For years, dating apps have been a fixture of my every day life and my sole means of meeting new partners. During the month of April, I committed myself to Bustle's App-less April challenge, where I deleted my dating apps. As I have learned, taking a break from dating apps was a wonderful opportunity to engage in mindfulness, reflection, and self-evaluation.
"A lot of times what happens is that people are on dating apps and using it with less awareness," Raeeka Yaghmai, a certified coach, dating and relationship expert, and CEO of Dating with Confidence™, tells Bustle. "And that causes a lot of disappointment, frustration, heartbreak maybe, and hopelessness in other words you are now burnt out from digital dating. A dating detox is a great way for you to detach from making the same digital dating mistakes, give yourself some distance from it, learn the best practices for dating on line and then get back to it with a fresh perspective."
If you're a serial dating app user or totally burned out from swiping, taking a break may be the ultimate form of self-care. Not only are you reevaluating your dating habits and what you're looking for, you're effectively prioritizing above that of any of your matches or romantic partners. So if you've decided to hit the X on your dating apps and take a bit of a breather, here are some ways that you can practice self-care and love.
1. Take A Yoga Class
Practicing yoga is a scientifically-backed way to engage in mindfulness and relaxation, and stimulate chemicals in your brain that boost your happiness. You can use an hour-long Vinyasa class as a time to meditate, or simply to enjoy the physical challenge.
2. Try A Reiki Or Chakra Healing Session
Dating apps can have leave us feeling spiritually and emotionally drained. When this occurs, our chakras become out of balance. Reiki therapy, which is a form of energy healing, restores harmony into the chakras. In a Reiki treatment, the practitioner channels energy from their hands onto their clients.
For me, every Reiki session leaves me feeling renewed. Just the aspect of human connection — something that dating apps drained from my life —engenders positive energy. You can learn how to practice Reiki on your own, or find a practitioner in your community.
3. Indulge In A Mini Spa Day
Taking care of your body is a wonderful way to practice of self-care. Treat yourself to a manicure or a facial, or get creative and try a DIY spa treatment. Taking steps that are for your own physical well-being can make you feel beautiful can make you feel healthier and happier.
4. Take Yourself On A Date
The culture of dating apps can lead us to believe that we constantly need to be interacting with people, and going on dates can start to feel like more of a dreaded chore than a fun way to get to know someone.
During my dating app crisis, I was going on one dissatisfying, awkward Tinder date after another. Even though my dates left me feeling empty and frustrated, I told myself that they were better than being lonely at home.
I'm now learning that I'm totally being on my own. I'm learning how to enjoy my own company and I am not afraid to ask for a table for one at dinner.
5. Watch Your Guilty Pleasure Show
We all have a show that never fails to cheer us up after a long day — no matter how mindless or shallow it is.
6. Take Yourself On An Adventure In Nature
When I have been at my most intense moments of crisis and emotional anguish, nature has never failed to bring me back to my source. Nature brings me balance and gives me perspective of the expansiveness of the world. When I'm in nature, I recognize that in the grand scheme of life, my every day issues are not all that significant. Nature gives me clarity.
During a detox, try to open your heart toward experiencing nature. Take yourself on a hike or spend the day by the beach with a book.
7. Go On A Spontaneous Road Trip
A dating app detox is all about empowering your true self and fostering your independence, and traveling alone is an incredibly liberating experience. You are building your self-awareness, and affirming to yourself that you are capable of thriving at being on your own. Spend some time on the open road and reflect on the beauty of the world around you.
If you're considering a break, know that a detox can be empowering. You are empowering yourself to meet new people without the dependence on a dating app, and you are affirming to yourself that you are capable of forming new and meaningful relationships. You're opening yourself to a world of possibilities — and you deserve that.