Taking A Break From Dating Apps: Pausing Dating Profiles, Quitting Dating Apps When Online Dating is Exhausting, Frustrating. How Long Should You Be On Dating Apps
It’s not uncommon for people to spend months or even years with little to no matches, conversations or quality dating from dating apps. Some people think online dating is easier than meeting people offline, but that is not always the case.
Dating apps can be a good way to meet people outside your neighborhood, routines and social circles. Dating apps can also give a false sense of hope because of their straightforward set-up of accounts and simplicity in sending likes to people don’t lead to conversations nor dates often enough.
It’s definitely easier to move your finger across your screen than it is for many people to walk up to a complete stranger and start a conversation but that doesn’t mean a volume approach to dating will yield better results.
When you reduce the complexity of communicating interest in others, it will result in more lazy, meaningless actions and thus make it hard to decipher someone’s sincere effort and interest.
Similarly, it gives a false sense of hope that someone might be interested in you because they also move their finger an inch or two.
The below gives an exhaustive overview of all the areas where people tend to stall and experience the most frustration on apps and how to overcome online dating burnout.
Related read: Online Dating 101
No Likes On Dating Apps: No Likes On Hinge, Bumble, Tinder – No Luck On Dating Apps
It can take several weeks or months to see any meaningful likes come through on dating apps. Some apps have small user bases, some curate profiles shown, while others rely on algorithms to decide who to show you to and vice-versa.
Getting likes requires patience but also effort, whether its good photos, detailed profiles or good writing skills (even the photo order matters on apps).
It also takes some considerable self-awareness to be strategic about preferences and deal-breakers i.e. location, radius, age, lifestyle choices and app choices. Apps don’t work the same for all people. They vary greatly by gender, age, deal-breakers, preferences, lifestyle choices and appearances.
Don’t expect to get many matches if you are a smoker, Trump-supporter in San Francisco, if you are a short man or someone who only has selfies in their profile. Many people dabble with dating apps without any real effort or realistic expectations.
When it comes to dating, trying to find someone to spend the rest of your life with will arguably be the most important thing in your life, more than a job, career or buying a home yet many people don’t put in the work and effort that it deserves.
Most people never get feedback on their profiles or ask for help. Those that do ask for help, often ask the wrong people, ask people near to them who are biased and unwilling to be brutally honest or ask people who won’t view their profiles like a stranger would.
If you are not seeing likes after a few months, you should pause your account and get help. Insanity is doing the same thing, and expecting different results.
Getting feedback from sites like Photofeeler or Reddit can be better than nothing but can sometimes feel like the blind leading the blind. It’s not uncommon for high scores on Photofeeler to result in few likes. Similarly, Reddit profile reviews may lack context about location, age, lifestyle choices, swiping activity etc.
Some people only swipe right on people that swipe right on them so knowing things like this can affect like counts on apps.
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-As seen in the NYT, WSJ, AskMen, Women's Health & More
No Matches On Dating Apps: No Matches On Bumble, Hinge – Online Dating Disappointment – Tired Of Dating Apps
Even if you get likes from people, that doesn’t mean matches will follow. Likes, depending on the apps, can come from people outside your age range, radius or lifestyle choices. They can also come from people who never looked at your profile or from those who are not looking nor not ready to date.
Men tend to overestimate how likely a woman is likely to be interested in them despite their age differences, distances, wealth, lifestyle choices (politics, smoking, drinking, education, job and style).
Similarly, women tend to overestimate how marketable they are based on their education, job and looks. Having inconsistent photos, incomplete profiles or lack of effort in likes on apps like Hinge can result in a lack of matches.
Not all apps are the same though. Some employ algorithms to dictate which profiles are shown to others and in what order. Other apps have more users than others but may have more time wasters.
Knowing the difference across the apps can save you much time and effort. Many apps on the market don’t require more than a flick of the wrist to swipe an inch or two to trigger a like.
Given the number of people on apps in certain markets, it’s possible that others may never see your like or see your profile based on how popular they are.
Similarly, while sending a message with a like is generally recommended on apps like Hinge, that doesn’t mean it will make a difference if the message is generic, lame, low-effort or if you are targeting narcissists, scammers, or people outside of your league.
Being realistic with expectations, being timely and being thoughtful with messaging is necessary but that doesn’t mean one should ignore what their profile suggests and photos signal.
Online Dating Chats, Ghosted On Dating Apps, Messaging Etiquette On Dating Apps – Giving Up Online Dating
If you manage to get a number of matches on apps, that is great but don’t read into them too quickly, easily. Matches mean nothing. Some people swipe right on everyone, while others use copy/pasted intro lines to everyone.
Messaging is a way to signal interest beyond a like on dating apps. Look for effort and signals that show the person read your profile.
Avoid those who don’t respond quickly enough, at all or with one-word answers. Those that don’t carry conversations should be ignored as well. Conversations should be a back and forth not a one-sided affair.
Some people are a bit too comfortable, and confident in their messaging and it shows. Being too flirty or eager to meet up asap can be huge red flags. Learning to ID red flags and screen profiles is absolutely critical to reducing frustration, scams, ghosting and unmatching on apps.
Not everyone is on dating apps for the same reasons as you. Some people are looking to see what is out there, seeking attention, looking for a distraction or pen pal and some are analyzing potential victims. You can never know for sure what someone’s intentions are, but over time, you can reduce some uncertainty.
Similarly, you are not competing in a silo once you match and start messaging someone. Everyone is talking to someone else and everyone is going on dates with others.
Be excited, but be grounded. Be interested but don’t pre-qualify people too quickly i.e. he is perfect, he is so great etc. You can’t rush love, it takes time.
Having unrealistic expectations for falling in love is a recipe for heartbreak. I am not saying things can’t happen quickly but most people lack the emotional IQ, judgment and experience to know when things are not right.
Related read: Etiquette Guides (swiping, messaging, timing, date planning & ghosting)
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Great for those who are recently single, divorced, never used dating apps or are busy folks looking to meet people more efficiently.
Liars, Cheats, Scammers, Low-Effort People, Narcissists, Married Folks & Manipulators On Dating Apps
There are a variety of reasons why people use apps. One reason is to target vulnerable people i.e. widows, single parents, loners, divorced people, those with mental health issues and those with low-self-esteem.
Rushing into things or being too trusting, too quickly can people fall prey too such crimes, scams, and pain. Even if people don’t have bad intentions, there are many people who don’t know what they want, lack emotional IQ or are unable to offer you what you seek. These are introduction apps not ordering apps.
Long-distance relationships, vague information, lack of social media presence, bad communication skills or non-public dates are possible red flags that people have a double-life i.e. criminals, married folks etc.
It takes time to understand someone’s intentions, and even more time to trust them. Don’t let apps offer a false sense of security because you might have a profile in front of you vs knowing nothing about a stranger in person.
It’s much harder to lie to someone in person than online. If someone does not want to meet in person or refuses to introduce you to friends and family, don’t ignore those red flags.
If you focus on the outcome i.e. relationship, girlfriend/boyfriend, engagement, marriage and kids, you are likely to ignore attributes, qualities and personalities that are important to know and understand before getting involved with someone.
Related read: ID’ing Manipulators on Dating Apps & Relationships
Profile Boosts, Paid Dating Apps, Premium Memberships On Dating Apps
Paying for apps is not going to improve dating woes for most people. If you can’t have some success on most apps on the free version of the apps, paying for apps will likely not help out.
Most boosts will show you to people far away, outside your preferences and deal-breakers. Similarly, boosts don’t address deficiencies in your profile, photos and profile.
Most paid versions on apps favor those who already do well on apps better manage matches and likes. They don’t make you more attractive, interesting or approachable. Better to invest in yourself, your appearance, your profile and your offline attributes than pay for apps.
Related read: Premium dating app features (pros & cons)
Overwhelmed With Online Dating, Online Dating Is Stressful – Tired Of Online Dating, Why Is Online Dating So Exhausting, Getting Off Dating Apps
There can be lots of ups and downs when using dating apps. Tethering your self-worth to apps or any match can wreak havoc on your mental health. Apps should merely be another outlet for meeting people. One should never abandon trying to meet people offline.
Sending likes, responding to matches, carrying on conversations and setting up dates can be exhausting, especially if you have poor judgment, don’t know what you want, ignore red flags or lack certain social and communication skills.
Dating is a skill and while some people can stumble on love with minimal effort, others might need more practice.
Knowing how to be approachable, charming, confident, vulnerable and responsive takes time to learn. Online dating doesn’t provide as much feedback about one’s efforts as offline interactions do. It’s quite easy to be anonymous and unmatch, ghost or give up without consequence.
If you are someone who lacks thick skin, self-awareness, good judgment, patience, ability to give each new people a clean slate, then dating, in general, will be tough.
One bad date or bad ex can make people jaded and harder to have a good outlook on dating. If that starts to happen, it could be a sign that you should take a break from dating.
Signs Of Dating App Fatigue, Signs Of Online Dating Burnout, How Much Time Should You Spend On Dating Apps
If you become jaded and assume all women will ghost you, all men are liars, don’t bother putting in effort to messages, and couldn’t care less about dates, you are likely experiencing burnout.
Sure these things might happen to many people here and there but if your disposition is to be untrusting, skeptical and unmotivated, that is not good.
Being hopeless, emotionally and physically exhausted, assuming rejection is inevitable, and defaulting to lazy behavior (i.e. sending likes to everyone or using copy and paste lines, paying for boosts, using too many apps) are all signs of fatigue and burnout.
Other signs include relying on apps exclusively and abandoning meeting people offline as well as the inability to talk to others about your dating struggles, getting help on your profile and using the same photos for years and years.
Typically, 1-2 apps and 20 minutes a day is all that is needed to be successful with online dating. Anymore, and you are cutting away time from improving yourself offline (exercise, nutrition, social life, expanding hobbies and interests, meeting people offline).
Online dating burnout can affect other parts of one’s life including work, social circles, health and outlook on life. Repeated patterns are likely to occur i.e. inability to use good judgment, ID red flags, screen profiles, read people, cut off time wasters, overly invest yourself in strangers, and avoid asking questions to avoid difficult situations.
At that point, you should take a break.
Dating Apps Make Me Feel Sad, Depressed, Unattractive & Worthless – Apps Getting Worse
It’s important not to put your self-worth into dating apps. Letting complete strangers affect your mental health and make you feel worthless is not healthy. If you are feeling like this, it’s best to get off the apps altogether rather than try to make small, iterative chances to a profile, efforts.
The biggest changes that can occur usually occur with a significant change in photos, mindset, strategy, self-awareness, writing skills etc. After a certain amount of time, it’s hard to make a good first impression unless you take time off and come back with a fresh start.
Your happiness, and confidence should be dictated by yourself and the people you care about and surround yourself with, not by anonymous strangers who don’t know you.
Related read: Psychological Effects Of Dating Apps
Online Dating Fatigue: Taking A Break From Dating Apps, How To Pause Accounts, Reasons To Delete Dating Apps, When To Stop Using Dating Apps
Take a break from dating apps or dating, in general, doesn’t mean you are giving up or abandoning meeting people. It just means you are taking time to work on yourself and being more attentive to meet someone who is worth your time.
Some people just uninstall apps, but this method can leave you worst off. Uninstalling apps usually does nothing to your profile and visibility. Unless you pause your account or delete your profile, your profile will still be shown to others on apps.
While you may not care, some apps factor things like response rates and other etiquette measures to figure out how often and who to show your profile to.
The last thing you want to happen is to get likes, matches or messages from quality people only to have them lose interest because you are unresponsive. For this reason alone, it’s best to pause profiles or delete them altogether if you plan on taking any sizeable amount of time away from online dating.
Dating is important, but it shouldn’t be your life. You can’t be successful with dating if you ignore other aspects of your life.
Tired Of Online Dating, How Long Should You Take A Break From Dating Apps? Online Dating Burnout, Dating App Exhaustion
Breaks should be at least 1-3 months in length but ideally closer to 3-6 months or longer.
It takes time to get over exes, become less jaded and to overhaul profiles, get new photos, clear your mind and focus on offline attributes to make you more approachable, attractive i.e. hobbies, interests, communication skills, style, health, appearance, grooming habits, hair etc.
Taking a break is not just the amount of time but rather changes made. If you don’t improve yourself i.e. appearance, style, hobbies, writing, interests, communication and social skills, don’t expect anything to change.
New profiles are boosted initially and so over time, profiles receive less visibility unless they make noticeable improvements.
How Do I Stop Dating App Burnout, Spending Too Much Time On Dating Apps, Stop Obsessing Over Dating Apps
The best thing to do is to not spend too much time on apps. 20-30 minutes a day, 3-4 days a week is suffice for many people. If you are not getting around 5-10% match rate on apps, you are likely swiping outside your league.
Similarly, if you are not getting 20-30% of conversations turning into dates, it could be you need help with conversation skills, date ideas or screening people.
Never rely on apps for all your dating efforts. Never stop meeting people offline, organically. Always work on yourself. You must be ready to date yourself before you can date others.
Average Time Spent On Dating Apps, How Long Is The Average Person On Dating Apps?
It’s not uncommon for guys to spend 1-2 hours a day on dating apps – that is too much. The more time you spend on apps the more you regress socially, the less time you have to work out, make friends, expand hobbies, practice communication skills and improve yourself offline and online.
How Long Should You Be On Dating Apps? How Long Should You Be On A Dating Site? Average Time Needed To Find A Relationship On Dating Apps? How Much Time Should You Spend On Dating Apps?
Typically, you should be on apps as long as you continue to get matches and go on meaningful dates. If that stops, it’s best to take a break, work on yourself, get feedback on your profile, efforts and see what ways you can improve your dating life.
Some people meet someone quickly within weeks or months, most people go on/off the apps for months, years. Some are on apps too long and are miserable. Everyone is different, don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on yourself and always improve yourself and never rely on dating apps for 100% of your dating life.
Doomswiping On Dating Apps, Doomscrolling Online Dating, Emotionally Exhausted Of Dating Apps
Endlessly swiping on dating apps because of loneliness and isolation is not healthy, especially if you have no intention to meet anyone. You can’t expect people to date you when you are not ready to date yourself.
Related read: Being ready to date
Why Is Online Dating So Exhausting, How To Get Off Dating Apps, How To Quit Dating Apps, Emotional Fatigue, Taking A Break From Online Dating, Dating Apps Make Me Feel Worthless
Online dating doesn’t making dating easier, faster. It’s just another channel to meet people. Anything in life that is valuable and precious takes time. Spending the rest of your life with someone requires a huge commitment and effort.
Most people have no idea what they are doing on apps and thus see no meaningful results. Many people never seek help on their profiles, appearance, efforts, style, communication or social skills. You can’t do that if you want to improve your situation.
Delete the apps and profiles rather than trying to hack or tweak your profile with little change, improvement. It’s better to revamp your profile completely after a long break rather than make subtle, small changes over time.
Quitting Dating Apps, Quitting Online Dating
A lot of people make the mistake of taking small breaks from dating apps only to come back after a month or two.
While breaks are highly recommended, they are ineffective if one doesn’t do anything differently (new photos, new prompts and bios) or if they have poor swiping etiquette (swipe too much, too quickly and don’t send messages with likes). Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
Quitting doesn’t mean giving up – it can mean taking time to focus on yourself and not putting your self-worth into dating apps.
Dating Coach Services - Men & Women
First date ideas, wardrobe styling, places to meet singles, where to sit at bars & restaurants, body language, vocal intonation, eye contact, conversation skills, how to be more approachable, conversation starters, grooming, hygiene, hair, wardrobe, style, hobbies, lifestyle choices, uncovering blindspots, reducing biases and more.
Clients from NYC, LA, Chicago, Washington DC, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Boston, Austin, Seattle, London, Sydney & beyond. As seen in the NYT, WSJ, AskMen, Women's Health, Forbes & More
Additional Reading: Online Dating Woes, Frustration, Do Dating Apps Work For Guys, Online Dating Opinions, Online Dating Frustration, Tired Of Dating Apps, Online Dating Alternatives, Dating App Burnout
Online Dating Photo Intro – Dating App Photos Do’s & Don’ts
He’s Not That Into You – Signs He Is Not Interested
FAQ’s To Online Dating Apps – Dating Apps 101
Cliche Dating Profile Bingo Card – Boring, Generic Dating Profiles To Avoid
Worst Online Dating Profile Photos – Bad Dating Photos To Avoid (Men, Women)
Why You Shouldn’t Outsource Your Dating Life – Why You Should Avoid Ghostwriters
Is Bumble A Hookup App? – Is Bumble Only For Hookups?
Modern Dating Etiquette – What Is Expected On Dating Sites
Psychological Effects Of Dating Apps – Negative Effects Of Dating Sites
Biggest Mistakes Guys Make On Dating Apps – Common Mistakes Guys Make On Dating Sites
Unmatching, Rejection Etiquette On Dating Sites – Rejection Etiquette, Expectations.
Why Am I Not Getting Second Dates? – Reasons You Are Not Being Asked, Granted Second Dates
Best Online Dating Apps (Dating Apps That Work)
How To Report People On Hinge, Bumble – Should You Report Lying About Age, Height or Ghosting?
About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie Hernandez is a dating coach for men & women and a professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, Silicon Valley, London, Washington DC, Boston, Sydney and beyond as seen in the NYT, WSJ, SFGate, ABC7News, AskMen, Women's Health Magazine & more.
Former analytics professional and user of dating apps himself, he possesses unique insight into dating app algorithms, user behavior, first impressions and communication styles. He provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, messaging, image consulting, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, and offline tips for meeting people organically.
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