Introducing ‘Swiper’s Fatigue’: The feeling of being exhausted by dating apps

You really shouldn’t base your whole self worth on why Jim from Bognor Regis hasn’t swiped right back yet

Finding someone to date is hard enough as it is, let alone trying to find our perfect partner in the midst of a global pandemic. Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place – this is a safe space, okay? It’s fine to admit that you’re tired of dating apps. We all are. Right now, we’re in the thick of cuffing season, our thumbs are about to fall off from all the swiping we have been doing and we’ve got constant headaches from glaring at our screens during sad boi hours.

With a zero per cent dating success rate this year, I have concluded I’ve exhausted my dating apps and fallen victim to swiper’s fatigue. It’s now time for you to admit you’ve done the same.

To put it bluntly: You’re tired of being alone, you seek validation through your matches and you are most active on the app at night time when you’re feeling lonely. It’s important you admit it to yourself. You have swiper’s fatigue, it’s normal and you’re not the only one. Take it from someone who knows.

Here are a few tips on how to know you’ve got swiper’s fatigue and how to get out of your funk.

What are the symptoms of swiper’s fatigue?

Well, first of all, you’ll know you have swiper’s fatigue when you constantly find yourself deleting your apps and then re-downloading them less than a week later. This is probably the most frustrating part, you delete the app and convince yourself you’ll find your partner in real life. Yet within the next 48-72 hours, you creep back into the app store and reactivate your profile.

Typically, when something begins to feel like a burden, it’s time to cut down or stop for a bit. There usually comes a point when constant swiping on whatever dating app you use feels like a chore. You might even think that simply having a profile is draining because you’re constantly being assessed by other people deciding on whether you’re ‘good enough’ or not. Basically, it’s important you understand when dating apps start to feel like something have to do and not something you want to do – believe me, there’s a big difference.

You probably have the app open a lot but you’re not really ‘using’ it properly. Just like going to the gym and giving a half-hearted effort or going to the library and being on your phone the whole time – it’s pointless but it makes you feel good for some weird reason. Even ghosting no longer seems surprising and you’ve probably ghosted a fair amount too. Ghosting one of your matches is like hitting rock bottom in the world of dating apps, you’re not mean for doing it but it’s a big red flag telling you that you’re not into it anymore and you need to step back.

Equally, you may notice you’ve started going for people you know you’re not interested in. You match with people you typically wouldn’t go for and then justify it with something like “I need to stop being so picky” – you’re not being picky, you’re burning out and tired of being single, so you’re clutching at straws.

What actually causes swiper’s fatigue?

Whether you’ve been ghosted or just sick of dating in a pandemic, swiper’s fatigue can come on gradually or smack you in the face all at once.

We let ourselves think we are not attractive enough or not worthy when we don’t get any matches – it shouldn’t be like that. People will delete the app if their matches aren’t happening as often as they’d like. You’re human and it’s normal to get validation out of these things, but you really shouldn’t base your whole self worth on why Jim from Bognor Regis hasn’t swiped right back yet – his loss, not yours.


Maybe it was a bad experience you’ve had that’s sparked this burnt out feeling? Maybe you were unfairly ghosted or someone just fully pied you off – either way this is a fair reason for getting the ick with dating apps and taking some time out.

What to do when you’ve got it

Firstly, you need to get time off the screen – not just dating apps. You need to stop searching for your potential match and just live your life because if you don’t then you will burn yourself out. Even if you have loads of matches, the only thing being fuelled is your ego. Start being selective when you swipe right on people, as well as the type of conversation you engage in or reply to – you’ll be surprised by how much screen time you waste on people you know you won’t talk to ever again.

It’s sad to think that our phones hold so much of the validation we get to feel. If you’re serious about wanting to be with someone then the best thing to do is be strict with yourself, take some time away from the apps and focus on what’s going on in your real life. There’s no point wasting your energy on these sites and longing for a relationship – it will come when it comes (dating apps or not).

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