One of the most highly researched things in the field of psychology is why and…
Doesn’t it seem like every couple you know met online? But, you just can’t figure out why dating apps don’t work for you.
As someone who spent a good six years on and off dating apps, I can tell you that wondering why dating apps don’t work for you is totally normal. It’s just a guess, but I’d say more than 50% of users would have more negative than positive things to say about dating apps.
Dating apps often feel more like endless swiping than a means to an actual real life date. Whether you do a lot of messaging and no meeting or meeting without any real connection or create a connection that doesn’t work out, this can be discouraging.
Dating apps do not promise you you’ll find what you’re looking for, but they sure make it seem convincing. I’ll bet you know at least two happy couples that met via a dating app.
If not, now you do. Because I met my boyfriend of over a year on a dating app. And if you told me 14 months ago that that would be the case, I wouldn’t have believed you. In fact, with all the bad experiences I had, I would’ve put money on not meeting anyone via a dating app.
So, when I say I get how you’re feeling, I mean it. I told myself online dating just wasn’t for me countless times. And I deleted and downloaded numerous dating apps over the years. I constantly wondered why dating apps seemed to work for everyone but me. And since you’re here, you’re probably asking yourself the same thing; why dating apps don’t work for you.
Why dating apps don’t work
Online dating and dating apps are not perfect. All platforms have their problems. I’ve tried my fair share and not one met all my needs or desires. Some had issues with distance, others with narrowing down selections, and others with messages. But none of those things really explained why dating apps don’t work.
I’m sure you’ve complained that you aren’t getting enough matches or quality options. I’ve heard tons of people say they never get a message back. And yes, those things are true.
Only about 50% of the people I matched with turn into a conversation and only about 50% of them last more than a couple minutes of chatting. This is the downside of dating apps. They take away the respect and accountability that old-fashioned dating once had.
Maybe someone swiped through your photos and thought you were cute, but once you matched they read your profile and didn’t think you’d get along. Instead of telling you, they just don’t respond to your message. These things give you a complex. You constantly wonder why you aren’t getting more messages or matches, but you never get an answer. This unknown can make online dating difficult to deal with.
On top of that, we all have high expectations. We download these apps because we heard a great story. We think, what could it hurt?
But we underestimate the time and patience it will take to meet someone we truly connect with. We get so much immediate gratification in today’s world. You post a photo, you get likes in minutes. You order food, and it arrives in 30 minutes.
Yet, dating apps don’t provide that instantaneous response. Creating a connection with a stranger is not the same as ordering a pizza or playing a game.
If you get frustrated easily, dating apps only work on your patience even more.
Why dating apps don’t work for you
But, with all of that, my biggest issue was the people. Whether the app I used had endless choices or was more limited, I was not meeting the right people. I could overlook the flaws of the app, but once I go off the apps and started meeting my matches in real life, it still wasn’t working.
My guess is, it is the same for you. But there are a few reasons why dating apps don’t work for you.
#1 Your expectations are too high. This was one of my biggest problems with dating apps, and I never realized it. I would go into each date expecting the best outcome. I thought the connection was already there and now that I was going through the anxiety of meeting someone, it must work out.
These high expectations may not have ruined the date, but it ruined my outlook on the date. This way of thinking had my hopes up, so when the date was mediocre, I would convince myself it was better than it was because I had spent the time and energy on it. All of this made it feel worse when a simple date didn’t work out. I was upset and frustrated after just one date with someone I barely knew because of my disappointment.
#2 Your expectations are too low. Once I realized my expectations were too high, I started expecting the least. I expected everyone I met to ghost me. I went into dates and conversations without hope or excitement at all.
This sabotaged me. I went through the motions of dates without being open to the possibility of things working out because I expected it not to.
#3 You don’t have patience. If you have poor patience, it makes sense dating apps aren’t your thing. Dating apps are not instant. You will not feel fulfilled or like you got what you wanted immediately or even within months or years.
Dating apps aren’t supposed to make classic dating any easier or faster. They are just a digital way of meeting people. The rest is up to you and the person you meet. Over the years I used dating apps, I always felt like I was wasting my time, but being that frustrated only put me in a negative headspace.
#4 You’re sensitive. There is nothing wrong with being sensitive, but when using dating apps, a thick skin is recommended. Using dating apps for fulfillment or compliments will only leave you feeling empty and reliant on others for confidence.
And the lack of accountability and respect online leaves much to be desired. With rude messages, threats, and, of course, ghosting, you should be able to deal with rejection and let it go, or the pain and confusion of online dating could be why dating apps don’t work for you.
#5 You’re overthinking. When you’re an overthinker, it is impossible to stop overthinking. I was there. I read into every delayed message or change in plans. And, I would get so anxious about meeting people it took me years of using dating apps to actually have a date.
I even told myself that my overthinking is why dating apps don’t work for me. And I just wasn’t suited for something that is meant to work out. I felt like going into a date or conversation with the expectation that you’ll like each other stressed me out.
Without work or school to be a buffer, it felt so forced. I convinced myself of this for so long. And then I decided to let it go. If I met someone and it didn’t work out, it wasn’t a big deal and if it did that was great. And then, I met my boyfriend.
#6 You’re close-minded. When I say close-minded, I’m not talking about supporting other people’s lifestyles or not trying new foods. You have a goal of what you want and aren’t willing to waiver.
If you go into a date thinking you want a relationship and aren’t willing to be more casual for a while or just enjoy your time without knowing the outcome, you will be more focused on the outcome than what’s happening.
#7 You’re not being honest. Whether you’re not being honest with potential dates or to yourself, both will prevent dating apps from working for you. If you aren’t honest about what you want and who you are, you won’t get far in any form of dating.
Even though online dating isn’t perfect, the reason why dating apps don’t work for you can be solved with a change in how you think.