Nowadays, online dating sites are almost everywhere. From sugar daddy sites to heterosexual dating sites, gay sites, and lots more, everyone can now find love on the internet. However, it is worthwhile to understand that online dating can sometimes have significant impacts on the mental health of some people.
If you are considering online dating, continue reading this article to learn about its possible effects on your mental health.
Effects of Online Dating on Mental Health
Rejection causes mental harm
Series of surveys have proved that 50% of online matches do not return messages. It is believed that when the messages are not returned, the match has been ignored or rejected. Otherwise, it might mean that he or she is disliked by the other party. Online dating involves matching with various people; therefore, there can be frequent rejection from one of the parties involved.
Rejection is very high in online dating compared to non-digital world dating. Several rejections can affect the mental health of some people. The parts of our brains that get activated during physical pain can also get activated when we are faced with rejections.
There is a little difference between physical pain and pain of rejection, this difference is that pain of rejection can be re-experienced more intense than physical pain. Though you can remember the physical pain, it could go away and you might not likely relive it at the same intensity. However, the pain of rejection floods your brain anytime a similar situation happens and this will lead to remembering the pain intensely.
Ghosting dehumanizes and causes danger
Ghosting is associated with online dating. This concept means that one party is not talking or showing up to the other person. This issue is facing every person of all ages but most common among the millennials. According to surveys, 80% of millennials agreed that they have been ghosted by their online matches before.
It is easier to ghost in online dating as you might be talking to someone constantly for a while and suddenly stop replying to the messages. Or probably you have chatted to the stage of fixing a date and the person failed to show you and stopped replying to you.
Ghosting causes damage to the mental health of people in several ways than can be imagined. It would keep you thinking about why someone who seemed to love your company has failed to show up. You would begin to think that maybe you are no longer good enough for them or not interesting.
Anyone who had been ghosted before is always fearful and anxious about meeting a new person again. It could make the person stop online dating or give up on dating totally.
Online dating apps could lower self-esteem
A study was conducted to examine the impact of dating apps on people’s self-esteem. The results showed that the self-esteem and psychological well-being of people who use online dating apps are usually lower than those who do not use online apps.
It is believed that regular and constant rejections are the major reasons for this. In addition to these factors, human disposability may also play a significant role in this. The reason is that it is very easy to meet people online whom you might quickly believe that you are compatible with. Resultantly, you might toss previous matches aside to have much time for the new match. Due to our nature as humans, when new people enter our lives and they seem compatible, we tend to dispose of people they have known before.
Several rejections will affect the self-esteem of someone that has been constantly rejected. The person might start thinking that something is wrong with him or her. Alternatively, they might believe that they are not just good enough for anyone.
Loneliness and more shallow relationships
The fact remains that you can always meet a lot of people via online dating; hence, people are mostly engaged in shallow relationships instead of deep and meaningful ones. A shallow relationship might lead to feeling unfulfilled.
When a relationship is superficial and unfulfilled, it will lead to loneliness. Therefore, it is essential for you to engage in meaningful connections with people if you want to reduce the risk of feeling lonely. Loneliness has so many implications on the mental well-being of various people.
Online dating increases indecisiveness
When you are into online dating, you can be matched with any user among the millions of users of the platform. When you are addicted to the online dating platform, you keep asking yourself if there could be anyone better than the current match that you are chatting with.
As a result of this, you might be going into brief relationships because you would not be committed to any of the ones you have considered. Such relationships will not be satisfactory. This increases indecisiveness which can extend to other areas of your life.
Indecisiveness indirectly creates anxiety because you will be anxious to meet another person who will be more compatible than the person you are chatting with. Anytime you meet a new person, the moment you chat a little, you would be thinking of meeting someone better than them.
The best solution recommended for this is that you should not wait too long on chatting before you meet your match in person. When you see someone in person, you can easily assess the chemistry between the two of you. When you meet the match in person, after a date or more, you would know if the person is truly compatible or maybe you should search for a more compatible person.
Online dating is helpful for social anxiety
One great positive impact of dating online is that it can help people that suffer from social anxiety. People with social anxiety find it difficult to have good conversations with people. They also find it difficult to approach people. These people feel safe and free to express themselves when they are behind computer screens. As a result of this, online dating may be their best means of finding a date.
People with social anxiety can easily open up to someone they meet online because they are shielded by instant messengers and messaging systems. They can have a good and meaningful conversation with anonymous people.
Overall, online dating is a phenomenon that has changed the way we find romance and love. However, everyone must be aware of its possible effects on mental health.