- If you feel desperate, indifferent, or irritable, you should take a break from dating apps, therapist Monica Vermani says.
- She said it’s normal and healthy to take a step back from dating, and the holidays are an ideal time to take a break.
- To detox, delete dating apps from your phone and take time for friends, hobbies, and self-care.
Dating apps have made the search for love simpler, but that doesn’t mean you should always be swiping.
Taking a break from dating apps can make the time you do spend on them more lighthearted and productive, therapist Monica Vermani told Insider.
She said it’s important to pinpoint your intentions for dating, like getting to know someone new or finding long-term companionship, before using apps or dating websites. If you have a clear purpose, you can better monitor your feelings and behaviors so you can spots signs you need a break before you feel overwhelmed or burnt out, Vermani said.
“If you’re not in a good state of your own, you will find flaws, you will poke at people, and you will find yourself irritable,” Vermani, the author of “A Deeper Wellness: Conquering Stress, Mood, Anxiety and Traumas,” said.
According to Vermani, the holiday season is a good time to schedule a dating-app detox because the season is focused on family and recalibrating for the new year. She said feeling stuck in negative emotions while dating and acting out of desperation are telltale signs you should close out of the apps for an extended period.
You constantly check for messages from matches
If you spend hours every day checking your dating apps, it could be time to take a break, according to Vermani.
She said constantly checking for messages from potential suitors could be a sign someone is seeking too much external validation.
“You end up getting discouraged if you feel like your value comes from doing this, or your value comes from the people who like you,” Vermani said. She said it’s best to date when you feel happy with your life outside of dating.
When a date goes poorly, you blame yourself or your date
Dating should never feel like something you do out of desperation, Vermani said. If you find yourself in an emotional spiral after an imperfect first date, nitpicking how you or your date acted, it could be a sign you need a break.
Vermani said singles should think of a relationship as the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae because it adds to the dessert of life, but isn’t necessary for it to be delicious. If someone loses sight of this mindset, it could lead them to have unrealistic expectations, she said.
When working with clients who put a lot of pressure on themselves to have productive dates, Vermani reminds them that that they’re useful for more than just finding romantic love.
“You might meet a friend who introduces you to your partner, so have an open mind and meet people for good connections,” Vermani said.
You feel discouraged, not excited, by your current dating prospects
If you feel like dating has become a chore or obligation, try taking a step back, Vermani said.
She said that she often sees singles who date because they want to tell their families they’re trying when they ask.
But feeling genuinely excited about who you could meet should be your sole motivation for dating, according to Vermani.
“It comes down to feeling hopeful that the right person is there. Many people aren’t dating with the stance of, ‘I’m going to meet the right person.’ They’re just doing it for the sake of doing it,” Vermani told Insider.
To have a useful break, delete apps from your phone
If dating apps have you feeling jaded, Vermani suggests deleting them from your phone.
She also said deleting your accounts in their entirety, so you can make a brand-new one when you’re ready to return, can be useful. This way, the dating app algorithm won’t skip over matches you made while you were on hiatus, Vermani said.
While on your break, Vermani said to lean into anything that brings you feelings of joy and peace. Spend time with friends, explore hobbies old and new, feed yourself well, and get plenty of sleep, she said.
When you have a solid routine to take care of your physical and mental health, you can more easily weather difficult dating moments and see the big picture, according to Vermani.