Whelming Is The Gross Dating App Trend That We're Sick Of

It seems every other week brings with it a brand new dating app trend that we need to wrap our heads around. Though it's possible to ignore these trends, more often than not, we find ourselves scrambling to keep up. Why should we forgo a real chance of finding "the one" or even just "someone" because of a mere lack of knowledge?


From making OnlyPlans to cause-playing, mid-mute dating to side-barring, dating app lingo sure keeps us on our toes! Whelming, however, is one trend that we are thoroughly sick of. It's described as the phenomenon where potential matches on dating apps complain about feeling overwhelmed with the sheer amount of other matches they are getting. Whelming is therefore a glorified term for bragging, which sex and relationship expert for LoveHoney Annabelle Knight tells Cosmopolitan is an exercise in showing off "about how attractive they are and making you feel you should be grateful that they're even engaging with you."

You may be wondering how anyone could do something that sounds so selfish and insensitive, but the evidence doesn't lie.


Why are people whelming?

The term was first coined by writer Patia Braithwaite in an article for Self, after she and many of her friends claimed to have experienced it first-hand. There is no denying that in the stressful environment of online dating, the numerous ongoing conversations, at varying stages of interest, can seem very overwhelming, and it can cause additional stress in one's already over-scheduled and digitally controlled life. It is, however, surprising that people will want to share this information with those they are hoping to attract as potential suitors.


In a conversation with Refinery29, licensed marriage and family therapist and the co-owner of BFF Therapy Moraya Seeger DeGeare stated, "I think it's this projection out of insecurity ... Instead of being vulnerable or just saying I'm overwhelmed, they're doing this insecure thing." She concludes that in this situation the person seems unlikely to be willing to do what it takes to be in a successful relationship.

Interestingly, she also points out that the relative anonymity of online dating allows people to make such declarations to strangers, where earlier they may have shared these feelings only with their friends, family, or therapist.

What this means for the people using dating apps

Some people participate in this trend for an immediate ego boost. Others are genuinely overwhelmed by the many choices available on dating apps. So, it seems (even if in some cases unwittingly), many of us may be guilty of whelming in one way or another. Knight of LoveHoney tells Cosmopolitan, "It has never been easier to hook up with a new partner. But all that choice can feel overwhelming. You have a fridge full of food but you're not hungry." With more choice than we know what to do with, we have become extremely finicky about who we swipe. This makes it difficult to wade through the sea of options and pick the right one.


But this doesn't mean that you give up on dating sites altogether. Instead learn to only match with the people who genuinely want to get to know, rather than people who just boost your ego. You should also be strict about not exceeding 15 to 20 minutes per day on a dating app, otherwise you'll feel more overwhelmed more quickly. Lastly, be mindful of the fact that dating apps, though an aid to your journey, aren't the be-all and end-all of life.