How dating apps impact our ability to form relationships in real life

Rachel Power

The era of technology is undoubtedly upon us and we’re using it in more ways than one. Not only do we use our phones to chat to friends, send emails or work, but now we use them to find relationships through dating apps.

Apps like Tinder and Bumble have risen in popularity, with thousands of people using them to find relationships and friendships with others. However, while they’re useful for finding love and friends for us on occasions when luck is on our side. A greater amount of the time they seem to be causing us all more harm.

With relationship trends like ‘ghosting’ on the rise, they can have a huge impact on our mental health, self-esteem and ability to trust others when we actually do fall into relationships.

Relationship expert David Kavanagh said that “with dating apps, there’s now the awareness of the ability to just go on [an app] the night after a break up and connect with other people in different ways.”

“The social norm and acceptance of how quickly we can meet other people is more affecting these issues in relationships,” he said.

And it’s true. We all know that within a few minutes of setting up an account, adding a few pictures and a couple of swipes later we can be talking to someone new, and ultimately moving on far more quickly from previous connections than we used to.

Being aware of this puts doubt in our minds when we find someone we like. We might start to think whether they’re talking to someone new, and if they are, if that person is better than us.

Having these little doubts has a huge impact on our self-esteem. We begin to look at ourselves differently and focus more on our flaws than our perfections. We critique ourselves more often and while noticing little things that might not be perfect isn’t harmful in its entirety, it can be dangerous if we do it too often.

These doubts then affect our mental health as we form a negative image of ourselves. We automatically look at what we don’t like about ourselves and mull over it for minutes, or even hours, on end.

This, of course, means we lose our confidence. And confidence is such an important thing in relationships, which are then affected in turn.

These self-doubts spiral and result in us finding great trouble in forming healthy relationships. Our underlying awareness of the easy accessibility to forming connections with others means we might tend to be more distrustful towards our partner.

Dating apps are great for getting experience in communicating with other people and we can find so many friends from them too. But we need to be aware that we can’t let our self-doubts flourish and develop trust issues from apps like Tinder. 

The most important thing is keeping in mind that we’re all made the way we are, and any flaws we might have are perfections in their own right.

Rachel Power

Image: Wikimedia