If you've ever used an online dating app, you've probably had a moment of utter exasperation where you've asked yourself, “Why are these folks about this app if they don't want dates?!”
Whether you're using an app or even the desktop equivalent, unfortunately you are going to meet people who are seemingly only online down the sink everyone's time – for example, people who would rather have a penpal-like relationship with you and dodge any chance to actually get together. Sound familiar?
There happen to be often in my own dating career where I've been one meandering text conversation from punching me via a wall. But, because these kinds of situations work our last nerve, online time-wasters might not necessarily have nefarious intentions. Actually, these non-committal singles might be looking for an ego boost. Simple as that.
According to Psychology Today, singles are utilizing apps like Tinder for reasons other than really adore and sex. Research by Sumter, Vandenbosch, and Ligtenberg (2022) collected responses from 266 current and former Tinder users between the ages of 18 and 30. The research participants indicated how often they used the app, whether or not they had succeeded in meeting a Tinder match offline and how many Tinder one-night hookups they'd had. Respondents were also inspired to reveal to what extent they agreed or disagreed having a series of statements about why they used Tinder, such as, “to contact an intimate partner,” “to find someone to have sex with,” and “to feel happier about myself.”
The study found that while participants reported they use Tinder for love and sex, additionally they use it for establishing a sense of validation and self-worth.
I get it. Humans love flattery. Receiving a notification of the Tinder match – an indication that someone thinks you're attractive – is obviously going to make you are feeling good and then add pep for your step. In fact, participants within this study asserted they've used Tinder to get positive feedback on their appearance and enhance their self-esteem.
While Psychology Today suggests other research saying the requirement for validation of one's physical appearance by others has been discovered to be more essential for females compared to males, in this study no differences put together. In other words, both men and women sometimes make use of the app for any much needed ego boost.
But how do you separate those who are searching for love in the people that are simply searching for personal validation? Good question. Here are some signs you may be dealing with a time waster and really should reduce your losses.
- They spell it out in their profile.
It's very entirely possible that they have nothing designed in their profile whatsoever – in the end, should you be seriously interested in meeting people online, you'd a minimum of wish to include something about yourself, right? Alternatively, they may have something that says, “Just here checking things out” or “Not sure what you're looking for.” This can be a dating app. People are looking for dates. What is so wrong about admitting that?
- There are actually long delays between your messages.
You question them how their weekend goes. They reply on Wednesday (“Great!”) They seem thinking about meeting up, however when you ask them what days and times perform best on their behalf, they take a week to reply. Maybe this person has an interest in dating, but it's simply not important on their behalf at this time. Either way, don't invest too much energy within this person. There are lots of other people out there who're ready and open to date.
- They seem interested in using a penpal than meeting up.
You've sent multiple messages and/or texts and there's absolutely no reference to meeting up. When you advise a date, they either dodge the topic or offer an excuse. Clearly this individual is not actually thinking about going on dates or isn't available. Next!