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“81 percent of Hinge users have never found a long-term relationship on any swiping app”; “54 percent of singles on Hinge report feeling lonely after swiping on swiping apps”; “Only 1 in 500 swipes on Hinge turn into phone numbers exchanged.” Mc Leod has noticed the same waning of enthusiasm that I have.

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If you just sit on your butt and wait to see if life delivers you love, then you have no right to complain.“Other than trying to go to a ton of community events, or hanging out at bars—I’m not really big on bars—I don’t feel like there’s other stuff to necessarily do to meet people,” Hyde says.

“So it’s almost like the only recourse other than just sort of sitting around waiting for luck to strike is dating apps.”But then, if you get tired of the apps, or have a bad experience on them, it creates this ambivalence—should you stop doing this thing that makes you unhappy or keep trying in the hopes it might yield something someday?

Are dating apps exhausting because of some fundamental problem with the apps, or just because dating is always frustrating and disappointing?

“The process of dating inherently sucks,” says Holly Wood, a Ph D candidate at Harvard University who’s doing her dissertation on modern dating.

While the possibilities seem exciting at first, the effort, attention, patience, and resilience it requires can leave people frustrated and exhausted.“It only has to work once, theoretically,” says Elizabeth Hyde, a 26-year-old bisexual law student in Indianapolis.

Hyde has been using dating apps and sites on and off for six years.

And while no one is denying the existence of fuckboys, I hear far more complaints from people who are trying to find relationships, or looking to casually date, who just find that it’s not working, or that it’s much harder than they expected.“I think the whole selling point with dating apps is ‘Oh, it’s so easy to find someone,’ and now that I’ve tried it, I’ve realized that’s actually not the case at all,” says my friend Ashley Fetters, a 26-year-old straight woman who is an editor at in New York City.

The easiest way to meet people turns out to be a really labor-intensive and uncertain way of getting relationships.

“And I think it’s really hit a low point.”Whenever using a technology makes people unhappy, the question is always: Is it the technology’s fault, or is it ours?

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