Thanks to the advent of dating apps, making a genuine commitment to just one person carries more meaning than ever before.
With the likes of Tinder and Bumble providing comprehensive catalogues of singletons, it can be all too easy to be seduced back into the swiping sphere even once you’ve started dating someone.
Relinquishing temptation by actually deleting your accounts altogether might seem daunting – you might as well have just said “I do” – but relationship experts argue that in today’s disposable dating culture, there is no better way to prove your commitment to someone.
“Deleting dating apps indicates that the person is serious about seeing whoever they are dating,” explains relationships psychologist Madeleine Mason Roantree.
“Normally it would mean that that someone is in an exclusive relationship,” she tells The Independent, adding that it may also assuage anxieties someone has about a partner’s wandering eye.
Dating coach James Preece agrees, describing deletion as “an important milestone”.
“You are making it clear that you are purely going to focus on each other from now on,” he tells The Independent, adding that it’s a way of telling your partner and yourself that “your search is over.”
However, as with most things in dating land, timing is everything, he adds, explaining that deleting the apps too early on in the relationship might come across as overly keen and be a bit off-putting.
“If you have just started seeing one, you don’t have to remove them.
“When you start sleeping together and are talking about a future, then it’s probably the right time to do it.”
If you do choose to maintain your dating profiles once you’ve started seeing someone, it could give off the impression that you’re not fully invested in the person you are currently seeing.
“It’s the equivalent to having keys to an old flat you used to live in and suggests that you want to keep an easy exit available,” Mason says.
The benefits are just as much for the person whose apps they are as well, she adds, as there will be conversations with other potential dates which could be distracting you from a potentially successful relationship.
“By stopping these contacts, you have made a psychological purge on options, freeing up head space to concentrate on what is actually in front of you,” she says.
Plus, after a certain point, maintaining your dating app profiles is inevitably only going to breed insecurities in your relationship, Preece adds, as your partner will constantly feel like you are looking for something they aren’t providing.
Even if you aren’t looking for a “bit on the side”, simply browsing on an app when you’re in a relationship could have an adverse affect on your own confidence levels, however mindlessly you’re doing it.
This issue is that talking to someone new can give you a buzz that makes you feel good about yourself and therefore is common practise when relationship problems arise.
However, this is likely to only engender further self-doubt later on when you realise these feelings are somewhat misplaced and artificial.
Of course, someone might’ve simply forgotten to delete their apps out of absent-mindedness and it’s important to point out that deleting the app from your smartphone does not necessarily delete your account.
However, if you’re going to take a new relationship seriously, there is no need to maintain your those accounts at all, Preece concurs.