I Quit Dating Apps Because They Were Literally Ruining My Life

Everyone told me I should try harder to date. They told me that I needed to get out there and see who else is single, so I tried looking on dating apps since that seems to be the way to go these days. I couldn’t keep it up because it made me absolutely miserable. Here’s why:

  1. I was addicted. Just like anything involving social media and my phone, it was all too easy to get sucked in. I found myself checking my dating apps compulsively, signing on for just one more swipe… and then staying on for way too long. It was a problem.
  2. I was totally distracted. I already have a difficult time focusing. I did not need one more excuse not to get my work done. It’s bad enough just with Facebook and Instagram. I could swipe forever and never be satisfied. I needed to stop wasting time.
  3. I used them as a gauge to measure my self-worth. It’s very tough to use dating apps and somehow separate them from how I feel about myself inside. I have pretty decent self-esteem now, but I’ve worked to get here. I didn’t need some dumb guy I’d never met causing me to feel insecure.
  4. My matches dictated my mood. I let whatever was happening in my fake online dating life determine how I felt in my real life. It made no sense. It was like a virtual reality that seeped into my actual reality and gave me either false hopes or false feelings of sadness. It was super weird.
  5. I got bummed when I didn’t match with guys who seemed perfect. What the hell? How could Guys X, Y and Z see me and not know that I’m their all-time dream lover soulmate? I made the stakes way too high over men I’d never even met and got sad when they didn’t pick me in return.
  6. I was upset when men never responded. I got legitimately excited to match with certain guys, but then I’d send them a carefully crafted, heartfelt message and they’d never answer. It made me feel terrible. I clearly took the dating apps more seriously than most people so I had to quit.
  7. It was killing my faith in the decency of men. I already have a tough time believing that there are good guys out there. The apps did nothing to help that problem! They were only reaffirming my beliefs that most men are lazy and just want to get laid. I had to get away to keep some positivity.
  8. I felt like an unimportant number in a weird game. I don’t like feeling invisible. It’s bad enough in real life when men pay me no attention. Why would I go online only to feel the same way? It was like playing a video game with human emotions at stake. No thanks.
  9. I was using them as a crutch. I wanted to be distracted from failed romances of my past. I wanted to feel like men were interested in me, no matter how marginally. I wanted to feel attractive. I gave up because I know that none of this surface confidence they give me means anything.
  10. I got angry when guys blew me off. It happened so many times that I actually became positively enraged. I could deal at first, but after it kept happening I got pissed. I couldn’t help it. It felt like life playing a cruel joke, but maybe it was just the universe telling me that dating apps aren’t right for me.
  11. My interactions with men made me miserable. I got disproportionately excited to talk to guys, but it was clear that most of them did not feel the same. Hardly any of them even tried to start a conversation, let alone maintain one. A few expressed interest only to let our interactions end quite easily. It sucked.
  12. Nothing ever came of any of it. I was on the dating apps for over a year and I had only a few dates, most of which I had to initiate. Gee, I wonder why they didn’t end well. I wouldn’t count any of them a success, even the one guy I dated briefly who proved to be woefully wrong for me anyway.
  13. Most guys cut me off before we even made it to a date. Apparently, there are a lot of men in the world who just want to feel like women think they’re attractive but don’t actually want to date anyone. I had no idea that guys find it appealing to simply message people and never meet. I hated it.
  14. It was a monumental waste of time. I’m embarrassed when I think about the amount of time I wasted swiping on guys in comparison to the actual benefits I got from online dating. I wish I had never even bothered with any of it. All that happened was I got even more jaded and bitter about dating.
  15. I took it way more seriously than the men did. It became clear to me that most of the men I talked to weren’t taking any of it very seriously—especially if I count the men who never got back to me at all. It was hard to keep up enthusiasm when none of the guys cared about making any effort.
  16. I got sick and tired of feeling expendable. Who really wants to be reduced to a swipe left or right? It feels pretty superficial and demeaning. I thought I’d like getting attention from men online, but they were so blase and unconcerned with me that I felt worse than before.
  17. I actually felt more lonely using them than not dating at all. I thought that being single and not dating for so long was the worst, but actually, being that way while actively trying to online date was the worst. It felt horrible to know that I couldn’t get guys to ask me out in the virtual world either.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at amyhorton.net.