Online dating platforms have been around for over two decades. Their younger sibling, mobile dating apps, have been around for close to ten years themselves. This means that for the majority of singles, access to online dating has been commonplace throughout most of their adult lives. Even for people who have entered the single scene following a divorce or separation, the internet as a venue for meeting like-minded adults for long-term or casual dating has become the defacto norm.
Some people use these online dating platforms strictly as a way to meet compatible partners and breaking the ice. Once they have met someone they tend to stay off of the platform unless that relationship doesn't work out and they must revisit it again.
Other people, however, use online dating platforms with much greater frequency. Granted, most of these individuals are looking for a continuous string of casual and no-strings-attached encounters , not long-term romance. This type of online dater is likely to have a paid membership to multiple hook up platforms. Also, the amount of time that they spend on these sites and apps is easily measured in hours per day as opposed to instances per week. In other words, these are the stereotypical "swipers." They are commonly referred to as such due to their constant swiping through profiles as they try to find their next match.
Something which can occur to both the frequent and the occasional user of dating apps and hook up sites is online dating burnout. Some of the warning signs that you may be approaching online dating burnout include:
This takes place when you begin to use dating apps in autopilot mode. You don't even realize that you are actively doing so unless someone points it out to you or you catch a reflection of yourself in the mirror. There you will be at a public place or in the privacy of your home , your head lurched downward looking at your phone screen as your fingers are swiping through profiles even as the rest of life goes on around you.
At this stage, you aren't even dedicating the amount of time necessary to properly evaluate the profiles that you are swiping through with ever increasing speed. You will find yourself functioning more on intuition rather than insightful analysis. Sure, you will probably be chalking up some "wins," but you will also begin to feel that the whole thing is too mechanical. Yes, it is possible to develop complacency even boredom with so many different encounters, all of them following the same cookie cutter pattern.
2-You're Slow to Reply to Messages
As incredulous as it may sound, when people begin to reach their particular burnout threshold for online dating they will start neglecting the messages that they are receiving from potential partners. To some of you that may sound like a complete fairy tale. After all, when you are fresh and enthused by online dating you eagerly look forward to every response that you get. However, as with anything that you overindulge in, a moment can come when you are simply indifferent to the replies that you are receiving. You will begin to rationalize this to yourself by saying, "well, if I miss this one, they'll be plenty more tomorrow anyway."
3-You Start Standing People Up
While not responding to a potential match's message is one thing, standing someone up after you already engaged them on a dating platform and set up a time and place to meet is just plain d*ck. It is common courtesy to let the other person know that you will not be able to make it. It doesn't matter why you can't make it, you don't owe them that detailed of an explanation , just don't stand them up. If you find yourself with the urge to do that, or if you have already caught yourself doing that, chances are you've reached the burnout stage.
What to Do About Online Dating Burnout
Now that you know about the three warning signs of online dating burnout, you're probably wondering what you can do about it if you reach that stage. First, don't think that you have to abandon the entire concept of online dating. Being perfectly honest, online dating is too convenient and too much fun to quit. It is not like you are trying to get rid of a nasty habit such as smoking.
When it comes to online dating burnout, your focus should be on how to throttle your use of online dating platforms so as to get back to a pace in which you find it enjoyable and useful again. This will differ greatly from person to person. There are, however, some guidelines.
1-Once you have reached the burnout stage you should take one or two weeks off online dating platforms.
2-You may want to consider your "platform mix." By this, we mean changing up the platforms that you use with the greatest frequency. Prolific online daters will usually have two or three memberships. Sometimes it isn't a bad idea to replace one platform with a new one.
3- After your brief one to two-week hiatus, get back into the online dating scene. As you do so, try sticking to a less chronic or impulsive pattern. A good way to do this is to select three or four days of the week when you will be on the platform and for the remainder of the week, stay off it.
If you happen to be one of those personality types that have to check and respond to every notification on your phone, it may not be a bad idea to actually turn off push notifications from your dating apps.
You Should Never Ruin a Good Thing
There is no doubt in our minds that online dating is a wonderful thing. It has radically changed the dating paradigm of our society for the better. However, as with any good thing, it is easy to ruin it if you begin to take it for granted or use it unwisely. As with adult beverages, a little moderation will go a long way with online dating platforms. As long as you are Vigilant about the warning signs of online dating burnout, you will be able to catch yourself and bring about some common sense moderation before you cross the threshold.
Remember, everybody will be different. For some people being on dating platforms twice a week might burn them out while others might easily spend hours every day and never reach that point. So, just be advised and make sure that online dating always remains fun for you.
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