Modern Dating: How the Dating Process, Apps, and Rejection Have Changed the Scene
Dating is different than it was a few decades ago. Now, we have an instant connection through online dating apps. We can filter through candidates by age, location, gender, and more—all without having to meet anyone in person. Creating a connection becomes as simple as a swipe to the right.
However, modern dating is not without its pitfalls. Unfortunately, rejection still happens. Although connecting through dating apps or social media is easy and has the potential to develop into something meaningful, it can also lead to a downturn in mental health if things don’t go so well.
Rejection Still Happens, and It Still Hurts
One thing that hasn’t changed in modern dating is that rejection happens. However, it looks a little different. Social media and dating apps make it easy for us to connect with people we would have never encountered at the grocery or through friends.
So, in many ways, modern dating has a much larger pool with more possibilities than before. Although there’s a positive side to that, there is also a negative one. It means that we may experience more rejection.
What’s more, rejection online is not always straightforward. Not only can you be dumped without warning via text message these days, but “ghosting” has even become a dictionary definition in recent years. When you’re ghosted, it can leave you wondering what went wrong. Since it’s often done with no explanation, it may lead you to think that there is something wrong with you.
Perhaps it was just a bad connection, which is perfectly normal and does happen. But if you thought things were going well, and you suddenly were ghosted, it can leave you feeling pretty low. It’s hard to know what people are really looking for if they don’t tell us. You may start to analyze your profile and your conversations, looking for flaws.
Eventually, this can lead to feelings of anxiety and sadness because you feel you’re not measuring up or that you’re flawed. You may feel as if you’ll never be good enough or that finding a partner is impossible and hopeless. Over time, this can develop into depression.
Coping with Dating Depression
One negative aspect of online life and social media is that we constantly compare ourselves to others. However, it’s important to remember that even influencers with the most curated profiles and seemingly idyllic lifestyles are human beings, too. Their social media is only a small glimpse into who they are. The same goes for dating profiles.
It’s important to remember that you are much more than your online self. Just because someone doesn’t click with the portion you’ve chosen to display, doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. Much like in-person encounters, sometimes there just isn’t a mutual connection—and in the end, that’s okay.
You won’t form a lasting bond with everyone you meet, whether in person or online. Part of dating, even now, is exploration. You may have to swipe on or chat with handfuls of people before something really catches. Remember, the dating pool online is much larger, so you might have to spend more time sifting through the possibilities.
But that doesn’t mean that getting ghosted or rejected still doesn’t hurt, especially if it’s happened a lot.
Unfortunately, this can take a toll on our self-esteem. The good news is, you’re not alone and there is hope. There are several things you can do to combat dating depression:
Take a step back. If you keep immersing yourself in something that is affecting you negatively, you’ll feel worse. Taking a step back from dating apps and social media can help put things back into perspective.
Find comfort in friends. Your friends and loved ones know all the wonderful things about you. Turning to them for support can be extremely helpful.
Practice self-care: When we’re feeling depressed, it’s hard to want to take care of ourselves. Especially if there is pressure to look or be perceived a certain way. Instead, practice some self-care just for you. This may be blocking out time each day for an activity you love, exercising, practicing mediation, or journaling.
Express gratitude: It’s important that we remember what we are grateful for, and that includes things within ourselves. Try writing down your strengths or qualities you love about yourself.
See a therapist: Part of practicing self-care also includes seeing a therapist if that’s right for you. A therapist can help you work through your depression by talking about any fears, feelings of failure, or negative beliefs you may have. They can help you realize your strength and create good coping skills to combat depression and anxiety.
Dating is a process, and although it looks different now than it did in your parents’ day, it can still feel like a struggle. If you’re struggling with dating and it’s left you depressed, remember that online life is only a small window in which we see things. We are much more than who we are online and we are all worthy of connection and love.
Want to talk about it? Reach out today to so we can work through it!
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