Have you ever heard of dating app burnout, or online dating fatigue? As it turns out, being drained from dating app usage, feeling like being on them is a chore, and/or thinking you’ve become too attached to the mindless scrolling often associated with online dating apps are all experiences way more common for people trying to make connections via the platforms than you’d think.
At this point, it’s a well-known fact that using dating apps can be addictive and negatively impact a person’s mental health. Still — and especially with COVID-19 making it harder for people to go out on dates in real life within the past year — dating apps continue to be a popular and customizable way for connection seekers to go through tons of potential matches, ideally without putting in too much effort besides swiping and chatting with those they match with. Unfortunately for most however, despite that being the way the apps were intended to be used, that’s not how things usually pan out in reality. Just a few years ago, behavioral scientist and relationship blog writer Clarissa Silva “surveyed 500 dating app users from 25 to 40 and shared her insights with Bustle.” According to the article, Silva found that “after nine months of use, 65 percent of respondents said that [being on dating apps] felt like a job.”
All that considered, there’s a unique type of burnout that can happen as a result of being on dating apps too long, being too dependant on them, or feeling exhausted by the effort needed to use them and follow through with your matches. As a way to help get yourself out of that spiral — or steer clear of it altogether — read below for some tips on how to manage dating app burnout.
Rediscover (Or Redefine) Why You’re On Dating Apps To Begin With
Setting intentions is always important. The reality of the situation is that for some, after you’ve been on dating apps for a good amount of time — you might not even remember why you got on them in the first place. Relatedly, maybe your priorities since getting on the apps initially and now have changed. Regardless, everyone’s reasons for being on dating apps is different. If you’re at the point of burnout, it’s safe to say that your unhealthy engagement with dating apps needs a reboot — and that starts with re-evaluating your reasons for being on them.
Whether it be finding hookups, having a desire to sharpen your flirting skills, or to find a long-term relationship — none of your reasons for being on dating apps can be thoughtfully executed if you’re experiencing burnout while being on them. After establishing what you want from your experiences, try pairing down to being on only one dating app. Ensuring that your efforts begin to feel smarter and not harder — and that you avoid more burnout — make sure the dating app you choose has the best chance of offering the potential types of matches you want to receive in the long run.
Put Some Limits On Your Usage
This is all about putting a limit on the amount of time you’ll spend on the dating app you choose. Whether it’s for the day or for the week in total — time limits for apps can be set on most phones these days and they’ll give you a little reminder (if not shut you out completely) when you’ve spent longer than you’re designated time scrolling through potential love interests. Not only will this force you to get up and do something when you’ve become caught up in scrolling for too long — but it’ll also discourage you from swiping when you’re bored, and instead encourage you to swipe more considerately. That way, you’ll chat more strategically with matches worth your time because you’ll know you only have so much time to spend on the app each day.
When All Else Fails, Delete Them Altogether
Even though this is a “last resort,” don’t think of it as a failure. If you’re at a time when being on dating apps is negatively impacting your wellness and how you feel about yourself — then it’s completely okay to just log out of your accounts for a while and delete the apps from your phone. The latter step is important because — “Out of sight, out of mind” you know? What’s important at the end of the day is that you know the work of healing from dating app burnout won’t be done simply after getting rid of them. After realizing you’ve become drained from them — and making a move to remove them from your life if you need to — reinvigorating yourself with daily affirmations (highlighting that you are enough regardless of your relationship status), self-care, and overall self-prioritization in every part of your life should really treat the exhaustion online dating caused.
At the end of the day, dating apps are supposed to be fun and helpful ways for you to connect with people — whether you’re looking for a hookup or long-term love. Make sure that they stay that way — and if they don’t — know that you always have the ability to make a switch for the better.