I Spend Too Much Time On Dating Apps & It’s Messing Up My Life

I think I’m addicted to dating apps. I spend hours a day on them and I feel like my habit is getting so out of control that it’s negatively impacting my life in many ways.

  1. I spend more time on them than I do on most other things. My average time spent on apps a day is probably two or three hours, which I’m embarrassed to admit. I spend ridiculous amounts of time swiping through potential matches and some talking to people too. I’m glued to my phone, desperate to find someone I could make a genuine connection with. It’s a serious problem but I don’t know how to stop.
  2. It’s draining me emotionally. Dating apps aren’t intrinsically bad and this isn’t a morality thing where I think I’d be better off without them. Instead, it’s about how I’m feeling inside, and how I feel is drained. My addiction is definitely sucking the emotional life out of me and leaving me with very little energy for my daily life. I guess a better way to go about it would be to do it in smaller stints with less intensity, but that’s easier said than done.
  3. I’m staying up way too late at night. My bedtime has moved from a solid 10:30 p.m. to somewhere closer to midnight because I’m too busy scrolling through dating apps. I’ll tell myself, “Just five more minutes of talking to this person!” and next thing I know, an hour has passed. These wild nights are making it more difficult to get up in the morning and are making me tired throughout the day. It’s as if I’m hungover from a night of Tindering.
  4. It feels like a job. I know that dating is supposed to be fun but it feels much more like a job without the benefits. The process of constant swiping and connecting feels grueling, probably because my hopes are so low. Obnoxious people annoy me even more than they normally would and I get quite upset when it doesn’t work out with someone I’m interested in. My intensity is off the charts.
  5. I’m checking my phone when I shouldn’t be. Whether I’m out with friends or in a meeting, I find myself slipping my phone out of my purse to check for notifications. I’ll even pull it out completely to respond if someone has messaged me. It’s getting out of control and making it really hard to be present in my life. It’s not fair to those around me because I’m so focused on my phone.
  6. I’m spending less time with my friends. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve let people I don’t even know on apps take precedence over my real-life relationships with my friends. I’ve been hanging out with them less because I’d rather be swiping away. I’m definitely not doing it on purpose, I’ve just noticed that my life is filled with a little less friend time than usual.
  7. I’m doing fewer of my hobbies.  This is one of the saddest side effects of my dating app addiction. In particular, I’m reading and meditating less than I used to before I started looking for love online, particularly because I’m spending the hour or two before bedtime swiping away. I know my habits are unmanageable when I’m letting them interrupt the things that I find most fulfilling in life.
  8. I’m tying my self-worth to the outcome of my online interactions. Whenever someone rejects me or just doesn’t match with me, I wonder what they think is wrong with me. I’m tying my worth to an external source, which is always going to lead to disappointment.
  9. I feel like I couldn’t date without the apps. My dating life feels super dependent on Tinder, OkCupid, and Bumble. I don’t really know how to talk to people in real life in a way that’d land me a date. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—I mean it’s the age we live in—but it’d be nice to be able to flirt with people in person. Instead, I’m stuck with not only the upsides of these websites but also the downfalls.
  10. It’s really hard to strike a balance. Look, I’m not a total loser—I have a life and I’m not on these apps literally all day every day. It’s just that I find it very hard to use them in moderation in order to keep a sense of balance in my life. Instead, I find myself swiping when I’m supposed to be hanging out with friends or thinking about it when I’m supposed to be writing. It’s tough to strike that balance in my day.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.