My approach to online dating is not very successful, and can be summarized as follows.
0) As a premise, I feel neutral about meeting new people. I don’t dislike meeting people, but I don’t enjoy it enough to do it for its own sake. Just as there is no shortage of interesting people, there is no shortage of knowledge to obtain or skills to improve, and I find either of those things far more rewarding than learning about someone. With this in mind…
I’m very selective about who I like on online dating apps. Therefore, from the outset, the odds are not in my favor. (This applies even if I’m on an app where they’ve liked me first and I can actually see who they are. As far as I can tell, it has almost no effect on my behavior.)
Even if I’m interested enough to like, it’s even more rare that I’ll get a reciprocal like and we’ll match.
Assuming that a conversation actually develops from a match (which often doesn’t occur) and we transition to phone/video/in-person, I usually won’t wait more than a couple of dates to become excited about someone. By then, I often feel I have enough information to decide whether to pursue something serious or nip it in the bud.
After months of very few matches and/or no connections that feel promising, I’ll delete all of my accounts and take a break. When I start over, I’ll reinstall the apps and repeat from Step 1.
The problem, as you’ve suggested, can probably be traced to my premise. In my view, the solution is either (a) time, (b) luck, (c) both time and luck, or (d) changing my premise. Maybe someday I’ll find being single bothersome enough that I pick (d), but it’s been over a decade since my last long-term relationship, so I honestly don’t see this happening. A first date that fizzles (i.e., most of them, in my experience) represents time that could have been better spent elsewhere.