Singles Are Crafting 'Date-Me-Docs' To Meet Potential Suitors - Here's What That Means

As more people turn to dating apps to meet others (especially now that so many are working from home), dating app burnout has become a real issue. You get on an app, set up a profile that you think is going to knock 'em dead and lure in the crème de la crème, and then nothing. Sure, everyone gets a few hits, but with so many options and everyone looking for perfection, it's difficult. In fact, it's so trying out there that a 2022 study by Pew Research Center found that 46% of people report "very" or "somewhat" negative experiences while using dating apps. In contrast, only 14% have had "very" positive experiences. Although these stats are the result of just over 6000 people, it does suggest that people may be getting sick of the apps. If so, it's time to usher in something new: "date-me-docs."

Date-me-docs are essentially dating résumés. It's basically what you'd put in your dating app profile, but far more extensive. Date-me-docs have started to become so popular that there are even Date Me Directories so people can submit their docs and also check out the docs of others. Otherwise, you can keep a link to your date-me-doc ready to send to anyone you're thinking about dating. 

While this way of connecting with others is still relatively new, it's likely to become more mainstream because it offers something that dating apps rarely do: people looking for something serious.

Date-me-docs are for those who are serious about dating

According to a 2020 study by Pew Research Center, roughly 12% of people have either married someone whom they met on a dating app or found themselves in a committed relationship thanks to an app. Although that's great for the 12%, that leaves the rest of dating app users still looking for their person. Dating apps may be good for casual sex or short-term relationships and flings, but when it comes to serious and long-term partnerships, these platforms are lacking.

"A person who takes the time to create a dating doc and give you details about their lives is more likely to be serious about dating," dating expert Gabriela Reyes, LMFT, tells Lifehacker. "You also get a chance to skip the small talk and know the basics off the bat which can narrow down the amount of people you talk to. It's less overwhelming than connecting with 20 potential dates when you are on a dating app, and then having to weed them out one by one based on the same old small talk."

Dating app profiles require little-to-no effort. Entire Google Docs of 1000 words or more take time, energy, and care. These docs are definitely not for those who want to keep it casual. People who create these docs are looking for love.

Date-me-docs are a reprieve from dating app burnout

Dating is exhausting! For people trying to find love, it can be an uphill battle that, when you finally get to the top of the hill, you often just tumble back down. Dating apps, in particular, can be doubly exhausting. With every swipe, you whisper to yourself that "the one" is just around the corner or just one more swipe away. When it isn't, especially after years of trying this type of dating, it can make people want to give up all together.

"After a decade of fruitless searching, I started to ask myself: What has all that time, all that effort, all that money, actually given me?" podcaster and the author of "A Single Revolution" Shani Silver tells The New York Times. "When you are consistently disappointed by a space that was sold to you as a path to love over and over and over again — for many of us, for years at a time — you never really stop to ask yourself: 'What is this doing to my mental health? What is this doing to my well-being?'"

But when you create a date-me-doc, you know you're putting it out there for people who are serious about finding someone to spend their life with and love for the long haul. These docs don't just offer a break from the dating app burnout that so many of us have experienced or still are experiencing, but it offers hope that feels more promising. 

Date-me-docs give you a lot of space to be 100% yourself

On dating apps, there are two types of people: the ones who put at least something in their bio and those who don't. How the latter think that this technique is going to work for them (unless they look like Cillian Murphy or Selena Gomez) is anyone's guess, but still those people exist. For those of you who do fill out the profile and want to be as authentic as possible, you don't have much room to work with, which is why date-me-docs are so great.

As Walt Whitman taught us, we all contain multitudes (via Penguin). We're not just a few things, but hundreds, if not thousands of things. No one can be their true, honest, and authentic self in a dating app bio. There's no space there to share our dreams, fears, goals, quirks, and hopes or delve into the backstories about why we have them. Date-me-docs can contain all your multitudes and then some. You can also list all the things you want in a significant other as part of the doc or as a secondary doc. If you're going to go the route of trying to find your soulmate or twin flame via a date-me-doc, you might as well lay it all out there. You're not looking for a one-night stand where you can overlook someone's shortcomings just to get laid; you're looking for something serious and long-term, so you're allowed to be as discerning as you want.

Date-me-docs let you get down to business

Dating apps, as well as dating offline and being set up with someone, require a lot of small talk, trivial babble, and mundane questions. What do you do? Where are you from? Do you prefer a gin or vodka martini? How many siblings do you have? How'd you get that scar on your chin? It's just a bunch of back-and-forth that takes up a lot of time. But with your handy date-me-doc ready to go, you can skip the majority of that and dive into deeper conversations. These docs really are door openers, making all the time and effort you put into them worth it.

Dating apps are likely to never completely go away, even as more people get frustrated with them. But there's a very good chance that the way we date is going to change. Maybe in the next couple of years we'll all have date-me-docs uploaded in directories or have the link to them at the ready so we can send it to someone we're interested in within a moment's notice. If that's the case, that will be a good thing. Or, maybe things will get really crazy and we'll all revert back to dating people we meet in real life! Okay, that's kind of a stretch in our technology-obsessed culture, but date-me-docs definitely fit the bill for where we are right now.