Interview: Journalist Nichi Hodgson Offers Her Take on the Industry

Nichi Hodgson is a UK-based journalist, author, broadcaster and former matchmaker.

Her 2017 book, The Curious History of Dating: From Jane Austen to Tinder, presented an in-depth look at how dating practices have evolved through time. Now available as an audiobook, it takes readers from the 1700s through to the age of online dating.

She earned a spot in the GDI Power Book 2019 for her commentary in a number of different outlets over the past 12 months, and for continuing to provide expert analysis as the online dating industry enters the media spotlight.

GDI checked in with Hodgson to get her opinion on some of the hot topics in the industry.

Read the full interview below:

What kind of response have you had to The Curious History of Dating since it was first published?

NH: “A really positive one, and I’ve loved how much I’ve been able to contribute to the current and future conversation on dating as a result of all the work I did for it. I think more and more people are understanding that we need to understand the past in order to frame the future.

I hope I’ve been able to steady some people – reading about other people’s mistakes can be very soothing when your own life feels like it isn’t going to plan.”

How do you see the culture war evolving over the next 12 months? Are there specific conversations there you think are relevant to the dating industry?

NH: “I feel to some extent the Brexit debate is overshadowing the culture wars, but I think we are going to see much more from alt-right campaigners on issues like LGBTQ rights, child abuse, free speech and their clash with the left. Those are highly relevant to us.

“There’s also the 1st April age verification for adult content coming in which will practically affect a lot of the websites we use for information around sex and relationships. I’ll be interested to see how that affects dating apps and businesses, it’s very hard to know just at the moment.

“If it proves as censorious as I suspect it will, I think we will see a strong conversation between the left and the right about just how open we want society to be around sex and relationships, and the matter of how we educate children on the topics.”

What’s the solution to dating fatigue?

NH: “Taking a break?! Really. You have to pace yourself and you have to make sure you date on your terms. Dating is meant to be fun, entertaining, connective, not a chore. You have to make it fit into your life in a way that feels revitalising, not energy-sapping. And as much as I love the industry, apps need to be put in their place – there’s a threshold of return when it comes to swiping and using apps. If you’re feeling fatigue, step back and focus on developing yourself in activities you love, and your friendships. That’s the place to reinvigorate yourself.”

What do you have coming up in 2019 that people can look out for?

NH: “A new podcast on bisexuality, and a new book on dating – although that won’t actually be ready for another year. I’m also working with the team at MysteryVibe, interviewing and commissioning content from the best and most original thinkers on dating, relationships, sex and tech. So if you’d like to be featured, get in touch!”

Aside from The Curious History of Dating, what’s your number one book recommendation for executives in the online dating space?

NH: “Attached by Dr Amir Levene and Rachel Heller, or anything on attachment theory. I’m continually baffled by the fact hardly anyone I meet seems to be interested in this most fundamental psychology of how people form relationships. If the dating industry were to incorporate it into matching it would have a profound effect, although perhaps the margins would go down!”

Visit Nichi Hodgson’s website here.

Dominic Whitlock

Dominic is the Editor for Global Dating Insights. Originally from Devon, England he achieved a BA in English Language & Linguistics from The University of Reading. He enjoys a variety of sports and has a further passion for film and music.

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