Online dating has gone through an interesting evolution over the course of its existence. During the early days of the internet meeting someone online was looked down on and singles often felt ashamed for giving matchmaking sites a chance. Fast forward to present day and online dating has become the most popular way of finding a companion. This is no exaggeration, either, since more than one-third of American couples that were married between 2005 and 2012 had met their partner online. This stat only covers newlyweds, and the numbers have further skyrocketed ever since.
Then why is the internet full of horror stories about botched dates and why are so many singles suffering from dating burnout? As it turns out, online matchmaking isn’t without a dark side and suffering with it for too long could put a strain on your mental health.
Warped Identity and False Expectations
Online dating has a set of unspoken rules when it comes to creating a magnetic profile. From the recommended length of the introduction to sweet lines that capture the attention of a potential partner or even the recommended poses for the featured images. If you make an earnest mistake by posting a selfie, for instance, then your chances of standing out are unwittingly sabotaged.
After realizing the ‘meta’ – Most Effective Tactic Available – many singles will customize their profile in such a way so that it will cater to the expectations of a dream date instead of mirroring their true self. In a way this warps people’s identity and makes them anxious about being honest or upfront. It could even lead to singles becoming more shallow as a side effect of browsing the search results day after day. Doing so might train the brain to quickly sort out everyone who doesn’t meet your unreal expectations; singles expect their partners to be perfect in every way.
Online dating takes a lot of time, that’s common knowledge. Still, the popularity of smartphones changed the game for the worse. At first the ability to take your dating adventures with you and kill the empty hours on a train ride seems convenient, but over time a strange addiction might begin to surface, eyes glued to the small screen. At this stage you can’t help but open the dating app every hour, hoping to see a new message or contact pop up. The routine of swiping left or right on Tinder or browsing profiles on a dating app governs the lives of many people, hogging up their free time and stopping them from enjoying other hobbies.
Dealing With Rejection
None of these traits hold a candle to the negative effects that come from rejection. When dating online, you should prepare to be disappointed in numerous ways: you’ll be catfished; you’ll be ghosted; you’ll be flatly turned down, whether rudely or politely; you’ll be told that you are too good for your prospective partner, that ‘the problem isn’t you’ but you’ll never ever be given a proper explanation as to why. Even if you have a thick skin, being rejected over and over again can ruin your self-esteem and might send you into a spiral of depression.
The moral of this story is not that online dating is completely detrimental to your health, just that it is better to avoid immersing yourself too much in online dating. By all means take it seriously and give your matches the time of the day, but if you start feeling bad about yourself then don’t hesitate and take a break.
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