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How to Have Healthy Relationships with Dating Apps

Can true love be found through online dating?

A)    Yes…

B)    No…

C)    Maybe

D)    All of the above—This is the answer 


girl on phone on a dating app
Dating Apps

For some, online dating and dating apps will be a part of your love story (it’s part of several stories on our team at Steady Hope). For others, dating apps may be the source of lots of cringe-worthy stories (I have my fair share of those too), regrets, and/or meeting a few new friends.

How can we use a tool like dating apps for our benefit?

  1. Know the reason that you are using them—what is the goal? I promise at some point you are going to ask yourself, why am I using this app.

  2. Decide how you want to use the dating app—think about times of days, your own mental moods, and frequency of use on the app. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed! It can be so tempting and easy to find yourself logging on when you are feeling down, which may put a filter on how you engage the app and who you connect with.

  3. Remember that mindset is key—Dating is about meeting new people, not necessarily always about marriage. Dating is about trying new things and putting yourself out there. A mindset of openness to meeting new people, having new experiences, and taking the pressure off can help. I am often talking with clients and friends who feel this immense pressure to decide after one or two dates if they see themselves with the person. Honestly, I think that is not always realistic.

  4. Be mindful of your swipe—It is hard to not just decide whether to swipe right or left based on a few pictures, but keep in mind that the profile you are swiping is a real person just like you. It may be helpful to have an idea of a few things you are looking for in profiles or a few things you are not looking for.

  5. Be aware of your tendency for immediate gratification or immediate responses—We are primed to expect information or responses at the drop of a hat (or two-day delivery). A good relationship takes time to find and develop. Sometimes other people on apps aren't treating it like a text message, and it may take time to receive a response. Be mindful as you utilize dating apps of impatience or frustration. The running joke between my partner and I is that it took him so long to ask me on a date; he really didn’t. The reason that it felt like it took him longer than many others on dating apps is that he wanted to take the time to get to know me by asking lots of questions before he ever initiated the first meetup, which I am actually grateful for because it allowed us to start to get to know each other better before meeting up. 

  6. Know your value, worth, and boundaries—Some apps are known for hookup culture or creating expectations around sex. As a unique person, you get to decide what you are okay with and what you are not. You have a choice when and who you have sex with; spend as much time getting to know someone before moving toward intimacy.

  7. Understand that research has found many apps being developed with algorithms similar to slot machines, which can lead to feelings of “highs” when you find a “match.” Be aware of the frequency and motivation behind swiping.

  8. Date in community—It is one of the most important things I found in my own life and that I encourage clients and friends. There is wisdom that can come from not dating in isolation. Especially if you are using dating apps, the support of friends and the wisdom of friends are a gift. I know for me, I had a few other friends that understood dating apps and they were such an outlet when I desired to be encouraged or seen. We even had funny (now they are at least) experiences of connecting with some of the people. Dating-in-community allows other people in our life to meet and observe things that we might see or might not see. Dating-in-community can also be helpful when you are creating profiles, looking at other ones, or trying to decide how to kindly let the person know you are not interested.

  9. See that clarity is kindness.

  10. Have a healthy relationship with yourself—If we desire a healthy relationship with a person and a dating app, get to know yourself. Likely on a first date, the person is going to ask you what you like to do, what kind of music you like, etc. Take some time to learn the answers to those questions for yourself. Don't worry, it's okay for these to change over time.

Knowing who you are is going to help you find a person that you connect with.

My biggest encouragement is that dating apps can be a great tool to meet and connect with new people!


While online dating may not be for everyone, it could be a helpful tool in developing healthy relationships and making connections with new people when used mindfully.


I hope that this has provided some how-to's to help peak your interest, give the apps a shot, or explore individual counseling services to help prepare yourself to date well. Our team loves working with individuals seeking healthy dating relationships!


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