One frequent question I get from guys over and over is about dating apps, “Should I be using them?”
The answer is simple – no…….and…….yes.
The truth is, modern dating apps can be a HUGE time sink, and are setup to be incredibly addictive. Make no mistake, most of them are setup to maximize your time spent in the app, not your actual dating success. Paid apps help, but then it also becomes a MONEY and TIME sink.
Swiping, browsing profiles, and sending messages and chatting can make us feel like we’re taking action in our love life, but how significant an investment those actions are is debatable.
The allure of these apps is that we can add in a few photos and a few things that make clear our values and then boom, anytime we unlock our phone we may be introduced to the partner we’ve always been looking for.
In some ways dating apps are a bit like sugar – VERY alluring, addictive, and give some instant gratification. Long term, however, relying solely on these apps can leave us feeling worn down, pessimistic, and disappointed.
So what’s the best way to use these apps then?
In short, put them LAST on your list. What I mean by that is first and foremost, focus on living a life you love. Get out there, network, socialize, hang with friends, pursue hobbies and passions, and generally spend as much time IN the world as you can. Our in-person social networks and activities are often our best bet at meeting a quality partner that shares many of our values – so maximize time spent on those things whenever possible. The added benefit is those activities and friendships in themselves are REWARDING, bringing us satisfaction and nourishment in our daily lives.
Then, when you’re living an active, connected, and inspired life, consider using the apps. You may actually find someone you like and you’ll have such a thriving life you’ll there will be a lot more dynamism to your interactions that there would be otherwise. If you’re really thriving, you’ll be busy enough that you won’t have too much time to get sucked into them on a daily basis and it’ll be easier to use them in moderation.
The dates you DO get will be better as well, as you’ll naturally have a lot more vitality in your interactions the more your life is thriving outside of just dating.
So get out there and have some fun, and spend less time in the apps!
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