On the fence about whether to join the online dating scene? It’s understandable. Many people have anxieties about the prospect of using dating apps and for good reason. We took it upon ourselves to cover the best ones. While the downsides may seem obvious, it’s just as important to consider the advantages of this type of dating.
And we’re not just talking about finding love here. There are several joys of dating via app that you can experience right now. But first, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room.
Does Online Dating Work?
One of the main questions people have when they start dating online is: Does it really work? It’s a fairly straightforward question, but the answer is not so clear. In fact, it varies from person to person, and it’s contingent on a whole lot of different factors.
The better question is: Can online dating work? And the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes!” This process can absolutely be a rewarding experience if you have the right mindset about it. What’s the right mindset? One that embraces all of the joys of dating virtually.
Ironically, when you focus on the process of dating online rather than the eventual outcome, you’re more likely to be satisfied with what you get out of it.
The Joys of Dating Online
Instead of perceiving dating apps as just a means to an end, try fully embracing all of the pleasures of dating online.
1. It Keeps You Connected
Even when we’re not social distancing, staying connected to others can be a challenge. With work and family responsibilities (not to mention pressures to stay in shape), our daily routines can be overwhelming in and of themselves.
Let’s be honest. Sometimes, it’s just easier to change into your PJs in the afternoon and settle in for a binge-fest than it is to get dressed and go out. Plus, the older we get, the more we just prefer staying in.
Unfortunately, our social lives can take a backseat, and this can breed loneliness. In the absence of real social interaction, dating apps can be the next best thing. Plus, your activity on online dating sites can eventually lead to meeting up with someone special in person.
2. It Facilitates a Growth Mindset
People usually operate on one of two levels: They either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Put simply, individuals with a fixed mindset firmly believe they’re stuck in the place they’re currently in. If these people are single and lonely, for example, they think they always will be.
On the other hand, people who embrace a growth mindset are birds of a different feather. These are people who are optimistic about their futures and believe that their circumstances can (and will!) improve over time.
Not surprisingly, individuals with a growth mindset are usually happier, more productive, and more successful than their fixed-mindset counterparts. You might call it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Online dating can help facilitate a growth mindset. Think about it. Simply by uploading a dating profile, you’re taking a leap of faith and investing in a future that’s better than your present life situation. That’s not a small thing, and it will definitely impact your state of mind and wellbeing—for the better!
3. It Boosts Self-Esteem
For many people, dating online can be a huge self-esteem booster. When you have a positive interaction with someone you’re interested in on a dating app, it’s hard not to smile and have a little bit more pep in your step, after all.
Singles tend to be very generous with their compliments on these dating sites, so don’t be surprised if you’re the recipient of a few. While your friends may tell you not to let it go to your head, rest assured it’s okay to allow yourself to feel a little more confident, so long as you don’t take it too far. Good self-esteem is a good thing; narcissism is not.
Careful, though. Dating online can be a confidence booster, but it can also have the opposite effect. Just as singles can be complementary, they can also be cruel. Texting has a way of enabling some people to be their worst selves. If you’re on the other end of that negativity, it can definitely hurt. The same is true when you experience rejection on a dating app. Try to take it in stride, though, and realize that it happens to the best of us now and again.
4. It Keeps You Honest
Online dating only works when you’re honest. And unfortunately, too many people on these dating apps are far from transparent. Who can blame them? It’s tempting to exaggerate your best features and downplay your worst on these platforms, am I right?
Unfortunately, though, this strategy will backfire eventually. Sooner or later, the truth will come to light as it always does. Hopefully, it won’t be on an awkward first date or worse, after you’ve already tied the knot.
If you’re doing it right, online dating forces you to be honest—not only with the person you’re matched with but also with yourself. The whole process tends to facilitate self-reflection (when you let it). Perhaps while experiencing temptation to lie about your physique, you realize it’s time to start getting healthier, for instance. The former is the easier route, but the latter is much more rewarding in the end.
You’ve probably heard a thousand nightmarish stories about the perils of dating online. And it’s true—dating online has its downsides. It can also be an amazing, uplifting, and worthwhile experience, though. Decide which of these perspectives you want to focus on.
If you’ve made the choice that using online dating sites is worth the risk, then the next step is to adopt a healthy approach to the process. Resolve that you’ll enjoy the experience for what it is—not just for what you stand to gain from it.