Heartbreak in the age of dating apps

Surupasree Sarmmah, DH News Services, Feb 8 2018, 02:21 IST
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Rebound relationships---relationships that people rush into in the wake of break-ups---have become a big cause of concern in the era of dating apps.

Kala Balasubramanian, counselling psychologist and psychotherapist at Inner Dawn Counselling and Training Services, says dating apps provide instant gratification and bring with them a set of new problems.

"At a young age, people want to experiment. These apps provide a platform for 'no strings attached' relationships," she says.

Easy hook-ups also mean easy exits, and
new relationships are developed without much thought.
"Rebound relationships seem to provide support during a period of loss and grief," she says.

Ghosting refers to ending a relationship by withdrawing from all communication.

It is a common practice, says Kala. "It lowers the deserted person's self-esteem and can also aggravate chances of depression," she explains.

In a month, she sees three or four young people with problems directly associated with dating apps.

Is that really you?

Some come with dashed hopes after they meet people whose pictures they have seen online.

"Photo editing software on apps helps people project a better image of themselves," she says.

But it is not just looks that cause problems. It could even be differences in what individuals are looking for.

Basanth Ramamoorthy, a musician, talks about a friend who started dating a girl he met on Tinder. "Within a few months, she had his Netflix password and bank account details," he says.

The boy was devastated when he came to know she saw it just as a casual relationship. "He took his life," says Basanth.

Palak (name changed) uses dating apps, but is careful when it comes to choosing whom to meet. "There is usually a lot of filtering before and after I speak to someone," she says.

She met a boy and dated him for a month, but called it off when she realised their attitudes don't match.

"Dating apps don't help you gauge a person's background," she says.

Girls seek self-validation with online likes

Shashikiran Kalyanpur, relationship expert, has two or three coming to him for
help every day. They are all between 16 and 18.
And 90 per cent of them are girls. Especially now, as the exam season has
begun, they come saying they can't focus on studies."

Girls seek self-validation on dating apps, and measure their popularity by the number of likes they get.

In case of rejection, they believe it is perhaps because of their looks. This
is extremely harmful and can lead to depression in the long run.
He finds many of those consulting him addicted to dating apps.

On the positive side, the apps help the more introverted types.

Approaching someone face-to-face is more difficult than approaching someone
online." Many young people are awkward and don't know how to conduct themselves in public, he observes.

Avoid bad experiences on dating apps

*Be clear about what you are looking for €" marriage, casual relationship or committed relationship.

*Be sure your potential date has similar expectations from the relationship.

*You can be abandoned without notice -- or 'ghosted'. Be prepared for it.

*No matter what the profile says, talk and spend time before emotionally investing in a relationship.

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