Breaking up is hard to do, including, evidently, breaking up with dating apps.
In a HuffPo essay titled I Love My Boyfriend, But I Miss The Thrill Of Dating Apps, writer Timothy Gallagher says there’s a part of him that will always have a fondness for the apps.
Prior to meeting his current boyfriend, Gallagher says Grindr was “a central part of my day as routine as brushing my teeth… if I brushed my teeth every 20 minutes.”
“Checking dating apps was ritualistic and impulsive and undoubtedly provided me with a sense of validation and sexual gratification,” he writes.
After he and his boyfriend made things official nine months ago, he deleted the app, assuming he didn’t need it anymore.
“The old thrill I got from checking them had slowly dissipated,” he writes, “not just because I was having regular sex but also because our relationship contains all the things I got from the apps anyway, and a lot of things I didn’t besides.”
Lately, however, he’s been feeling like he’s missing out on something. But why when he’s in a happy committed relationship?
Doctors have long warned that dating apps can be addictive. In a 2017 interview with an interview with the Curious Mail, Dr. Wendell Rosevear explained, “People are becoming more reliant on social media and app connection. They are desperately wanting short, anonymous connection to alleviate that need to have a sense of belonging.”
Gallagher says it’s not about anonymous sex. For him, it’s something deeper and more soulful than that.
“Dating apps, for me at least, were never about purely hooking up,” he explains. “They were about connecting with other queer men; a way of reaching out to the wider community and establishing connections using the sole medium where I knew everyone there was like me.”
He continues, “I owe a lot to the apps and in some ways, they’ve shaped my life, I see the years on them as a journey of self-discovery where I gained a lot of things I liked–attention, sex and validation – and realized what I needed: security, emotional intimacy and respect).”
Now that he’s officially off the apps, he views them sort of like he views his ex-boyfriends.
“Like all the clichés about learning something from every failed relationship, I learned a lot from my relationship with dating apps,” he concludes. “And for that I’ll always miss them like an ex.”
What do you think? Does Grindr offer more than just sex? Sound off in the comments section below…