Dating in the modern era is a process that requires patience as you swipe, click, and message your way through a sea of potential significant others. To safeguard your mental health from the first day you create your profile, follow these key guidelines as you navigate dating apps.
1. Keep it Simple
It may be tempting to replicate your profile across a dozen dating apps to seemingly increase your chances of success, but think again. Managing connections across multiple platforms can leave your phone vibrating with notifications all day long, making you feel overwhelmed and exhausted before you’ve really dived in. Choose one or two sites that fit with your end goals, beliefs, or interests, and focus on those. You’ll be more apt to find compatible matches before you burn out.
2. Know Your Deal Breakers
Connecting with hundreds of new people with an array of personalities and backgrounds is thrilling and a major benefit of online dating. It’s important that you enter into this virtual world with a set list of deal breakers to help you navigate through the maze of people. Seeing an attractive photo may sway you to let up your preference for dating a non-smoker or someone without kids. Write down which characteristics are a must for you, and then stick with them.
3. Stay Strong in Who You Are
Clicking through Instagram-worthy profile photos day after day can negatively impact our self-esteem and confidence. Social media, in general, has been linked to higher levels of loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, narcissism, and reduced social skills. In one survey, 60% of people using social media reported that it impacted their self-esteem, which the behavioral scientist attributed to only seeing the “highlight reel” of people’s lives. Focus on building up your confidence when using dating apps by repeating positive affirmations, questioning your inner critic, and taking time for self-care.
4. Keep Real-Life Relationships and Activities
The likelihood of meeting a first date through a friend, for example, versus online may be less, but it’s your weekly painting session, favorite outdoor concert series, and love for travel that ultimately make you a more attractive match on online dating apps. Honor those passions and interests and hopefully, you’ll find someone to share them with. Take time to also foster relationships with friends and family who can serve as an invaluable support network for your online dating app adventure.
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