I have been on dating apps for as long as I have remembered. Since I was a teenager, there's been such an odd pressure to find your "person," the partner of your dreams, your other half, and mainstream media just makes it seem like you're incomplete until you do.
My solution to this was similar to most millennials': dating apps. The thrill of validation, meeting folks who are interested you, and the butterflies of someone new — it's so exciting — who wouldn't want to take part?
But what we as a society don't acknowledge is the unhealthy attachment styles and expectations we develop due to this type of dating.
Constant validation from strangers is in fact not what we need to love ourselves.
Now, I'm not saying dating apps are the root of all evil — but using them with unrealistic expectations and excess is damaging and way too normalized. I realized this when after a break-up, I would immediately turn to dating apps. Instead of this being concerning, it was considered a "power move".
Since then, I've been able to stop myself and realize that if I spent even half the amount of time I spent on dating apps on my own self, working to make myself happy instead of finding other people to fill voids within me, I would be so much happier.
I deleted all dating apps around November 2020. I'm going on five months now, and I have noticed so many changes. Though I had relative "success" on dating apps and would get plenty of matches, my confidence has gone up so much once I stopped giving other people the power to affect how I viewed myself.
With my newfound confidence, I've been dressing in ways that are so much more authentic to me, and I even got the courage to start a small business and start micro-influencing on Instagram.
These are after-effects I had no idea would come along with taking the step to delete my dating apps — but I wouldn't trade them for the world.
So, what are you waiting for? If you relate at all, go delete those apps and love yourself harder!