I Deleted All Of My Dating Apps For 3 Months, Here’s What I Learned

If you’ve ever been on a dating app, you know that it’s a hot mess out there. Some people are looking for relationships while others are just down to hit it and quit it. After extended periods of time swiping left and right, it can become a pity party of “I’m never going to find anyone” mixed in with “everyone sucks and I’m dying alone,” which is why I decided to delete all of my dating apps to gain a new perspective on what it’s like to be a single twenty-something.

Here’s what I learned (and learned to love):

I Learned The Importance Of Free Time

I’m the type of person who always plans to go somewhere or to do something (or even someone). After I stopped focusing on going out on dates and trying to find the “next best guy,” I realized that dating took up a lot of the time I could have spent hanging out with friends or binge watching a popular Netflix series.

It’s not that dating can’t be fun; it’s that sitting in my pajamas and eating ice cream feels so much better!

I Started Focusing On Myself

While on dating apps, I felt like a lot of my experience included second-guessing if my profile would attract the right kind of person or wondering if my punchy one-liners would be enough to encourage the first date. It takes a lot of effort to get out there and date complete strangers on the internet, and when I stopped, I was able to take a step back and look at the big picture things I wanted to accomplish in my life.

I Became More Confident

Since I wasn’t out there in the cyber world trying to find a potential mate, I started approaching men in real life (I know, what a concept right!?!) more than ever before. It was intimidating at first, but once I learned that guys were shocked by the fact that a girl was making the first move, it became a challenge to meet new guys out and about.

I Learned To Love Again

I’m a firm believer that in order to love someone else, you need to love yourself first. Not that I ever struggled with self-love before this experience, but getting rid of the annoying messages and know that I wasn’t constantly being judged on all of the dating apps really freed my mind from all of that clutter.

I was able to look at myself in the mirror without any makeup (and a face full of blemishes) and still feel beautiful. I was also able to appreciate the little things throughout my day that made me smile.

If you’ve thought about going on a dating app detox, I suggest you try it for at least a month and see how you feel. The worst thing that will happen is that you save time and energy by not going out on dates and you catch up on your favorite Netflix series.

5 Reasons To Celebrate Being Single During The Holidays

It can be hard for a single person to enjoy the holidays as they watch all the happy couples snuggle by the fireplace.

If you’re single during the holidays, don’t for a second start to think that you’re less of a person. There are many perks to being single; you just may be too blind to notice them all.

Raise your glass and repeat after me, I’m single and I’m proud of it!

If that doesn’t make you feel a little bit better about your relationship status, I’m sure a few of these benefits will.

You Won’t Have To Stress About Meeting The Parents

Don’t worry about being asked when you’re getting married or having babies!

The holidays are that awkward time of the year when families want to meet significant others or when significant others want you to travel home with them to meet their family. Not only can the Meet the Parents scenario be stressful for people in relationships, but it can put more pressure on how the relationship moves forward.

Lucky for single people, there is no stress! You won’t be stressing over what to wear or worrying about making sure his or her parents like you.

You Won’t Be Compromising Your Holiday Time or Traditions

This also means you won’t have to go to those awkward Christmas parties.

The holidays are a time for celebrating old family traditions and doing things that get you into the holiday spirit. When you’re in a relationship, a lot of those traditions may be compromised because couples have to split their time between families.

Forget all of that! Instead, you can focus on what you want to do and what events or occasions to attend. If that means sitting inside drinking hot chocolate and watching Netflix, then so be it! It’s better than being dragged around doing things you don’t want to do.

You’ll Be Saving Some Much Needed Money

All that extra money can stay in your bank account.

Most people already have a long list of people to shop for during the holidays, and if someone is in a relationship, they now have to add at least one more person to that list (not to mention the significant other’s family members).

For couples, that shopping list can add up fast, but when you’re single, all of that extra money can go into treating yourself.

It’s also important to point out that you won’t be stressing out over what romantic gifts to get your partner or worrying about how to fake love the gift your partner gave you that you absolutely hate.

It’s The Perfect Season For Holiday Hookups

Don’t forget, there are a lot of lonely people this time of year.

No matter what season, people are always looking for love. During the holiday season though, that search can intensify.

Whether you want to get your freak on or go on a couple of dates, know that the option is readily available. You won’t have to worry about meeting the parents or getting them a gift either (unless that gift is sex)!

You Can Drink As Much As You Want Without Being Judged

One eggnog? How about ten!

There seems to be a lot of special holiday cocktails served around this time of year. Normally when you’re with your significant other, you have to worry about getting too drunk around his or her family members, but when you’re single, none of that matters.

Single people are more likely to spend the holidays with their immediate family, which means excessive drinking is okay (depending on your family).

Single people can enjoy as much alcohol as they can handle without the repercussions of a significant other or a significant other’s family judging the hell out of them.

The holidays are worth so much more than freaking out over being alone. Appreciate the friends and family you have in your life and enjoy the holidays with the ones you love most.

What To Wear On A First Date

A first date is your first chance to make a lasting impression that will hopefully pave the way for a second, or maybe even third date. Thanks to all of the pressure tied to meeting someone new, many people get nervous and overcomplicate the entire process.

From picking a place to eat, to deciding on what to wear, sometimes it can feel like there’s no good call to make (which is stressful!).

The last thing you should be focusing on while on a date, is how uncomfortable your outfit is making you feel or how it might be considered too revealing in certain areas.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be looking fantastic every time you go out, and hopefully, you’ll stop worrying about what to wear on your next date.

Go Back To Basics

I like to think that what you wear says a lot about your personality. Since I’m known for wearing some pretty outrageous outfits while out with friends, on a first date I like to tone down my style and keep it really plain and simple.

first date outfit
Photographed by Courtney Sue Miller

Try mixing and matching basic tops or bottoms with a statement piece in your closet to tie the entire outfit together. What I love most about this outfit is that it’s comfortable and cute, and (most importantly) doesn’t make me look like I tried super hard to get ready.

It’s important to look and feel good on a date, but don’t go overboard! You could send the wrong message that you’re either extremely high maintenance or kind of a hoe.

Wear Something That Won’t Slide Around

Nothing is worse than wearing a really cute dress or skirt that keeps riding up or keeps exposing you in ways you aren’t ready to show your date yet.

I like to stick with outfits that I can either tie in place or pieces I know won’t move around while I’m out and about with my date.

first date outfit
Photographed by Courtney Sue Miller

This dress has a basic pattern that makes it easy to dress up or down using the right accessories. It also manages to keep me covered in all the right places and I never have to worry about anything falling or moving out of place.

For Future Dates

Don’t forget to keep it casual. Unless you’re going out somewhere fancy that requires an outfit that will turn heads, wear jeans and shirts you know you look good in and stop worrying about what your date thinks. Trust me, after a certain point in time, he’ll care less about what clothes you have on your body and more about how he can take those clothes off.

What Women Need To Do More Of In Bed

Life is too short to not get everything you want and then some.

Ladies, the same thing applies to us when we start to get in the mood and want to turn on our “freak in the sheets” persona. There’s a good chance a lot of women out there have been raised to be polite and sophisticated individuals, but today, we all need to stop being so damn polite.

It’s great to act ladylike most of the time, but our strategies in bed need to change!

The answer to having better sex and having an overall better time with your partner is really quite simple; use more of your mouth (but not in that way).

Speak The F*ck Up

That’s right, you heard me, vocalize what you like and don’t like. No one wants to have sex with a moaning starfish, and no one wants to waste his or her time fooling around without it resulting in some kind of orgasm.

If your partner is doing something he thinks you enjoy, but you’re really just counting all of the dots on the popcorn ceiling while he’s going to town, say something about it or insist that you move on to another sexual activity that will put his work to better use. Stop wasting your time!

It’s Not Just About You

Well, it is, but I’m thinking about him right now.

Just imagine for a second that you and the person you are with are having okay or less than okay sex, and then the two of you break up (not over the sex, but I wouldn’t blame you). Not only have you lied to him about how amazing he is after every sexcapade, but now you’ve boosted his ego and made him think that he’s freaking King Kong in the bed.

Although he might not impact your life anymore, you’re essentially screwing over the next woman he meets from ever being satisfied because she more than likely won’t open up and tell him he has some improvements to make.

We might not always like every single person we’ve slept with at the end of the day, but please do the rest of society a favor and let the person you’re sleeping with know how they can improve in the bedroom.

This way he can get some more practice in before the two of you go your separate ways, and you won’t continue the cycle of bad sex on to someone else.

It’s good karma, I swear (and hopefully better sex)!

You’re Grown

As a grown ass woman, you should feel no shame in telling your partner or even a one-night stand where and how you want to be touched. There is no shame in liking what you like and you should (and will) enjoy every second of it. Stop being afraid to offend someone or embarrass yourself while being open about your sexual desires.

It can’t always be his fault as to why you didn’t get off.

If you didn’t open your mouth and tell him to do more of this and less of that, then it’s your own damn fault.

What It’s Like Dating While Depressed

Dating is hard. Now imagine throwing a mental health condition and copious amounts of wine into the mix.

Yeah, not a fun time for anyone involved.

Lucky (mostly unlucky) for me, I got to experience firsthand how depression affects someone who starts a new relationship. I never expected to enter a relationship with my mental health not at 100%, but then again, who is 100% when it comes to their mental wellbeing?

Because of the stigma associated with depression, and other mental illnesses, it was extremely challenging for me to tell my new partner about how I was truly feeling.

And to be honest, throughout the entire relationship I was embarrassed to be struggling with depression and really didn’t want to come to terms with the fact that this was happening to me.

I Acted Different Throughout The Entire Relationship

In the midst of the relationship, I thought I was acting and being true to myself, but now looking back, it’s clear to see that of a lot of my personal values were compromised because I just wanted to feel something other than sadness.

The old me would have never put up with verbal abuse or with someone who didn’t have goals or aspirations in life, but thanks to depression, none of my values mattered anymore. I didn’t want additional obstacles in my life, so I settled and hid my feelings about the relationship and hoped that by ignoring the problems I would somehow be happier.

Let’s Talk About Sex

First and foremost, I should have never engaged in any sexual activity. I was definitely not in the right state of mind and because I wasn’t open enough with my partner to let him know about my depression, I wasn’t ready to open up to him in that way either.

Although sex may have meant something to him, to me, the sex was meaningless and just became another reminder of my inability to feel anything other than my depression.

I Focused On The Relationship And Ignored My Mental Health

I was in a very vulnerable state of mind at the time, and I feared that if I told him about my depression he would use it against me and think that I was making it up for attention.

It was in those moments of feeling even more insecure and depressed, that I realized the best thing I needed to do was to leave. Instead of worrying about him and focusing on how to fix the already broken relationship we had, I walked away and decided to improve my own mental health without him.

It definitely wasn’t easy and it took me over a year to get over the whole situation, but I survived and I couldn’t be happier about my decision to call it quits.

Anyone Going Through Depression

You are loved and you are not alone. I never thought I would experience depression and honestly, I never thought I would make it out alive.

I will say that talking about it and letting people into your life during a difficult time does help. Remember that getting into a relationship won’t fix your depression and at best will just be a temporary band-aid for the problems you’re facing. Stay strong and believe that you can get through it.