Love Letters

I’ve been using online dating apps for three years. I’ve had one 2nd date

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Q. Hi Meredith,

I’ve used dating apps for three years now, and have found most of my success on Hinge. When I go on a first date, either it’s not a great fit or we hit it off and text for a few days before I stop receiving responses. (Can we call it “ghosting” after a single date?)

About a month and a half ago, I went on my first second date. We ended up going on three dates. Since then, I’ve had two first dates that went well and led to texting, then nothing. I’m also noticing the profiles I see on Hinge are repeating. Living in New York, this is particularly disheartening. Have I gone through every woman I might match with?

It feels like I’ll end up waiting another three years for a second date. I’ve gone back on some other apps (Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel) but still no dates from them. Any thoughts on how I can break out of this cycle? How to meet people not on apps? All of my past relationships have been platonic-turned-romantic, so though it’s been three years of dating apps, it still feels new to me. — Stagnant in the City

A. Maybe there should be an app for people who prefer platonic-turned-romantic relationships. It could cater to people who are open to meeting a bunch of friends with potential. It could be called something like . . . Build. (Someone get on that, please.)


You’re having a pretty typical experience in the dating world, unfortunately. So many people tell me they can’t get past a first outing when they meet someone on an app. It’s easy to lose momentum.

It sounds like you could use a break from the cycle. You might also benefit from spending more time with humans, off your phone. We get so many letters about loneliness and dating fatigue, and sometimes the best answer is to put yourself in as many offline places as possible.

Some activities will be more fruitful than others. In the Love Letters podcast episode we did about taking classes (Season 2, Episode 9), we learned that at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, something like 80 percent of the students are women. I imagine there are some excellent places for social learning in New York.


I know these aren’t easy answers. I know it feels like work. Give yourself permission to rest before you get back at it again.

— Meredith


I hear it’s often nasty, brutish, and short out there in Online Land. Try to just view apps as an introduction service, one of many possible ways to meet new people, and don’t go at it with a lot of emotional investment. JIVEDIVA

Online dating is best done for six months at a time. Take a few months off and go back. It requires time to restock the pond. MAYOR-OF-REALVILLE

You’re doing something wrong. I don’t know if your profile is wildly inaccurate, your personality is blah, or you’re completely incapable of picking up on social cues. An honest assessment from a close friend would probably be more helpful than generic advice. JUST-ANOTHER-BOSTONIAN

Get Season 3 of Meredith Goldstein’s Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen.