Dating apps sell a wonderful dream: they’ll help you find that elusive true love of your life or at least send decent partners your way until “The One” comes along. Research has shown that one in five singles are addicted to the process and idea of finding a date online. You might think it’s just harmless scrolling, but there’s a good chance you’re stuck in a vicious cycle.
You use it as an ego booster.
It’s normal for your self-esteem to rise when a really attractive person sends you a message on a dating app. The problem begins when it becomes a huge source of validation for your self-worth. The feeling only lasts for a moment so you’re constantly chasing after it. Before you know it, you’re ghosting on people and airing messages because you don’t actually care about forming a connection. What you want is to feel like someone desires you, so once that’s done, it’s on to the next one.
You check your app(s) obsessively.
If you start hearing notification sounds when your phone actually hasn’t beeped, you probably have a dating app addiction. You spend most of your free time scrolling through hundreds of eligible singles. It’s the first thing you do in the morning, the last at night, and as frequently as you can in between. It’s time to consider stepping away from your device and realize how much power the quest for finding an eligible partner has over you.
You usually never go beyond first dates.
The lure of dating apps is the feeling that there is always someone better out there. Even when you connect with someone and then meet up offline, you’re back on the app the minute you get back home and looking for the next potential date. You’re faced with an endless choice of mates and you feel you’d be cheating yourself if you just stopped looking.
You delete your apps only to download it again.
Swearing off dating apps one week, then reinstalling them the next is a tell-tale sign that you have become addicted to them. You can’t seem to let yourself get a clean break and explore healthier options for meeting people. After all, why go to a bar or some social event when the guys can come to you while you’re wearing pajamas and sitting on your couch?
You have no idea what you’re looking for.
A lot of people just set up a dating profile without having the slightest idea of what they’re hoping to achieve. Are you looking for a hookup, friends, a romantic relationship, a way to improve your dating skills? What is your endgame? If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’ll end up just accepting whatever you’re given over and over until you become a dating app veteran.
You use several apps at once.
Being on four or more dating apps is not a thing of pride. Maybe stop swiping so much and setting up multiple dates in one week and take note of how overwhelming it all is. I know variety is the spice of life, but dial it back, sis. You’re wasting precious time you could be putting into other activities that are better for your mental wellbeing.
You’re sad more times than you are happy about dating.
Dating can feel like an emotional rollercoaster, but if your adventures in the app world have started making you feel down a lot more than usual. The goal is to give the dating experience an extra boost, not suck the joy out of you.
You rarely hook up with people from the app.
This is a real thing. One in three people who use dating apps never actually go on any dates with someone they met on the platform. So if you can relate to that, the real reason you’re using the app is that you’re hooked on it, not because it’d be nice to find a date.
You know you won’t find a great guy but still won’t stop swiping.
Here comes the moment of honesty: do you really believe you can find a good guy that’s what your time on the dating apps you’re using? If the answer is yes, then, by all means, keep looking. If it’s no, then you’re obviously using it because you feel compelled to. Take a break and direct your attention somewhere else.
You check the app even when you’re out on a date.
Seriously, at this point, you’re one step away from getting dating app addict tattooed boldly on your forehead. Checking your app while on a date or on your way home indicates that you’re more interested in using the app rather than working to build a connection with your dates.
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