The latest statistics from the NHS show that 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health issues each year. The assumption being that, this is triggered by the pandemic and social media. Therefore, it may be surprising to hear that online dating can have a significant effect on our mental health. Research reveals users often feel ‘depersonalised and disposable’ when frequently engaging with online dating apps. Due to this, the CEO of popular dating app, Fluttr shares insights and valuable tips to support people’s mental health, whilst using online dating services.
- Studies from the therapist service Better Help, prove that hormones (such as cortisol) released during dating can increase anxiety.
50% of online dating matches do not reply; thus, feelings of rejection are increased.
Research shows rejection can cause users of online dating apps to feel ‘disposable and depersonalised’.
Supporting Your Mental Health
Maintaining a balanced perspective can feel a tad tricky when in the pursuit of love and reacting to rejection. It is a given that we cannot change another person’s behaviour or thoughts. However, we can take steps to help us better deal with difficult emotions and unwanted situations.
Rhonda Alexander, CEO of dating app, Fluttr, shares top tips on how we can best support our mental health whilst making online connections.
Check out the following must-read tips by Rhonda Alexander, CEO of dating app Fluttr:
Understand if You Are Seeking Validation
“If you find yourself getting immense feelings of sadness when you don’t hear from a match on a dating app or believe that you can’t be happy without the attention of another person – you may be seeking validation through online dating.”
“As online dating statistics show that fifty per cent of online dating matches do not message back, you should not rely on this platform as a healthy medium for self-validation. Instead, present your authentic self and take a step back to look after yourself. Ensure that you are giving yourself the attention you need before seeking it from others.”
Stop People Pleasing
“Hanging on to someone’s every message, agreeing with them and acting on what they tell you is a tell-tale sign of a power dynamic that can become damaging while dating online and offline.”
“This often stems from the anxiety that another person will lose interest if you do not meet their needs. Whilst dedicating time to finding love is great, make sure that pleasing other people does not take priority over your own wellbeing.”
Dealing with Rejection
“Healing from rejection is an important step to take before you continue to seek a new partner.”
“Rejection happens frequently on dating apps, with claims that around 50 per cent of matches do not message back, intensifying feelings of rejection.”
Rhonda further states:
“It is important to acknowledge and confront feelings of rejection; surround yourself with family and friends, talk through your feelings and let others support you and make sense of your experience.”
“A common experience reported by many people who use dating apps is “being ghosted“; this happens when one party simply disappears without an explanation. The lack of any type of closure can be intensely painful for the person shunned.”
“Whilst online daters should keep an open mind, be positive and have fun with the platforms, dating app users can enjoy the gamified aspects of online dating but should keep a focus on matching with care to help forge meaningful connections and possibly discourage the opportunity to be ghosted.”
“We can sometimes find our head up in the clouds during dating, but it is important to embrace the joy, yet stay safe. Beware of premature declarations of love or requests for sexy photos from your online crush. If things seem too good to be true or seem to be moving too fast, be cautious and remember that whilst you may feel a connection with this person, they are still a stranger. When on apps, people should remember to go to customer support if there are any issues that arise.”
Life Outside of Online Dating
“Online dating is a great way to connect but be sure to enjoy hobbies and offline activities and not neglect that aspect of your life while focused on finding an authentic connection. Having a balanced approach will help ensure greater success and will make you all the more interesting to others.”
“Connect with old friends, visit your family, or join a new group or club to widen your social circle and open your world up to more than the online sphere.”
“And don’t be scared to take a break from online dating if you are unable to keep it in balance. You can always go back online.”
“Sometimes turning off notifications and limiting time spent on the app is enough to recharge, but if you feel tempted to constantly check your phone, consider a break from online dating until you are in a better headspace.”
Online dating can bring about potentially dangerous situations. We are fans of the new Fluttr dating app as it brings much-needed protection for its users. Launching this year, with integrated ID verification needed to join, means that members will feel safer and more protected throughout their dating journey. To find out more visit www.fluttrdating.com.
Links: NHS Scotland: http://www.publichealth.scot/health
Pyschology Today/; http://www.pyschologytoday.com/us/basics/ghosting
Better Help: http://www.betterhelp.com/advice/love
American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/
CEO of dating app, Fluttr, Rhonda Alexander
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