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Is ‘Dating App Burnout’ Real—And Do You Have It?

If you’re the chronically single friend like me, there’s no doubt you’ve been on every dating app imaginable trying to find your elusive soulmate.

I’ve downloaded and re-downloaded my roster of apps several times, hoping that somehow, this time will be different.

(I’ve even applied for that oh-so-exclusive celebrity dating app we all hear about, only to be put on a waitlist of thousands of people. Which is fair enough – I’m nowhere close to being a celebrity. But desperate times and all that.)

The first time you download a dating app, it’s fun and exciting. There’s a whole new world of possibility to explore, hundreds of potential soulmates just waiting for you to swipe right on them.

After a few failed talking stages and foiled plans to meet in person, you’ll delete your account.

It’s okay, it’s for the best. Sure, some of the cutest couples you know have met on dating apps. But you’ve always been the kind of hopeless romantic who wants a whirlwind meet-cute in a bookstore anyway.

But after a few weeks where the closest you get to your soulmate is fleeting eye contact in a crowded coffee shop, you think you may have judged the apps too harshly.

So you’re back for round two with updated pictures, a funny new story, and a charming question to break the ice.

The ice remains unbroken and instead takes up residence in your heart. You delete the apps again because relationships are overrated anyway. Being a single, independent woman is so much more liberating.

It feels great until you go to a wedding solo and realize there’s nobody there to dance with during the slow songs or offer you their jacket at the end of the night.

There’s a surprising (and disappointing) shortage of James Marsden-esque wedding writers looking to fall in love with the single bridesmaid.

You consider the possibility that the apps weren’t that bad and you just need to change your mindset. Besides, tons of new people must have downloaded the app by now anyway. Maybe your soulmate was one of them.

So you return for a third time with a reluctant, “Hey, it’s me again.”

At this point, you have more texts from the app itself confirming your identity than from any person you met through it.

This time, though, you actually match with someone promising. They laugh (or at least type “hahaha”) at your jokes, share your passion for superhero movies, and agree that Taylor Swift is a poetic genius.

But after you exchange numbers, they ghost you before you can nail down a time to meet in person.

Goodbye again, dating apps.

This exhausting back-and-forth can feel like a relationship in itself—and not a good one.

Dating app burnout is definitely real, and it can be a major blow to your self-esteem.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and exhausted from putting yourself out there, only to be rejected, on an endless loop.

It can cause you to question your self-worth, wonder if you’re the problem, and want to give up on love completely.

I’m here to tell you to keep being a hopeless romantic in a dating-app world.

The world needs more people who believe in the stupid, cheesy, amazing Hallmark version of love.

We’re the dreamers and storytellers and poets who put our heart and soul into everything we do.

We have the kind of big hearts that become inspired to change the world, and we have the passion to put those dreams into action.

We care so deeply about everyone we meet, and we have the kind of compassion that the world deeply needs—now more than ever.

So until you meet that soulmate that you truly deserve, keep pouring all of your love into your friends, your family, and most importantly, yourself.

Remind yourself of the kind of love you deserve. Take yourself on the romantic dates, buy yourself the thoughtful gifts, and tell yourself all the wonderful things you love about yourself.

Learn to love yourself so well that when you finally meet someone you want to date, you’ll know how you deserve to be treated—and you won’t accept anything less.

And until then, don’t beat yourself up for re-downloading your dating apps yet again. Maybe this time, your soulmate really is on there.

And if not, know that you’re not in it alone. I, along with all the other chronically single friends, am right here with you, cheering you on.