Swiping Fatigue Burnout Study

Online Dating

Studies Show Modern Daters Are Experiencing Swiping Fatigue & Burnout

Amber Brooks

Written by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is the Editor-in-Chief at DatingAdvice.com. When she was growing up, her family teased her for being "boy crazy," but she preferred to think of herself as a budding dating and relationship expert. As an English major at the University of Florida, Amber honed her communication skills to write clearly, knowledgeably, and passionately about a variety of subjects. Now with over 1,800 lifestyle articles to her name, Amber brings her tireless wit and relatable experiences to DatingAdvice.com. She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Dating used to be so much simpler. A single person could go run errands or visit a local bar, meet that mystery person, get their number, and all of a sudden that person is a part of your world. You had to make an effort to go outside rather than sit before a screen. In-person meetings were key, and old-school daters had no choice but to actually put themselves out there. 

Nowadays you can find a date with the swipe of your fingers. Technology has made it so much more convenient to date from your living room, your local coffee shop — or even from the shower. Having such easy access to dating can be a blessing, but it can also be a burden. Online dating has complicated things for singles who increasingly report feeling bogged down by insecurities and mental health issues. 

Online daters can overcome burnout and swiping fatigue, but it takes a conscious effort to overcome the pitfalls of the modern matchmaking game.

Over 366 Million People Currently Use Dating Apps

For better or worse, pretty much everyone interacts on some form of social media. We’re all online and engaging in virtual chats. The online world includes your close friends, classmates, coworkers, and even the waitress who served your meal last night. Social media and dating apps have become oversaturated with millions of people seeking love, romance, distraction, conversation, and perhaps a quick ego boost.

Modern dating apps have created more opportunities to connect, and swiping for love has become extremely popular. In 2022, the number of dating app users increased to over 366 million people according to expert estimates.

Screenshot of Tinder
The Tinder app alone has been downloaded over 530 million times.

Popular dating apps make it easy for all types of characters and personalities to connect, and that can be a good thing and a bad thing. The world of dating apps is full of many wonderful people, but it also has some sketchy and dangerous people. You have to be careful now more than ever because you could be talking to a scammer or catfisher who doesn’t have your best interest at heart.

Here is a review of the dating app world by Laurie Perry: “Online dating is just as murky and full of lemons as finding a used car in the classifieds. Once you learn the lingo, it’s easier to spot the models with high mileage and no warranty.”

The online dating space is packed with people, which makes it hard for singles to make a true connection. Imagine going on Tinder, which has been downloaded 530 million times since 2012, and swiping over 40 profiles in just one day. It would leave anyone feeling exhausted. Add the tasks of messaging multiple matches and keeping track of numerous conversations, and you quickly reach information overload. 

Online Daters Spend Less Than 10 Seconds Looking at a Profile

The swiping game is one of the most challenging things about mainstream dating apps. It encourages snap judgments based on the photos and a glance through the profile. First impressions matter in the real world as well, of course, but they’re absolutely critical in the online dating community. On average, single women spent about 3.19 seconds viewing a dating profile they rejected by swiping left, and that only increased to 6.91 seconds for profiles they eventually swiped right on.

Most people say the first thing they notice about a person is their appearance, and this is amplified on dating apps. 

Pictures matter more than words on dating apps. The photos will draw the eye and tell a story about who you are much quicker than your answers to any prompts. This creates a lot of pressure for online daters who want to stand out and garner more likes with the best possible photos. If you only have 3 seconds to impress a potential match, your photo game needs to be on point.

54% of Female Daters Report Feeling Overwhelmed

Creating a new dating profile can be an exciting and scary experience. It’s natural for a person to agonize over their photos and spend a lot of time overthinking every word on their profile. Newcomers to online dating may come in with high hopes and high expectations, but those tend to be dashed by the reality of this fast-paced and impersonal world.

Closeup side profile portrait upset sad skeptical unhappy serious woman talking texting on phone displeased with conversation isolated city background. Negative human emotion face expression feeling
Women can feel swamped by too many matches and notifications on apps.

Trying to connect with others on dating apps can be daunting, to say the least. Your low response rate and trickle of mutual matches can impact how you view yourself. Plus, the online dating experience isn’t the same for men and women. Men often struggle for attention, while women are inundated with too much attention.

Over 54% of female participants in a survey on the prevalence of online dating say they have felt overwhelmed by the number of messages they have received. Meanwhile, over 64% of male survey respondents said they felt insecure about the lack of messages they received. The issues with online dating can deter a single person from continuing to put themselves out there.

The Average American Checks Their Phone 96 Times a Day

Mental health can deteriorate from prolonged swiping. Dating in person can be draining, but dating apps can take it to another level of stress. Having access to hundreds of profiles and feeling the urge to check your phone every minute can negatively impact one’s mental health. The average American checks their phone about 96 times per day. Social media and our text messages are already distracting enough, and adding dating apps can inflate your screen time stats like crazy.

Comparison culture is a real thing when it comes to online dating. Seeing many people have model-quality pictures on dating apps can cause feelings of anxiety and insecurity. A single person can quickly start to spiral into negativity when comparing themselves to idealized versions of their peers. Online daters should instead give themselves grace and set realistic standards for themselves. It’s also important that users take breaks from dating apps and social media for the sake of their mental health.

Over 56% of Women Have Been Sexted on an App

Unfortunately, online dating has only accelerated the growth of hookup culture. Everyone has a different agenda when it comes to dating, and with modern apps, people can find their niche to explore options without judgment. Some people are looking for soulmates, others may just be searching for a casual fling or companionship. Sometimes that doesn’t work out. People on dating apps may tell you one thing in DMs but have ulterior motives when you meet in person. 

Niche dating apps like Ashley Madison aim to help solve this problem by allowing users to be upfront about their intentions and relationship goals.

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It’s important to trust your judgment and stay true to yourself when using online dating. The medium of messaging through apps can free some single people from their inhibitions, but that shouldn’t pressure those who are less open with their sexuality or have different desires.

Single women who are looking for love will likely have to field some untoward advances in the online world. Over 56% of women have been sent a sexually explicit message while on a dating app. And I think we all know not all those were solicited or appreciated.

Users should be clear about their boundaries if they want to weed out potential matches that don’t align with their beliefs.

79% of Adults Day they Experience Burnout

Online dating may feel like you’ve signed up for a part-time job as you juggle different apps, message your matches, and schedule dates whenever you find free time from your other responsibilities.

Dating apps are a numbers game, so all that online activity is necessary for success. You have to put forth the effort to find the right match and win over someone’s heart. This can be exhausting if you’re continually meeting people who aren’t as invested or interested as you are.

If you feel frustration building when it comes to dating apps and sites, you’re not alone. According to recent studies, over 79% of adults have experienced burnout while using online dating apps. It’s OK to feel frustrated, but giving up is not a solution. The difference between a successful online dater and a failed online dater could be the difference of one message — so keep pushing through and trying new things until you find yourself part of an online dating success story.

1 in 3 Online Daters Say They Need Counseling

All things are best in moderation, and the same goes for dating apps. It’s possible to become addicted to swiping and form unhealthy habits because it’s so easy to play games with people’s hearts online. If you feel yourself going over to the online dating dark side, reach out to a friend or a therapist to talk through what’s going on and how you can improve your mindset.

A recent survey reported that about 1 in 3 individuals agreed they need counseling after feeling burned out from online dating. This is obviously a concerning statistic, but it needn’t spell the end of your online dating journey.

Reasons for Hiring (or Not Hiring) a Lesbian Dating or Relationship Coach
Seeing a therapist can help single people get in the right mindset for dating.

You may need to take a swiping break or lower the number of apps you use to keep yourself balanced and feeling good day to day. You may want to join a more relationship-driven app like eharmony or ask a friend to be a wingman alongside you. Even a few hours disconnected from your phone can benefit your state of mind, so do yourself a favor and make sure you’re not just swiping but also meeting people in real life.

Persistence Is Key in Online Dating

Online dating is a convenient way to meet a lot of new people at once, but it isn’t perfect. The online dating experience can be difficult and time-consuming, and burnout has become increasingly common for singles who have been on the swipe carousel for awhile with no good results to show for it.

Singles should take care of their mental health and take breaks from swiping when they feel rundown. Remember to prioritize your needs first and make a conscious effort to engage in real-world activities that spark joy for you. Whether you’re joining a knitting circle or having a drink with friends, it’s good for your mental health to remember that real life is so much bigger than a mutual match. Get out there and do you. Dating apps will be there waiting when you return.

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