Fuck Dating Apps: How My Tinder Addiction Nearly Ruined My Life
I'm a young 23-year-old woman and I've been single for a little longer than two years. I'm pretty attractive and funny and smart and have an easy time getting attention from guys IRL. I'm also a digital native which has by default connected me through the umbilical cord to SoMe, driving me to shameless online self-promotion and identity building.
Being basically born an avatar and living online has been scary lately – especially since I became single. It was a two-and-a-half-year relationship, and back in 2012 right before my last relationship I thought Tinder sounded wack and as far as I was concerned it was the only devil in hell. But after going solo and watching the freak show from a distance through my friends swiping back and forth and getting flings and sex, I thought, fuck it, count me in.
I downloaded Tinder and it only took me a couple of weeks to fuck a person born in cyberspace before Tinder quickly became an addiction. I would spend hours swiping. I honestly don't know why, because opening the app was like opening a trash can. My God, were they trash. But I swiped, left, right, super liked...deleted and re-downloaded. The attention I was getting was an easy fix. I think we all know the comical combination of swiping and pushing in the bathroom. Divine, just, heavenly.
Tinder must be the Krocodil to heroin: at first it feels the same but after a while you become a leper. My time between the app, when I'd deleted it, was chill. It sounds overdramatic but I relaxed when I wasn't on display on the screen-meat market. It let me be present. It's kind of embarrassing but Tinder was legit a part of my life – like a friend or a dish wash or taking a shit. It was something I. Had. To. Do. Like I had a responsibility to it. Lolllllll plz. Not kidding, I was super hooked.
The endless but empty stream of URL acknowledgment from strange men, matches I never talked to and online harassment I slowly grew accustomed to the app's social codes. Online dating jargon was my language and sex became lukewarm one-night stands with no sparkle – just a body I'd use for masturbation because they were legit just bodies I'd found online. *Sob* it was grey. When I think back at it I think I felt unworthy of IRL love and intimacy. It just didn't come naturally anymore. What happened to 'Sofie, 23' was what's real.
Well, I've been on and off Tinder for two and a half years now and I hit rock bottom this month: I couldn't delete the app. Like, for good – the matches, the conversations, the bio, the pix. I almost deleted the app on the daily but it was all still there and you can't block apps in AppStore. Getting back together with Tinder was always an option because it was there. It's like not being able to delete and block your dealer's phone number. There should be a Tinder rehab because this shit is as addictive as coke and money. One day a friend of mine said: "JUST DELETE IT." And I was like, "...nah." Tinder had become my boyfriend and real men didn't count anymore. Tinder was my love life. I was a vegetable, a jellyfish, a machine. I WILL BE BACK *said in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice.*
"Here's my phone. You delete it. I can't look." Haha I COULDN'T LOOK, HOW PATHETIC IS THAT?! It was like pulling out a tooth that was already a bit loose so it had to go... but I just knew that it would hurt anyway. So, my friend pulled it out without me looking and tbh I felt a little empty space.
The first couple of days I had withdrawals: my thumb was swiping freely in the air and I would randomly burst into "NOPE" talking to men in bars. I started conversations with "🌞 vs ❄️", "🍣 vs 🥙" and "🐩 vs 🐈". It took me a while to adjust to normal face-to-face interaction but I can now talk to men IRL again.
The biggest challenge I'm facing now is to connect passion with emotion with dating. It is as sad as it sounds but Tinder made me disconnect body from mind. I didn't find love, I found dicks – but dicks without brains can only fill the space between your legs, not the hole in your heart. Unless it's a REALLY ducking huge cock and it goes all the way up there – not saying that can't happen though.
In conclusion: I can't recommend Tinder to anyone. Not even if you can manage a healthy relationship with the app, it's just not worth the space on your phone. It's a slippery slope to addiction and you'll get STDs and bad sex (maybe you'll find one good fuck but you can get three good fucks if you spend the same time with same confidence IRL). Fuck dating apps. Get a life.
For a different approach to online dating, consider reading this eHarmony and Match comparison article.
Next up, here's why your new guy still hasn't deleted Tinder.