And research has backed that up. CNN recently pointed to a 2016 study published in the peer-reviewed journal Body Image that looked at about 1,300 college students and found that those who used a dating app had lower self-esteem than those who didn’t.
It’s simple to see how a dating app could have a negative impact on your self-esteem. There appear to be an infinite number of possibilities available, so if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you may begin to assume that the problem stems from you. Furthermore, as Silva points out, there are an infinite number of other users on the app with whom you feel in competition. However, according to eHarmony, dating apps are still one of the easiest and most prevalent methods to meet people, with roughly 40% of individuals utilizing online dating or apps. Is it possible to have it both ways? How do you utilize a dating app without jeopardizing your self-esteem? According to experts, there are a few things to bear in mind.
Focus On Who You’re Talking To
Sometimes we project our version of who we want someone to be onto them, even if that means ignoring obvious clues. “The person ‘looking for something casual’ means it!”, Hartstein says. “If you really want to meet someone then pass over the ones who are just looking for fun. It can save you lots of pain and heartache. Also, if you see any red flags in their profiles, pay attention! Basically, take seriously who you start texting with or dating from the beginning so you can avoid some nasty surprises later on.” Just be realistic and listen to your gut right from the start.
Take Breaks When You Need Them
Remember Your Worth
Finally, online dating and social media can make us grateful for tiny crumbs of attention and we start to lower our expectations. “[When] liking a photo on Instagram or Facebook is [a] signal that the game is back on… it’s probably the saddest and minimal amount of effort to demonstrate an interest in someone,” Silva says. So remember your worth. If someone texts you after three months with a “Sry I’ve just been really busy,” then they’re not worth your time. Remember what you actually want and deserve — and don’t settle for less.
It’s true that online dating can be detrimental to your self-esteem, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember what you’re worth by dating more deliberately, taking breaks when you need them, and remembering what you’re worth. Your self-esteem can be preserved if you remain empowered.