advantages it offers.

What is Social Dating?
It seems to be more about facilitating casual chats and meet-ups with people nearby rather than encouraging 4 month-long correspondences over instant messenger that wind up with you travelling to Milton Keynes to meet someone in Starbucks who turns out to be a bit weird-looking.

We quote Bart Swanson of Badoo:

“The first and biggest shift is from ‘marital dating’ to ‘social dating’ or casual dating…
In short, online dating is no longer all about meeting your spouse or life-partner. It’s about meeting a lot of people in a short time, at short notice, in an easy, fun, relaxed manner”.

Well I’ve never heard the term “marital dating” but we get what he’s saying. That’s partly down to online dating going mainstream – many more people now use it.

But it’s also partly down to a change in the technology: the rise of geo-location apps, able to pinpoint a mobile user’s location and the spread of smart-phones, means that there is also a shift from dating based on shared interests to dating based on location – aka “dating by satnav” – allowing you to talk and flirt with local singles.

It’s more than just a website
From the techie point of view – this whole multiplatform thing is smart. It means you don’t just online dating on one website you visit every so often when you’re feeling lonely, but on your phone (with an iphone app) and on Facebook – Badoo has a facebook app too.

It’s all more integrated into your life. So maybe you already are doing social dating, without even realising it. It’s the digital equivalent of saying hi to the person in front of you at the Pret queue outside the office.

More: How Technology has Changed Dating Forever

Anna Leach


  • Great article, you might want to also google, it offers a free online dating safety tool and offers very good dating safety tips! They monitor your safe arrival home from after a date, and if you don’t confirm your safe return they notify your alert conatct person to verify your safety!

  • Japan is really big at this and have several apps that encourage this. The app detects people within your vicinity who are set to ‘available for tea’ and etc. You can make yourself vulnerable and go with it. I think it’s a matter of time before apps like 4square will start doing this with the people who ‘checks in’ to certain restaurants / bars.

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