I am 3 weeks Clean. From Dating Apps, the Newest Unhealthy Addiction.

New year is often about resetting life goals, no booze, less meat, more exercise, more sleep, more water. But the biggest reset for me was deleting dating apps.

Why are they so damned addictive?

I have spent the past twelve months dating, getting a dopamine hit from getting a new match, a conversation that goes beyond ‘How are you?’…in fact every time I got a damned notification from those damned apps I felt a bit of excitement. this could be the one.

Lets look at my stats. Most of 2023 saw me active on Bumble. The female led app, as in the woman has to message the man first. I estimate I had maybe 50 matches, of men that had an okay bio and pictures and I initiated a conversation with.

Of those 50 men probably 30 engaged in conversation, and maybe 20 held my interest enough to have a decent engaging conversation. I went on first dates with maybe 15 of these guys. I finished 2023 very much single.

Some funny stories

The rubber catsuit man

I went on a seemingly innocent first date with a man for a walk around a national trust estate. It was a warm day, warm enough for a summer vest look and skirt. He wore jeans and a jumper with a RUBBER CATSUIT underneath.

No 1, what was he thinking with the heat? And No 2, what the hell?? A first date for a walk wearing a fetish staple. Hilarious.

The date lasted an hour, I couldn’t stop looking at the rubber neck poking out of his jumper, and thinking how sweaty he must have been.

The Most Boring Man Ever

The worst dates have to be ones where they talk non stop about themselves and don’t ask you any questions. Surely the basis of a conversation with ANYONE is that you balance it out and do a bit of talking about yourself and a bit of asking questions.

A recent date saw a man talk for a whole hour about his job as a teacher. Spoke about nothing else, I tried to steer the conversation away to other things, but he kept going back to it. I ended the date saying that this this wasn’t going to work.

The Liar

To be fair this is a common one and I have dated a few of these. but one that stands out was the man whom I had several dates with and actually quite liked. On the first date he told that he had separated from his ex wife nine months before. Fine okay, I guess I could cope with nine months. The dates progressed, feelings grew, maybe he could be the one.

He friend requested me on Facebook, which always feels a bit weird for a relationship in its early days. Of course I had a look through his profile and immediately caught out his lies and found pictures of him on a very expensive and very recent holiday with his ex wife.

Choosing to Delete Dating Apps

For 2024 I chose to avoid that dopamine hit and not use dating apps. For the moment that is..ha. I’m three weeks clean and have got past the worst of needing that connection.

I think it’s the hope that is so addictive, the hope that this person could the right man, the one that will message regularly, make you feel good, have fun with. But the likelihood of this is SO LOW. I know I’m far better off messaging an actual friend to curb those lonely feelings. Or just be damned comfortable enough with my own thoughts and feelings. Get comfortable with the fact that a relationship isn’t the most critical requirement of life.

And as I’m writing this ,the song Strangers by Kenya Grace comes on in my ears. A song all about the sad world of dating. It always ends the same, every time I meet someone new its like Deja Vu, then we go back to Strangers.


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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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One Response

  1. This was so me! I was a bit dating app mad and I had to stop. Then after about 6 months of banning myself I had a bit too much wine and went back on. Then met my now husband but honestly, I wasn’t trying to date anyone so was just not being serious at all in the messages and apparently he liked that haha!

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