Love it or hate it, online dating has never been easier or more readily available to everyone. There are so many apps that you put right on your phone and instantly connect to strangers who are looking to make friends, find lovers or just hook up. The problem is, this is also changing the way we connect to people and the impact of this can be quite detrimental for our wellbeing.
People are turning to dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge in the same way that they use Instagram or Facebook. They can mindlessly scroll through the options of potential partners, swiping yes or no, and waiting for someone to match with them. This can lead to low self-esteem, self-doubt, anxiety and even depression.
This is why it’s so important to use dating apps in a mindful and healthy way. It’s important to focus on making real connections rather than the superficial idea of lots of likes and matches.
1. Take A Moment Before Each Swipe
It is so easy to get caught in the repetitive motion of swiping left and right based on the first impression you get from the first photo you see. This depersonalizes the entire process and prevents you from actively engaging with each profile. If you are looking to make a connection, you can’t just swipe yes or no without looking at the person and trying to decide if you think there could be something there.
Set yourself some ground rules about using the apps. This can include no gym selfies or no swiping yes on people without a proper bio in their profile. You can also have limits on how many people you want to be chatting with on the app at any one time. Once you reach that limit, no more swiping until you decide that one of your connections isn’t working.
2. Don’t Think You Are A Failure If A Connection Doesn’t Work
On the topic of connections not working out, it’s important to not beat yourself up about it. There is always the temptation to get depressed or feel like you are a failure when someone you are chatting to on a dating app turns out to not be “the one”.
Each time a connection ghosts you or goes cold, it is a rejection, and you have every right to be annoyed or upset by it. However, you need to learn to deal with these moments effectively so that you aren’t taking constant knocks to your self-esteem.
The best way to deal with these mini-rejections is to remember that it isn’t always about you, the other person may just not be ready to play now. The person you are chatting to on the dating app is really a stranger – even if you have several great conversations and seem to really be hitting it off. You’ve only scratched the surface with who they are and perhaps they are not ready for a relationship or you remind them too much of someone negative in their life.