11 Signs Dating Apps Are Affecting Your Mental Health

They’re supposed to be enjoyable, but dating apps can sometimes feel more frustrating than fun. Here are 11 signs that they’re messing with your head and becoming unhealthy, signaling that it may be time for a break.

  1. You rate yourself according to them. If you match with someone who then goes AWOL, it makes you worry that you’re not worthy of love. You know that that’s not true but it’s easy to start believing it. That’s a serious problem.
  2. You photoshop your pics. You know that pictures are worth a thousand words on dating apps, which is why you have the tendency to edit the heck out of all your pics before you go ahead and upload them. Yikes. The problem is that you’re hoping to impress dating app users, but what happens when you meet in person and they don’t recognize you? They might reject you because you’re lying, not because of what you really look like.
  3. You dread real life dates. On the subject of dating in real life, when you finally pluck up the courage to meet your dating app matches, you might find that you’re more stressed out over it than ever before. This is because dating apps build up to that first date and can make it so much more nerve-wracking than it should be. Maybe it’s a good idea not to depend on dating apps so much for every connection you make.
  4. You feel disposable. Rejection is really common on dating apps, with 50% of matches never contacting you back. That, and how you can see loads of seemingly perfect women for your crushes to choose over you can make you feel worthless. Everyone’s just a dime a dozen on dating apps. It’s actually quite crushing.
  5. You feel stressed when you log in. A sure sign that you need to take a dating app break is if you feel overwhelmed or stressed out the second you log into the app to check your notifications. It’s not that serious!
  6. You think everyone’s the same. Let’s be honest: there’s a lot of junk on dating apps. There are people who are sexist, cruel, and other horrid things. It’s not easy to deal with, especially if you’re sensitive. After a while of seeing and being on the receiving end of such behavior, it can make you feel that everyone is the same sexist, nasty person, even though that’s not true.
  7. You feel like you can’t be an introvert. If you’re a naturally quiet and private person, you might feel the pressure to come out of your shell on dating apps. Maybe you reckon you have to initiate conversations with potential matches and be loud, fun, and so on, even if these things don’t come naturally to you. Avoid the temptation. Doing these things can backfire because they make you lack authenticity.
  8. You’re paranoid about people you meet. With all the cheaters and ghosters on dating apps, it’s sure to mess with your feelings of calm. You might want to do in-depth online searches of people who contact you because you’ve “met” so many untrustworthy people. Ugh. The result? You end up bitter and jaded about everyone.
  9. You take it personally. If you feel like everyone who’s hurt and rejected you online is attacking you personally, then dating apps could be getting to you. It’s important to bear in mind that it’s nothing personal. No, really. The person who’s hurting you and acting like a jerk doesn’t even know who you are!
  10. You can’t communicate like you used to. Sometimes a weird thing can happen if you use dating apps a lot. You end up feeling like you’re not confident to chat on the phone or IRL because it’s so much more comfortable to chat from behind a screen (where you can eat fried chicken and be dressed in your warm pajamas). But it’s just not real.
  11. You’re wasting your time. The thing about dating apps is that you might stay logged into them because they give you a tiny shred of hope that you’ll find someone awesome. However, if you’ve been chatting to a specific match for weeks or months and they never want to meet up IRL, you’re wasting your time! Put down that phone and go make some real connections who actually value you!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.