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Are Dating Apps Messing With Your Mental Health?

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Are Dating Apps Tanking Your Mental Health?

Dating apps can be a drag. But with roughly three in ten US adults and more than half of those aged 18 to 29 having used a dating app or website, these platforms can seem like the only viable way to meet someone. 

But recent data shows that dating apps are seeing a dip in new users. Now, people are taking a page out of the past with “date me docs” — aka modern personal dating ads, which are similar to ‘biodata’ used by South Asian matchmakers. One possible reason for the change? Dating apps may mess with your mental health.

What’s the problem with dating apps? 

Your move

Consider your state of mind. “I'm not gonna say you have to be healed before you use dating apps, but what I do say is you have to be healed enough,” says Mouhtis. Before you start swiping, ask yourself how you’d handle potential feelings of rejection.

Treat profiles as real people. After looking through hundreds of profiles, it’s easy to forget that there’s a person behind them. Try looking through someone’s entire profile, or browse a date-me doc database like this one.

Limit your time on the app. “Don’t swipe for more than 15 minutes,” says Mouhtis. Instead of endlessly browsing out of boredom, be intentional about it.

Consider a date-me doc. “Date-me docs give you the opportunity to take the benefits of online dating into your own hands,” says Mouhtis. And don’t be afraid to be direct about who you are and what you’re looking for, she says.

ask an expert

woman bending over after run sweating

We asked you to vote on a question you’d like answered. The winner was:

Why does being out in the sun make me tired and cranky?


LaTasha Seliby Perkins, MD

LaTasha Seliby Perkins, MD

Family physician and assistant professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine

“Your body's doing everything it can to keep you cool or keep your core temperature around 98.6 [degrees Fahrenheit]. When you’re laying in the sun, most of your blood flow is going toward your skin. Some of the blood flow that generally goes to your brain will [also] go to your skin in an effort to cool you down. Which means your cognitive functioning isn't as high as it would be if your temperature was normal. 

“Because your body's doing all these functions, it [can] be literally draining. That's why you're getting tired, [which is] a sign that you need to hydrate and that you need to get out of the heat.

Dehydration [and] your temperature being too high [can make you cranky]. If you’re dehydrated or you’ve been in the sun too long, your heart rate goes up significantly in an effort to keep you cool. If you have a history of anxiety, that increase in heart rate [can] also make you more anxious.” 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. You can read the full version here.

well, well, well...

Catch up on the latest health news, tips, and trends.

Why is therapy still so hard to come by in 2023? Insurance issues are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to roadblocks standing in the way of mental health care.  

You may want to check your birth control pills. One brand has recalled two lots of its medication, which the FDA warns may have ‘reduced effectiveness.’  

Back in the office and struggling to get work done? Distractions and “collective amnesia” are reportedly to blame. Plus, who’s going to walk the dog? 

You can have too much of a good thing. One Indiana woman tragically died due to water toxicity, a rare but dangerous side effect from drinking a large amount of water.

With tick bites on the rise, Bella Hadid opened up about her experience battling Lyme disease. Her “invisible suffering” with long-lasting symptoms is something others with the disease can relate to. 

Forward this to a friend. Click here.

smart follow

Photo of Cassie Shortsleeve and Dear Sunday logo
Cassie Shortsleeve

We feature experts, podcasts, orgs, and other accounts in the health and wellness space worth hitting "follow" on. Our pick this week is: 

Cassie Shortsleeve, a journalist, perinatal health coach, advocate for maternal rights, and mother of three


  • Founder of Dear Sunday, an online resource for a better pregnancy, postpartum, and new motherhood experience

  • Co-founder of Chamber of Mothers, a non-profit advocacy group working to advance maternal rights  

  • Co-writer of Two Truths, a newsletter honoring and exploring the duality of motherhood (it can be hard and happy)

  • Integrative health coach with training from Duke Integrative Medicine

Where to follow: Her main account is @dearsundaymotherhood on IG, but you can also subscribe to Two Truths on Substack for longer-form content in your inbox, and follow @chamberofmothers on IG to keep up with the group's efforts to advance maternal rights.  

Why we follow: When it comes to daunting issues related to pregnancy, postpartum, and new motherhood, Shortsleeve has the bases covered. Take the recent FDA approval of the first-ever pill for postpartum depression. Shortsleeve and Two Truths co-writer Kelsey Lucas spoke with leading experts on maternal mental health for their most recent newsletter to put the groundbreaking news into context. In it, experts applaud the approval while noting that it shouldn't overshadow the many factors contributing to postpartum depression that can't be solved by a pill, such as the lack of resources and support for mothers.

On her Dear Sunday Motherhood account, Shortsleeve shares expert-backed insights on topics like finding ambition as a parent and managing sleep deprivation as a new mom, but she also serves as a source of validation, inspiration, and encouragement for her community. You might find a relatable poem about the impossibility of "me time" during new motherhood or a fact about breastfeeding that explains why it's so exhausting. She says the goal is to remind mothers that "you are not alone — no matter what you're experiencing." 

quote of the week

Teal Quotes

"You encourage women and girls everywhere to show up and fight for their dreams"

@Flotus following the USWNT’s World Cup defeat. Their impact can’t be measured in millimeters. 

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