Pitfalls of Online Dating: Why Online Dating Can Be Bad For Your Mental Health, Why Dating Apps Don’t Work. Dating App Misconceptions, Problems & Myths

The proliferation of apps has enabled consumers to obtain items and experiences instantly with a few keystrokes and swipes of a smartphone. Lyft makes it easier for people to hail rides, Caviar makes it easier for people to order food, and Venmo makes it easier to pay people; dating apps do not make it easier for people to date. See San Francisco. Unlike pizzas and cab rides, people are not commodities that are interchangeable. 

Everyone is different and every facet of courting, communication and engagement is unique not only to each person but more so to the dynamic combination of two people yielding unlimited combinations of feelings, responses, interpretations, expectations and chemistry. 


Unrealistic Expectations With Dating Apps, Lack of Self-Awareness

There is no blueprint to succeed in dating; there are exceptions to every rule and no matter how much effort someone puts into screening people, fine-tuning your wish-list of characteristics and identifying  deal-breakers, one will never be able to shield yourself 100% from heartbreak, ghosting, spammers or toxic people. Heck, people are notorious for picking the wrong app for them based on their age, location, intentions and lifestyle.

One can definitely minimize exposure to such instances through screening, questions and patience. Sound familiar? It should. This is what people do offline when meeting a bar, bumping into each other at the grocery store, wait in line at coffee shops etc. The ability to read people, body language and communication skills helps to identify red flags in others – not everyone possesses these skills.


How To Approach Dating Apps: Limitations Of Dating Apps

Dating apps and dating sites are not designed to make dating easier than traditional offline methods. Online dating is a misnomer. What they are designed to do is provide another channel for people to introduce themselves to others beyond the physical parameters of everyday life (neighborhoods, schools, workplaces etc.). 

If you lack the social, emotional and interpersonal skills to engage with people offline then there is a high chance you might have bad luck with online dating. Dating apps do not solve fundamental social problems you might be experiencing or address interpersonal issues you might be dealing with; they merely provide access to an expanded pool of people around you. Before you decide to take the dating app plunge, ask yourself: Is Online Dating Worth It?

Many clients I work with for online dating photos think that the combination of an app and new photos will solve their dating woes — this could not be further from the truth. If you are wondering why you are struggling with online dating, perhaps you should look no further than what you are doing offline. 


Dating Apps Are Introduction Apps, Not Ordering Apps

Dating apps enable introductions and access to more people around you — they cannot solve the other problems you might be facing. Dating takes time, effort, patience and a good amount of trial and error.

No app will provide shortcuts for you to navigate the dating waters. No one is perfect, everyone has their baggage, imperfections and faults. The purpose of dating apps is to introduce you to others and date offline. If the offline equivalent of dating apps doesn’t exist then don’t expect online dating to do that job.

Online dating is tough, but it doesn’t have to be. Many people never invite unbiased feedback of their bios, app choices, photos, wardrobe, 1st impressions and more. Insanity is doing the same thing expecting different results. Don’t let this happen to you. Most people lack self-awareness and fail to realize they attract who they are, not what they seek.

How To Approach Dating Apps, What To Expect From Online Dating

Online dating should be fun. You will inevitably get catfished, go on a terrible date, get height-fished or even meet someone who is married or is ethically polygamous – it happens to everyone at least once. The purpose of dating is to discover yourself, get to know others, have fun, try out new places, explore hobbies and see if a romantic spark exists.

The purpose of dating apps is to figure out if you want to go a date with someone. The purpose of date #1 is to figure out if you want to go on date #2. If you are trying to figure whether the person in front of you on the early dates would be a great parent, is the love of your life or is someone you want to marry, you are rushing it. Love at first sight rarely happens. Things take time. If you try to rush the process you will only drive the person away with your obsession and craziness.

Sure, some people meet and get married in 6 months, but that is not the norm, that is a super rare expectation. Not everyone has their life together, knows what the want, is physically as attractive as your friend nor is as picky as you are about marrying to breed vs marrying to spend their life with someone they love. Time is subjective – quality of dates, amount of time spent, experiences had and prioritization in life.

Dating and love is not like planning your B-School application, working towards a promotion or achieving financial benchmarks. Dating is more qualitative, less logic. It requires you to be vulnerable, take chances, use good judgment, make mistakes, communicate effectively and learn to trust others. There is no exact formula just rough blueprints that are often tossed aside when the unexpected happens in life. It’s more reactionary than it is planning.


Dating Coach Services

First date ideas, wardrobe styling, places to meet singles, where to sit at bars and restaurants, body language, vocal intonation, eye contact, conversation skills, how to flirt over text, how to be more approachable and get people to start conversations with you, mock dates and more.

About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie Hernandez is a dating consultant & professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and beyond as featured in the NYTimes, SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle.

In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, offline techniques for meeting people organically, naturally. 

Dating App FAQ's  |  Online Dating Resource Guide  |  How To Be Successful With Dating Apps

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