Singles are worse off without Guardian Soulmates – Spectator.co.uk

Singles are worse off without Guardian Soulmates – Spectator.co.uk

Back in 2012, when Tinder appeared in Britain, it had a seedily alluring air of sexual venality, but nobody I knew used it. With its focus on pictures and the location of users, to the detriment of any more substantive information, it had apparently emerged from Grindr, the notorious and universal gay hookup app. Tinder had first been unleashed among horny American college students who – just as with the original Facebook – immediately saw its potential for facilitating sex. And it was free, lending it even more the air of the wild west of dating.

That wild west has become the whole country. The demise last week of Guardian Soulmates – the standard-bearer of a better class of dating site, which users actually paid for – was an epic final nail in the coffin of the old era of courtship. Its death shows there is no place anymore for the slow-burn model of getting to know someone; for a selection process based not solely on location or ripped abs, but on proper messages and exchange of ideas. In stamping out even Soulmates, which continued to be a sanctuary for 40-somethings horrified by apps long after other paid-for sites withered, the meat market vision of courtship has definitively won out.

In an email to users, Soulmates explained: ‘today’s online dating scene is dramatically different’ to the one that existed in the years after 2004, when the service first went online (Soulmates was a lonely hearts column in the Observer before).
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