They found that men who use the app are most at risk for lowered self-esteem. The research findings seem to contradict past research, which has shown that women’s self-perceptions tend to be most affected by visual media such as magazines, television, and social media.
The researchers found a correlation for both genders between a person’s use of Tinder and self-worth indicators such as feelings of body shame, comparisons to others, body satisfaction, internalisation of cultural beauty standards, self-objectification and self-esteem.
But the surprising finding was that when it came to self-esteem, men who were Tinder users had significantly lower self-esteem.
Why do men who use Tinder have lower self-esteem?
This finding makes sense to me because Tinder’s matching process is based purely on a person’s photo. A person’s attractiveness is placed above all other attributes.
When you use the Tinder dating up on your phone, you “swipe right” if you like a person’s profile or you “swipe left” if you’re not interested. Tinder then says you are matched with someone if you both “swipe right”.
If you’re swiping right and not getting any matches, it only makes sense that being consistently rejected will have an impact on how you feel about yourself.
The study also suggested that because there are more men on Tinder (and previous reports show that men are three times more likely to swipe right), men are potentially opening themselves up to more rejection and the phenomenon of ghosting.
How to manage Tinder rejection
It’s important to remember these apps are not necessarily reflective of you and your relationships in the real world.
I recommend you take a lighthearted approach to using dating apps. If you’re on the receiving end of constant rejections, remind yourself it’s not personal; the people on these apps don’t know you.
If you’re starting to feel socially isolated, depressed, anxious, or overly worried about your physical appearance, it may be time to take a break from online dating.
Get out in the real world and meet real people. Join a meetup group, a sporting group, or a hobby club. Focus on developing genuine relationships that are nourishing and rewarding.
While the convenience of dating apps can make it very easy for you to connect quickly with many people, it doesn’t mean you have to use them if they don’t work for you.
There are lots of people who are still finding romantic partners out in real life, and they didn’t need technology or an app to connect.
Do you need relationship help?
Since 2003, Clinton Power has helped thousands of couples and individuals as a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice in Sydney and online in Australia. Clinton regularly comments in the media on issues of relationships and has appeared on Channel 7, The Sydney Morning Herald, and ABC Radio. Clinton’s eBook, 31 Days to Build a Better Relationship is available through his website or Amazon. Click here to take Clinton’s relationship checkup quiz to find out how well you know your partner.