On Friday, I'll be starting a (dating) App-less April, where I'm taking a break from dating apps for a month. I'm thinking of App-less April as more of a detox from dating app burnout rather than swearing them off forever. Truthfully, I'm excited to see what happens when I'm not distracted by my phone, and I'm hoping it liberates me, but I also worry about adjusting to an environment I'm a bit foreign to. I've been on apps for as long as I've been single in my twenties, and it's really the only dating scene I know.
I've had friends and coworkers tell me they love the idea (and some are even on board too) but I was curious about what experts in love and dating really think about the month-long challenge. Is this something dating coaches recommend to their single clients or something they'd never, ever advise?
"I suggest a break to my clients all the time," says Ravid Yosef, dating and relationship coach tells Bustle. "Sometimes our energy is what's attracting others and if we don't have enough self-care in our life or get obsessive with our notifications, we start looking for validations outside of ourselves. Which in turn attracts the wrong kind of attention."
It's a really good point, and sometimes we may not even realize what our energy is like or who we're attracting until we do switch things up.
But am I limiting my pool or dating better by dating completely offline? Turns out, it's a little bit of both. Here's what dating coaches, licensed psychologists, and even dating app founders have to say about App-less April:
1. Ravid Yosef, Dating And Relationship Coach
When you give off positive, happy vibes every day (and are open to talking to strangers), you have a much better shot at attracting a great person in real-time. Plus, you have the added benefit of "reading" their energy — so you don't waste time on creepy weirdos. (There is a big disconnect between a 2-D image and a 3-D person.)
3. Janna Koretz Psy.D, Licensed Psychologist And Founder Of Azimuth Psychological
"A lot gets lost over the Internet, because non verbal cues and verbal tone is really important in a relationship. I've known people who reject someone online, randomly meet them in person, and get married! Relationships are personal and the best way to get to know someone is in person. Dating offline is hard and takes some getting used to. To not immediately reach for the phone while waiting in line or on the train feels really strange. But often connections are missed because we aren't paying attention. There are often opportunities around us to meet a romantic partner we just don't notice because we are distracted.
4. Francesca Hogi, Relationship Expert
5. Nicole DiRocco, Dating and Relationship Coach, Founder Of Dating With Grace
6. Samantha Cohen, Business Executive Director Of Project Soulmate
7. Erika Martinez, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist
8. Chris Armstrong, Relationship Coach and Owner of Maze of Love
9. Aswan, Founder/CEO Of The Know App
10. Jonathan Bennett, Dating And Relationship Coach
11. Matt Morgan, Co-founder, Dating/Match App Cuplin
What I’ve found is that people who’ve been systematically on dating apps for a while (+6 months) often benefit from a month off. This seems to break bad habits/laziness formed over an extended period without true success. Deleting apps/accounts forces you to re-do profiles etc —so it’s a full reset. As an app owner though, deletion is not a good thing as users are much less likely to come back and there is no way to market to/connect with them.
12. Radio Wright, Online Dating Specialist, eDatingDoc.com
"They're addictive and constantly pulling you out of the moment. I definitely think its beneficial to delete your dating apps, and not just dating apps — Snapchat, Facebook, all of those apps. It would be cool to go a whole month without any of these things."
13. Karenna Alexander, Matchmaker and Dating Coach
I tell my female clients never to go off the apps, or any dating site for that matter. I tell them they should stay on until they meet a great [person]. I equate it to job hunting. If you were unemployed, you would not stop looking for a job. The same goes for dating. If you are single you should not stop looking for a boyfriend [or girlfriend]. That said, I tell them to take a break from the apps on the weekends! Besides allowing them a break, it is also a good dating strategy-it shows [people] you are busy and have a life, and that is always GOOD! It also gives you time to hang out with your friends and not be one of those annoying people on their phone all the time. It allows you to be a good friend. But beyond that, I don't typically advise taking long breaks from the apps. You need to be in it to win it and the best way is to be on the apps consistently (except from 6 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Sunday).
14. Rhonda Milrad, Founder Of Relationup and Relationup Advisor
"Everyone knows that being preoccupied with finding a relationship is awful. It takes up way too much time and energy. The best way to date is to be mellow about it and open to seeing how everything unfolds. “It will happens, when it is suppose to happen." Dating apps are not built on this principle.They are addictive and are designed to keep someone focused and intense about their search and absorbed with getting a mate- all the things that erode one’s inner peace.
Most people find that they check the apps too often and that the frequency with which they do it, and the preoccupation with it grows over time. And just as someone is realizing that they have “app addiction” and no self control to modulate the time that they spend on the app, the app draws them back in, like drug pushers, by sending them notifications of more matches that are available to them and messages that are waiting for them. And so begins the cycle of addiction!
Yet, dating apps are the primary way that people meet one another in this day and age and so, it is unrealistic that you can have an active dating life without incorporating them into your plan of attack. Many people experience dating app burnout from the intensity of the experience and take breaks for periods of time to reground themselves before jumping back in.
15. Alexandra Harra And Dr. Carmen Harra , Relationship Experts And Authors of The Karma Queens' Guide to Relationships: The Truth About Karma in Relationships
Dating apps can be beneficial in seeking and meeting wonderful new people. They can be the gateway to encountering a potential partner and even a long-term relationship. There's no need to delete them if they're used wisely and efficiently." There are three things we should remember so that we don't become too distracted by or immersed in dating apps:
1. There is a world out there: As tempting as it is to log on and find a virtual world at your fingertips, remember that this will never compare to the real world you actually experience through your five senses. Connecting on a dating app can never compare to the stimulating chemistry you share with a person when face to face.
2. That person probably isn't who they "appear" to be: You may be attracted to someone's profile on a dating app, but bear in mind that this is just an impression they've carefully compiled for the public to view. Only when you share time with that person can you really form an accurate impression of their character and develop a sense of their integrity.
3. If you really like someone, don't give too much time to others: If you find someone on a dating app that you genuinely feel attracted to and the feeling seems to be mutual, don't give your attention to everyone else. Exclusivity that begins early on tends to last throughout a relationship. So just like in the real world, if you like someone, stick with them.
16. Julie Spira, Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker, Founder of Cyber-Dating Expert
Join us for App-less April and share your stories by using #ApplessApril and tagging @Bustle.
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