In online dating, more isn’t always better

With the plethora of dating apps available, an expert recommends using just two

We’ve all heard sayings like “less is more” and “quality over quantity.” And in many ways, those phrases apply to the world of online dating, at least in terms of how many dating apps and websites you should use. With the wide array of platforms available — from niche apps like Farmers Only to paid sites such as and the more popular choices like Bumble — it’s common for single people to use more than one app at the same time. In fact, I encourage it.

However, the “correct” amount of apps varies per person, and there’s no magic number. What really matters is how much time you dedicate to your online dating search. For example, I’d much rather a client use two sites proactively versus having seven apps that are poorly managed, or not checked at all.

Sure, every new app brings a new set of potential matches, but it can be really intimidating (and difficult) to keep track of what’s going on in every single app. You might get a message from someone but not be able to remember if it was on Bumble, Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid or Coffee Meets Bagel, resulting in opening each app on your phone until you figure it out. Simply checking numerous apps per day can be exhausting and complex, and if you miss even a day on a time-sensitive app such as Bumble, where the conversation expires after 24 hours if you don’t respond to a new person, you might have missed an opportunity to connect with someone special.

I’d recommend starting with two dating sites. Make sure you spend at least a few minutes every day on them looking for new matches and checking your messages. If you feel like you have more time to dedicate to your search, open a third account on another platform. Should the process ever get overwhelming, then pause your search on one of those accounts.

People ask me all the time if there’s one particular app where all the “quality” people go, mainly because they fear that if they don’t use them all, they are missing out on people. I’ll tell you what I tell them: There is every type of person on every app, so it really doesn’t matter which one you’re on, as long as you’re using it efficiently.

Here’s the great thing about online dating: It’s not going anywhere. Every day, new people are joining different platforms, meaning the potential to find someone with whom you connect is growing all the time. If you dedicate time and effort to two apps and have little success, you can always put those apps on hold and try two different ones for a while to see if you have better results.

Between jobs, families and other responsibilities, it can feel like there’s little time left in the day for online dating. What’s most important is how you use the time you do have, whether that’s an hour each day or just 15 minutes. More isn’t always better when it comes to the number of dating platforms you use — it’s one of those “less is more” and “quality over quantity” situations.

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Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating.