Dealing with Dating App Despair

A psychologist explains why dating apps, in some cases, can leave a person feeling emotionally exhausted as they search for a potential partner.

Media Downloads

CCNS health and medical content is consumer-friendly, professional broadcast quality (available in HD), and available to media outlets each day.

Additional Assets

*Email us for video download password Content is property of Cleveland Clinic and for news media use only.

Media Contact

We're available to shoot custom interviews & b-roll for media outlets upon request.

CLEVELAND – If you’re still looking for love this Valentine’s Day, you may be tempted to sign up for one of the many dating apps out there. 

And while they can be a great way to meet someone, they can also dredge up feelings of despair. 
“Online dating is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it creates wonderful connections,” said Susan Albers, PsyD, psychologist for Cleveland Clinic. “The downside is that it can often bruise your self-esteem. Many singles struggle with feeling rejected, competition, or extreme pressure to create a false front or be perfect online.”  

Dr. Albers said using dating apps can be taxing on the brain. 

You have to sort through all kinds of information about a potential partner and then make a decision, which can be overwhelming. 

Some people may even experience “decision fatigue.” 

On top of that, these apps are designed to be addicting with the constant swiping and scrolling making it hard to disconnect. 

Dr. Albers said studies have shown the more time we spend online, the greater we experience depression, anxiety and stress. 
“Dating apps are just one tool for finding a significant other. If you are feeling burnt out or frustrated, take a break,” she said. “But don’t give up. Invest in your day-to-day relationships, hobbies, your self-esteem. Know that your self-worth is not linked to the outcome of these potential matches.” 
Dr. Albers suggests creating boundaries too, like only using the dating apps in certain places or at certain times. 

This way you’re not left feeling burnt out or mentally drained. 

For Journalists Only

Sign up below to be added to our Daily Health Stories distribution list.

For more information on medical conditions and diseases, visit our Health Library.