Most people know of dating apps for their benefits in fostering human connections. However, if you are looking forward to finding your potential match on the platform, tread carefully to avoid the harsh mental effects brought by these platforms.
Without a doubt, the last decade has witnessed a surge in online dating, providing a completely new way of finding love and having fun for teens. Several dating sites have made it possible to form romantic connections even before any physical meeting with your potential lover.
However, the potential of finding new connections and love at your fingertips makes it impossible to resist the urge to dive headfirst into this pool. Unfortunately, most people only see the benefits and online dating success stories, completely ignoring the negative effects of dating apps.
Can Dating Apps Affect Your Mental Health?
While most online dating advice doesn’t mention the negative effects of dating apps, they can negatively affect you mentally, especially if you don’t use them healthily. Among them include:
Reality of Rejection
Rejection from dating apps is a commonly shared phenomenon for most enthusiasts looking to find love from these apps. Social dismissal is generally painful, as it activates the same brain pathways that physical pain does. This affects your cognitive, physical, and emotional health.
Without a doubt, the dating scene is always full of challenges regardless of how you handle it. The only difference is that dating apps is the sheer number of people you become exposed to as potential matches from your profile. The several options that these apps provide can be detrimental. This explains why the University of North Texas’s research findings showed that men using Tinder and other dating apps have lower self-esteem levels than those who don’t use the app.
These apps skew you into focusing on the superficial rather than the important aspects of building a relationship, such as commitment, friendship, and shared core values. This can affect your self-esteem and force you to focus on unnecessary life goals, such as uploading a good-looking photo.
You match with someone on the apps if you both click or swipe each other’s profiles. Without mutual interest, you won’t have a match. This itself makes users self-conscious with their profiles and can negatively affect self-esteem over time. Once you match with someone, you can chat and possibly arrange for a date. However, a study found out that 50 percent of potential matches don’t reply to their chats, which intensifies rejection.
Depression and Anxiety
Spending more time online looking for a potential match can expose you to dating app anxiety and depression. Evaluating other users’ profiles can negatively affect self-confidence and esteem, making them feel objectified. A study found that users of these apps agreed that they are less satisfied with their body type and appearance, which is a reflection of what others perceive of them. Several studies have also linked long periods of internet use, including time on dating apps, to disastrous mental health effects.
Using Dating Apps Positively
Despite the adverse effects, dating apps help link you to new people, form solid connections, and long-term love, especially if you observe online dating safety tips. To enjoy these benefits, consider the following tips:
Ensure you are in the correct mental health space to use dating apps
Note that everybody engaging in online dating has different views. Therefore, ensure that your mental capacity can handle rejection and other drawbacks of using these apps.
Limit how you use dating apps
Unfortunately, most online dating problems and solutions can be avoided or solved by those who use these platforms. Several studies have shown a correlation between time spent on the apps and resulting happiness. The more time you spend swiping, the less happy you become.
Take your time
You shouldn’t be in a hurry to find someone from these sites. Download multiple apps, explore each, chat with several people before warming up to the app of your choice.
Talk off-app as soon as possible
Make an effort to voice your connection with someone through phone, video call, or in-person as soon as possible. This will make it easy to find someone you are compatible with without wasting a lot of time.
Find ways of recharging after a rejection
If you feel burned out or exhausted, take a step back and relax. Note that maintaining good health is better than searching for a relationship. You can seek advice from social anxiety faith sites on how to deal with rejection.
Engage on the platform with kindness and positivity
If you feel frustrated or had a bad day, don’t engage with potential matches on the platform. Starting conversations with positive energy increases your chances of developing meaningful and fruitful interactions.
Use Dating Apps Healthily
Most people know of dating apps for their benefits in fostering human connections. However, if you are looking forward to finding your potential match on the platform, tread carefully to avoid the harsh mental effects brought by these platforms. You should join the apps with clear expectations, noting that all users are searching for something different.
Fortunately, you can take advantage of dating platforms with filter options that ease the process of finding a potential match. Most apps have common filter options, such as something casual, friends, relationships, marriage, and “I don’t know.” That said, if your mental health has been affected before by these platforms, share your story below.