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Are you using dating apps correctly? Here’s why you’re not meeting anyone.

When it comes to dating apps, sometimes it can feel like we’re doing our best but yield zero results. We’re getting matches but when it comes to actually meeting people, it’s crickets.

If you’re feeling completely burnt out and frustrated by dating apps, it could mean that you’re not using them properly. Here are a few signs that it might be time to switch up the way that you’re using dating apps.

You’re “obligaswiping”

In order to be successful on online dating apps — or dating period — your head needs to be in the game. This means being online because you want to, you know, actually date people. If you find you’re obligaswiping —  swiping through a dating app and liking anyone who looks decent because you feel like you “should” put yourself out there even though you don’t really want to date someone — it’s no wonder you aren’t meeting people. Just because you’re single doesn’t mean that you have to be online or dating. Being single isn’t a symptom that needs to be cured. If you’re not feeling the dating app scene, give yourself a break and come back to it when you’re in the mood.

You’re swiping right on everyone and messaging no one.

Sure, it can be fun to swipe right on a bunch of people just to see if they’ll like you back but if you’re not following up those matches with conversations, what’s the point? If you’re waiting for everyone else to make the first move, you’re doing it wrong. In order to meet people on dating apps, you sometimes have to be the one to message first. So, what are you waiting for?

You’re not setting boundaries for yourself.

Allowing apps to consume your time is one of the quickest and easiest ways to burn out. Instead of spending all night, every night plugged into a dating app, set a specific time slot each day when you check your favorite app and respond to messages — for example, 8-9pm every night. Put on some chill music, pour yourself some wine and focus on the task at hand.

You don’t have a clear idea of what you want.

Are you looking for a serious relationship? A one-time hookup? To get your feet wet in the dating scene and meet a bunch of new people? Some combination of the above? In order to get what you want you first need to know what you want. If you find you’re not having much luck with dating apps it could be because you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re trying to get out of the experience.

People message you and you don’t write back.

Okay, let’s be real. There are some people you’re never going to write back to and for good reason (i.e. those creepy and/or unappealing messages that we all receive from time to time). However, if your matches are messaging you and you’re consistently not writing back in a timely manner, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Online dating is a two-way street and if you want to meet someone, you need to put in the effort.

Your inbox is a mess.

If your inbox is full of conversations that you have no intention of continuing (think: those exchanges that never progressed beyond “hey” or discussions of the weather), it might cause you to miss out on the people you do want to connect with. If any of this sounds familiar, it’s time to do some spring cleaning. Delete and unmatch people that you’re not interested in. When you don’t feel bogged down by a bunch of “meh” messages, you’ll have more energy and enthusiasm to funnel into meeting new people.

You’re letting things linger.

Unlike previous incarnations of dating, things move fast on apps. If you’re letting things linger in conversation mode for too long, without pulling the trigger (suggesting a date), there’s a good chance that the person you’re talking to will either lose interest or move on. If you think there might be something there, take the next step and suggest meeting in person to see if there’s any chemistry IRL.

You’ve got a bunch of penpals and no dates.

Here’s the situation: you’re talking to one or more people that you’ve met online and you’ve transitioned to texting, but you’ve yet to go on an actual date. You tell yourself that it’s okay because all this texting will make you feel more comfortable around this person once you do meet up (which, seems to be happening…never?) Endless texting with no assurance that you’ll actually hit it off in person is a waste of time. If you’ve exchanged a couple of rounds of messages and you like where the conversation is going, suggest meeting up. After all, the point of dating apps is to help you find dates, not pen pals.

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