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Have you ever found yourself swiping and swiping through dating apps like Tinder or Bumble just to feel burned out from the same old, same old and never getting into a relationship with … well, substance? Well, if so, you’re not alone.
The phenomenon is called “dating app burnout,” and it happens when people get tired of spending more time scrolling through potential dates than actually dating. Research by Leah LeFebvre at the University of Alabama found that around 35% of Tinder users said they deleted the app because they felt “unsuccessful” because they had “no responses, no matches, no potential partners or negative experiences.”
Users also point out that it takes a significant amount of time and work to actually go out on dates, partly because dating apps don’t make it particularly intuitive to filter certain people out – at least not without paying. According to Rosemary Guiser, who uses the free version of Bumble, she’s “forced to wade through dozens and dozens of people I wouldn’t want to give a second look to.”
But strangely, despite fatigue and burnout, people keep returning to dating apps. Some users say dating apps have just become the norm of the dating world, and if you’re not using them, you’re not really looking for dates. Others point out that, especially because of the pandemic, socializing with people we don’t already know has become more unfamiliar to us.
Ultimately, some users say that the decision to keep or delete dating apps on their phones comes down to whether or not they feel like they have a healthy relationship with the time they were spending on the app.
That’s one reason Guiser decided to take a break from dating apps. “Am I having a good time with this? Or am I just doing this because I’m lonely and feel miserable?” said Guiser. “I was trying to catch myself in a doom scroll of looking at people and just feeling discouraged.”