As an advice columnist, I get a lot of questions from singles wanting to know how they can meet people. And I almost always suggest dating apps—it’s an easy and convenient way to put yourself out there. But that might not the best idea for everyone. And for those who do swipe for love, there are definitely some signs it may be time to stop online dating.
Today, I have a guest post from Aida all about how to determine if it’s time to take a Tinder break—and what you should do instead.
5 Signs it’s Time to Stop Online Dating
Dating apps are everywhere—but they’re not for everyone.
For some people, these dating apps are a near-constant source of frustration and disappointment. But they still continue swiping, hoping their next match could be The One, ignoring all the signs that they should take a Tinder break.
If you’re wondering if you should stop online dating, here are 5 signs you should pay attention to:
1. It’s impacting your emotional well-being
No matter how strong you are, going on one date after another and getting constantly disappointed is going to hurt.
Your self-esteem could suffer, and you might start wondering if there’s something wrong with you. (Spoiler alert: There isn’t, you might just need to do some inner work.)
Damaging your well-being to find a relationship isn’t worth it. It’s better to stop online dating (or take a break) when you notice that it’s taking a toll on your mental health.
2. You feel like you’re being used
It’s no secret that a lot of people on dating apps look for hookups or casual relationships.
Sadly, many people say “yes” to these casual relationships hoping they could become something more. When this doesn’t happen, they feel used, as though it’s proof they don’t deserve better.
If this is you, it’s better to take a step back from dating apps and see how you can set boundaries that will help you break out of this pattern.
Related Read: Personal Story: Sex with an Ex and Heartbreak Reignited
3. You struggle with upholding your boundaries
If you’re a chronic people-pleaser, dating will be difficult for you.
Boundaries are essential for staying safe while meeting new people, and they prevent manipulators from taking advantage of your kindness. Trust me, when you ignore your boundaries because you’re afraid of making people unhappy, the only person who will end up unhappy is you.
Struggling to uphold boundaries can look like this: You meet someone new and decide you want to get to know them first before being intimate. But when they invite you over, you say yes. Before you know it, you’ve ended up in their bed. Now you’re wondering if you’re in a relationship or a situationship, and anxiously obsessing over when you’ll see this person next.
But none of this would’ve happened if you had stuck to your boundaries. Holding your boundaries allows you to sift out the people who don’t respect them and who, in turn, don’t deserve a place in your life.
4. It feels like a chore
Dating should be something you do for fun. If you’re forcing yourself to swipe through countless profiles every night because you feel like you have to, then it’s time for a break.
Ask yourself why are you pressuring yourself into using dating apps? Do you feel like you’re running out of time to find a partner? Are you insecure about being single? While these emotions are normal, they shouldn’t be the reason why you date.
5. You only seek validation
Knowingly or unknowingly, some people only use dating apps to get validation from strangers that they’re attractive and desirable. While wanting an ego boost is human, it’s not fair to use other people to feel better about yourself.
Seeking validation from others means you lack self-confidence. Because low self-esteem can cause all sorts of relationship problems, it’s worth getting to the root of this issue before you start dating.
What to do instead of online dating
Hitting “pause” on online dating can be scary. For many people, dating apps are all they’ve ever known and they’ve never had a healthy relationship with someone they met the old-fashioned way. But it can still happen.
However, a lot of issues that you experience when online dating easily carry over into offline dating. That’s why I recommend redirecting your energy into discovering yourself.
Understanding your attachment styles, dating preferences, and boundaries (or lack thereof) can help you avoid disappointment and have more fun when dating. Because above all, dating should be fun – you shouldn’t settle for anything less!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aida is a full-time content creator and marketer. Her blog, A Glass Box of Emotion, focuses on relationships, mindset, and emotional well-being. When she’s not writing, she’s scrolling through TikTok, listening to loud techno music, and taking long walks.
Thanks so much to Aida for this fantastic guest post! Make sure to check out her blog, too.
What an interesting read, I shall keep it in mind if i ever decide to take the plunge and start online dating so that I know what to look out for x
Absolutely! It can be really helpful, but there are definitely some downsides to be aware of.
I have been using Bumble on and off for a year or two. I really don’t like using dating apps, but when I get overwhelmingly lonely I tend to swipe through. I think it would be best for me to delete my account, it isn’t right for me at the moment.
Rose | https://flourishwithrose.com/
If you’re thinking that, you’re probably right. Listen to your heart!
I’ve tried Tinder several time and it took me awhile to realize that online dating isn’t really my thing.
It’s definitely not for everyone.
This is some great advice. I’ve never used online dating or dating apps at all and I hope I won’t ever need to. The idea of it makes me so nervous!
Oh, trust me, I felt that way before I tried it.
It is important to take breaks from many things in life, including dating apps. I so agree that, when something starts to feel draining and is affecting us poorly, it definitely means we need a break. <3
Exactly! So glad you found it helpful
This is a great post, I have many friends who have been exhausted by online dating and feeling so defeated and frustrated. I’ll be sure to pass along this article to help them with understanding more about some signs that it might be good for a break or change! Thanks for sharing this awesome guest post.
So glad you enjoyed it!
I have never tried the online dating. It’s definitely a chore, but I don’t like when being used.
I can certainly understand that, it’s not a nice feeling for sure.
Online dating sounds hard because there’s so much pressure on a first date.
That can definitely be the case.