I Didn’t Realize How Miserable I Was On Dating Apps Until I Deleted Them

I was tired of meeting guys the usual way—through friends, mainly—so I signed up for a ton of dating apps. It was such a rush! Sadly, I only realized how bad they were for me when I deleted them.

At first, they were kind of exciting. Signing up to loads of dating apps felt empowering. I was taking action in my love life. I was putting myself out there and making things happen. Plus, I was really excited about who I might meet.

All that swiping got boring after a while. After a couple of weeks, I got into a daily routine. I’d be really busy with work and other commitments but then I’d dedicate an hour or two to dating apps. I’d swipe right on a few guys, but mostly I was finding guys who were so not my cup of tea that it all felt like a giant waste of time and that initial rush of anticipation I had was totally gone.

It was weird to see how many freaks were in the dating scene. Being active on several dating apps simultaneously was quite creepy, I must admit. There were so many shady guys out there. Guys who were just looking for quick sex; guys who wanted to show off and stroke their egos; guys who wanted to send d*ck pics; guys who said “hey” and then never kept the conversation going. After two weeks of suffering fools on dating apps, I was losing hope about dating, and fast.

Dating became a chore. I’m not the type to give up so I kept at the dating apps. I didn’t want to stop trying to find a decent guy to date. The problem was that without feeling any excitement for using these apps, I started treating dating like a boring chore, like ironing or doing grocery shopping. This was supposed to be fun, wasn’t it? Clearly, there was no pleasure in this process. I know dating can be hard work but I was bored and stressed when doing it. I just didn’t realize it until I pulled the plug on my dating apps.

My stress took a back seat. Immediately after I deleted them, I felt so much happier and calmer. I could do better things with the time I’d been dedicating to looking for dates. Plus, I felt more optimistic about dating in general because I wasn’t seeing so many dodgy guys on dating apps every day. I swear, that had really messed with my head. It was similar to reading negative news every day—sooner or later, you start to feel like there’s no beauty in the world, which is BS.

I stopped killing my game. Treating dating like a chore that I simply had to get done even if I hated the process was ruining my attitude. I was probably coming across as desperate or defensive. I saw this with one guy I started chatting to. He flirted right away, complimenting my looks, and immediately I stopped talking to him. I assumed he was going to suggest nude pics or something equally shady, just like so many guys before him. Talk about jumping the gun. I had no idea what he was really like! I was letting my new cynicism take over.

I didn’t rule out redownloading the apps in the future. I deleted all the dating apps on my phone and freed up my life for some real living. I committed to staying off the apps until I stopped feeling dating burnout, which took a total of six months. I wasn’t sitting at home alone every Friday night when I wasn’t searching for a potential boyfriend. Hell no. I was out there living and loving life. I realized that the best dating strategy for me was to meet someone great in a more natural way and only to head back to dating apps if I could stop taking them so seriously.

I did go back in the end. After some blind dates that really weren’t promising, I started to notice that it was getting harder to find guys to date. I worked from home, which also cut down my chances of meeting someone in real life, so I decided to go back onto dating apps. This time, I played the game totally differently.

I stuck to one. Sure, more dating apps give you more options, but I find them too stressful to have to maintain. So I stuck to one dating app and this helped to chill me out. One of the most important ways in which it did this was to limit my exposure to jerks!

I always swipe right on myself. Another important change I made to how I used dating apps was to make myself a priority, what I like to call “swiping right on myself.” The minute I start feeling down about dating apps or like they’re getting in the way of me living a more carefree life, I take a break or completely delete them from my phone. It’s the best way to keep my sanity, which is the most important thing here as I’d rather have my happiness and well-being than meet a fantastic man. There’s just no competition.

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