Welcome to CNET’s Love Syncs, where we answer your questions about online dating. I’m Erin Carson, staff reporter, resident young-enough person, refrigerdating correspondent, curator of odd stuff on the internet, most likely to leave you on “read.”
This week: Embrace the frustration.
Q: Do you have any advice for not getting overly frustrated by these profiles and persisting toward actual connections? I end up getting annoyed and deleting apps after 2 or 3 weeks and I think [deleting after] 6 months seems more realistic.
A: When I talk to online daters, there are few words that come up more often than “frustrating.”
The Apps have quirks (raging flaws, more like) that make them hard to love. People are wading through matches that don’t yield conversations, lengthy text exchanges that don’t translate into real life, and the inherent problem with dismissing a person in an instant, based on a photo.
That’s why I say, feel your feelings, dude. If you want to rage delete a dating app after two weeks, then reinstall it a month later, do it. Let me tell you why: If you’re frustrated and cranky and you’ve just HAD IT, you’re not going to be in a mindset to thoughtfully sift through profiles looking for a genuine connection. And who could blame you? Burnout is real. Endlessly swiping is mind numbing and dispiriting.
Give yourself some time to recover. Fresh eyes will help you when you do match with someone who’s making an effort. Instead of casting your eyes toward the ceiling, wondering if you can bear one more chat about how you decided to be a lawyer because you used to watch Matlock reruns with your grandmother every summer, you’ll have a reserve of goodwill and optimism to draw from.
What keeps many folks on The Apps is FOMO. (Fear of missing out.) It’s that nagging feeling that if you’re not approaching online dating like it’s your job, that one person you’ve been looking for this whole time is going to appear and disappear in the time you let yourself decompress after a three-week swiping stint.
To that, I give a resounding, MEH.
FOMO is a trap. Your mental health is more important. Granted, walking away can be hard. Right now, supposedly, is Cuffing Season, the time of year singles are looking for someone to hunker down with as winter approaches. WE’RE OUT OF FIREWOOD, JED. BEST BUNK TOGETHER. Hypothermia is imminent if you don’t find someone to watch Parks and Rec with you on the couch, for the fifth time. Don’t buy the hype, though. Do what’s best for you.
In non-pandemic times, I’d remind you to continue to meet new people offline. Don’t get pinned into thinking online dating is your only option. Sure, it’s popular, but people still do meet through friends, at parties and at the gym. (Please, please, please don’t be going to any parties right now.)
For now, when you feel that wave of frustration about to hit you, log off and come back when you feel better— whenever that is.
CNET’s Love Syncs is an advice column focusing on online dating. If you’ve got a question about finding love via app, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.