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As a child, I believed Barney when he sang, “Everyone is special.” Sure, it sounded a little hokey, but I thought that purple dinosaur was pretty wise, so I trusted his word. After spending a few years on a dating site, however, I started to feel online dating burnout creeping up on me, and I began to wonder just how special guys are. All my matches started to look and sound and act the same to me, and I couldn’t, for the life of me, find anyone who seemed special.
Online dating burnout is real, and it happens to the best of us. You can only stay excited about talking to a never-ending stream of random people for so long. Maybe the dating profiles are blurring together. Maybe the match suggestions have started repeating. Maybe you’re just so incredibly done.
If you’re feeling utterly tired of your dating profile, we’ve got five tips on how to inject some fun into your online dating experience and help you get the results you want and meet that special someone.
When you’ve been using a particular dating site or app every day for a long time, you might find yourself frustrated by the same old matching features. Or you might be running out of new people to send flirts and messages. Sometimes the interface just doesn’t feel exciting anymore, and you’re ready to move on.
Fortunately, there are thousands of dating platforms to choose from — 2,500 in the U.S. alone — so you can join a new one to mix things up and get what you want. Want a dating site with a high success rate? Match.com got started in the mid-90s and is responsible for connecting more relationships than any other dating site in existence. Take a look at its stats:
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Match is the oldest dating platform around — which is a good thing because that means its tool are reliable and time-tested. Joining Match can help you meet new love interests who are interested in something real.
Or, if you’re feeling more avant-garde, you can try your luck on a new dating site currently making headlines in the dating industry. Whatever site you choose, you’ll definitely have a fresh experience, and sometimes that’s all singles need to feel excited about coming online and meeting a potential partner.
Experiencing a lull on your favorite dating site? Maybe it’s time to give your dating profile a makeover. You can edit your profile — trimming down wordy paragraphs or adding more interesting details — to showcase your personality and attract new romantic interests.
Even if you’ve gotten your wording exactly as you want it, you can always add an updated photo of yourself to your profile. Dating profiles with clear and attractive photos are significantly more likely to attract likes and messages. Adding more pictures actually increases your dating profile’s overall success — eharmony found that singles with four or more online dating photos saw higher response rates than members with three or less.
Plus, some dating platforms will feature your updated profile on other members’ feeds and search results. As in, this single person recently edited their profile — maybe you should give it another look!
Your online dating experience is what you make it. On a dating platform, you have the tools to be proactive and meet dozens of date prospects in a short period of time. You don’t have control over who likes you and who responds to you, but you do have control over how many messages you send and how you interact with potential matches. You’re in the driver’s seat. If something isn’t working, change it. If you’re not happy, do something about it.
For instance, if you aren’t getting traction with anybody online, make more of an effort to swipe right or send the first message to more people. Be sure to follow proper first message etiquette, and don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work out right away. You’ll get better the more you practice.
On the flip side, if you’re tired of talking to dozens of people at once, there’s an easy solution — purge your contacts. Send out, “Sorry, I’m not interested” messages until you’re only chatting with people who make you smile when their name pops up on your phone. Being clear about what you want (and who you don’t want) can help you stay focused and find success in online dating.
Online dating takes a lot of effort and a tremendous amount of time, so you should only do it if you have the energy to do it right. As Pat Benatar taught us, love is a battlefield, and fighting harder isn’t always the right answer. Sometimes a strategic retreat is in order. Even seasoned veterans have to take time to heal their wounds and prepare themselves to get back into action.
You don’t have to keep going if you’re no longer having fun. Your bitterness, disappointment, or general fatigue will bleed into your messages, and all that negativity won’t attract people to you. In fact, it’ll do the opposite.
If you’re tired of online dating, take a break from the internet and spend some time hanging out with friends or doing a hobby you enjoy — then come back to it when you’re feeling good about yourself and ready to try again.
You should know your limits, and always take care of yourself first. My college roommate is currently on an online dating hiatus and licking her wounds from too many bad Tinder dates, but she has every intention of returning to the battlefield after a month or so of well-deserved Me Time.
Online dating can overwhelm users with virtually endless romantic options and repeatedly crushed hopes. It’s so easy to meet someone new that disposable dating syndrome has affected many singles out there.
I know it’s tempting to feel cynical about your odds of meeting someone worthwhile online. It’s even more tempting to give up on it completely. However, the first step to preventing or curing online dating burnout is to adjust your own attitude and expectations.
Some serial daters exhaust themselves trying to maintain interest in someone new and believe things will work out when all their prior experiences tell them it won’t. But it only has to work once.
Go into online dating with an open mind, and don’t put so much pressure on yourself to fall head over heels or meet the perfect match because short-term goals are just as important as long-term goals.
Finding joy in the moment can help you get the most out of online dating’s parade of people. Try to have a good time on your dates — even if you know it’s not meant to last. As the System (a futuristic version of online dating) says in Black Mirror’s “Hang the DJ” episode, “Everything happens for a reason.”
Sometimes I lose interest in juggling online conversations with strangers and can’t stand the thought of leaving my dog for another dead-end coffee date. I’m just over it. And that’s all right. That’s normal.
Whenever I feel online dating burnout creeping up on me, I start looking for ways to mix things up. Can I find better matches? Can I come up with more interesting date activities? Can I put more thought into my profile? Every little bit helps me skip ahead to the part where I meet someone who catches and keeps my interest. At least, that’s what I tell myself while I’m waiting it out.
For online daters struggling to kindle someone’s interest and spark romance, my advice is to keep moving forward and to remember that everyone is special in his or her own way — you’ve just got to look for it. Good luck!