Experiencing Dating App Burnout? Here's How to Deal With It

Less swipin', more lovin'.
Woman using dating apps on phone
Photo: Delmaine Donson / Getty Images
Hayley Folk
Hayley Folk
Hayley Folk
Hayley Folk
The Knot Contributor
  • Hayley writes articles on a freelance basis for The Knot Worldwide, with a specialty in sex and relationships.
  • Her work has appeared in The Knot, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and more.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Hayley was a full-time editor at a business publication.
Updated Mar 11, 2024

Swipe left, swipe left, swipe right, swipe left again. Unlike your parents who probably met IRL, dating in the modern age means that when you're trying to find the love of your life and get married, you're probably turning to your phone screen instead of the local bar. But if the constant pings, failed dates and endless swiping isn't fun anymore, you've probably got a case of dating app burnout.

Let's face it: Dating apps can be exhausting — for many reasons — and it's totally common to grow tired of the constant barrage of options, interfacing with your phone and still feeling like something is missing in your dating life.

Michelle Herzog, a licensed marriage and family therapist and dating coach, tells The Knot that online dating fatigue isn't uncommon, because most of these apps are designed to keep users engaged, by appealing to your deepest desires and even to trends like cuffing season or Dating Sunday.

If you're feeling the toll of dating app burnout, you're not alone. Dating apps burnout is real—but it can also be combatted. With the help of Herzog, we've gathered the best professional tips and tricks to fight off dating burnout, to bring the light back to your romantic life so you can find the partner(s) that truly make your heart sing, below.

In this article:

What is Dating App Burnout?

Tired of dating apps? You might be wondering how you got here. How online dating apps can lead to burnout is simple, though.

"Dating app burnout is when someone has become so overwhelmed with the ineffectiveness of dating apps, that they start to become frustrated with and resentful towards dating online," Herzog says, "I typically see this when someone pours a lot of their time into dating apps, only to be randomly unmatched without notice, ghosted, lied to or sexually harassed. One person can only take so many negative experiences online, and this alone can lead to dating app burnout."

Regardless of which dating app you're using, you're bound to run into some form of ghosting, breadcrumbing and even love bombing, because of access to so many folks at once. This can all lead to feeling like online dating is exhausting.

Signs You're Experiencing Dating App Burnout

If you're not quite sure if you've hit the "dating apps suck" phase of your dating career, there are a few signs to watch out for.

According to Herzog, these are tell-tale indications that you may need a break from swiping left and right, below.

1. Apathy Toward Dating

Do you find yourself saying to friends "Online dating is depressing," or asking your bestie "Are dating apps bad for mental health?" If so, you may have developed an apathy toward dating, because you're tired of the endless chase. If you're finding that your dating fatigue is stronger than ever, it may be time to put down your phone and try something different.

2. Feeling Resentful Towards Dating

Herzog says that if you're feeling resentful towards dating, it might be a sign of dating app burnout. Dating should feel fun and exciting—not dreadful and exhausting.

3. Canceling Dates Because You Don't Have the Energy

We know, we know. Life gets busy and work can be a lot. But if you're finding yourself canceling dates, solely because you feel like dating exhaustion creeping in, it may be another sign to step away from scrolling and go out into the real world.

How to Deal With Dating App Burnout

Does any of this sound familiar? If so, it's ok! You're not alone in struggling with dating app burnout. Luckily, there are healthy ways to deal with it, too, that can change how you feel about the dating game.

1. Delete Your Apps

"If you're burned out from dating, then deleting all of your apps and taking a much-needed break to recover and reset is necessary," Herzog recommends, "Use this time to reconnect with yourself and your community. And take the time to think about what kind of partnership you're seeking, and if dating apps are the best way to find that special someone."

When you do this, try not to give in to going back online before you're ready, as well. If you don't change during your recovery period, then your dating experience won't change.

2. Try Offline Dating

Hey, we have a secret for you: online dating is not your only option!

"The reality is, we're human beings meant to connect," Herzog says, "Get out there and meet some new people. You can do this by trying out a new hobby or attending social events in your area."

3. Incorporate Mindful Dating Practices

After you've recovered from dating burnout and decide to intentionally be back on a dating app, Herzog adds that she recommends putting a limit on the usage of dating apps and for certain times of the day. Being more mindful about your usage, and limiting your time can reduce dating app burnout and fatigue.

4. Get Clear on Your Values

This is a great time to get clear on your values. What do you want in a partner? What are your dating values? What matters most to you when finding a life partner? By being clear with yourself, you limit your risk of feeling like you've wasted time, which if unaddressed is a first-class ticket to dating burnout.

5. Only Use One App at a Time

"You only need one app. Pick one app that you like, and stick with it," Herzog says, "This will also help you use your dating apps mindfully."

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