Snapchat Dating: An Unofficial Guide to Finding Love Between Snaps

Women taking snapchat

Snapchat dating is just one of the many ways that modern teens and young adults are adapting to digitally dating one another. Where dating apps and social media sites fail short in the dating game, Snapchat excels. By creating an intimate and immediate multi-layered conversation, Snapchat helps you build the foundations of a healthy and successful relationship. To get started, take a look at the best ways to turn the Snapchat ghost into your internet-age cupid.

What Is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a socialization app that was created by two Stanford University students, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, as an intertextual alternative to text messaging. The app is designed for users to be able to send their friends short pictures or video clips of themselves, sometimes accompanied with writing, and it was originally meant to disappear after ten seconds at the most. In the mid-2010s, Snapchat progressively grew in popularity, and it became one of the predominate ways for younger generations to communicate with each other.

Has Snapchat Changed The Way That We Date?

The image-based app has actually affected the way that modern users date in a few interesting ways. From the sense of increased privacy to consistent communication which the app engenders, Snapchat has helped alter the expectations that people have of their partners and can both help and harm new love depending on how it's being used.

man taking selfie near colorful wall

The Intimacy Bubble

Since the individual 'snaps' that people send to each other can be customized to disappear in as little as one second or as long as until the receiver clicks away, there's a broad sense of safety that people feel knowing that their thoughts and feelings, as they've expressed through images and text, won't be permanently stored. Similarly, according to one study on Snapchat's effect on interpersonal relationships, "public content on social media is often posted for a large audience" but Snapchat's single-line communication system lets users safely reveal their innermost feelings.

Despite the common misconception, Snapchat isn't predominately used for sexual situations; in fact, the analysis explored in the 2014 article, "Sex, Lies, or Kittens? Investigating the Use of Snapchat's Self-Destructive Messages," reveals that only about 13% of their surveyed group say that they use Snapchat for sexting, with less than 2% of Americans reporting that they use Snapchat "primarily for sexual content."

There's No Guessing Game

Another benefit to using Snapchat to talk with your partner is that it lets you contextualize your thoughts and feelings by allowing you to curate a multimedia snapshot of exactly what you're meaning to say. This way, it's practically impossible for your partner to misunderstand your intention - be it to be teasing, flirting, or whatever else you're feeling.

Snapchat dating infographic

The Dangers of Jealousy and Avoidance

Unfortunately, Snapchat is about as infallible in the romance department as humans are; according to the 2016 publication "The Influence of Snapchat on Interpersonal Relationship Development and Human Communication," Snapchat can make partners more jealous because of their concerns over who their partners are friends with on the app and who they're talking to, with these fears only growing the face of the disappearing evidence.

Justin Velten and Rauf Arif also explore in this research article how Snapchat lets people avoid one another when there's a moment of conflict or a period of distance in a relationship. Just as quickly as you can talk to one another through Snapchat, you can ghost each other as well, and the temptation to ignore each other is only facilitated by the app's structure.

Tips for Finding - and Keeping - Love Through Snapchat

If you think Snapchat is the right app for you to woo your crush or keep your established relationship afloat, then take note of these five tips for turning Snapchat into a love letter for your beloved.

1. Reach Out as Often as You'd Like

There's an old-fashioned saying that you shouldn't double text someone, but this isn't the case for Snapchat. Whether it's a funny meme or a long rant about your landlord that you want to send to your crush, don't feel uncomfortable with sending multiple 'snaps.' Half of the point of Snapchat is being able to share your day with your partner immediately, and chances are high that they want to see every moment that you're willing to share.

2. Keep Things Flirty and Fun

Snapchat's added image and video functions let you take your flirting game over text up a notch. Send your partner pictures of a meal you cooked or a selfie of yourself in your favorite outfit and ask their opinion. Send them snaps that'll put you in their head and never let you leave.

woman using a smartphone

3. Constant Communication Is Important

If you and your partner are struggling with keeping up with each other, a great way to hold yourselves accountable is to start a Snapchat streak with one another. Snapchat will keep count of the number of days in a row that you and another person 'snap' each other, and agreeing to a streak can be a fun way to rededicate yourselves to being better at responding.

4. Group Chats Keep You Both in the Loop

Snapchat's single communication system can be turned into a metaphorical party-line quite easily, and you can use Snapchat to surround you and your partner with your other couple friends. Here, the group can interact and organize dates, and you and your partner can feel more socially involved in each other's immediate circle. Not staying too isolated as a couple is really important to stepping out of the puppy love phase and into a mature partnership.

5. Find New People

While Snapchat's interface doesn't really support a way for people to find new friends through the app, other applications like Hoop create a Tinder-like experience for you to discover new people on Snapchat. Specifically, Hoop shows you people's profiles equipped with bios and pictures, and for the ones you like you can tap a Snapchat button to request their username so you can connect over Snapchat. This is an amazing tool for both IOS and Android users that can help people who otherwise wouldn't find each other through more traditional means make a connection.

6. Long-Distance Doesn't Exist

Snapchat lets you bridge the physical distance between you and a long-distanced partner by giving you the tools to show your partner a three-dimensional blueprint of your life. Words and phone calls can only illustrate so much of your lived experience, and sending them a video of you walking your dog or ordering a coffee will let them feel connected to you in a way that distance hasn't let them feel before.

Remember That in-Person Communication Is Vital Too

While Snapchat can be an incredible digital tool for you to use to build a stronger relationship with your partner, especially during socially distant or uncertain times, the most important thing to remember when romancing a person using the app is that in-person communication is just as important. Make sure that you're not relying on delayed and curated snaps to talk with your beau, but rather that you're using it to bolster your already thriving partnership.

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Snapchat Dating: An Unofficial Guide to Finding Love Between Snaps