There’s no denying that dating apps are an absolute pain in the neck. The endless swipes, the flooded inboxes and never-ending cycle of rejection are enough to drive anyone to despair.

But don’t give up! There are ways to make online dating more effective and easier. Learn the best strategies for app choice, photo order, bios, prompts & messages.

1. They’re a waste of time

Apps such as Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, eHarmony, Hinge, Match, OkCupid, WooPlus and Tinder are designed to let you see pictures of people who are a possible match with your personality. You can then swipe right if you want to connect with someone.

While these apps can be a great way to meet new people, they are also a major waste of time for most users.

For one, most dating apps are algorithm-based, meaning they only show you profiles of people that their algorithms think are a good match for you. This can make it difficult to evaluate a potential date’s character, and it’s important to be cautious about who you meet online.

Furthermore, many dating app users lie about their appearance on these apps. They often change their picture or speak differently to hide their true identity. This is a major problem because it can lead to disappointment with potential dates.

2. They’re a waste of money

Dating apps are a great way to find new people to meet, but they can also be a waste of time and money. Some are free and others require a monthly subscription fee. The free ones are good for checking out who’s nearby, but the paid ones can give you a much more comprehensive search.

The best free dating app is Happn, which is a location-based dating service that shows you profiles of people you’ve crossed paths with in real life. It’s also the most fun to use, thanks to its random matches feature.

The best paid dating app is Coffee Meets Bagel, which uses a smart algorithm to match you with people that best fit your personality and interests. Its premium version, which costs $35 per month, is a bit more expensive, but the results are worth the extra investment. It also has a fun feature – the Hinge-like app-within-an-app that lets you create and manage your own dating profile, so it’s a great choice for busy professionals looking for a more personal experience.

3. They’re a waste of time

Dating apps are a huge waste of time. They get your hopes up, send you notifications constantly and prey on your vulnerability.

If you’re serious about meeting someone, spend your time going out to meet people – this will give you better results than apps. Patience, self-awareness and proper etiquette will increase your chances of success.

The best apps are those that prioritize a quality relationship and don’t put too much emphasis on monetization. These include apps like Coffee and a Bagel, which is like a low-pressure version of Tinder for singles looking for a more curated experience without giving up the modern app’s easygoing vibe.

Other sites that aren’t so well known but are actually pretty good include PURE, which is like a sex-based version of Tinder. The site lets you filter users by height, college, and whether or not they have children. It also has a “compatibility card” feature, which helps you identify common interests, and it’s available in both iOS and Android.

4. They’re a waste of time

Dating apps can be a waste of time for some people. This happens because they’re often a quick way to arrange a hook-up rather than a serious, committed relationship.

For some, it also feels like a waste of money because some sites, such as Match and eharmony, require users to pay for most of their features. This can be a frustrating experience because it can make users feel as though they’re being taken advantage of.

It’s a big let-down to have a great conversation with someone online and then find out that they aren’t a good fit in real life.

Similarly, burnt-out users can feel that they’re being treated unfairly by other app users. This can lead to feelings of negativity and fatigue towards the apps themselves, says Dr Joanne Orlando, an Australia-based digital wellness expert.

Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to Tinder and Bumble. For example, Hinge is a more serious option that focuses on deeper conversations and encouraging meaningful relationships. Raya is a dating app that’s designed for creatives who want to network or find romance.