One of the marquee features of Gmail is the ability to archive a message and never worry about the need to delete.
But you don't have to keep everything forever. In the settings, you can switch the default action for swiping on a message from archive to delete. You have some additional customization from this section, such as eliminating the sender image or turning off swipe actions altogether.
Auto-advance is handy if you want to zip back to the conversation view after archiving or deleting a message. If you haven't done so, take some time and toy around in the General Settings section to see what else might customize the experience better for you.