I've been doing online dating on and off for about 3 years now, with NO success! My question is, how do you deal with online dating fatigue without rage quitting the whole thing?
The first thing to know is that success is subjective. To me, online dating success is not quitting even though you want to throw your phone at the wall.
It's not you. Online dating is hard. While technology has made our lives so much easier in many ways, it has profoundly crippled people's ability to maintain connections. Making them is easy. Too easy. That's the problem. There's all these ways to meet people, but there's nothing out there that teaches people how to keep someone engaged.
The model behind most dating apps isn't conducive to making lasting connections. Just the opposite. These platforms are designed to give the impression that a user has a never-ending supply of options, all of which are just a swipe away. They also persuade users to continue swiping, even after they've received a match. If the user does stop to write a message, they have the ability to toggle between screens while communicating with their match. While they're messaging, they're able to view more profiles. At every step in the process, dating app and online dating site users are being tempted not to focus on just one person at a time.
None of that has anything to do with you. (A 2013 Pew study back this up.) That's a case of simple psychology being used to undermine your efforts and success. From the linked article:
A 2013 study of online daters conducted by the Pew Research Center found that one-third never met anyone in person and three-quarters never forged a relationship. Other research showed that almost half of the messages on dating apps were never reciprocated and only 1.4 percent of app conversations led to a phone number exchange. So it’s not just you: Very few app exchanges result in a face-to-face meeting.
When we set any goal - be it running a marathon or saving money - what encourages us to keep going progress. Every week, you run just a little farther or see a larger amount in your bank account. With online dating, there's no real tangible way to note progression. Many people incorrectly assume that quantity and frequency of matches is a way to gauge success. I'm not one of those people.
Making a match is not the result we think it is. All that match alert tells you is that someone - at some point in time - viewed your profile. The harsh reality is that swiping right (aka saying yes) doesn't really mean anything anymore, as most people swipe after seeing only your primary photo and nothing else.
Progress, as I define it, is making good matches aka ones that convert to a video-chat or offline date. Progress is not engaging in superficial, banal conversations that lead to someone being unmatched or ghosts. Progress is making a connection - a real connection, one that holds potential.
This is a great post to kick-off my new podcast, Dateology. In this quick first episode, my co-host Sarah and I are going to give you tips on how to keep from quitting dating apps all together, increase your match rate, improve your dating app visibility, and how to use these platforms in such a way that you protect your self-esteem and well-being.
I hope you like it!
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