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Why I'm Quitting Online Dating

Two days ago, I finally removed the dating app from my phone. I was worried about the withdrawal; instead, I've found greater peace of mind and a noticeable decrease in the bitchiness that was starting to creep up and overtake my (sexually frustrated and emotionally drained) character.

Admittedly, there has been a bit of withdrawal. I guess this shouldn't come as a surprise since I'm pretty addicted to my phone in general, from playing Candy Crush (yes, I'm a middle-aged woman) to watching YouTube to obsessively checking the news. But nothing has been as addictive as playing the online dating game.

In Candy Crush, you play to see the brightly coloured candies explode. On Hinge, Bumble and OkCupid, you play to get flirty messages that make your heart explode with emojis and rainbow confetti. Unfortunately, the price you pay is getting those dreaded other messages that leave your heart heavy and ego bruised.

I was getting too many of those dreaded messages and not enough of the rainbow confetti ones. Even worse, I kept getting ghosted, and being left hanging is the ultimate rainbow-confetti-killer.

So I got rid of the app. I said sayonara to the guys I'd been chatting with who were still in the "potentials" category, provided my number or Instagram handle (depending on how potential the potentials were), and deleted my account.

Now what?

Well, now I feel better. More of my mind is in the real world. I'm spending less time on my phone. I have more time to worry about other stuff.

I suffer with anxiety at the best of times so it's not like I'm worrying that much less now. I am, however, no longer obsessively checking my phone for messages, eighty percent of which filled me with despair and disappointment.

The question presents itself: how do I expect to meet (date, have sex with, marry, just kidding) young men if I'm not on any dating apps?

The answer: I don't know.

I am, however, no longer obsessively checking my phone for messages, eighty percent of which filled me with despair and disappointment.

Maybe I won't meet any young men. Maybe I'll never date again. Maybe I'll take an oath of celibacy. Of course, my taking an oath of celibacy would not be unlike a vegan's taking an oath of abstinence from beef. If you're already not doing it, and haven't been doing it for years, it's kind of redundant to swear off of it.

(Sex. I'm talking about sex. Beef is the metaphor for sex.)

I don't know if I'm more upset about losing a means to finding a relationship or losing a means to finding sex. (As if finding either is as simple as finding a lost pair of keys.) I don't know why it matters to choose one or the other, since I've had a total of none for over two years now.

I'm not bitter.

But I am.

If using the dating app hasn't resulted in my changing my status from "single and celibate" to "still probably single but less prone to bitchiness," I don't know what I think I've been doing on there. Other than getting increasingly unhappy in the process of going nowhere fast.

So I'm starting fresh. I've stepped back from the online dating world, thereby shrugging off the burden of partaking in an activity or hobby (because in the end, that's what it was starting to feel like) that was bringing far more pain than pleasure, in order to pursue things that actually improve my state of mind and the course of my days.

I've taken a step in the right direction. All I need to do now is figure out how to stop wasting so much time on the other apps on my phone. I need to stop checking the news so much, and I definitely need to stop playing Candy Crush.

But let's not talk crazy. One app addiction at a time.

- M.B.

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