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Dating Apps: 7 Ways to Keep Your Sanity

Don’t let internet dating ruin your mood — or your self-esteem

Dating App on Mobile Phone

One minute you’re swiping right and exchanging flirty texts. Next minute: Ghosted.

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But isn’t dating supposed to be fun? Online dating can often feel more like torture — with all its profile writing, selfie snapping and awkward messaging.

So how can you stay sane while looking for love in a digital world? Neuropsychologist Cynthia Kubu, PhD, offers expert advice for using dating apps.

1. Focus on the advantages

Just think, not so long ago, you’d have to publish a personal ad in the paper for all the world to see (and scrutinize). In lots of ways, dating apps are a big improvement over the old-fashioned “putting yourself out there” approach. You can choose where to advertise your profile and edit it whenever you like.

And with dating apps, “You have access to people you never would have met otherwise — and you can get a sense of what they’re about before you meet,” says Dr. Kubu.

2. Give your ego the day off

Yes, that’s way (way) easier said than done. It’s hard not to feel snubbed when a would-be match goes AWOL. But try to shake it off.

Maybe they have something against your zip code. Or they only date Scorpios. Don’t let it crack your self-confidence.

“If someone doesn’t respond, it often has nothing to do with you,” Dr. Kubu says. “Remember, they don’t know you.”

3. Be choosy

Do you really want to date someone who lives in another state? Or somebody who’s your polar opposite on the political spectrum? Yes, it’s good to be open-minded. But it’s also OK to admit when something’s a deal breaker.

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Tightening up your search criteria can keep you from getting overwhelmed, Dr. Kubu says.

4. Meet IRL ASAP

Some people love the back-and-forth of witty banter. But don’t let a virtual romance go on too long without meeting in real life, Dr. Kubu says. “There are things you just can’t discern electronically. You have to meet people to really get to know them.”

5. Call in the troops

It takes a village. Lean on your friends for support and fun distractions when dating feels like torture. Pay them back by regaling them with tales of your worst dates. Remember, they’re laughing with you, not at you. (Hopefully, you’re laughing too.)

6. Steady now…

Old-school dating took things slow. Modern dating? More like lightspeed. “When you get all this data dumped on you in dating apps, it can speed things up. And once you’re matched with someone, it can rush the intimacy,” says Dr. Kubu.

Feel free to tap the brakes and take time to get to know the person.

7. Don’t be lazy

It’s easy to get excited about a great match. But it’s only the starting line — not the happily-ever-after. Good relationships take effort. “Let go of any expectation that online dating will be magical,” Dr. Kubu says. “You still have to do the hard work that goes into developing any relationship.”

But when that work pays off? You might be able to chuck the dating apps for good.

Learn more about our editorial process.

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