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“But on the other hand, Tinder just doesn’t feel efficient.I’m pretty frustrated and annoyed with it because it feels like you have to put in a lot of swiping to get like one good date.”I have a theory that this exhaustion is making dating apps worse at performing their function.I can feel myself half-assing it sometimes, for just this reason.Larry Lawal, a 27-year-old straight male software developer in Atlanta, says he used to meet up with women from the apps for dinner or drinks several times a month, but now, “I don’t know, something happened [since] the earlier days,” he says.While the possibilities seem exciting at first, the effort, attention, patience, and resilience it requires can leave people frustrated and exhausted.“It only has to work once, theoretically,” says Elizabeth Hyde, a 26-year-old bisexual law student in Indianapolis.Hyde has been using dating apps and sites on and off for six years.“I haven’t been looking for a serious relationship in my early 20s.
If you just sit on your butt and wait to see if life delivers you love, then you have no right to complain.“Other than trying to go to a ton of community events, or hanging out at bars—I’m not really big on bars—I don’t feel like there’s other stuff to necessarily do to meet people,” Hyde says.
I don’t believe hookup culture has infected our brains and turned us into soulless sex-hungry swipe monsters. It doesn’t do to pretend that dating in the app era hasn’t changed. Tinder arrived in 2012, and nipping at its heels came other imitators and twists on the format, like Hinge (connects you with friends of friends), Bumble (women have to message first), and others.
Older online dating sites like OKCupid now have apps as well.
“The process of dating inherently sucks,” says Holly Wood, a Ph D candidate at Harvard University who’s doing her dissertation on modern dating.
“I literally am trying to call my dissertation ‘Why Dating Sucks,’ because I want to explain that.
But in the past year or so, I’ve felt the gears slowly winding down, like a toy on the dregs of its batteries.