No one WANTS to be lonely!
Finding a mate has evolved. For thousands of years people met their spouse through families they knew in their villages where both sets of parents would consent to the relationship. As time passed and exposure to other groups increased, people started meeting their mates through work, school, places of worship and clubs.
While this worked for most, there were usually a few that never met their mate this way. Whether everyone was already taken or they couldn’t find their type, some never found a partner and had to venture through life as a single.
While some people embrace the life of singleness, most do not. Erik Erickson, a German-born American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst, studied cultures across the globe and found the majority of people from ages 20 to 40 go through a phase of development he called intimacy vs. isolation. Simply put, if a person finds a lifelong partner they are said to have achieved “intimacy,” and if they don't, they are stuck in a state of isolation.
As plenty of singles know, isolation has been linked to all sorts of health concerns. Psychological research has repeatedly shown that as isolation goes up depression goes up too. In addition, as isolation increases so do our stress levels, and as stress increases, our mental and physical health both tend to deteriorate.
The reverse is also true — the more connected and supported we feel, the less depressed we feel and the lower our stress levels.
It’s clear that we’ve been wired for intimacy and that we thrive when we are in close, healthy relationships — and we tend to suffer when we aren't.
Another element causing stress for singles is the social stigma often attached to it. Social clock theory says we tend to evaluate how “normal” we are by comparing ourselves against our peers. So if your peers all have college degrees, but you don’t, it's likely that you’ll feel inferior.
Thankfully, with the relatively recent birth of online dating sites, such as Christian Crush, amazing new possibilities have become available for singles.
Here are 3 ways online dating can help you cope with being single (and actually help you feel BETTER about your mental health):
1. It helps you realize you're not the only single person out there
Being single when your family members and close friends are married makes you feel like crap, which, in turn, creates a stressful situation for you. Joining a dating site, however, can make you feel like you’re FINALLY not alone, because you'll see the tons of other people in the exact same boat as you.
We all enjoy feeling like we’re not alone in our situation, and we like that there are others who understand what we're going through.
2. It creates a sense of community
Dating sites create a whole new world of connections through their forums, blog comments and messages. All of these interactions can feel like you’ve joined a giant family where everyone’s in the same life stage pursuing the same goal.
Developing this sense of camaraderie and community can help you feel connected and supported by like-minded individuals. As I said earlier, the more connected and supported we feel, the less depressed we are.
3. It connects you with more dating possibilities than you'll ever need
Isolation leads to depression and increased stress, which compromises our mental and physical health. Therefore, finding a mate through a dating site can reverse this.
Not only can joining a dating site help you find a mate, it can help you find one that's actually compatible with you because you have a ton of information about each other's values, likes/dislikes and personality traits. Knowing all this pertinent information usually leads to more successful relationships compared to meeting someone in person where this data isn’t readily available.
So, while some people continue to meet in traditional ways, more and more are finding their mate online. No longer do singles have to be limited to their geographical location or to their small social network at work or school, nor do they have to settle for feeling alone without any options.
Online dating sites have reversed all these issues and they've provided incredible potential for people to meet their match.