Why People Are Giving Up on Dating—And What to Do About It
If you’ve ever felt frustrated in the dating world, you are not alone: 15% of single people in the U.S. say they are unsatisfied or struggle with dating. Of that 15%, more women are giving up on dating than men. But why do women and men give up on dating?
For these folks, dating has seemingly gotten harder and more frustrating. That’s why many people give up on dating altogether.
With the current state of dating, the future can seem hopeless when looking to find a romantic partner. It can seem like you’ve exhausted all of your options and avenues to try and find a quality and suitable partner. In reality, there is no need to throw your hands up and say “I give up on dating” forever. There are steps you can take to improve your dating life.
Here, we’ll cover 5 reasons why more and more people are giving up on dating and relationships. Then, at the end of this article, we’ll share 3 key tips for improving your dating experience.
Giving Up On Dating, Reason #1. Dating is exhausting and can feel demoralizing.
Let’s face it, dating is exhausting. Dating can feel like a part-time job that you have to invest more energy and time into, all for a result you may not anticipate or desire. When a date does not go well, it can be draining, demoralizing, or even deterring future efforts.
Online dating is the current norm, and it takes time and energy to date online. For many, online dating is draining and can lead nowhere. Navigating dating apps is time-consuming, and it may not seem like you can find anyone who matches what you are looking for.
One reason why online dating is hard is that it can be difficult to know the best dating app to use. And when you decide on an app, you may wonder how to write a good dating profile that is both a reflection of yourself and is also engaging to potential matches.
How to attract good matches, how to secure dates, and especially how to meet the right person are all challenges of online dating. These challenges cause countless people to wonder, “why is online dating so hard?” and question whether it’s just them who is struggling.
For more people than not, it’s hard to get any high-quality matches on dating apps, and a lot of people often give up out of frustration. And with dating apps becoming more and more the norm, it’s becoming even harder to ask people out in person. This creates a situation where people are increasingly feeling dating fatigue, burnout, and helplessness, ultimately leading them to give up on dating altogether.
Anyway, you can increase your chances of finding the right dating app for you by carefully considering your goals, the user base, safety, and user-friendliness. Start by defining what you’re looking for in a relationship, then choose apps that cater to those needs. Make sure to read the reviews like Match.com vs eHarmony comparison here to understand the app’s pros and cons and make informed decisions.
Giving Up On Dating, Reason #2. People have unrealistically high standards that can’t ever be met
Secondly, dating standards are too high for many people. Of course, you should seek a partner who suits your lifestyle and shares your values. But the “perfect match” is impossible to find. Everyone has flaws, and what’s perfect on paper may not even be what you really need in a partner.
Thanks in part to social media, people want to reflect their relationship as perfect, which means having high standards in the dating scene. When those expectations are not met, it can feel worthless to keep trying.
The function of dating apps is a topic that has been heavily debated, as many find the experience demoralizing as they find the experience like “window shopping” for a partner.
This can cause sentiments of inferiority and social comparisons in the dating scene in general, as many people will be picky and think there will be a better option out there, which leads them to reject some really great people who show interest in them.
This is especially true for men giving up on dating in response to women’s dating standards. Too high of standards can deter many future prospects from dating due to a fear of rejection and inferiority, with many men giving up on dating because they feel they are being compared to unrealistic standards.
Giving Up On Dating, Reason #3. People increasingly dislike traditional gender roles that often emerge in relationships
Our culture, overall, is experiencing a continued shift toward people wanting gender equality, and that includes dating.
One concern for both men and women is that in a relationship, they would slide into – or in some cases, be pushed into – the more “traditional” gender roles of a relationship when it comes to topics such as work, home, children, and education. These gender roles typically coincide with the traditional gender roles in marriage.
The result is that some people, particularly women, may not want to engage in a relationship, fearing the restrictive traditional roles of women in society. They may prefer simply to stay single out of fear of falling into a relationship that would force them into a box of traditional gender roles.
This can be even more difficult for people who identify as transgender, non-binary, or gender nonconforming. Many fear they would be unable to find a partner that is respectful of their identity. They don’t want someone who attempts to push them into a role they are uncomfortable with, since they may not fall into existing conceptions of traditional gender norms.
Giving Up On Dating, Reason #4. People are afraid of commitment and don’t want to lose their independence
Many people have a fear of commitment and are scared off by milestones that signal commitment. Exclusivity, defining the relationship, moving in together, getting engaged, and getting married can all ignite fear and anxiety about losing independence.
Some people fear feeling trapped in a relationship, and would much rather explore casual relationships with people that do not require deep connections, also known as “no strings attached” dating.
Many people want to maintain their independence and their own individual lifestyle due to their fear of commitment in relationships. They prefer to stay single or date casually instead of entering a relationship that has more established connections.
This leads many people toward a cycle of casual dating, with no strings attached. This way, people do not have the fear of being scared to commit to a relationship and can instead focus on getting satisfaction from those casual interactions.
Giving Up On Dating, Reason #5. It’s now easier than ever to stay home for a good time
Whether it’s streaming shows on Netflix, playing video games online with friends, or getting a sexual thrill from watching porn, it’s now incredibly easy to have stimulating experiences at home without going out at all.
Many people feel more comfortable establishing relationships online now, and feel that if they were to try and make an in-person connection, things would change and their relationship would not be the same as it had been before they met in real life.
This can be especially true for men giving up on dating in person, as they prefer the bonds they make with others online. Some people feel that they can build just as strong (and maybe even stronger) relationships virtually as they can in person.
Going out to meet people feels like an effort so people are less likely to do it, which is a big component of why adults are giving up on dating and relationships. There is a lot of pressure associated with meeting people face-to-face, especially when you had previous online interactions, which can also be associated with other problems we discussed earlier.
3 Ways to Improve Your Dating Life
There are many different challenges to modern dating. For a lot of people, it can become a highly unenjoyable and draining ordeal, especially when struggling with online dating.
However, not everyone is giving up on online dating. The truth is that there are many things you can do to improve your dating life and increase your chances of finding a suitable partner.
Whether or not you are considering giving up on dating apps, here are 3 ways people can feel better about their dating life online and offline:
Improve Your Dating Life, Tip #1. Improve your online dating profile
Creating a good dating profile is essential for meeting the right kind of people on dating apps, but it can be hard to know which profile pictures to use or how to write a good dating profile bio. Here are some suggestions on how to improve your dating profile.
The first step to creating a great dating profile is to select the right variety of photos to put in your profile. The most successful dating profiles use a variety of photos that show off not only what you look like, but also what you enjoy doing in your lifestyle.
Some dating profile picture tips are to:
- Use a high-quality headshot
- Include at least one full body shot
- Use photos that show your hobbies and lifestyle
- Post photos with pets if you have any
Make sure all of your photos have quality lighting that shows off all of your face and ideally some of your body too. Avoid posting too many selfies, large group photos, photos with kids, hunting/fishing pics, photos with filters, or photos where you’re wearing sunglasses.
It isn’t just enough to post great pictures, though. It is also important to write a dating profile that engages potential matches. The best way to do that is by writing as much quality information as you can in your profile bio and/or prompts. But the reality is that most people don’t know how to write a good dating profile.
Some of our best dating profile tips are to write about your hobbies and passions, give an honest sense of what you’re looking for in a partner and in a relationship, have a sense of humor, tell unique stories from your life, and avoid writing anything that’s overly brief or generic.
If the app you’re using allows you to write profile prompts, then choose a variety of prompts that challenge you to think about what you are looking for in a partner, what core values you have, and what your personality and interests are like as well as a prompt that allows you to write a silly or funny light-hearted response.
Here at The Match Lab, we’ve spent years studying why some dating profiles succeed at attracting matches and others fail. By analyzing data from millions of dating app users, we’ve discovered the best photos to use in dating profiles and the best dating profile writing techniques. Our experts know how to write a good bio and great profile prompts for any dating app to improve your dating profile. Consider trying our dating photo analyzer or using our professional dating profile writing service to improve your dating profile. We’ll select your best dating profile pictures and write your profile for you.
Improve Your Dating Life, Tip #2. Give people a chance
Unrealistically high expectations prevent many people from finding what they’re looking for in dating and relationships. Whether it’s someone’s profile you see on a dating app or a stranger you’ve met at the grocery store, there’s always more than what first meets the eye. This means you should not set your dating standards too high based on superficial things like appearance.
Many people have an idea of what their perfect partner looks like (or how they dress, or what they do for work) but research shows that what kind of partner we think will make us happy often isn’t the kind of partner who will actually make us happy long-term. A lot of the time, that dream person who could change our life isn’t someone who sounds like our cup of tea on paper.
So, give people a chance. That doesn’t mean you should settle; you should absolutely maintain healthy standards for yourself. Giving people a chance means you should widen your window of whom you could consider as your next potential first date.
Talk to more people on dating apps, be more open to the people you meet in person, and try to go on more first dates. The worst that happens is you learn more about what you do and do not want in a partner, or leave with a funny story about a bad date. The best that happens is you meet the love of your life when you least expect it.
Improve Your Dating Life, Tip #3. Work with a therapist
It may be worth talking with a therapist to work through any thoughts, feelings, and previous life experiences that could be undermining your current dating life.
By understanding your own self better and by working through any anxieties, trauma, or maladaptive tendencies, you can have a better sense of what you want and need from a partner and in a relationship.
There may be some signs you need therapy that directly relate to fears of a relationship, such as fear of commitment or dissatisfaction with other things aside from dating. This is why it can be great to talk to a therapist. Dating is complicated. Therapy can help remove some of your barriers and make dating feel less complicated.
A therapist can coach you through personalized techniques to help make online dating easier and encourage you to reach out beyond your comfort zone, clarify what you’re looking for in a partner and relationship, and understand what you need in your life to feel happiest and most fulfilled.
Don’t Give Up on Dating Yet
Dating is complicated, and it most likely always will be. There is no perfect formula for dating and relationships, but there are ways to improve dating scenarios and find the best quality matches when taking the avenue of online dating.
It’s important to update your dating profile so it captures your best self. We at The Match Lab want to make sure you find the partner you deserve and have a great experience with dating. Visit our website today for professional dating profile writing, dating profile photo selection, and more tools to help make your dating profile stand out from the crowd.