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Why religious dating apps are on the rise, helping Muslims, Mormons, Jews and other believers find ‘the one’

02/13/2021 10:51:17 AM


Peggy Fletcher Stack

It used to be matchmakers, marriage-obsessed parents and religion-based meetups that helped — or pressured — God-centered couples to find each other.

With Valentine’s Day and other holidays as stark reminders of the push to pair up, more and more young people of faith are turning to dating apps as modern cupids.

Online dating now ranks as the most common way for U.S. couples to meet, Ariel Charytan, CEO of the popular dating app — what else? — OkCupid, said last year in a podcast of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Today, singles are more interested in a potential partner’s beliefs, Charytan said, “than other factors like age and distance.”

That explains the rise in popularity of apps like JCrush and JSwipe (the No. 1 Jewish dating site), Shaadi (“redefining the way Indian brides and grooms meet for marriage”) Christian Mingle (for “people who share a commitment to Christian values”), CatholicMatch (“to search for the one God has planned for them”), and Muzmatch (“where single Muslims meet”) to find their future mates.

It is especially tough for adherents in a religious minority to connect to others who share their values, but even those surrounded by thousands of fellow believers are looking to dating sites.

When Rabbi Sam Spector of Utah’s Congregation Kol Ami lived in Los Angeles a few years ago, where there are nearly 1 million Jews, he still met his future wife, Jill, on a general dating app (filtered by religion, of course).
He had also used JDate, says Spector, who married in 2019, “but now everyone under 40 likes JSwipe.”


Tue, April 20 2021 8 Iyyar 5781