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When to get off toxic dating apps

By Lady Marmalade, May 9 2018 —

If you’ve been on Tinder for a while, you’ve probably matched with a few people and even met up with some. Regardless, if you are currently on the app, there’s a chance that you haven’t found love yet. If this is true, you’ve probably fallen into the habit of swiping simply as a hobby and finding yourself hating the app. But why can’t you find the nerve to delete it? Life could be easier — there would be none of the near-constant rejection, you’d feel less superficial about the act of swiping and you’d probably have more free time on your hands. Yet the app still remains on your phone, sucking up your energy, your time and maybe even your self-respect.

The most obvious answer is that you crave making human connections or the sweet, sweet dopamine rush that you get when you match with a real cutie. You probably don’t go through and delete old message threads or unmatch with people you never connected with because of the off-chance someone discovers you deep in their account and realizes they missed out on a gem. Still, it can feel like nobody you talk to has similar goals or intentions. And being ghosted or catfished is seriously disheartening.

People often say that they are sick of the app but can’t seem to bring themselves to delete it. They justify it based on a fear of missing out — what if they miss a message? Or a connection with “the one”? The amount of unknowns that dating apps create puts you in a strange limbo of feeling confident and completely in the dark. Unless you find someone you click with and you live happily ever after, it’s a cycle that is at best annoying and at worst seriously demoralizing.

It’s fine to spend some time looking through your options around the city, unless you’re spending all hours of the day swiping mindlessly. While there is something fun and distracting about looking through the attractive people in your area and having some laughs, if you feel like being on the app is starting to wear away at your faith in humanity, it might be a good call to take a break. You can “hide” your profile within the app so you don’t have to delete it but you also won’t show up in the feed of profiles being swiped. It might be good to set aside a couple of days to spend your time unplugged, just to see if you feel different about the app after some time apart.

Long story short, don’t punish yourself for spending a long time on Tinder or other dating apps. If you’re single, there’s no harm exploring your options. But if you feel like you are starting to have a toxic relationship with the apps, do your best to take a breather. You might notice how much time you were actually spending on them in the first place.

Don’t put too many expectations out into the world of dating and sex. Keep an open mind and good things will come your way.

Articles published in the Gauntlet‘s opinion section do not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet editorial board.

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