After all of that swiping, matching, chatting, and meeting, you’ve finally landed yourself a keeper. You’re in a relationship with a great person, but sometimes, you still miss using dating apps. You may be wondering whether having the occasional urge to swipe is something you should be concerned about, which is a totally valid question. It turns out that there are a number of reasons why you might miss dating apps. The explanation may be as simple as you’re easily bored and you miss having a mindless activity to distract yourself with, or it could be more complicated — and could potentially be an indicator that you’re unhappy with some aspect of your relationship.
I spoke to Dr. QuaVaundra Perry, a licensed psychologist who specializes in couples’ therapy and relationship distress. She explains that there are a few things to consider if you’re in a relationship but find that you miss dating apps. She provided a list of questions to ask yourself, which, when answered honestly, can help determine if there is an unresolved issue within yourself or your relationship. Before you start to panic, you should ask yourself the following four questions. Then, evaluate your answers based on Dr. Perry’s expert advice.
1. What is it about dating apps that you miss?
This is the first and most important question to ask yourself, according to Dr. Perry. She explains that the specific type of dating app that you miss can help shed some light on your situation.
“If you miss being on sites aimed to connect people looking for long-term relationships, it may mean you are unfulfilled with respect to your partner’s goals and values,” says Dr. Perry. “However, if you miss being on dating apps that are designed to promote casual sexual hookups, it may indicate unfulfilled sexual desires in your current relationship or differing views on monogamy.”
Depending on which category you fall into, you may need to have a serious conversation with your partner about your needs that are not getting met, and how this could impact your future together.
2. When and why did you use dating apps?
It’s also important to evaluate when and why you visited dating apps or sites in the past because that can help explain the reasons behind your current urges to get back on them.
“Do you notice that you browse the sites mindlessly out of habit when you are bored or do you visit the sites when you feel rejected and alone?” says Dr. Perry. The former isn’t as big of an issue as the latter and can be more easily addressed and rectified. Consider downloading a few games on your phone. That way you can still be entertained, but without any consequences in terms of your relationship.
3. Are you happy in your relationship?
“Another issue can be taming the mindset of finding the one,'” says Dr. Perry. “Oftentimes people are happy in their relationship but may feel compelled to continue using dating apps in case they are missing out on the perfect mate. Do you find yourself browsing out of curiosity?”
This is a common obstacle to finding a relationship on a dating app or at least getting someone to fully commit. It’s not out of the ordinary to question whether there is someone else out there for you who might be “better” than your current partner. This question of “What if?” may explain your reluctance to stop swiping.
4. Are you secure with yourself?
Finally, ask yourself whether you are secure and confident in yourself. How is your self-esteem? Do you tend to get your confidence boosts through compliments from other people, or does that love come from within? This may be the hardest question to answer honestly, but it’s so important.
“At times, you may find yourself missing dating apps because it gave you a sense of validation and attention, even if short-lived,” says Dr. Perry. “It may be worth exploring whether you are looking outward for comfort and praise that can only be fulfilled within.”
There are a number of possible explanations why you might feel the need to use dating apps even though you’re in a committed relationship. Before you act rashly, though, consider what is missing from your relationship — and whether your current partner is able to help meet those needs.
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