Updated: January 27, 2023
- Like it or not, dating apps are here to stay and are likely your best chance for finding love.
- Although digital dating culture could be one reason you’ve had trouble finding love, looking at your own app-related habits can boost your likelihood of success.
- The next time you’re swiping, consider the types of people you’re matching with and why you’re drawn to them.
- Learn to set boundaries so you can avoid the aspects of dating apps you hate, like getting ghosted or receiving messages from creepy people.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
I’m a single 26-year-old living in a major city and I have dating profiles on all the major dating apps. I feel like I’m going on a decent number of dates, but even so, I’ve struggled to find the long-term and committed relationship I’m desperate to find. Every time I go on a date through Tinder or Bumble, I leave feeling disappointed, or the connection begins to fizzle soon after our initial meeting.
Is there a way for me to get the relationship I’m looking for without any of these dating apps, or am I doomed to this vicious cycle of superficial dates forever?
– New York City
Dear New York City,
Like it or not, dating apps are here to stay and are likely your best chance for finding love.
Although it’s certainly possible to meet your future partner at a bar, gym, or the library, those chances are slim because most people have adopted the mentality that dating happens on the internet.
“I’ve been practicing therapy for 14 years and, since I started, dating apps went from new to being really ubiquitous. I think just about everybody who is meeting people outside of college, graduate school, or work is meeting people through apps,” Matt Lundquist, a relationship therapist and founder of Tribeca Therapy, told me.
That said, I understand your frustrations. Going on date after date with no end in sight (especially when you want there to be an end) is exhausting and can make even the most hopeless romantic start to believe there’s no one out there for them.
But if you think dating apps and the supposed hookup culture built around them are the sole cause of your relationship woes, think again. According the Lundquist, most people who are fed up with dating apps and want to find love offline have trouble looking at another potential part of the problem — themselves.
The next time you’re swiping, consider the types of people you’re matching with and why you’re drawn to them. Is it mainly appearance-based? Do you only date people in the same industry as you?
Consider giving your profile a bit of a makeover once you better understand what you’re looking for in a partner, too. Relationship experts say it really can make or break your likelihood of finding love online.
Reconsider your strategy as well. Do you load your schedule up with multiple dates in one week so that you’re too burnt out to give any one date your undivided attention or process the experience afterward?
In figuring out your personal dating habits, you can better determine how you’re holding yourself back from finding someone great. If you have trouble reflecting on yourself, consider seeing a therapist who can help pinpoint the changes you can make to have the dating life you want.
At the same time, not all dating flops will be your fault — they’re something you have to get used to as part of the new digital dating landscape. (And heck, offline dating flops happen too.) Setting boundaries, like ignoring in-app messages from creeps, taking on each connection at a pace that’s comfortable for you, and learning to let go of people who ghost you will serve you well in your quest to find that special person.
As Insider’s resident sex and relationships reporter, Julia Naftulin is here to answer all of your questions about dating, love, and doing it — no question is too weird or taboo. Julia regularly consults a panel of health experts including relationship therapists, gynecologists, and urologists to get science-backed answers to your burning questions, with a personal twist.
Have a question? Ask Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously.
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