The day I stopped dating apps

 In english, essays, self-improvement

It’s been one year since I quit my addiction. I still remember it quite well: in a dream, I screamed desperately “I cannot stand Tinder anymore!”. Immediately after I woke up, I broke up with him. I must also confess my infidelity: I didn’t break up only with Tinder, but also with other dating apps of which names I don’t even remember. Because Tinder wasn’t giving me the attention and care I needed, I started playing around with other candidates. Perhaps they knew about each other; there was such an awkward atmosphere going on among us.

I left Tinder, and he never wrote me back. On the one hand, I think he was very busy coping with so many addicts. On the other hand, he might have expected me to go after him as I used to; there were so many times I deleted him from my phone and reinstalled back. Perhaps he felt used as well. Now, analyzing the whole situation from a distanced perspective, I believe that I was not exactly breaking up with him, but breaking the vicious cycle our relationship got in. Therefore, I bet he’s doing much better without me.

Tinder would certainly be happy to know that I am doing great too. Once you quit an abusive relationship, you have the opportunity to re-establish your life balance. First, you stop injuring your thumb by swiping left during events where you don’t find anyone attractive. Consequently, you also stop swiping left people you don’t necessarily find attractive in reality: if you don’t see, if you don’t talk to and connect to people around you, how are you supposed to find them attractive? If not through carefully picked pics chosen for self-promotion on app profiles? And, most important, why are you trying so hard to connect to attractive people and not to real people in general, and especially to yourself? (Attractive doesn’t mean good looking, but someone who somehow physically catches your attention). You are addicted to dating APPs (Attractive People Pics).

Maybe your need for dating apps is feeding your need for dating apps. It is a vicious circle: the more you date apps, the more you date apps. I swear to God I don’t know how all those apps proliferated inside my phone. It seems like they were reproducing with each other — in opposition to me. Once I noticed them rebelling against me by filling me with more and more anxiety and despair, I killed them. No mercy.

However, some months later I realized that one of them was still accessible through my laptop browser. And guess what? I started dating an attractive guy; we even had a so called “relationship”. Until he went asking me, among others, about my relationship to Tinder — poor Tinder, got such a bad fame in the course of time. Even though I had broken up with Tinder months before, the guy was jealous of him. He judged me for dating Tinder. What a revenge: Tinder, long time no see, had tripped me up. I guess I have somehow deserved it.

I don’t need to point out further misogynous judgments unfolded by that Attractive Person Pic during four months of a happy relationship — which he ended because of those very judgments — in order to come to the moral of the story: one cannot tell what lies behind those APPs. One cannot tell beforehand whether a person is of good family, as it used to happen in feudal times. There are no references, no endorsements, no reviews linked those profile pictures that could even belong to psychopaths and serial killers.

Attractive People Pics may also unveil beautiful people, long lasting friends and lovers. However, one may find these anytime in real life, be it in the subway or in the park, by willing to connect to others regardless of their profile pictures. And willing means also letting time do its job: instead of rushing into a vicious circle of despair and distrust towards having a happy relationship with someone attractive — which swipes and matches promise to deliver very quickly –, we can come back to ourselves, to our real needs, by letting life and people flow in its own pace (amen). I have been making homeless and schizophrenic friends in the street lately. They don’t beg more for love than I used to, nor do they live in a more unreal world than the apps’ one.

We are not using apps to date; we are dating apps. We are dating our own expectations on how beautiful pics could fulfill our needs for attention and for feeling self-worthy. It has been one year of appstinence now and I had never felt so self-worthy and well-balanced in my life as I do now. Once I quit my dependency on dating apps, I started dating the world around and inside me.

Even though I don’t miss you, Tinder, I am thankful for all amazing experiences we had together and everything I learned from you. My best wishes.

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