Consider what you really want.
If your love life feels messy and confused, spend some time identifying your goals, said Samantha Burns, a licensed mental health counselor and dating coach in Boston. Are you on the rebound and just looking to have fun? Are you seeking a long-term partner?
“A cluttered dating life feels chaotic,” she said. “It feels like you don’t have a real framework for your dating decisions.”
Lamont White, a professional matchmaker and dating coach in Atlanta, said it can help to look back at past relationships and prior dates, and jot down what you liked or what you felt was missing. He takes a hard line on dating if you cannot clearly articulate what you want. “People who are not dating with intention should stay out of the dating pool,” Mr. White said.
Therapy can also be a useful resource “for people in the dating scene to get really, really, really self-aware,” said Lisa Blum, a clinical psychologist in Pasadena, Calif. That might mean unpacking childhood experiences and previous relationships with a professional. “You have to ‘fix your picker’ so you’re not inviting in relationships that really don’t serve you,” she said.
Set boundaries on the apps.
Dating clutter, like all electronic detritus, can easily creep onto your phone. There are no hard and fast rules, the experts said, but Mr. White advises using no more than two dating apps at a time to avoid being overwhelmed.