Dating has the potential to be a lot of fun, but it can also be taxing on one’s confidence and self-esteem. With so much about online dating being based on looks and creating an air of detachment, you have to have thick skin to stay in the game.
With everything working against you, how can you protect your mental health while dating? Here are some helpful self-care tips to help you stay positive.
Prepare for Rejection
While you’re perusing through hot American singles, you’ll likely find a lot of people who want to start a conversation with you. You’ll also find a few people who have no interest in you whatsoever. It’s important that you don’t take this personally. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you’ll be someone’s delicious, energizing cup of coffee.Rejection doesn’t mean that there’s anything undesirable about you, just that there’s an incompatibility over which you have no control. If someone ignores you or doesn’t share your interest, say “thank you, next” and move on.
Block Buttons Are Your Friend
There can be some real creeps online who will harass you or send unsolicited photos. This can get exhausting. Rather than engaging with those who are too aggressive or rude, delete them, block them or ignore them. You aren’t obligated to speak with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable.
It’s important to remember that when someone behaves inappropriately, no matter what they say to you, the problem is with them. Don’t give them the satisfaction or time of day.
Don’t hang your hopes of having fun, new experiences on meeting that special someone. While you’re looking, take this time to date yourself. Go out and start new hobbies or learn new skills. If you want to see a movie and can’t find a friend to go with you, brave the world and go solo.
The time between relationships is an opportunity to reflect and think about who you are and what you want from the world. It’s a time when you don’t have to compromise, and you can do what you want.
Using a dating app with a closed mind is a recipe for disaster. Rather than sticking to a perceived type that hasn’t worked for you in the past, be open to new opportunities and different sorts of people. That’s not to say that you should abandon your standards, just think about any unconscious biases you may have and try to work around them.
Remember, when you date online you only see a part of the picture. Dating is about getting to know people and finding someone that’s suited for you, whether you’re looking for something long-term or casual.
Take a Break When You Need It
Don’t feel bad about needing to take a break from dating apps every now and then. It has a similar effect to taking a break from social media to rest and recenter yourself. You can always pause your subscription or delete an app from your phone to get some headspace before re-entering the dating world.
Don’t Wait for an Answer
If you send a request or a text to someone you’re interested in, don’t let yourself sit and obsess while waiting for an answer. Fill your time in a meaningful way. People often have other things going on and can’t answer right away. Use the time to be productive or practice self-care. If they keep you waiting too long, then you know they’re not that into you, and you can move on.
Dating can be rewarding, challenging, fun, and educational. When braving the online dating world, remember to love yourself first and protect your mental health. The licensed therapists at BetterHelp can help you protect your mental health whenever you need.