Ever get so fed up with dating and dating apps that you vow to pack it all in altogether? You're absolutely not alone. New research from dating app Hinge shows 61 percent of the app's UK users feel overwhelmed and fatigued when it comes to dating. Add in a global pandemic and you've got the perfect condition for what's been termed "dating burnout."
This feeling is completely normal, says Logan Ury, Director of Relationship Science at Hinge. "Dating burnout can manifest itself in different ways for different people. You might be feeling hopeless and worry that there’s nobody out there who's right for you. Or you might want to give up dating altogether."
If you've reached a point of dating burnout, what should you do?
Take a break from dating
"My advice is to take a break and then allow yourself to ease back in at your own pace," says Logan. "Our mindset going into dates has a major effect on how we show up on the date, and how our match responds to us. Taking a step back gives you the time to focus on who you are, what you want, and how you’d like to show up on your next date. It’s a chance to slow down and invest in your mental health. Knowing who you are and what you want [allows] you to be more successful in dating and finding your next relationship."
Be more intentional
However, recent Hinge research also suggests a somewhat counterintuitive tip for avoiding burnout. "While your gut instinct may tell you to take a break if you’re feeling burned out, the data tell a different story," Logan says. "The best way to avoid dating burnout—and feel more satisfied with your matches—is to go after what you want. Be more intentional about who you’d like to go out with, and send likes to the people who interest you."
She explains the research shows that sending likes makes users feel more in control, and those who send more likes feel less burned out and more satisfied with their matches.
How to start dating again after dating burnout
Logan explains how to start enjoying the process again after taking a break. "Once you’re ready to date again, be patient and keep in mind that some of the best connections come from a slow burn rather than ‘the spark’. There’s no set amount of time it takes to connect with someone, so don’t get caught up in comparing others around you. The right relationship will unfold at the right time," she says.
Take control of your dating life
Ask yourself how you’re engaging with other people on the app. How often are you logging in? Are you using your daily likes? Try sending likes with thoughtful comments. People really appreciate it when you invest effort into getting to know them. (Avoid cliche questions like "How was your weekend?")
Are you waiting too long to respond to a match? Sending messages as soon as possible also means you can avoid too much small talk. Remember, great conversations are the foundation of great connections. Successful daters are responsive and keep the conversation going. "When you match with someone, you should send a message as soon as possible because it’s crucial to build momentum early on," Logan says. "In fact, your best chance at getting a response is within 24 hours of matching. Ask them questions to discover who they are beyond their profile."Continue reading below ↓
From Hinge's research, they've found comments lead to more matches than likes or just leaving an emoji. 71 percent of Hinge users say they’re more successful at finding matches when they include a thoughtful comment to show they’re interested. This little effort goes a long way.
"The more you feel in control of your dating life, and the more you believe that if you put in the effort you’ll get the outcome you want—the less burned out you feel," she says. A way to do this is to "go after what you want because it puts you in the driver’s seat of your dating life".
Logan says Hinge has noticed a trend in how its most successful users operate: They're more intentional with their dating. "This means being thoughtful about who you are, what you're looking for, and how you're showing up in your dating life," she explains.
Don’t sit around waiting for likes to come in
"Be proactive," Logan says. "Date the people you want to date, not just the people who want to date you. The best way to take control of your dating life AND avoid dating burnout is to. send more likes and going after what you want.
"Burned out users send 45 percent fewer likes per week than those who aren’t burned out," she adds. "And people who send more likes are more satisfied with their matches than those who are more passive in their approach."
How to be more intentional in your dating approach
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.