So, I've decided it's time for a break. I'm calling it App-less April (#ApplessApril), and starting Friday, I'm deleting my dating apps from my phone for one month. We're not breaking up, just taking some time off to reevaluate things, and I invite you to join me if you're feeling dating app burnout and curious about what the dating scene is like without them.
Or maybe you're having a positive experience on them but want a challenge. You're invited to join, too. Hey, as the Spice Girls said, "Too much of something is bad enough." Then again, a few seconds later they also said, "Too much of nothing is just as tough," so IDK, you can be the judge at the end of the month.
If you're on the fence, here are five things that led me to App-less April.
1. I Don't Think These Messages Aren't Funny Any More
There was a time when weird or creepy messages were screenshot-worthy. Times when they dominated conversations in group chats. Now, I don't even think my married friends would find them funny.
2. I'm Rarely Meeting People IRL
Remember when I said I used to think of dating apps as a supplement to real dating (whatever that is)? I'm rarely meeting people offline. In the past year, I've gone on seven dates, six of which have been via dating apps. I don't even know where this one falls, so we'll call it a bonus one.
3. Everyone's Flaky — Me Included
Forget ghosting, something dating apps have made beyond easy to do, people also have incredibly short attention spans on their phones. It's not uncommon to be in the middle of a great conversation with someone online, maybe even make a plan to meet up in the next week, and then the convo drops off. Hell, I've been the one who's Houdini'd conversations.
I don't know why we do it — maybe we get bored, second guess ourselves, forget, let too much time pass, or move on to someone else — but we have nothing invested in our matches until we've met them. No matter how cute their puppy is.
If you feel like you're the only one not meeting your matches IRL, you're not alone: One-third of people who have used online dating have never actually gone on a date with someone they met on these sites, Pew says.
4. There's So Much More To Talk About
I'm not saying everyone on dating apps talks about them all the time or that everyone who's on them obsesses over them 24/7, because that's definitely not true. Most people I know are on them passively, but even that seems to have an affect on them. I'm definitely not tired of talking about dating, (it is my job, after all), but I am getting bored with discussing what happens on our phones (and not IRL) and hypothesizing about why someone on Bumble didn't answer a clever message.
5. There's So Much More To Do
A recent survey from online content platform Odyssey found that 83 percent of Millennials spend up to two hours per week on their dating apps. I'm not saying you could be saving the world during that time, but if you've been frustrated with them, that's a little extra time each day you could spend doing something that makes you happy.
I'll be updating you throughout the month, and feel free to share your stories using #ApplessApril if you're joining. Maybe I'll miss them, maybe I'll go on less dates, maybe I'll feel liberated, maybe I'll be less stressed, maybe my skin will look flawless and I'll look 10 years younger, or maybe I won't even notice a difference at all and re-download them in May. I have no idea. But here's to finding out!
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Images: Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle (2); Screenshots; Mary Rabun/Bustle; Cora Foxx & Dawn Foster/Bustle; Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle