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Dating App Users Feel Burnt Out

Twent-eight-year-old Abby has been on dating apps for eight years, bouncing between OkCupid, Bumble, Tinder, eHarmony, Match, WooPlus, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Hinge. A committed user, she can easily spend two or more hours a day piling up matches, messaging back and forth, and planning dates with men who seem promising.

But really, she is just over it all: The swiping, the monotonous getting-to-know-you conversations, and the self-doubt that creeps in when one of her matches fizzles. Not a single long-term relationship has blossomed from her efforts.

Other aspects of the experience weigh on her as well. Abby said she has regularly felt pressured to have sex with others. She is not alone: A 2020 Pew Research Center survey found that 37 percent of online daters said someone continued to contact them after they said they weren’t interested, and 35 percent had received unwanted sexually explicit texts or images.

Yet despite all of it — the time, the tedium, and the safety concerns — Abby feels compelled to keep scrolling, driven by a mix of optimism and the fear that if she logs off, she’ll miss her shot at meeting someone amazing.

“I just feel burned out,” said Abby. “It really is almost like this part-time job.”

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