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Expert highlights the tell-tale signs that you could be addicted to dating apps

Signs that you may be addicted to dating apps include being unable to stop using the dating app when trying to sleep or eat
Clodagh Meaney

The dating scene has undoubtedly undergone a huge transition since the beginning of the pandemic.

But with the increasing popularity of apps such as Tinder, Bumble and Hinge; what is the difference between a healthy relationship with dating apps and an addictive one?

Relationship expert Ness Cooper from The Sex Consultant in partnership with Lenstore has highlighted the tell-tale signs that you're addicted to swiping.

She explained that dating app addiction is when you repeatedly check a dating app obsessively to the point that it can get in the way of other day-to-day needs.

“When questioning whether you or another may be experiencing dating app addiction, it can be beneficial to see it as a form of compulsive behaviour rather than an addiction,” she said.

“Becoming compulsively obsessed with dating apps can be very common, particularly when you are trying to use dating apps as a way to soothe unfilled emotions and needs that you think will be answered within a relationship once formed.”

“Individuals can become hyper-focused on finding a relationship, leading them to forget other self-soothing methods that they can do solo without a romantic relationship,” Ness explained.

“Continually checking dating apps ends up as a replacement to self-soothing where you can forget about taking breaks away from checking the app, meaning you can forget healthy self care needs that can be fulfilled outside of the app,” she added.

Signs that you may be addicted to dating apps include being unable to stop using the dating app when trying to sleep or eat; forgetting to engage in other forms of social activities whether they are online or offline and not communicating with important people in your life.

Other signs include swiping and searching the dating app to the point of frustration yet not taking a break, letting it dominate other self-care needs and forgetting interactions or people you have swipes quickly as you are trying to process so many profiles you view.

Advising how to kick the habit, Ness has four top tips:

1. Limit the number of people you swipe and/or interact with

“Some research suggests that when we look at dating apps, after about 5 swipes of interactions our mind stops fully engaging with what’s on the screen.”

“Taking a break after about five interactions on dating apps may help you feel more fulfilled with the interactions you do have, rather than keep going until you feel completely burned-out from that dating app viewing session,” Ness said.

2. Sleep away from your phone

“It can be easy to take dating apps to bed with you and this can keep us awake. Don’t feel pressured to answer dating app notifications when you should be focusing on self-care such as sleep.”

“When you get a decent night sleep and have good sleep hygiene routines you may find you don’t need to be on dating apps as often as your brain can process the information on them easier and quicker when you’re not tired,” she explained.

“Same goes for leaving it away from you as you eat.”

3. Don’t neglect other social interactions on other apps

“Make other social engagements on other apps with friends, which can be particularly helpful for those who need to keep their hands busy with their phones.”

“Engage in games on your phone with friends and workmates from time to time rather than keeping everything phone related on dating apps alone.”

4. Delete dating apps if they are having a negative impact on you

“Delete them," Ness says bluntly.

“It may seem hard, but going completely cold turkey can help some individuals. Find other activities to keep you occupied, such as going to the movies with friends where you can’t get your phone out. “

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