dating

'Hi, my name is Bella and I'm a binge dater. Here's what that means."

I need to get something off my chest.

And revealing my deep dark truths to anonymous strangers on the internet seems like a good place to start, right?

Yes. Sure. This is a definitely a safe space.

via GIPHY

But anyway, here it goes.

If you looked at my phone right now, a few things would stand out:

  1. You’d probably be alarmed and maybe offended by the downright insane amount of unread emails I have.
  2. You’d have a good chuckle at the fact that I use an iPhone 5 (I lost my phone, OK?)
  3. You’d be shocked to find not one, not two, but FOUR dating apps downloaded – and in active use – on my phone.

Yes, FOUR.

Right now I’m juggling Bumble, Tinder, PlentyOfFish and Hinge.

Mamamia writers anonymously reveal their Tinder stories. Post continues after video.

This number was five up until a few months ago when I hastily deleted Happn from my phone (and my psyche) upon spotting my ex’s profile. (For the dating app rookies out there – Happn matches you with people you have crossed paths with IRL. It’s slightly terrifying, but also great if you have attractive neighbours you’ve been too shy to approach in person.)

You might be wondering (rightly so), why I feel the need to have so many dating apps on the go at once.

In truth…  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

It’s just something I’ve done for the three-or-so years I’ve been single in the digital dating world.

Wait.

Let me stop myself there.

This is NOT what I came here for.

The real truth? it’s a dirty, dirty habit I’ve fallen into, and guys, I think I need help.

Yes, people. I’m a binge dater. And I know I’m not the only one out there. (Please fess up so I don’t have to face this shame alone).

The worst part of this nasty habit I’ve developed? The most horrendous and soul-crushing element to my embarrassing addiction, you ask?

The vicious cyclical nature of it all.

You see – once every few weeks, after enduring countless disappointing app dates, I’ll delete them all in a moment of clarity. Deep, deep frustration, at times a hint of resentment towards the male gender, and clarity.

I’ll convince myself that I don’t need the apps, and that maybe they’re holding me back from meeting the right person.

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But a few weeks later, without fail, I’ll download them all over again like some sick dating app junkie.

You see, I’m one of those single millennial women who dates in batches, followed by periods of complete and total absence from the dating scene altogether. And like anything binge-related (apart from arguably Netflix) it’s downright unhealthy.

Each time, it’s exactly the same: I download all “the apps”, set up new profiles, and mindlessly swipe away. Hours I can never get back (not to mention data I’ll never be refunded for).

As for the actual dates I find myself on in the midst of a typical “binge”?

via GIPHY

Not that they’re all bad people I’m meeting up with – but, honestly, even I know you’re never going to find the right match when you treat your dating life like Candy Crush. Or worse yet, when it becomes a chore involving “a lot of admin”, as I often tell people.

So what is it all about? Boredom? Something to do with my hands? A never-ending and somewhat pathetic search for validation from random strangers? (Yikes – too real).

Urban Dictionary (a very reliable source) defines binge dating as: “To go on dates with several different people within the first couple years after ending a long-term monogamous relationship.”

This makes a lot of sense in my situation, and with access to multiple dating apps literally at my fingertips, I’m merely capitalising on my position in the digital age.

But not only am I the textbook definition of a binge dater, I’m a lazy binge dater. I’m the dating equivalent of someone who orders Uber Eats when they live next door to a supermarket. (Ahem, I totally don’t do that either…)

On deeper research, psychology blogs and online journals on binge dating (yes, it’s a real thing) predict that it can lead to repeatedly setting partnerships up for failure.

Binge-daters, by definition, have gone most of their lives being partnered up. They dread the notion of being alone, and go to great lengths to keep that from happening. Hence the ease of slipping into an obsession with the swipe-right digital dating realm.

And while each individual’s patterns for dating are different, based on their own romantic past, binge dating has seemingly exploded in recent decades – to the point where it’s become a normalised way to “partner up”, albeit for the short-term.

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We seem to be encouraging each other by telling ourselves it’s fine.

Which it is for some people. I mean – if you’re just looking to “play the field”, as they say, there’s nothing wrong with binge dating.

But for those of us looking to eventually establish a real connection with someone, binge dating is completely and utterly pointless. Your “flings” will no doubt sense that deep down, you’re never fully committed to taking things further than a casual drink or two, so of course, they’re not going to take you seriously as a potential partner.

At the end of the day, the flippant approach to dating a lot of us have adopted is completely sucking the romance out of our own quests for potential love interests. A “quest” that can already be draining and bitterly disappointing if you keep accidentally ending up on dates with the type of guys who send unsolicited d*ck pics. (Or worse yet, “soft boys” – click here for enlightenment).

Binge dating is self-sabotage at its finest.

But here I am, with my four apps on the go.

…I’m sure I’ll learn with time.

Are you a binge dater? Let us know in the comments below.

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MMSurvey

 

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