Dating Apps Can Cause Anxiety and Depression

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How Dating Apps Impact Mental Health

Tinder, Bumble, Grindr, Hinge, and Badoo are just a few of the dating applications that have expanded the proverbial playing field in cyberspace. These platforms are vastly boosting the potential for both connections and rejections, the latter of which has a negative influence on self-esteem and anxiety. Making sure you’re aware of the dangers of dating apps — and that you’re in the correct mental frame of mind to start swiping — can help ensure that your search for love isn’t wreaking havoc on your mental health.

Rejection’s Real Consequences

Fear of rejection is a common apprehension, and with good reason. Social rejection is painful, and it affects your emotional, cognitive, and physical health by activating the same brain circuits as physical pain. However, as we juggle a range of social interactions, rejection is a common occurrence, and it can help us better understand ourselves and what kind of personalities we are compatible with.

Though dating presents obstacles regardless of how you choose to play it, what sets dating apps apart is the sheer number of people you are exposed to as prospective “matches” via your app profile. In some ways, the seemingly endless options provided by dating apps can be counterproductive; rejections grow easier as users hunt for a more perfect match, and more time is spent looking for love rather than deepening a possible connection.

Matches happen when you and the person you’re interested in swipe or click on one other’s profiles on dating apps. There is no match if there is no shared interest. This might make people feel self-conscious about their profile, which can have a negative impact on their self-esteem over time. When you find someone you like, the next step is to message them to speak and potentially set up a date. According to one study, over half of all matches do not respond to messages, which might exacerbate emotions of rejection.

First dates can be discouraging, especially if online profiles or chats don’t appear to reflect the person you meet in person, or if there’s a clear disparity in expectations. Sentiments of worry, anxiety, and even melancholy about dating can be exacerbated by feelings of dishonesty or manipulation.

The Phenomenon of ‘Ghosting’

When utilizing dating apps, “ghosting,” or suddenly disappearing after previous discussions or dates and not responding to attempts to communicate, has regrettably become all too typical. Approximately half of the population has been the victim of ghosting, and a comparable percentage has perpetrated it. When one participant in a relationship feels emotionally uncomfortable, ghosting occurs, and the lack of explanation or closure can be extremely painful for the one ostracized.

How to Get the Most Out of Dating Apps

Despite its drawbacks, dating apps can help you meet new people, and some individuals have discovered long-term love after meeting through an app. Setting a few ground rules for yourself can help you maximize the benefits while limiting your exposure to the drawbacks.

TIPS for Using Dating Apps in a Healthy Way:

  • Consider whether you’re in the correct frame of mind to use a dating app.
  • Set a time limit on how long you can use your app.
  • Make an effort to speak as quickly as feasible.
  • With enthusiasm and love, reach out to others.
  • Make good boundaries a part of your commitment to good vibes.
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