We use online technology more and more…so how does that impact dating?  

We love to ask people in relationships how they met. Even a few years ago, the stigma of online dating might lead to embarrassment. Now, the increase in users and platforms has started to normalize online dating. There is even a pride in being able to find someone who fits you so well, who you may have never met if it weren’t for technology.

At the same time, online dating can be similar to social media with comparisons and fear of missing out on other options. Online dating is also a different game, with a lot of unwritten rules. 

So, what are the mental health implications for online dating, and how can we set ourselves up for a positive experience?

Setting Goals & Boundaries

Online dating can be fun, but to what end?

When engaging with digital dating platforms, it’s important to think through what you’re hoping to get out of it. Are you looking for a serious partner, a physical encounter, or perhaps just a bit of lighthearted connection? Oftentimes, people end up using dating apps as a game — swiping, chit-chatting, and never actually meeting ‘IRL’. 

However you choose to use the apps, be mindful and purposeful. Engaging with dating apps mindlessly can become a huge energy drain and a mental health hazard. Also consider other potentially helpful boundaries, such as time spent on the apps or first date guidelines.

In addition to bringing mindfulness, set boundaries where needed. If you don’t like the way someone is speaking to you, treating you, or making you feel, then let them know or disconnect. It may feel difficult to get to know someone online, but listen to your instincts about red and green flags. 

Leading with Authenticity

Showcasing your authentic self in a digital profile is tough, to say the least. It can feel unnatural to put yourself out there, and it never feels quite like the real ‘you’ fully shines through.

Nonetheless, it’s important to lead with authenticity online, for your own sake and for the sake of others. Being real from the start will set up the relationship for healthy patterns later. Here are a few tips:

Leading with authenticity also shows the most attractive trait there is: confidence in yourself!

Decoding Dating Profiles

Measuring whether or not someone is a good match for you is challenging online, but there are some things you can look for to make an educated guess.

Online dating may feel like just judging people based on looks, but there is usually so much more happening. Your brain picks up on subtle clues to make a comprehensive assessment, beyond mere physical attraction. Here are some things to look for:


‘Ghosting’ is one of the great hazards of online dating. It never feels good… you go on a few dates with someone and suddenly they disappear. Your mind races, trying to come up with excuses or to find out what scared them off. That lack of closure is what hurts the most. Ask almost anyone, and they’d say they prefer clear and direct communication. Not into it anymore? Say so. Someone else took the main-stage? Not looking for something serious? Priorities have shifted? Whatever the reason, people deserve to know whats going on… even if its a simple heads up without going into the details.

When you’re on the receiving end of ghosting, it hurts. But many of us have also been on the flip side, and can understand why it happens. It’s an easy out, perhaps even seen as the best way to avoid hurting someone. Sometimes, its just so early on in the connection that disconnecting feels more natural than communicating about a break-off. 

At the end of the day though, people appreciate communication. Though some conversations can be tough, they demonstrate respect for other people’s time, energy, and feelings. 

Ghosting is intrinsically a part of the online dating process, but we can change that.  If you’ve been ghosted, know that it’s not your fault. There are a million things going on in people’s lives, and sometimes dating just doesn’t work out for any number of reasons. Instead of letting your mind go wild, just take it as a gentle reminder about how it affects people when you’re on the flip side of the coin.

Balancing Loneliness with the Desire to Connect

Online dating can be a great way to meet a new partner, but it can also pose feelings of isolation. 

Here are a few tips for balancing feelings of loneliness with the desire to connect:

The Human Side of Online Dating

In the world of online dating, it can be easy to forget that you’re dealing with real people, not just avatars on your screen. Communicating digitally can make us bolder, for better or worse. Dating is hard, and online dating can be brutal in ways the generations who never experienced it may never understand. It is a brave choice to put yourself out there, especially when your humanity does not feel considered. Remember that we’re here to support you as you find relationships with the respect and empathy you deserve!