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I Miss Dating Apps Because I Need Constant Attention And Validation

I’ll admit it. I’ve been in a healthy, stable, and successful two-year relationship (boooo!), but I miss nothing more than strangers complimenting me on Hinge. My profile was banging. My pictures? Adorable. My prompts? Hilarious. My response time? Near perfect. I figured out the ideal algorithm for getting compliments no matter what time of day. And my perfectly curated profile must’ve worked because after one very active year on the apps, I locked someone in, but there’s still a piece of me that feeds on attention from strangers. 

Every once in a while, I crave a “Wow, you’re my soulmate” comment from a twenty-something who works at SpaceX. Or an “lol so true” from a finance bro in Santa Monica. Sure, my boyfriend can compliment me whenever I want, but it’s just not the same. He’s my boyfriend, and these strange men are thirsty for their next drink: a tall glass of me. 

When asked, “Am I addicted to dating apps?” I’d hesitantly say no. I’ve never paid for Hinge Premium to send a rose to one of the hottest men I’ve ever seen. However, I did spend $20 a month for Raya. And that’s a massive waste of time and money because, as we all know, it’s just wanna-be influencers and DJs.(No, I’m still not bitter about waiting for a reply from Larmone Morris).

But dating apps provide a dopamine boost that not even a slice of cake can give me. And I love cake. It’s the same mind-numbing phenomenon as watching TikTok videos and Instagram Reels while sitting on your toilet at 6 p.m., then re-entering the world at 3 a.m., and you’re like, “Woah, what happened?” You scroll, you laugh, you like, you continue. And this can go on for hours. 

I feel 10 percent better about myself when some CAA mailroom clerk says I’m hilarious and have pretty blue eyes. And I’m not alone in this feeling. Dating app addiction is a real thing, and it’s affecting many singles all around the world — so much so that there are now class action lawsuits against dating subscriptions for “gamifying” their apps. In February six plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against Match Group, owner of Tinder and Hinge, claiming their “predatory” apps incite “compulsive” use.    

@ameliasamsonDating apps are being sued and for good reason♬ Chopin Nocturne No.2 Op.9-2(1391533) – 314P

Content creator Amelia Samson said it best in her TikTok: “An app designed to be deleted shouldn’t have a six month membership option.” There’s always one more swipe; if you keep going, you may find your soulmate. So the question remains, why do I crave attention from total strangers if I may have already met mine?

Perhaps it’s that addicting gambling-like feeling. Or an internalized need for male validation. Hell, it could even be my low self-esteem! All I know is that going forward, I’ll take my attention and validation from those who matter: my therapist, Instagram comments, and of course, my loving boyfriend. Worst case, I’ll get myself a slice of cake. 

Devin Ruskin
Devin Ruskin
Devin Ruskin is a Los Angeles based Lifestyle & Humor writer. She always orders fries for the table, manages to mention her cat in any situation and lives off of Iced Peach Green Tea. Follow her all over the internet @devinruskin