In the fast-growing world of online dating, the LGBTQ+ community faces unique challenges when it comes to finding love. In a new study, popular dating app Hinge has uncovered some of the biggest hurdles facing this community. Hinge Labs, a team of Ph.D. researchers and dating experts, interviewed 14,000 LGBTQ+ individuals to gain insights into the problems they face.
The study found that bisexual daters are three times more likely than other LGBTQIA+ daters to have never had a queer dating experience. Hinge dubbed this phenomenon the “Fear of Exploration,” which refers to a nervousness around dating, either due to discomfort with one’s identity, being closeted, or not knowing how to approach a romantic interest. Nearly 50% of queer, bisexual, trans, and non-binary daters have missed out on queer dating experiences because of these anxieties. On the other hand, 80% of LGBTQIA+ Hinge daters are open to being someone’s first queer dating experience.
The study also revealed that for trans daters, over-communication before a date is essential to ensure that their date’s goals are aligned with their own. 71% of trans daters have an “expectation check” to lay out the type of relationship they are seeking before meeting in person. They are also the most likely to want their date to check on them after the date and to text first.
Finally, the study delved into the issue of ghosting. Hinge Labs refer to a lighter form of this as “fizzling,” when someone becomes less communicative and eventually stops responding altogether. However, the study found that this behavior can be just as painful as ghosting, with 90% of LGBTQIA+ people not wanting to be fizzled. Daters would prefer to receive a direct text if someone is not interested.
This study sheds light on the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in online dating and highlights the need for a more inclusive and understanding approach.