Why Do Guys Bother Using Dating Apps If They’re Not Actually Looking For A Relationship?

You swipe right, start chatting and then realize the guy you thought had potential is really just confused AF. You don’t know what the hell he’s even doing on the dating app, but here are possible reasons why he seems to be all over the place.

  1. No, he’s not “checking out the scene.” Don’t you hate it when you start chatting to a guy and he tells you he’s on Tinder because he’s “checking out the scene”? Um, no. That’s just code for, “I don’t know what I’m looking for but I hope I’ll know when I see it.”
  2. He’s there for the fun of it. He’s not on the dating app because he wants to try meet someone special or go on a real date. If he were, he’d be taking action. Instead, he’s just there for the hell of it, maybe because he was horny AF on a Saturday night or his drunk friends dared him to sign up. Meanwhile, you’re looking for something real but keep meeting these losers who waste your time because no matter what they say or how thrown they are by you, ultimately they have a booty-call agenda.
  3. He’s happy to date online indefinitely. One of the most confusing things on dating apps is when a guy seems really legit: he’s got a decent photo in which he’s dressed and there are no ex-girlfriends that have been half-cropped out of it; he’s keen to chat and he seems really interested. The only problem is, he’s not actually asking for your number or to go on a date and it’s been days or weeks of “just talking.” WTF? He’s not looking for anything serious, just floating around and seeing who he connects with. It’s sad that online dating has replaced the real thing.
  4. He’s suffering from dating app burnout. Yup, it’s a thing. Dating apps used to seem so sparkly and exciting when they launched onto the scene, but now they’re yesterday’s news. People feel exhausted from dealing with them, but the problem is many of them are still signing up to dating apps! They’re going on in case there’s something special to be gained from swiping right, but their hearts are just not into it.
  5. He’s on too many appsOne dating app is enough, but you’ll find people who are on many at the same time. Geez, no wonder they seem so confused. It must be really hard to stay on top of things without going crazy.
  6. He’s in a relationship. This is the ultimate shady move, but it’s sadly happening. In a study by Abodo that surveyed 4,000 college students, 44 percent of them confessed to using dating apps while they had a partner. No wonder people seem so confused! They’re just going on dating apps to “window shop” even though they can’t afford to invest in someone new because they already have someone at home. Ugh.
  7. He’s “dating” multiple people online. You get the window shoppers, then you get the guys who are single but dating more than one person on dating apps. Because of this, they don’t give you their full attention, which makes you wonder if they’re really into you. The truth is, they’re too busy chatting up six different women. It’s like a freaking “Bachelor” reality show up in here!
  8. Casual dating is confusing. Maybe it’s not always the people on dating apps who seem confusing — maybe dating in general is. So many people seem to hide behind casual dating that it’s become an epidemic. The result? Everyone’s confused about what everyone’s doing and buckling under the pressure to be casual and avoid commitment. It’s so messed up.
  9. He’s afraid of rejection. This fear could be what’s keeping him guarded or preventing him from being real about his feelings. He’d rather lay low — and who can blame him, when we’ve got dating apps that are pretty much based on rating people’s profile pictures before knowing anything about them?
  10. He can be lazy and get away with it. It’s sometimes more difficult to be confusing AF in real life because people will set you straight. But from behind a phone screen, anything goes. Guys can give you mixed signals because they don’t have to man up and say what they really want or feel, and it’s hard to gauge things like tone in texts. They can be lazy AF without the pressure to get real, leaving you confused and irritated.
  11. He’s using dating apps for attention. Research published in Psychology Today found that young adults use Tinder for various reasons, the most popular ones being love and casual sex, self-worth and validation. You’re likely to find guys who are just there to see if they can get your attention because it makes them feel better about themselves, like if they’ve just been dumped, without needing to take things further.
  12. He’s emotionally unavailable in other ways. He might not have a girlfriend in real life, but maybe he’s being so confusing and giving you mixed messages because he’s emotionally unavailable in another way. He could be afraid of relationships or too afraid to commit. He might be painfully shy or have low confidence. So why is he trying online dating? He could want to test himself and see if he can have fun with women online without the stress of real-life dating.
  13. He doesn’t know what he wants. He heard that dating apps are all about sex, so he was curious to check them out. He might stumble upon love, but often that’s not his first thought when he signs up to the dating app. Is he into the idea of love? Even he doesn’t know! Reassuring, right? Basically, he has no plan, no idea what he wants, and probably isn’t ready for the amazing woman he’s going to swipe right on — you.
  14. He’s overwhelmed by too many options. Imagine if you have to choose one pair of red stilettos out of a thousand pairs. You’ll probably stand there confused AF for hours, and you’ll probably wish that you only had to choose from five pairs, right? Online dating is the same thing. Too many options are making it harder for people to make decisions, and then causing burnout. The result? You want to throw your phone against the wall because of these confused AF men!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.