Does Online Dating Cause Depression?

online dating cause depression

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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Does Online Dating Cause Depression?


Online dating can be a fun and rewarding experience for some people, however this is not the case with everyone. A study found that 49% of people with a pre-existing mood disorder reported feelings of depression that was triggered by online dating. 

It’s easy to see how online dating can make people feel depressed. Online dating can connect users with hundreds of people in their area who are single. That would sound great to someone who is looking for love. However, it also can increase the feeling of rejection if no one messages back or if conversations never go anywhere. This rejection can cause many of us to become more critical of ourselves. An inability to find a match might also lead to a sense of hopelessness – especially for those using online dating as a ‘last resort’ measure.  


Recognize How You Feel


It’s important that you try to recognize if you are starting to feel sad or frustrated. Most importantly, take action before it gets worse as these feelings can lead to more extreme feelings over a period of time. Click To Tweet

Know when to take a break


Many people become addicted to online dating. In this case, it very well may be that online dating causes depression or feelings of extreme sadness.  Thusly, it’s important that you limit the time spent checking dating sites and dating apps. After all, the more time you spend in that world, the more you’ll obsess over each negative thought associated with it. It may even be worth scheduling a specific time each day for looking at dating sites and dating apps. Perhaps you should limit your time spent on them to not more than one hour.  To help you to stick to this plan turn off your notifications for any time outside of these hours. Alternatively, if you’re feeling really down, consider taking a break for a few days or weeks and returning to it (this will also provide time for new users to join).


Try alternatives to online dating


Online dating is just one dating strategy. There are so many other forms of dating that could be worth trying. Dating chat lines as found at could be one option worth looking into. In this scenario, instead of having to message people, you can get into a phone call straight away. Another option could be to try a singles event such as a speed dating event, singles cooking class or singles club night. You could even try professional matchmaking services, allowing a professional to set you up. 


Try online dating with friends


Online dating doesn’t have to be something you do alone. You may find that you’re able to have more fun with it by getting help from a friend. Together, you could choose who to swipe and you can chat about messages and responses. Of course, this should be a friend who you trust and who genuinely cares about helping your dating life. Consider whether you have this type of friend to rely on. 


Make sure to be yourself


It’s important that you don’t try to pose as someone else when looking for a date online. Even if this does increase your chances of success in some instances, you’ll feel guilty about not being truthful and you’ll be starting any potential relationship with a lie. It’s much healthier to be yourself – be honest about your occupation, your interests and your goals. 

As far as the original question….  Does Online Dating cause Depression

Maybe yes, maybe no but it certainly can lead to frustration or sadness.

After weeks or months of no dating progress, you may feel hopeless that you’ll ever meet anyone – let alone on a dating site or dating app. Just remember that many other people are experiencing these feelings. With enough perseverance, you will meet someone – even if it’s not through online dating. The key is to not give up and to keep trying different approaches. 


For More Relationship Advice
How A Happy Relationship Can Improve Your Mental Health
How A Happy Relationship Improves Mental Health
Henry & Elise Ho, December 2015
Connect With Your Partner
4 Ways To Connect With Your Partner & Why It Is Important
Henry & Elise Ho, 1989

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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2 thoughts on “Does Online Dating Cause Depression?”

  1. I think this article undeplays how horrifying it is to be rejected on online dating apps. In my case the only women who are interested in me are 10+ years my senior. I have probably been swiped left by several hundreds of women. I have never been prone to depression before but now feel hopeless and a sense of sadness that I never knew before.

    1. Jason, you bring up a very valid point. I congratulate you in your bravery to do so. If you are in a crisis, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) in the US

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.