Dating app users show more hypersexuality and depression

According to a recent study, dating apps can be as bad for emotional and mental well-being as they are good for helping people find a date. By MDPIpeople who heavily use dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, Bumble, OkCupid and others are often prone to hypersexual behavior and depression.

And both of these tendencies can not only be bad for mental health, but can also, ironically, make a person a less eligible romantic partner. Let’s define our terms, then talk about why heavy dating app users may be at higher risk for certain mental health issues.

What is hypersexuality?

(Picture by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash)

It’s nothing to laugh about, that’s for sure. And it’s not a tendency to be a little more promiscuous than other members of your social circle. Hypersexuality is a disorder which, if left unchecked, can have a myriad of serious consequences in a person’s life. According to Mayo Clinic“Compulsive sexual behavior is sometimes called hypersexuality, hypersexuality disorder, or sex addiction. It is excessive preoccupation with difficult-to-control sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors that cause you distress or negatively affect your health, work, relationships, or other aspects of your life.

Note the three key words there: fantasies, cravings and behaviors. In other words, you don’t have to engage in sexual acts with multiple partners—by far the most risky and damaging type of hypersexual behavior—to be afflicted with compulsive sexual behavior. Spending hours watching pornography is very much a disorder, as is spending hours every week browsing dating apps.

The danger is that the latter two can lead to the former, and that hypersexual behavior in any form can damage existing relationships (with friends and family as well as romantic partners) while making it more difficult to form relationships. a significant new relationship with a potential significant other.

If you find yourself struggling due to persistent and pervasive sexual thoughts and urges or if you often engage in risky sexual behaviors – especially behaviors enabled by the connections you make through dating apps – then you should ask for help. help from a mental health professional. Remember that these professionals will keep what you share confidential; they are there to help, not to judge.

Common signs of depression

man covers face sitting on sofa
(Picture by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash)

Depression is far more familiar to most people than hypersexuality, and while the immediate deleterious effects of depression may not be as tangible as, say, an unwanted pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease, it can also be a serious mental disorder that requires treatment. . If you’re concerned about depression, do a self-check of the most common symptoms first.

Common symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness without a specific cause and feelings of emptiness when, objectively, you have plenty to feel grateful for. Depression often manifests itself in the form of chronic fatigue and lethargy, but also sleep disturbances. Loss of appetite and inability to concentrate are also common symptoms of depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

In severe cases, depression manifests as thoughts of self-harm or even suicide, and can lead to the worst outcome in the worst cases. If you think you are in danger of self-harm, you can now simply call 988 for immediate assistance. And even if you’re not in imminent danger of self-harm, if you’re concerned that you may be suffering from depression, seek help – things can and will get better with treatment. Just be sure to let your mental health support person or team know about your use of the dating app.

A matter of correlation, not causation

woman looking at phone
(Picture by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash)

To be clear, using dating apps isn’t going to suddenly cause you to fall into a case of hypersexuality disorder or suddenly make you depressed. Many people make perfectly responsible and productive use of these platforms – indeed, dating apps are the seed of countless relationships that have blossomed into marriage, family, and years and years of shared happiness.

However, people who are already more prone to compulsive sexual behaviors and/or depression may find these issues exacerbated by their use of dating apps. Like anything – and especially when it comes to things like social media platforms, one form of which are dating apps – it’s dangerously easy to start overusing these apps and compulsively, also developing a sense of dependency on the platforms themselves. as to the sexual bonding potential they promise. (Or just fantasy, anyway.)

If you are already prone to excessive pornography use, are often absorbed in sexual thoughts, fantasies, and urges, and/or have a history of risky sexual behavior, then you need to address porn use. of dating apps with extreme caution. They won’t tip you into hypersexual behavior, of course, but if you’re already near that line, they can land you in trouble.

Alternatives to dating apps

young people meet at cooking class
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Yes, it can be hard to find a date these days if you avoid online dating, but it can be done – and after all, it’s worked for ages, right? The easiest way to meet people without using dating apps is to rely on your network of friends, family, and colleagues. If you let it be known that you are actively hoping to meet that special someone, anyone eligible that each of those people in your network knows becomes a potential date.

You can also try things the classic way of going to cafes or bars and looking for singles there. But a better way to meet a good match is to engage in activities that you enjoy the most and that also provide the opportunity to meet someone new. If you like biking, join a biker group or a spinning class, for example. If you like cooking, take a cooking class. If you like poetry, go to an open mic. By promoting yourself through an activity or in an environment that you already know you like, you increase your chances of finding someone you match with, without swiping right.


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