Could 'overdating' be ruining your love life?
In the last few years, internet dating has completely transformed. There was a time where it was seen as a last resort for those who feel like they missed the boat finding 'the one', turning to certain websites to fill in lengthy forms that would supposedly help them find their perfect match.
Nowadays, it's as simple as swiping left or right. And rather than a last resort, pretty much everyone is on the likes of Tinder and Bumble. However, while there are a huge amount of people using these dating apps now, there are a variety of ways you can approach it.
There are those who are very particular with who they date, making sure to have long conversations with their matches before they actually meet up. Then there are people who never seem to make the jump from instant messaging to a real-life date, putting it off out of fear.
On the other side of things, there are some who go from date to date like it's their favorite pastime. But while this might look like they're having the times of their lives, it may not be all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, according to this expert, they might be suffering from the effects of 'overdating'.
Mel Schilling is a psychologist and consultant for the dating website eHarmony, in addition to the dating show Married At First Sight. Speaking to 9Honey, she explained that the rise of dating apps could be dangerous to your love life if you don't handle it right:
"Disposable dating can be very confusing, and in fact, can close you off to opportunities for longer-term relationships.
"If you're putting your energy into lots of short-term encounters, you may not actually see that fabulous person who's on the treadmill next to you at the gym, or the cute guy in the next cubicle at work.
"It's about making the space for a new relationship, and when you're totally focused on [a dating] app, you may not see them."
She then goes on to explain that 'overdating' isn't just about our search for the perfect partner, but can be a way to avoid other problems in our lives.
"I find that sometimes people who are 'overdating' are trying to hide from something ... it can be a great distraction from everyday life," she continued. "So maybe if you notice yourself doing this, take a little time out, reflect, and really think about what it is you want."
Despite the fact that these problems can surface when you use dating apps, there are definitely some positives. Schilling described that while dating this way may not get you the person of your dreams, it is a great way to get to know yourself.
"It's good news if you're wanting to get a handle on what it is you like and don't like in potential dates, and how you behave in relation to different people," Mel said. "Treat it like a social experiment and start to build a really clear list of what it is you're looking for."
'Overdating' may not be a problem you suffer from, but we all will have known someone who does this. So next time you see a friend go out for their 5th date that week, it might be the case that they're trying to hide from something.