How Dating Online Could Make You A Better Dater IRL

Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.
Online dating can be good for so many things: You can learn how to be an artful texter, how to dig up information about a person you've never met, and how to talk to strangers and make it seem like a totally normal thing. And now, new research from Tinder suggests that your dating game IRL can actually improve if you get on dating apps.
For the survey, Tinder polled 7,072 Tinder users over the age of 18 about various aspects of their dating life. In a separate survey, the researchers asked a general group of 2,502 adults ages 18 to 35 in the U.S. questions about their past relationships, meeting people, and dating life, and then they combined those two surveys into an epic online dating survey. The most surprising part about their findings is, essentially, that there may be a few interpersonal benefits to online dating besides the obvious one: possibly finding a partner.
Sure, some people hide behind their apps or use them as a crutch, but these findings (which, yes, come from a less-than-unbiased source) turn that stereotype on its head. So we talked to a few experts to see how online dating could potentially help people become better daters.
"I think people, especially those with a lot of social anxiety, can benefit from online dating, because it’s a safe space in which you can control the pace of conversation and interaction, since it happens virtually," says Samantha Burns, LMHC, a relationship expert. But she says you actually have to go out and meet up with the people that you meet online; you're not going to become a better dater just by osmosis.
There's no wrong or right way to date, of course, but certain skills may make finding a partner easier — if that's your goal. Here are a few ways online dating might just make you a better dater in the real world.