Maybe it’s time to hate the player and the game.
If it feels like you’re striking out rather than hitting a home run, dating app users might be just playing with your head.
About half of 1,300-some Tinder users, who took part in a survey, aren’t actually looking for love — in fact, singletons admitted to using the app for pure entertainment, much like a revamped Hot or Not.
“The surprising part is that a big percentage, about half, were not going online to find dates,” Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, a clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, said in a statement. “It becomes an interesting question as to why someone would spend all this time on a dating app if they’re not interested in finding a date.”
Aboujaoude is just one of the authors on a new study exploring how people use Tinder, which has an estimated 75 million active users every month.
The Stanford Medicine researchers also unearthed another jaw-dropping statistic: More than half of Tinder swipers are already taken. To be exact, 65.3% of users reported being “in a relationship” or worse — married.
The team surveyed 1,387 English-speaking Tinder users aged 17 to 84 to investigate why and how people used the popular dating app.
“I was quite struck by how little data there was when it comes to how satisfied people were with online dating in general and with the offline dates that it can result in,” Aboujaoude said.
The findings, published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking last month, reported that, aside from looking for love or casual sex, Tinder users also sought social connectedness, entertainment and distraction.
Although light-hearted, seeking that temporary boost of ego and serotonin creates a “game of deception,” study co-author Germano Vera Cruz told NBC News, and it could result in disappointed singletons who seek long-term romance.
Some users downloaded the app as a coping mechanism, which proved inefficient in the research.
Aboujaoude, who has studied problematic internet use for 15 years, likened it to social media, which has been linked to depression and anxiety.
“We call them dating apps, but they’re clearly serving other functions besides dating,” Aboujaoude said.
In December, Tinder introduced a new “Relationship Goals” feature of the app, where users could detail exactly what they were in the market for: long-term, short-term, friends or just some fun.
“Relationship Goals gives members more control over their interactions and allows them to match with more intention, without missing out on a connection they wouldn’t have made anywhere else,” the company’s spokesperson said at the time.
The survey’s bleak results further add to the dismal landscape of dating — let alone online.
One study from the University of Vienna this year claimed that swiping for a soulmate online could actually be “detrimental.”
While the creator is now happily in a relationship, she previously told The Post that when she was single, she would “fall in love” immediately and become “so attached” to whoever she was talking to, albeit casual.
To enhance her personal confidence and dating experience, she recommends “operating in abundance.”