Why it matters: Part of playing the game is to make yourself as desirable as possible, which can lead to high, unmet expectations.

“We’re showing people this near perfect version of ourselves. It is highly tailored,” Ohio State University’s Jesse Fox told Axios. “You build up your hopes and expectations and then you meet — and it’s awkward.”

Many dating app executives who spoke with Axios are wary to call the platforms a game. “People are trying to maximize to find the ideal,” Bumble’s in-house sociologist, Jessica Carbino, suggests, “which is the sort of market nature of love.”

“People are able to go on more dates, find more people and, as a result, they’re actually waiting longer to get married than ever before, but they’re also, I think, choosing the best partner for them,” McLeod said.