The scientific reports are in Grindr is an issue in the gay community, honey. But not for everyone! I’ll admit there are plenty of gay guys with the discipline to separate Grindr from their everyday lives, but there are just as many of us who’ve succumbed to it.
Addiction has the same rules across the spectrum. Whether it’s gambling, sex or caffeine, similar rules apply. When we let ourselves sink into a routine, our brain has no choice but to follow it. Eventually these habits become a part of our everyday lives – if they’re bad ones, we’re only going to plummet to an unhealthy mental space. Grindr is neither good nor bad, but for gay men who’ve allowed it to define them, there are plenty of ways to wean out of it. Here is my 10-day challenge I highly recommend to Grindr addicts across the world!
STEP 1: Admit you have a problem.
Not everyone is going to have an addiction to Grindr, but those who do, know they do – they can’t help but see how much time it takes away from their productivity, both at work or at home. Sometimes we don’t want to get rid of it because, time after time, it becomes a part of our daily routine and self-value. But there comes a moment when we all need to rethink our priorities. If Grindr is stinting you from completing your responsibilities, then yes, you have a problem. But first, you need to admit it.
STEP 2: Ask yourself, “Why am I on here?
Are you online for sex, friends, dates, boredom, or networking? If so, think way back to the endless hours you’ve spent – how many of those hours actually benefited your goals, and how many of them were spent hunting for those goals? I guarantee you most of your time is spent hunting rather than catching… That’s what Grindr is. You hunt, which is an innate sense all men share, but it’s also addicting. The “hunt” is what we long for, whether we realize it or not; and when the hunt leads us nowhere, we think we can get it the next time – it’s the same idea as gambling, and, like gambling, it has the potential for us to lose more than what we came in with. Start doing some personal reflection.
STEP 3: Put it away while you’re working.
One of the easiest strategies a guy can do when trying to wean off Grindr is to put it away while you’re working. This way, you get to at least focus on responsibilities and practices – an area that might be affected most. Use this to hone your stamina muscle and to get used to a routine without Grindr at the forefront of your daily rituals.
STEP 4: Stop sending nude pics.
An interesting thing happens when you send nudes before anything else. You desensitize your emotion, which opens creates a catalyst for vulnerability and addictive behavior. Stop sending d*ck pics and you’ll limit the mental ties attached to them. You’re devoted to Grindr because of the secrets you share on it, sort of like a best friend – take away the secrets and you might allow some wiggle room to cut it off. Stop being loyal.
STEP 5: Delete it regularly.
I’m not talking about logging off. I’m talking about deleting it – like actually clicking the “x” and removing it from your phone altogether. Yes I understand you can always download it back, but there’s something therapeutic about deleting it and seeing it absent from your home page. Do it often – though you might slip up from time to time, make sure the windows between when you delete and when you relapse get longer and longer.
STEP 6: Start being social to remind yourself how to connect.
Grindr is no different than social media. We get used to the language and routine that we eventually become engulfed inside it. Because Grindr is all about the hunt, it has the potential to change our perspectives on gay men in general. They become sexual objects rather than a person with a heart and soul. I say, go out, don’t log on Grindr, and reintroduce yourself to a time when everyone had to speak words and tell stories to each other without wondering who’s online. This is the habit you need to hold on to – live inside it, know what it feels like.
STEP 7: Give yourself a deadline.
It all starts with baby steps… even something as simple as saying, “I’m not going to log on until about 8pm tonight” does wonders for your discipline. It happens one minute at a time, but once you train your brain into a new way of thinking, you’ll eventually fall into a new mindset.
STEP 8: Start a new project, or dive into an already open one.
The best way to not repeat old patterns is to start a new, unrelated, one to distract you. There are so many things you can do – plan a trip with your friends, redecorate your office, start cooking at home, start a new exercise program, volunteer for charity work, sign up for LGBT team sports. Make a change and you’ll soon find more friends knocking on your doorstep.
STEP 9: Talk about it to a friend.
This can have many different results – if they’re a good friend, they will be able to act as a support system, but they might also judge you (which, in a weird way, might help you just as much). Anything to help you think twice before opening Grindr is going to help you in the long run. Talk about it, get other people’s opinion.
STEP 10: 30-Day Challenge!
Thirty days is nothing. It’s just the right amount of time to break out of the Grindr mindset you dove into the last few years. It will be hard at the beginning, but only because you’d need to find something else to take up your time. But that’s the beauty of it! In life, we always become what our focus is – if we’re always focusing on sex, then our lives will be driven by that. Throwing Grindr away for thirty days will allow you to change focus for a bit, and trust me, you’ll never regret it.