With online dating becoming more and more popular, you may find yourself struggling to close your dating apps. Whether you’re on the hunt for love or just a casual thing, if you can’t help but keep refreshing your profile—you could be addicted to your dating app.
As if dating wasn’t already annoying enough—what with toxic trends like situationships and negging lingering behind every swipe right—you can also find yourself obsessed or even addicted to your favorite dating apps.
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What are the signs of dating-app addiction?
Most of us can admit to having a slight TikTok or Instagram addiction, but you may not have considered that your dating habits could also be contributing to your increasing screen time.
When you think about it, it makes sense that we can become so hooked to our dating apps—if you’re on the hunt for a prospective partner the hope of something new will entice you to keep checking the app. Having lots of matches will also fuel this because it makes you feel good and gives you a dopamine boost.
Equally, if you’re not having much luck with the app, you will feel the need to keep up your search. You’ll also find trends like ghosting play into this, as you may keep obsessively checking to see if someone has replied to you.
Much like all our other social apps, checking them frequently can become a habit. It’s pretty common, but according to the experts if you find you can’t stop using your app when you’re eating, or trying to sleep it could be a sign that you’re addicted. As can neglecting your other social apps and not communicating with your friends and family.
Another big sign is if you keep swiping and refreshing to the point of annoyance or frustration and yet you don’t close the app. You may also find yourself neglecting normal self-care needs and even forgetting about interactions you're actually having on the app—because you keep swiping and chatting to new people.
What can you do to help your dating app addiction?
1. Limit how much you swipe
While having several suitors is no bad thing if you’re finding it hard to put down your phone, limiting how many people you’re talking to may help you limit your screen time.
Cooper says: “Some research suggests that when we look at dating apps, after about 5 swipes of interactions our mind stops fully engaging with what’s on the screen. Taking a break after about 5 interactions on dating apps may help you feel more fulfilled with the interactions you do have, rather than keep going until you feel completely burned-out from that dating app viewing session.”
2. Sleep far away from your phone
As a rule, phones and bedtime are a big no-no. We are all guilty of spending hours scrolling but if it’s really getting in the way of your life, take the temptation away.
If your phone is out of sight and reach, you’ll likely find you stop thinking about it.
3. Stop neglecting your other apps
Cooper says: “Make other social engagements on other apps with friends, which can be particularly helpful for those who need to keep their hands busy with their phones. Engage in games on your phone with friends and workmates from time to time rather than keeping everything phone-related on dating apps alone.”
4. Hit the delete button
If your dating app is actually negatively affecting you, it may be time to have a detox. If you think you’re not sleeping, or you’re constantly feeling low after checking your app you may want to consider deleting it from your phone.
Naomi is a trainee News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on fashion, wellbeing, and entertainment for GoodTo and My Imperfect Life and is training for an NCTJ Qualification.
Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.
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