Sometimes a hiatus is as good as a holiday.
Most of us have a love-hate relationship with online dating apps. Consider this scenario: When you first signed up, it was heralded as the greatest thing ever. No more fruitless nights out, just you swiping live from the lounge, sans mascara. An inbox full of messages provided a next level self-esteem boost alongside a bunch of first dates that kicked your adrenaline into gear.
After a while though, you got bored. You tried another app. Maybe you tried three. And then it became a time-suck. Another thing to tick off your to-do list. Maybe it was because your standards were upped. Maybe you were done sitting through dates with complete duds. Maybe you just ran out of date appropriate clothes to wear.
And we hear you. The dating game is tough. It takes time, patience and a thick skin. Like all solo sports, it pays to take a rest day and reboot your energy for when it’s time to get back in the game.
Enter: the dating app hiatus.
The landscape of love
Don’t get us wrong, online apps have a lot of positives stacked up. They’ve made it easier and quicker for people to meet likeminded others in any part of the world. They also allow you to be on the dating scene while juggling a busy lifestyle and limited time to be meeting people.
But they also create a space for “dating tourists”, those who may not be serious about finding a partner but take advantage of the access to multiple profiles. And there lays the problem.
According to relationships and sexual health expert Christina Spaccavento, the anonymous nature of the internet provides a space where people can misrepresent themselves in the dating process.
“Because of the screen being our first point of contact, people can sometimes fall into the trap of applying a check list to meeting people rather than getting a feel for who they are,” she says.
And we’re not just talking fibbing about your height. If you’ve ever rocked up to a date with someone who has fabricated their profile beyond belief, you’ll know it’s not just disappointing – it’s downright rude. Time is money, people.
Eyes on the swipe
With so many choices on offer, we can get a case of “Goldilocks Syndrome” – always looking for the one that’s just right.
“There’s always the risk that because of the seemingly endless choice available online, we can fall into the trap of always wanting more. If you have a predisposition to becoming easily addicted or never feeling like anything is good enough, then you may be at risk of always looking for something better to come along,” warns Spaccavento.
Bye bye bio
Nodding yes? Here are the signs it’s time to take a break.
- You find yourself obsessively checking your inbox at all times of the day to see if anyone has made contact.
- You incessantly check you app for new members.
- You spend more time than you would like using the app and only to have achieved nothing at the end of it.
- You feel, drained, tired and down after the using the app.
- You find that you are using the app for reasons other than to meet a potential mate, such as “cruising” through profiles rather than make authentic connections.
- You find that your usage of the app is becoming addictive and although you would like to stop using it you can’t.
While apps are convenient, nothing compares to the IRL experience of a face-to-face, skin-to-skin contact. Using apps and the internet can be great in facilitating a match and meet up, but the key is to have a healthy relationship and healthy boundaries with how you use them.