One small way to begin changing your approach to dating apps is to limit your screen time. “You define what feels like a reasonable amount and stick to it,” Baratz says. “I encourage folks to reserve a specific amount of time for swiping.”
He also suggests taking conversations that are going well off the app, “so you aren’t having to constantly reopen.” Dating coach Jess McCann suggested taking it a step further by talking face-to-face. “Dating apps are only going to mitigate loneliness if you use them as a vehicle to get on a virtual date,” McCann previously told Elite Daily. “Just texting back and forth is not going to make you feel any less lonely because there is no human-to-human contact. While that can keep you busy for a couple of hours, it’s not going to feed your soul.”
Another big way you can shake up your dating life in the face of loneliness is to try meeting people outside of dating apps. “Consider putting in your effort to other means of meeting potential partners,” Baratz suggests. “That includes everything from spending time in groups with friends, to experimenting with involvement in community organizations.”
No matter how you approach dating, putting yourself out there and being open can be daunting. But just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean you should write it off entirely. Self-reflect, switch up your approach, or seek social interaction elsewhere until you find the right match.
“When we feel lonely, we are craving closeness and meaningful connection. While it is unpleasant, this is never a bad thing,” Baratz says. “This is a reflection of our great capacity for love and attachment.”
Todd Baratz, LMHC, sex and relationship therapist and host of Your Diagnonsense podcast
Jess McCann, dating coach and author of Cursed?: Why You Still Don’t Have the Relationship You Want and the 5 Cures That Can Transform Your Love Life