Ah, dating applications… We have all already, or almost, flirted with strangers through these applications. Some people have even met their soulmate on them! This promise of eternal love pushes many people to misuse these applications or to go on a series of dates. But, beware! Although it may seem harmless, the use of dating applications can have serious psychological effects.
Our psychologists, concerned about the mental health of the entire population, approach the issue of dating apps from the point of view of psychological effects. This is an issue that everyone should be aware of and, more importantly, should not be overlooked.
The effects on self-esteem
Before the advent of dating sites and applications, it was very rare to experience several love rejections in a single week, or worse, in the same day.
On these applications, a person is judged by his or her appearance or according to certain defined criteria, without having any real knowledge of his or her personality and everything else. Thus, it has been shown that people who use such applications often have a less positive body image of themselves. When a person is slow to “get a match” or make a satisfying encounter, chances are that they associate this with their personal image or attributes. In such a context, one never has any control over what another person will think or feel. Moreover, it is difficult to go beyond the physical, since we base our judgement on a few photos.
Thus, a series of rejections or disappointments can have serious effects on a person’s self-esteem. As we say in English “it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt”. In other words, using dating applications can be fun until you get tired of using them and it affects your self-image.
The link between self-esteem and assertiveness
Another important aspect of this issue is the link between self-esteem and assertiveness. Assertiveness refers to the ability to know our own worth, to express our opinions and feelings, and to respect our own limits.
When our self-esteem takes a hit, for example after several rejections in love, it also tends to affect assertiveness. In other words, there is a risk of lowering our own standards, of stepping on our principles in order to please. When we are in a negative mental state, we rarely make decisions that are good for us in the long run… Although compromises are inherent in relationships, we must always respect ourselves, at the risk of displeasing.
Dating application: advice from our psychologists
Now that you understand the possible effects of using dating applications on your self-esteem and self-assertion, our psychologists present you with 3 general tips. These should help you limit the impact of this use, or of several disappointments, on your self-perception.
Respect your value
Repeated encounters and rejections are very energy consuming. Avoid changing the way you assert yourself to please someone else. Respect your own worth and seek out people who do the same. You should never forget yourself in order to find love. Sooner or later, your principles will catch up with you or make you question such a relationship.
Don’t let yourself be obsessed with sex
In general, it is best to avoid falling quickly into the consumption of sex. Sexual chemistry can cover up a lot of flaws that would otherwise be disturbing and cause doubts. Sometimes we want a relationship to work so badly that we ignore the red flags because we are so focused on sex.
Distancing yourself, if necessary
When you’ve been turned down several times or had negative experiences, you usually feel the effects on your self-esteem. This is the time to take a step back and take a break from dating apps. Rather than focusing on dating that undermines our self-image, we recommend taking the time to enjoy hobbies that make us feel good or to see friends who recognize our worth. This can help reverse the negative effects of using these applications.
When to seek support from a psychologist?
When the advice presented above is not enough to restore self-esteem, one should not be ashamed to consult a psychologist. The therapist can teach the client to develop protective factors to avoid the effects on esteem, as well as to better manage expectations regarding these applications. In addition, the psychologist can equip the client to respect his or her limits and not to violate them for the sake of others…
If needed, ask for an online psychology consultation with our professionals.