Are you on dating apps and feeling frustrated and burned out?
Or should I shorten that to: “Are you on dating apps?” because if you are, the second part of the question is probably redundant.
I know, because I’ve been there.
But let me share some tips with you.
Get Off The Apps
Get off the apps right now. You heard me! Get off them! Don’t pause. Delete your profile. Then delete the app from your phone.
Yes, I hear you crying, “But XANET! I put so much time into crafting the perfect profile! What if I lose my matches?!”
You can copy and paste your clever, wonderful profile into a file and keep it for later use, if needed. If there are any matches that actually seem worth your time, let them know you’re ditching the apps and give them your number. Then DELETE.
Because December is the worst possible time to be on a dating app. Everyone is too busy to date anyway, and during the holidays, the saddest, loneliest folks get on the apps, trying to soothe themselves with “options,” mostly “options” that will never actually get asked on a date.
Phew! Doesn’t that feel good?! No swiping, no opening a message to see another lame “hey beautiful” or “wyd.” Just… quiet! Peace!
Turn on your stereo and play some dance music. Dance! Be wild!
Call up your best friend and arrange a friend date. Grab a bite to eat or drinks and savor being single. Since you’re not buying a present for your partner, buy something nice for YOU!
For the next couple weeks, use the time you would have spent swiping to learn a new skill or take up a new hobby. Are there a belly dancing lessons you’ve been wanting to check out? Do it! Is a pottery studio beckoning you to take a class? Get your hands in some clay!
Rather than dealing with getting ghosted on Bumble, just close your eyes and picture yourself as Meg Ryan getting pleasantly ghosted by Patrick Swayze!
In other words: Enjoy the pause.
Set Your Intentions
While you’re pausing, take some time to consider what you do and don’t miss about dating.
What do you really WANT in a partner?
Write it down. Make a list of all the traits you’re seeking. Or make a collage.
Get super intentional about what you’re looking for, and put that out to the universe! Say it out loud. Not “I want a partner who…” but rather “Right this moment, I’m attracting a partner to me who…” “My partner is…”
Use present tense.
Make a Plan
Rather than just using a dating app haphazardly, develop a plan to use it like a tool.
I recently discovered the approach developed by linguist Jennie Young, which she calls “Burned Haystack Dating.” In essence, she teaches that in order to find the needle in the haystack, you should burn down the haystack. In her method, “burning” means blocking every person who doesn’t meet your criteria.
Not just left-swiping! Blocking. This method forces the app to show you different people, not keep showing you the same shirtless-in-his-dirty-bathroom guy you swiped left on two days ago.
Jennie Young’s Rules of Burned Haystack Dating:
1: The app is a tool; it’s not a place to live.
2: Focus on messaging over scrolling/swiping.
3: No notifications.
4: “Block to Burn.”
5: No Fighting with Men
6: Don’t Be a Pen Pal
7: Set your geography, but don’t share your location.
8: No “ludic looping” and no “attractions of deprivation”
9: No men who can’t plan the date.
10: Treat the process of online dating as a job search, not a takeout order.
Young spells out what each of these mean and her reasons for making these rules in her blog. She also has a YouTube channel and a Facebook group in which she posts explanatory videos and other helpful content. In the fb group, women who are using the method can share their experiences, ask questions, and receive feedback and support.
In addition to the rules about how to burn the haystack, Young also has very specific instructions about how to create your profile.
I find her advice pretty fascinating, and so much of it rings true to me. If I were in the dating pool now, I’d be trying this method.
It’s fine if you don’t like her rules. Figure out what matters to you! Refer back to the intentions you set in step two here, and base your rules on these.
My last bit of advice is that, after you’ve had a break, set your intentions, and come up with a solid plan for how you’re going to proceed:
Get Back On The Apps in January
Because it’s apparently when there’s the biggest surge of new users. People with busy, full lives weren’t on the apps in November and December because there’s just too much else to do. But January! It’s a time of new resolutions, gym memberships that may or may not get used, and New Year, New You!
Granted, not all of that may come to pass – but it still seems to be true that January is the best month to be on a dating app. Anecdotally, it’s when I met my sweetie on Bumble!
Also, if you followed my first bit of advice to delete your profile, when you show up in January, you’ll be a New Member, which means more people will see your profile.
So there you have it:
Get off Tinder, get into the holiday spirit, go have fun, and when the new year rolls around, Good Luck!