Deleting Tinder is the modern day equivalent of wearing a promise ring in middle school. In the grand scheme of things, it's a tiny gesture, but in the moment, it signifies serious commitment. Unlike middle school, however, making someone your boyfriend or girlfriend is no longer an impulse decision to "go out," followed by a three-week period of hand-holding, punctuated by the return of said promise ring. Not even close. Adult-adjacent millennials wait three weeks to even plan a date, and three months before discussing if they're seeing other people or not. So exactly when should you delete Tinder within the purgatory that is the first few months of seeing someone?
You could delete the app the second you catch feels for the lawyer wearing the Yeezys, but that would be giving a lot of power over to a person who may have just had a mini swipe-sesh in the bathroom line on your date. (See: f*ckboy.) Or, you could keep the matches sliding in six weeks into dating someone, only to be showing them a picture of your pup on your phone as a notification that someone sent you a "super like" pops up on your screen. Not necessarily a great look, but hey, to each her own.
Even if you aren't actively swiping for more make-out minions, having the app on your phone suggests that you might be doing so soon. So how the F do you decide when to pull the trigger on deleting Tinder?
If You've Had The Exclusivity Talk
I will go full '90s right now and say duh, if you have had the chat where you both decide that your private parts will be touched exclusively by each other, that app should not be on that phone of yours anymore. Even if you're not calling bae your "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" yet (but like, come on, being exclusive is being in a relationship), you should press down and hold that flame icon until it jiggles and you can "X" it from your home screen.
Being an emotionally available human woman capable of committed relationships is actually a really nice, low-anxiety vibe. Try it.
If Bae Deletes Their Tinder
And Bumble. And Hinge. And Hater. (Do people use Hater? I loved that concept and that Trump ad.) But in all seriousness, even if you have not declared yourselves the ever-terrifying, super-limiting, totally archaic "exclusive" and instead done the super weird and millennial, "Are you still on dating apps?" dance, match your partner's behavior. If their phone is clean of apps, yours should be, too.
Or, if you're not ready to give up all of the other f*ckpeople in the sea, be honest with your person. Tell them, "Hey, I'm super flattered that you made the grand gesture of deleting an app for me, but I'd rather field a range of Ds right now, so I'm going to continue seeing other people." Honesty for president. (Also, take note of their sweet act before totally bailing. Hashtag promise ring status.)
If You're Ready To Commit
Being in a relationship takes two people deciding "Hey, let's keep it just us for now, OK?" and that means you are one of those two people who gets to decide that they're ready to take all the options off the table and commit. When you feel strongly enough about someone that you start Venmo-stalking them to make sure they aren't paying other women for "concert tix," you should admit to yourself that you like that person, you want more from them, and you're ready to peace out on Tinder and have a damn relationship.
The only thing is, don't delete Tinder before telling them that. Deleting Tinder because you feel like things are going well with a particular match is the ultimate jinx. Plus, how are you going to show your friends the adorable first texts you and bae had that eventually led to a Tinder wedding, you know? Superstitious or not, preemptively taking yourself out of the dating game can feel a little thirsty, and definitely adds a little pressure to a relationship timeline, whether the person you are seeing knows you've deleted the apps or not.
Instead, do what I do and keep Tinder so that you can swipe right every time you feel the overwhelming panic of falling in love with someone to remind yourself that there are plenty of potential SOs out there. Maybe just don't swipe right on their roommate. (Oops... *raises hand*)
Above all, ask for what you want. Don't be the "cool girl," because she doesn't exist, except when she says, "Hey, I like you and would love to be exclusive. What do you think about that?" If your partner says they are not ready to commit, or if they can't concretely answer the question of whether they will stop putting their peen in other vajays, move on and pat yourself on the back for the time you've saved obsessing in therapy. Swipe with abandon, but delete with caution.