Just the other night my housemate burst into my room with a proclamation that is all too common in our house.
“If I have to swipe past one more bald egg on a jetski I’m going to join a remote nunnery in Timbuktu”
She’s got a real way with words.
She’s also not wrong. It’s all fun and games until it’s suddenly not and what starts as a light-hearted flick through potential dates can turn into a sinking feeling that everyone in the world is actually a twat.
As my housey so perfectly put it
“In all seriousness the only thing more depressing than not having a romantic interest in your life is scrolling through what’s on the menu only to discover that it is indeed, a shit sandwich”
Dating app fatigue is a real affliction. Where you might start out feeling optimistic and as though in this one little app you hold the key to a whole barrage of eligible suitors, this is a shaky reality that is brought crumbling down the first time someone opens a conversation with “nice tits”.
In fact when I asked my pals to sum up their feelings on dating apps I got the following:
“The Bermuda triangle for hopes and dreams”
“A bus full of perverts and lunatics with one supposed nice guy at the back squeaking ‘not all men’ but even he will invariably shag you then ghost you”
“Duck selfies, tits and people just waiting to tell you what a shit their ex was”
“It’s like a lucky dip: you’ve got no idea what the outcome could be. Under the wrapping of gift could be a freak”
So if you feel like you’ve come to the edge – here’s how to deal with dating app fatigue.
Take a break – a real break.
Dating might feel like a full time job at times but it’s actually supposed to be fun. So if you feel like you’d rather die than swipe through another batch of tangerine tinted, pouting selfies just close your app and step away.
Taking a break is not the same thing as only going on it when you’re bored, when you’re feeling a bit low or when you’ve just seen a picture of your ex on Instagram snogging a Love island look alike with the caption “Bae watch”.
Taking a break means delete the app, step away from the phone and go and think about something else other than dating. Go out with your friends, do stuff you enjoy, take up a hobby if you will.
Nothing bad will happen as a result of taking a few weeks or months off – it’s not counterproductive to finding someone, no matter how it might feel.
Taking a break and returning to dating (whether online or in real life) when you’re ready is much more likely to lead to something meaningful than plugging away until you just about hate everyone and turn up on dates with all the enthusiasm of a damp sponge.
Apps should be part of how you interact – not the whole.
I once went on a date with a guy we’ll call ‘Unsuitable Aaron’. Namely because his name was Aaron and he was highly unsuitable (see what I did there). Whilst this is a story for another time he was the worst of the worst and only made it through to the date stage because I had just been dumped and was, quite frankly, desperate for anything that might take the sting out of my first heartbreak rodeo.
HOWEVER – one thing UA did say that has really stuck with me was this pearl of wisdom. When I asked him how he felt about tinder he said that whilst he understood that this is how the world operates now he felt sad for a generation of men (and ladies let’s not discriminate) that would potentially never know what it felt like to make electrifying eye contact across a bar, hype yourself up to go and say hi and the absolute elation when they said yes or the valuable lesson in dusting off rejection when they said no.
I’m inclined to agree. There’s something sad about the fact that there’s a sense of not needing to make a meaningful connection with someone on a night out because you’ve already got a whole batch of potential conquests in your pocket. There’s also a lot to be said for meeting someone in real life and that immediate spark of attraction that you just don’t get from looking at a picture.
There are positives and negatives to both so, whilst apps have their perks if you mix it up with a bit of real life flirtation it keeps the balance healthier.
And if you want any tips head over to my guide on How to flirt with strangers and…don’t do any of them.
Ps: UA may have had a pearl of wisdom but he also had a beard that had quite a large amount of his lunch still in it. When I pointed it out he picked it out and ate it.
Remember the positives
Whenever I feel like tinder is quite frankly a dogshit graveyard and everyone on it is basically borderline insane or inexplicably not over their ex-girlfriend (WHY ARE YOU ON A DATING APP MORONS – lol haha i’m fine) I remind myself of all the great dates I’ve been on with guys that I probably wouldn’t have met or wouldn’t have approached in a bar. One such guy said of tinder that it gave him the opportunity to put himself out there in a way he wouldn’t be able to in a bar, due to his shyness. In a way apps almost level the playing field for guys who don’t want to brashly roll up to you in a bar in front of a gaggle of your drunk mates to try and get your attention.
So next time someone hits you up with ‘Wanna suck this’ intro, take a deep breath, block them, and remember there are good ones out there.
Know your red flags
The sad fact of the matter is, no matter how much you want to believe (and I do) that there are definitely cool, fun people out there who’s main motivation on tinder is not to share pictures of their genitals with you at the first opportunity it’s easy to stumble across those who…well…share pictures of their genitals with you at the first opportunity.
Whilst these kind of people are sneaky lil suckers that seemingly manage to circumnavigate even the more vigorous vetting process there are things you can do to minimise your risk of running into one of these charmers.
It’s different for everyone and I’m a big believer in whatever floats your boat but I’ve found a good rule of thumb to be thus:
- Anyone with their top off that is not on holiday
- Anyone with their top off in a photo they took themselves
- Anyone in just their underwear standing in front of a mirror
- Anyone who’s first photo is just a picture of their crotch or…inexplicably just their nipples?! You may laugh but I’ve seen a lot of those so someone has been misleading the men of tinder as to what women want.
- Anyone with an erection in their profile (how I wish I was joking)
- Anyone who has just featured their penis as their profile pic*
- Anyone with a profile that reads something like “Can you keep up with me?” “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” or in the case of one charming man I happened across “Just looking for a decent fuck is that so hard to understand?”
*small aside here: I once came across a profile that was just of a gentlemans large…ahem…appendage. His profile just read: Jimmy. BBC. At which point I indignantly exclaimed – “OMG if you worked for the BBC why would you EVER put it on your profile under a pic of your penis. Surely that would get you fired.”
That was an eye opening day.
These are quite obvious but filtering out anyone who matches this criteria may greatly reduce your likelihood of being on the receiving end of an inane conversation peppered with tongue out emojis until they drop the inevitable unsolicited dick pic into your reluctant inbox.
I myself also have some more subtle filters but again this is down to personal taste. E.G. I tend to find guys who heavily feature their cars or motorbikes in their profiles to be pretty awful. I also steer away from anyone who’s entire profile is selfies (really into themselves/may have no mates) or guys who are drunk in every picture (not taking it seriously/will probably bang you and never call you). Once you find a common pattern try to remember it for next time. As they (not sure who ‘they’ are) say – the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results.
So god speed pets – remember there are millions of people in this world and at least five of them are decent humans. There are exceptions to every rule and for every offensive opening line you get, there could be a nice guy or gal right on their coat tails. Good luck!