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28 Truths Why Dating Apps Don’t Work For You & Secrets to Turn It Around

Are you having zero luck finding a special someone online? Learn why dating apps don’t work for you, fix the problems, and reach for successful dating. 

why dating apps don't work

These days, it seems like every other couple met online. So, if you’re wondering why dating apps don’t work for you, you’ve come to the right place. It’s just a guess, but we’d say more than 50% of users would have more negative than positive things to say about dating apps.

Dating apps often feel more like endless swiping than a means to an actual real-life date. Whether you do a lot of messaging and no meeting, or meeting without any real connection, it can be discouraging.

Dating apps do not promise you you’ll find what you’re looking for, but they sure make it seem convincing. [Read: How to know if online dating is the right fit for you]

Why dating apps don’t work for many people

Online dating and dating apps are not perfect. All platforms have their problems. Some have issues with distance, others with narrowing down selections, and some with messages. But none of those things really explain why dating apps don’t work for everyone.

We’re sure you’ve complained that you aren’t getting enough matches or quality options – we’ve heard tons of people say they never get a message back. And yes, those things are true.

You see, the downside of dating apps is that they take away the respect and accountability that old-fashioned dating once had. [Read: How to create a dating checklist and why it can benefit your love life]

Maybe someone swiped through your photos and thought you were cute, but once you matched they read your profile and didn’t think you’d get along. Instead of telling you, they just don’t respond to your message. These things give you a complex.

You constantly wonder why you aren’t getting more messages or matches, but you never get an answer. This unknown can make online dating difficult to deal with.

On top of that, we all have high expectations. We downloaded these apps because we heard a great story. We think, what could it hurt? [Read: 20 relationship problems that push a couple apart or bring them closer]

But we underestimate the time and patience it will take to meet someone we truly connect with. We get so much immediate gratification in today’s world. You post a photo, you get likes in minutes. You order food, and it arrives in 30 minutes.

Yet, dating apps don’t provide that instantaneous response. Creating a connection with a stranger is not the same as ordering a pizza or playing a game.

If you get frustrated easily, dating apps only grind on your patience even more. [Read: How to find your soulmate – 30 practical tips to keep you from giving up]

The most common problems with online dating

If you’ve struggled to meet anyone half-decent on a dating app or have yet to find that real connection, you’re not alone. Let’s check out some of the common reasons why dating apps don’t work for every single person out there.

1. Your expectations are too high

This is one of the biggest problems with dating apps. You go into each date expecting the best outcome.

These high expectations may not ruin a date, but they ruin your outlook on the date. You get your hopes up, so when the date is mediocre, you convince yourself it was better than it was because you spent the time and energy on it.

All of this makes it feel worse when a simple date doesn’t work out. [Read: How to be better at dating – 15 ways to enjoy every step of the way]

2. Your expectations are too low

Once you realize your expectations are too high, you start expecting the least. You might expect everyone you meet to ghost you. Maybe you’ll go into dates and conversations without hope or excitement at all.

This will sabotage you because you’ll just go through the motions of dates without being open to the possibility of things working out. [Read: Lower your expectations to find love? Truth or complete BS?]

3. You don’t have patience

If you have poor patience, it makes sense dating apps aren’t your thing. Dating apps are not instant. You will not feel fulfilled or like you got what you wanted immediately or even within months or years.

Dating apps aren’t supposed to make classic dating any easier or faster. They are just a digital way of meeting people. The rest is up to you and the person you meet. [Read: Bumble vs. Tinder – which dating apps best suits your needs?]

4. You’re sensitive

There is nothing wrong with being sensitive, but when using dating apps, a thick skin is recommended. Using dating apps for fulfillment or compliments will only leave you feeling empty and reliant on others for confidence.

And the lack of accountability and respect online leaves much to be desired. With rude messages, threats, and ghosting, you should be able to deal with rejection and let it go, or the pain and confusion of online dating could be why dating apps don’t work for you.

5. You’re overthinking

If you’re an overthinker, it is impossible to stop overthinking. You read into every delayed message or change in plans. And, you’ll get so anxious about meeting people.

The truth is, for dating apps to work, you just need to go with the flow and not think so much.

6. You’re close-minded

When we say close-minded, we’re not talking about supporting other people’s lifestyles or not trying new foods. We mean, you have a goal of what you want and aren’t willing to waiver.

If you go into a date thinking you want a relationship and aren’t willing to be more casual or just enjoy your time without knowing the outcome, you will be more focused on the outcome than what’s happening. [Read: What does dating really mean and what you need to know about it]

7. You’re not being honest

Whether you’re not being honest with potential dates or to yourself, both will prevent dating apps from working for you. If you aren’t honest about what you want and who you are, you won’t get far in any form of dating.

8. There are almost too many options

Sometimes you feel so overwhelmed by the sheer number of options that you can’t make your mind up. Then, you’re confused about who to dedicate your time to and who not to bother with.

In the end, you might find that you just swipe left or right and never get any further than that. If you’re wondering why dating apps don’t work for you, this could be a major issue. [Read: Rushing into a relationship? Why you need to learn to slow down]

9. You’re comparing yourself to others

Dating apps tend to make us compare ourselves to others. Think about Tinder – you’re basically comparing people against each other and deciding which you like. But doing this also makes you compare yourself to other people too.

It’s a pretty toxic habit that can affect your self-esteem in a big way. And when your self-esteem takes a hit, you’ll find dating of any kind challenging.

10. Ghosting is a thing

People have so many options these days that they don’t bother giving someone an explanation when they don’t want to talk to them anymore. If they don’t feel a connection, they just ghost you.

If you’re finding online dating hard, it could be that you’re taking the whole ghosting situation to heart. Yes, it’s wrong to ghost someone, but if you’re constantly getting attached and upset when someone goes AWOL, you’ll find dating apps too much to handle. [Read: Ghosting – what it is, 63 signs, reasons to ghost and how it affects both people]

11. The ‘grass is always greener’ mentality

This connects with having so many choices. You start to wonder whether another person might give you a better experience, so you stop talking to the one you’ve invested your time in and switch allegiances.

It’s painful for that person, and when it happens to you, you’ll find it painful too.

If you’re finding that dating apps don’t work for you, it’s possible that you’re suffering from the ‘grass is always greener’ mindset.

12. You’re too picky

With so many choices, it’s easy to become very picky. Then, you narrow down your options so much that it’s almost impossible to find what you’re looking for.

Try to open your mind a little and date outside what you’re expecting. Don’t compromise on what you want, but go for people who might not seem like someone you’d normally be into at first. You might be surprised. [Read: What guys look for in a girl – 26 things men like more than appearances]

13. You’re treating dating like a numbers game

How many people are you talking to right now? Dating apps turn dating into a numbers game because you want to have a high score. But dating isn’t a video game, it’s real life and involves emotions.

If you’re viewing online dating in this way, you’ll avoid making real connections with people and maybe that’s why dating apps don’t work for you.

14. You find yourself on a lot of first dates

And first dates are quite terrifying. As such, the whole dating app experience can become more exhausting than enjoyable.

Now, if you’re someone who adores the whole first-date thrill, go for it. But if you’re more anxious or nervous, this experience might be a lot for you to handle. [Read: Where to go on a first date]

15. You have no system or strategy for swiping

Randomly swiping left and right might seem easy, but what if you’re missing the good stuff? Focusing completely on one feature means you’re potentially avoiding meeting someone perfect for you.

Open your mind and have a strategy, rather than just swiping for the sake of it. [Read: 26 different types of relationships to predict your romantic life and future]

16. Your profile and photos need work

If you don’t put some time into setting up your profile and selecting the right pictures from the start, you’ll struggle with dating apps. You’ll end up attracting the ‘wrong’ types for you, or you’ll have far less interest than you might have hoped for.

You see, in some ways, your profile is an advertisement for you and you need to sell yourself to the best of your ability. It sounds cheap, we know, but it’s how you get noticed.

So, make sure you put some work into setting your profile up and choosing the right photos to show you in your best light. [Read: 30 best and worst words to describe yourself online and catch anyone’s eye]

17. You don’t exude a good vibe

It’s easy to become defensive when you’re using dating apps because you’re trying to protect yourself from yet another ghost or weirdo. But that makes you come over as negative or closed-off.

If you don’t exude a good vibe, people aren’t going to want to carry on talking to you. Just be yourself. What’s the worst that can happen?

How to make online dating work

Okay, now you know the problems and why online dating apps don’t work for everyone, it’s time to flip that on its head and look toward making it more successful.

These tips will help you have a much more positive experience on dating apps, and you might even find someone special! [Read: Dating anxiety – what it is, 39 causes of panic, and signs and steps to get over it]

1. Choose a trustworthy site

Just because Tinder is so popular doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you. Do some research into apps and find a site that is trustworthy and that you connect with. [Read: Best dating apps for a relationship – 18 hottest apps to try in 2023]

2. Move contact offline ASAP

It’s true that there are some very strange people out there and if you want to avoid meeting one, or being catfished, it’s best to suggest moving contact away from the app as quickly as you can.

Suggest meeting up in person and seeing what they say. If they refuse or make excuses all the time, it’s likely you’re being scammed or catfished.

But of course, only ever meet someone if you’re comfortable and make sure it’s in a safe place. You don’t know this person that well. [Read: Catfishing is real! Tips to recognize it instantly]

3. Keep your private information private

Don’t overshare and certainly don’t share any information that is private to you. Keep it to yourself, this is one area where it’s perfectly okay to hold back.

4. Listen to your instincts

If something feels off, it probably is. [Try: Gut instinct – what it is, how it works & 30 tips to follow & listen to your gut]

5. Block and report suspicious or abusive members

All high-quality dating apps will have the means to report an abusive or suspicious member. Their account should then be investigated and blocked.

6. Have a clear vision of what you want

Do you want to just have fun? Or do you want a relationship? Maybe you want to date casually for a while and see what happens.

It doesn’t matter what you want, the point is that you’re clear on it so you can avoid getting into something that doesn’t suit you.

7. Give people who aren’t your ‘type’ a chance

If you have a clear type, then you’re limiting your options. Just because someone doesn’t look the way you would perhaps want them to doesn’t mean they’re not an amazing person. They might make you laugh so much that you find true joy in everything in life.

For the best chances of success, try dating outside of your regular type. [Read: 34 true secrets to find love and why you haven’t found the right person yet]

8. Be smart about membership

Some dating apps require you to sign up for a membership package if you want to access extra services. If you choose to do this, be careful with your money and take breaks every so often.

Dating isn’t an investment, after all.

9. Don’t take rejection personally

Rejection is going to come, it comes to everyone. Dating apps are so flaky that at some point you’re going to find that a person ghosts you with no explanation at all.

Don’t take it personally. [Read: How to learn from the rejections you’ve faced]

10. Your outlook on dating matters

Your dating outlook will shape your experience on these dating apps. So make sure that you have a positive view of dating and that you’re not falling into toxic habits and viewpoints.

11. Remain positive

Look, dating is supposed to be fun. While it’s true that you’re looking for something meaningful, try to be as positive about the whole thing as possible.

Don’t take it too seriously and you might find that you’re surprised by the outcome. [Read: 45 secrets to be more positive and fill your mind with positive emotions 24/7]

Dating apps may work for you, or they may not

At the end of the day, using these tips will help you to understand and use dating apps better. But it’s not for everyone. Maybe you’re just more into the old-fashioned way of meeting someone, and that’s perfectly okay.

Give it a try and see how it goes. If it’s not for you, that’s fine! After all, there are a million and one ways to meet someone special.

[Read: How to find love and learn to be open to all that life has to offer]

Even though online dating isn’t perfect, the reason why dating apps don’t work for you can be solved with a change in how you think.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...