Saying I hate dating from an app is an overstatement.
I enjoy the idea behind using an app to date. I love the idea of meeting a mate with the swipe of a finger and some exchanged emojis.
I like the convenience of meeting women through an app while I'm bored at work, when I am new in a city, when I'm waiting in line at the DMV or even when my date goes to the bathroom (just kidding about the last one).
Seriously, online dating is a great idea because it expands our reach for potential dates. That's why 22 percent of people 18 to 24 years old report using mobile dating apps, according to the Pew Research Center.
For the past two years, I've had mixed results as a part of this 22 percent. I tested a mix of almost every dating app on the market, in hopes of finding something more than a hookup.
Nonetheless, I decided to delete all of my dating apps at 24.
Here are a few reasons I now abstain from Hinging, Tindering, looking for bees, indulging in bagels and every other emerging online app:
1. Dating apps are taken for granted.
When I first started online dating, I thought everyone was desperate or undatable. Why else would you turn to the digital world for love?
I realized I fell into that category, too. In that case, maybe app dating was good because it matched me with people like me.
However, I also found a variety of women who were amazing and interesting. I made connections with many of these people.
The only problem is, you take these little sparks of chemistry for granted. Once you've gotten a few matches or a few dates via a dating app, you want more.
Maybe dating apps are great for hookups, but I want more by entering retirement.
2. Dating app profiles are all branding.
I understand these free dating apps need revenue from advertisers and sponsors. I am cool with that.
However, a lot of women's profiles feel calculated. Between their best photos and best bios, these profiles feel like a push for their own personal brands.
“Add me on Snap or IG,” many of these profiles say.
These profiles feel more like a push for web traffic than an attempt to meet people.
Personally, I don't care about seeing a woman's outward brand, especially as a first impression. I want to discover if we are compatible.
Not to mention, 81 percent of people lie about their age, weight, or height on their online dating profiles. I won't miss these fake brands in my retirement.
3. I believe in fate over dating apps.
App dating is great because it changes fate. It helps you meet people you otherwise would not have met.
Did you think there was a reason you never met these people?
You probably don't have common friends or go to the same places. Otherwise, wouldn't fate bring you together?
I choose to let fate dictate my next date, not some algorithm. Some people may think this algorithm is fate. However, I am old-fashioned. I don't want fate automated.
4. Dating is simpler without apps.
Before sliding into someone's DMs, people actually had to speak to each other.
You had to put yourself out there in real life. You didn't have to worry about someone not replying or screenshotting you.
You faced rejection. Right then and there, you discovered if she was into you. There was no guessing.
I am tired of reading into character length and emoji use to determine if she likes me. I want to take my dating life back from the digital world by retiring.
Should you retire from online dating?
Maybe I'm just bitter because I never found my soulmate through a dating app. Maybe you should persist looking for connections on dating apps.
The truth is, I am in no position to tell you what you should do. For me, I'm retiring so I don't take the opportunity to meet women for granted. I don't want to become desensitized to meeting women, which might make me overlook love.
According to Pew, online dating can have negative consequences. Around 31 percent of online dating users agree that online dating keeps people from settling down.
I don't want to be a part of this group of people who always has options for people to date. I want to take advantage of every opportunity to meet a woman.
Whether it's the cute girl standing in front of me in line, a co-worker, a gym spotter or the waitress delivering my breakfast, I want to put my efforts toward her. I'm down getting distracted by the millions of women in the digital world.
For now, I am retiring from the dating app. However, it might not last forever. Maybe I will miss the game.