In April, I made a decision: I removed the hinge. It was the last of the dating apps left on my phone.
In addition to Hinge, I’ve tried Tinder, Bumble, The League and JDate and spent hundreds of hours hoping to find that coveted long-term relationship.
But I am still single. And I’m so tired.
What seemed like a fun, low stakes at first to connect with the wild world of dating has turned into a depressing and soul-sucking task.
After five useless years, I will only be dating in the real world from now on.
I was late for apps.
I didn’t really dive in until 2017 when I decided to give Tinder a one-month trial. I packed two to three dates a week over the course of a month. At the time, the whole thing was very novel and exciting. Who were these strangers making passes on my phone?
I decided to keep going.
Over the past five years, I’ve been on at least 50 dates with 50 different people. I think I clicked with maybe five of them and ended up dating two for several months.
If we consider the latter to be successful, that’s a 4% success rate – a disappointingly low odds.
That doesn’t mean I think it’s impossible to meet someone great on a dating app. These days, online dating is the most popular way for heterosexual couples to meet in America, according to 2019 study by researchers from Stanford University and the University of New Mexico.
But I, personally, haven’t had such luck.
Instead what I found on these apps: frustration from all the wasted effort, fury that it rarely works for me, fear it will never work for me, and a general feeling of burnout.
I know that I am not alone. Nearly half (45%) of Americans who have used dating apps or websites in the past year said the experience made them feel more frustrated. An October 2019 Pew Research Center survey Out of 4,860 US adults.
In talking to friends and reading various media about modern dating, I’ve found that guys have all kinds of legitimate gripes: matches won’t answer, texters ghost, guys get nude-y photos they didn’t ask for. .
To me, no matter how real a person’s photos are or how accurate their description is or how serious they are at texting, no digital profile can ever represent the whole person.
It cannot even represent the majority of an individual. Tech is too flat, superficial and limited in space for anyone to hold.
Also, importantly, these apps cannot predict chemistry. Only by meeting can you know what a person likes and if you click.
What I’ve found in going out with these 50 people from apps is that, if I’d encountered them in life before swiping or liking or texting, I’d know I wasn’t interested. I would have known there was no spark.
“Think of it like hitting a slot machine,” says Devin Simone, Dating Coach and Senior Matchmaker in the Three Day Rule, the possibility to meet someone on the apps. “Do people win on slot machines? Exactly…. but how often do people play without winning?”
you can’t rush love
At 36, I’m trying to be more intentional about how I spend my time. There is evidence for such an attitude Improves well being. And the more intentional I get, the less patience I have for alternative activities that make me very unhappy, including online dating. They just don’t deserve it.
It’s been five months since I deleted the last dating app on my phone.
Now, instead of swiping and chatting with people whose vibes I can’t measure and only find to force conversation, I’m catching up with my grandma or reading a play or with friends. standing up (“just for us” was Very good,
Life is not without its regular frustrations (for example, I got covid a few weeks ago). But it’s filled with scrolling through random profiles and sending meaningless texts and, instead, activities and people I love.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m afraid of never meeting anyone as a result of this move.
Uncertainty is a worry, Russell Ramsay, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of PennsylvaniaTold me once. And without a constant stream of “choices” life is nothing, if not uncertain.
But I’m also putting myself in more situations where I’m guaranteed to meet people. I have joined a writing group this year and have taken screenwriting and acting classes.
I have made room for more in my life.
Regardless of whether or not these experiences put me in front of the man of my dreams, I continue to be inspired and find joy and fulfillment in ways I didn’t know I had missed.
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