I Deleted All My Dating Apps Three Months Ago And I’m Never Going Back

I’ll be the first to admit that I was obsessed with the convenience and variety of dating apps from the beginning, but when I quit them a few months ago, my life transformed and I have no desire to ever swipe again.

I’m tired of living my life through a screen.

Before I quit dating apps, it felt like all my relationships took place through texting. Phones are such an easy way to communicate, but it got to the point where I felt like I was living in a fake world where the only guys I ever met were just faces on a screen and not actual people. I needed something real. These days, I only date guys who actually call me and who I want to spend time with, not the ones who can be relegated to texting and Snapchat.

Dating apps waste more time than finding someone in the real world.

When I downloaded Tinder it was because I thought I didn’t have time to meet anyone the old-fashioned way. Instead of saving time, however, my supposed life hack became a full-blown addiction. I spent hours swiping through faces and rarely found anyone I was even curious about. Studies show that in spite of the hours people spend on dating apps, two-thirds of them never actually go on dates with anyone they meet there, so what’s the point?

Just because you have things in common doesn’t mean you’re a perfect match.

If you find a profile declaring undying love for your favorite band or food, you’re probably going to think it’s meant to be. But while that person may be the source of a really great conversation, they’re no more likely to be your next great romance than the person whose profile reveals a love for all the things you despise. Dating apps are convincing everyone to date their personality and lifestyle twin, but like it or not, opposites attract and you’re probably missing out.

Dating isn’t a game.

Romance should be fun, obviously, but it’s not Candy Crush. It’s easy to dehumanize people when they’re just faces on a screen, but you’re doing yourself no favors. If you want to be seen as a living, breathing human being, you have to see everyone else that way, and it’s really hard to do that when all you can judge someone by is some flattering vacation pics and a 10-word highlight reel of their life.

The romantic in me just can’t justify the cold practicality of dating apps.

Even when I was on Tinder, I just couldn’t square with the fact that every guy I met in person was deciding if he wanted to bang me or not. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I’d rather get to know someone first and let the sexual attraction creep up on us over time than meet them with the knowledge that we’re both auditioning the other for sex.

Talking to more than one person takes a toll.

It seems like there’s an unspoken rule now that you have to be talking to at least three people at once. Dating apps give us so many options that it’s hard to choose someone, but it’s totally self-defeating. When you try to string multiple people along, you’ll never have a real relationship with any of them. By “keeping your options open,” you’re pretty much guaranteeing that you’ll have no options at all.

Your “type” probably isn’t your type.

Whether you’re into blonde hair, intellectuals, or tattoos, chances are you have a type, and dating apps are the perfect way to find them. But real romances that last are the ones that aren’t built on a checklist of assets you find attractive—they’re the unexpected ones that start with a spark that comes out of nowhere. I’ve dated a lot of guys who were my “type,” but the only meaningful relationships I’ve had are the ones with guys who are nowhere near what I thought I wanted.

You’d be surprised what happens when you stop looking.

I thought I was in for a long bout of singledom when I deleted my dating apps. I mean, where else are you going to meet people? But apparently the universe had other ideas. Free from the shallowness of online dating, I ended up engaging with people on a deeper level by default, and before I knew it, I was getting asked out more than I had even in college.

I’m no longer worried about missing out on the perfect guy.

When you’re confronted with thousands of faces to swipe through, it can be pretty overwhelming. I always found myself swiping frantically, worried I was missing the one perfect person, even when I was in the preliminary stages of a maybe good relationship. When you narrow your dating options to the people you encounter in normal life, the urgency disappears. My new mantra with potential dates is “quality over quantity.”

People are actually pretty decent in real life.

Sometimes it feels like apps give a free pass for people to be selfish—flaking on dates, ghosting for no reason, and generally acting with zero consideration for anyone else, and it really started to affect my view of humanity. But since I’ve started dating people without the use of apps, I’ve found that people are generally polite, aware of the effect their actions have on others, and actually pretty considerate. Who knew?

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