Taking the next step in online dating

You have stories to tell, and passions to share, and things to talk about that are more interesting than the weather.

Get noticed for who you are, not what you look like.

Whether dating apps are causing a "dating apocalypse" or are merely the easiest way to get a date, there's no denying these tools have been total gamechangers in the dating scene within the last few years.

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That's why for the second year in a row, Bustle is deeming April, "" and encouraging our staff and readers to delete their dating apps for 30 days and meet people the old-fashioned way: offline.

With participants tracking their progress and tricks and tips from dating experts, we'll be helping you feel empowered to meet people IRL all month long.

I won't pretend I'm not a huge proponent of using dating apps to find love: until very recently, I was perpetually single and definitely relied on apps like Tinder and Ok Cupid to meet potential partners.

I've spent years swiping, and I'd be lying if I said there weren't times when all those almost-but-not-quite relationships (or flat-out rejections) took an emotional toll on me.

In the moment, it's easy to ignore those negative feelings and think the solution is to just keep swiping until you feel better again.

Realistically, though, we could all use a break from dating apps from time to time — which is why Bustle's App-less April challenge is so important."Online dating gets perceived as competition with the person above, below, left, or right of you," Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and author of relationship blog You're Just A Dumbass, tells Bustle.

"You’re looking for a specific set of qualities that complement you. At the end, you expect that you will get what you want and so will they.

When we receive multiple messages from multiple users, it enhances our self-esteem.

However, if the messages are from people you wouldn’t normally want to connect with, it impacts your self-esteem negatively."According to a survey of almost 10,000 millennial college students conducted by Lend EDU — an online marketplace for student loan refinancing — 44 percent of those who've used Tinder said they use it as a means of "confidence-boosting procrastination." But even though getting an ego boost might be our intention, that doesn't mean dating apps' impact on our sense of self-worth is always positive.

A 2016 study conducted by the University of North Texas found that male Tinder users reported having lower self-esteem, and both male female users reported having less satisfaction with their bodies and looks.

Even though swiping apps like Tinder might seem like harmless fun, it's clear that we're actually super affected by our relative "success" or "failure" on dating apps.

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