Millennials would rather have a self-esteem boost.
By Brittany Christopoulos
During times of self-doubt and self-pity, we often turn to dating apps for that confidence boost or validation we crave. But just because you swipe until your heart’s content doesn’t mean you will ever find what you’re looking for.
I feel like it’s really common for people to join dating apps with no real intention of pursuing anyone. Instead, they only want the matches to make themselves feel better or validate whatever boost they needed.
It’s totally flattering when you match with hot people, so I don’t blame our generation for enjoying that feeling. But a new study just proved how common it is.
Back in October, an MTV News & MTV Insights study found that 61 percent of respondents between ages 18 and 29 were more interested in discovering who found them attractive than actually dating them. Additionally, 30 percent of dating app users prefer casual dating for the short-term ego boost and 42 percent want a long-term relationship.
Some find the attention they receive on dating apps just as thrilling as receiving comments on Instagram selfies. The positive feedback temporarily eases all feelings of insecurities and self-doubt and improves our self-confidence and worth.
Dating sprees are also becoming more common as people aren’t taking dating overly seriously anymore. It’s as though they want to see how many people they can go on a date with rather than find someone who is a genuinely good match with them.
But why do we do it so often? Because it’s quick, easy, and accessible.
There’s nothing wrong with wondering what or who you can attract. We all enjoy someone wanting us; that’s not selfish. But the problem lies with people who search for validation from other people instead of within themselves.
The study also found that 43 percent of people swiped right on someone they felt no attraction to. Also, 39 percent talked to someone they had no intention of meeting in person. This leads to false hopes and deception, not to mention bruised egos (obviously).
Purchasing Tinder Gold isn’t always the answer, either. Yes, it can definitely help a bruised ego, but it can also cause a lot of damage, too, if the results aren’t what you envisioned.
This study about dating apps proves that most people care more about finding validation than falling in love. Using apps as a confidence boost isn’t always the best way, since those feelings of affirmation are only temporary.
Once the matches stop talking to you or aren’t appearing as frequently as they used to, it potentially leads to more of an emotional distance from the real issue at hand. Insecurities about dating and romantic relationships can only be controlled for so long until they crumble.
It’s extremely unhealthy when people rely on messages or matches to dictate their self-worth. The opinions of others mean too much to people and it internally destroys them piece by piece over time.
As a generation, we need to take our time healing from old wounds and help build ourselves before we seek a band-aid to cover up old insecurities in hopes it makes you feel better long-term.
Develop a sense of what it means for yourself to be worthy and successful on your own scale. Create your own value system and work on yourself first.
Set small goals for yourself to complete and be proud of and that will help start self-compassion. That way, when the time comes for finding a new partner, you’ll be more aware than distracted.
Over time, you will discover you are worthy. Remember, Tinder or Bumble matches don’t make you beautiful. Your passion, life experiences, goals, and personality do.
You are the only person in this world who can truly make you feel loved, valuable, and wanted— so give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it.
Brittany Christopoulos is a writer who focuses on dating, relationships, and love. For more of her dating content, visit her Twitter page.
This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.