Logan Ury is a behavioral scientist turned dating coach, and the author of How To Not Die Alone, which came out this week. Logan also serves as the Director of Relationship Science at the dating app Hinge, where she leads a research team dedicated to helping people find love.
The pandemic has obviously made things difficult for those who are looking for love. What’s your advice to someone who is ready and wanting to find a partner, but feeling frustrated or hopeless right now because of isolation?
First of all, it’s not just you! Know that a lot of people are feeling that way. This is an anxiety-provoking time for people, especially single ones who are looking for love.
The good news is that you don’t have to take this year off from dating. People are more motivated than ever to connect. Have you tried a video date yet? These are easy, low-pressure ways to get a vibe check. The video date is the new coffee date, we like to say at Hinge. If you’re worried it will be awkward—give it a try and check it out for yourself. 81% of Hinge users who have tried it say it’s “not at all awkward.”
Your work is dedicated to helping people find love—is that as fun and fulfilling as it sounds? Can you share any surprising learnings from your time at Hinge?
Yes! I feel so lucky that I have turned my two passions—psychology and dating/relationships into my job! And I’m thrilled that I can now share everything I’ve learned through my book.
One of the most interesting things we’ve seen is that ghosting is down 27% during the pandemic. We attribute this to people being more selective about who they’re matching with, more empathetic in how they’re communicating, and more intentional about dating in general.
In your book (congratulations!), you talk about why “the spark” is a myth. Can we get the TL;DR version?
Yes! Here’s the quick summary:
I get it, the spark is wonderful. But you know what? F**k the spark.
The concept is my nemesis: I’ve come to see our obsession with the spark as one of the most pervasive and dangerous ideas in dating. It causes us to miss out on amazing partners because we fail to see their true potential.
In my book I bust a number of myths about the spark:
Myth #1: When you meet the right person, you’ll feel instant fireworks.
Myth #2: The spark is always a good thing.
Myth #3: If you have a spark, the relationship is viable.
The spark itself isn’t a bad thing. It can be a useful signal that you’re attracted to someone. The important thing to remember is that its absence doesn’t predict failure, and its presence doesn’t guarantee success.
In my book, I explain how to stop using the spark as your first date indicator, and instead focus on what matters, like loyalty and kindness.
You’ll learn how to ditch the spark and go for the slow burn—someone who may not be particularly charming upon your first meeting but would make a great long-term partner.
You recently wrote about your own relationship for The New York Times’ Modern Love column. I’ll let everyone read the full article for themselves, but I was so moved by (and found myself nodding along to) your words about needing more significant others. I’ve always subscribed to the “you can’t get everything you need from one person” mentality, but for the last 10 months, for many of us who are partnered, that’s the card we’ve been dealt. What’s your advice—assuming communal living is one but not the only option—for anyone in a relationship who feels like they’re, well, really missing all of the other people in their life right now?
There is a reason why those Zoom happy hours aren’t making you feel any better. People think they want social interactions, but what we’re actually missing is connection. What is one thing you can do today to really connect with someone, even if you can’t see them in person? Can you call someone and tell them how they changed your life? Can you write someone an apology letter and see what opens up for you? Can you help a friend who’s going through a hard time. Reach out and dig in. See what happens when you focus on meaningful, one-on-one interactions.
What do you think the future of dating looks like in a post-pandemic world?
We will have to wait and see! A few possibilities:
1. A relationship surge from all of the people who spent the pandemic alone and are going to make dating and finding someone a priority.
2. A surge in hookups from people who missed physical touch and casual sex.
3. A breakup boom from people who stayed together so they’d have a pandemic buddy.
The most realistic answer? D) All of the above.
Thank you, Logan!