Parenting In A Pandemic: Mental Health Tips For Parents

Parenting is already a demanding job in itself. But being a parent at a time of pandemic is even more difficult.

There is added pressure from the need to ensure your children and family’s safety while managing the household. Then there is the stress from the disorienting work-from-home set-up and the new teacher role, especially for those whose kids are doing online classes.

It also does not help that the usual physical and emotional support sources, like relatives and close friends, are restricted, if not totally inaccessible, right now.

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These are the reasons why many parents and guardians are experiencing extremely high-level stress and anxiety. It also does not help that parents are naturally self-sacrificing. They would almost always put first their family’s needs before even attempting to notice their own needs.

And it can be dangerous. Paying more attention to your own emotional and mental health is important now more than ever. It goes beyond convincing yourself that you can do all your duties and chores but taking specific steps to improve your mental well-being.

Here are tips on how you can better take care of your mental well-being.

Reclaim Your Me-Time

Every day seems so busy that we are barely able to finish our to-dos. Despite being at home, we’re still always in a rush.

What’s worse is this pandemic took away our usual me-time, like our commute from work, lunch break walks, side-trip to a store on the way home, among others. These times seem inconsequential, but they help a lot with recharging and decompression. So carve out time for yourself, however short that may be.

You can exercise, do meditation, or anything that you used to do as your alone time.

This activity is easier said than done, especially for those who have toddlers at home. But these breaks need not be overly prepared for. The important part is to be deliberate that this allotted time is only for you.

It can be as simple as taking longer baths but being mindful that the extra time is for you. Or staying in bed a couple of minutes more in the morning and telling yourself, “This additional rest and the quiet moment is mine.”

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If you can’t do things alone, do something enjoyable with your family. Watch a movie with them, but choose the film that you’ve wanted to watch. Or do art sessions with your kids, but also be intentional about your artwork. Try drawing how you feel or what you look forward to doing again after everything is over.

Connect With Others But Set Boundaries

Social distancing does not mean we have to disconnect from our social circles. Regularly get in touch with relatives and friends. Check-in on them and take advantage of the myriad of social networking and video conferencing apps.

If you tend to isolate when anxious or depressed, schedule these calls or catch-up sessions to reduce this tendency.

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However, set boundaries. Although social media is a powerful tool to connect, it can also cause additional anxiety. So feel free to mute keywords or disconnect from people or pages that exacerbate your feelings.

Also, don’t be afraid to stay away from friends who are prone to worst-case scenarios.  Because we know how it feels to be overly worried and stressed, we feel extra pressured to be there and provide support to others who feel the same. This is not always good. Other’s stress can rub off on you, especially now that everyone has heightened emotions.

Celebrate Wins

Were you able to cook a family dinner after straight days of microwave meals? Tell yourself, “Good job!” And do your happy dance. Did you successfully explain a school lesson to your child? Clap for yourself. Or even draw a star on your hand. Did you finish all your work tasks on time so you won’t have to work after dinner? After closing your work apps, hug your partner and say, “I did it!”

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It is essential to relish and celebrate any form of success, especially during this very bleak time. There are various ways to do this. You can whisper affirmations to yourself or make simple gestures like patting your back or smiling in front of the mirror. Do what makes you genuinely feel positive, uplifted, and happy.

However simple the form may be, these celebrations give a rush of happy chemicals to our system. More than making us feel good at that moment, it wires that satisfying behavior to our brain. It makes us want to do these things more to bring us the same or higher joy level.

So it also motivates us to cook more often, be prepared and patient in teaching the kids, or try to finish our office tasks on time so we won’t need to work at night.

Parents feel a pang of inherent guilt when they do something for themselves. It must be an immanent part of parenthood. But you might not be aware that you are already disregarding your mental health. You are so focused on addressing the seemingly endless list of everyone’s concerns that tend to neglect your own needs.

However, in this unprecedented time, it’s good to be reminded of this age-old saying that goes, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.”

It would be best if you took care of yourself first to take care of your family better. Make time for yourself, connect with others but maintain boundaries, and celebrate all forms of accomplishments, even the smallest ones.

Navigating Relationships In A Family Business

Running a family business can be very rewarding, but there are caveats that outsiders will need to be aware of. Aside from managing the business partnerships, owners and employees often find themselves dealing with the family relationships.

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From neighborhood convenience stores to manufacturing plants, successful family-owned businesses can be found everywhere despite the business model’s unique struggles. Some of the world’s biggest global enterprises, like Walmart, Volkswagen, and Cargill, are still family-owned.

If you are thinking of starting a business with your family or perhaps, working for one, here are some factors you’ll need to consider.

Educational Background

Anyone can start a business, but not everyone can be an entrepreneur. Most owners take a course on management because of many tasks like setting up a business, and closing it involves routine administrative work.

Others will advise you that you don’t need to study because you can hire someone else to do it anyway. However, this leaves you vulnerable to other people who want to take advantage of this knowledge gap.

The good news is that you are not required to have a business degree to succeed in your enterprise. If you are joining a family business as a child, spouse, or relative, the situation will adapt to your background.

But if you are a valued business partner with a different last name, be open to putting in additional effort. With the proper research and expert guidance, rest assured that you will be able to find your place.

Personality Traits

Having the right attitude towards owning a business is just as important as having the background for it. Like in any institution or organization, members commonly take personality tests to figure out their natural tendencies.

Surveys like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Belbin Team Roles help guide leaders and employees in managing expectations of the job and work dynamics.

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There are times when family members will fight due to irreconcilable differences, even when they share the same intentions in wanting to have a successful business. You have to learn how to be flexible and understand that there are various approaches to solving a problem.

Accepting that people change is a fact of the job, especially when you also expect the company to grow and transform for the better.

Character Strengths And Weaknesses

Whether it’s the business owners or non-family employees, being aware of the family’s strengths and weaknesses can positively impact its culture. Who is good with sales? Is there an accountant or a lawyer in the family? Who is the best when it comes to strategy and investment?

More often than not, there will be competing goals and power dynamics within the family. It will help you find out which member has the technical skills, financial acumen, and management experience towards leading the business.

Your ambitions and motivations will direct how you address your weaknesses, either through complementing them with other people’s strengths or spending time and money to improve yourself.

However, the formula for a perfect business does not exist. Furthermore, a family-owned business faces higher risks and challenges to succeed. How can you maintain family cohesion while building business relationships?

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  • Communicate Often About Emerging Issues

The only way to solve any misunderstanding is to talk about it. You should always aim for clarity in giving instructions, making decisions, and reporting problems when talking about topics concerning the business.

However, try to focus on being an effective communicator instead of over-communicating, which is a symptom of poor leadership and can slow things down.

  • Agree On A Governance Structure To Reduce Conflict

Owners should establish a company vision that is supported by clear goals to reduce conflict between family members. Ownership and management structure should be under separate evaluation to delineate roles and responsibilities.

  • Designate Time And Space For The Family Separate From The Business

It’s normal for some people to have different personas when they are at the workplace and at home. You should consider separating mundane activities like driving to work, arranging meetings, and even office chatter.

For business-owning couples who stay under the same roof, running the business together will likely add stress to an already challenging relationship, balancing the role of intimate and professional partner at the same time.

  • Bring In Experts And Counselors

Family-owned businesses will achieve success by having expert advisors and counselors to mediate significant conflicts.

While non-family employees are subject to different standards, the family needs to value their contributions and reward them accordingly. Accepting criticism and feedback from trusted partners will also help resolve issues, especially those within the family.

Balancing the business demands with family-oriented decisions often relies on healthy relationships between spouses, siblings, and parents’ relationship with their children. 

The secret to sustaining an entrepreneurial family is more often a product of design rather than destiny. Therefore, learning to adapt with the times will be an essential skill in developing successful family businesses.

Getting Over Pandemic-Triggered Anxiety

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Before the pandemic, I was genuinely doing well in my crusade to beat anxiety. I met with my support group three times a week and talked to people with similar mental disorders like mine. My therapy sessions were also going great, considering I managed to trust and open up to my therapist quickly. The doctor even allowed me to stop taking calming medication, which I did not like one bit.

However, I should have known that there is no such thing as a smooth recovery. There were supposed to bumps on the road that aimed to shake you a little and ensure that you could apply your newfound knowledge to the situation. In my case, that roadblock came in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I could still recall the night when I learned about it and the community quarantine that it resulted in. It happened on a Wednesday after coming home from my support group meeting. I was in a good mood while telling my boyfriend over dinner about my self-discoveries. Then, when we watched the late-night news, we heard about the businesses closing and the mandatory cancellation of mass gatherings.

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Our lives changed overnight after that. My office shut down temporarily, no one in the support group could host or attend another meeting, and the therapist was no longer allowed to see clients in person. In other words, I had to stop doing practically everything that glued my sanity together. And just like that, it became almost too easy to slip back into my anxiety-filled days.

If you pay attention to my word choices, you may notice that I say “almost” in the last sentence. That’s because I have been able to get ahold of myself at the last minute and try to get over my pandemic-triggered anxiety.

Below are two things I have done in the previous months.

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Rely On Loved Ones For Support

I love my boyfriend enough to decide to buy a house with him, but I have appreciated his existence more during the quarantine. He has been looking after me and helping me deal with panic attacks. Whenever I voice out my concerns, he listens well and does not make me feel as crazy as I know I am. Because of that, I get prolonged moments of clarity even without professional help.

Now, you need not shack up with anyone hastily just so you can have a support system at home. You may move back into your parents’ house or ask your siblings or friends to stay with you. This way, there will always be people around to remind you of who you are.

Decide On What Type Of News To See

There are many updates related to COVID-19 at this point. Some come with straightforward facts, complete with death tolls and more depressing stuff. Others talk about people overcoming the disease or scientists making progress with their goal to create a vaccine against coronavirus.

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Considering hard-hitting news does not do you and your anxiety any good, you should focus on the latter type of content. It will still be factual, so you won’t be stuck in an ideal world. However, you can get the information in a positive light, thus preventing you from freaking out.

Final Thoughts

Letting anxiety affect you for too long was already an awful choice in the past. Allowing it to happen now that the pandemic remains far from over will only be suicide.

If you want to get over your pandemic-triggered anxiety as I did, you need to focus on yourself and your loved ones. Worrying about matters that cannot be fixed by a single person will not make a significant change in the world’s current situation. The best help you can offer is your promise to calm down and stay at home.

Clean Environment Means Healthy Body And Mind

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The 2019 Environmental Health Conference was a good venue for environmentalists (and entrepreneurs as well) to discuss and share their expertise on how the environment affects our daily life as well as our mental wellness as individuals. It was an excellent opportunity to listen to the talks there on how we can take care of our environment since it is taking care of us too. Indeed, having a healthy environment equates to a good life for every individual.

Continue reading “Clean Environment Means Healthy Body And Mind”

How To Do Talk Therapy During The Quarantine

Never in my life have I thought that I would live to experience a pandemic in this lifetime. I used to watch documentaries about diseases like the Bubonic plague and Spanish influenza, after all. I felt devastated to hear that so many people died because of them. At the same time, I was thankful for not being born in the 20th century.

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But then again, the coronavirus outbreak happened, and its effect appears to last as long as the illnesses mentioned above. Tens of thousands of people succumb to death daily in different parts of the world. The nurses, doctors, and other frontline workers need to take extra shifts to look after COVID-19 patients. Many hospitals cannot even accommodate all of them, so the government and various organizations create makeshift hospitals elsewhere.

No matter how much we wish for all this to be nothing but a bad dream, let’s face it: it is our new reality. Only the experts can alter it by inventing a vaccine that will immunize everyone from the coronavirus. Until then, we need to think of ways to cope with the situation, such as doing talk therapy.

You can do it by:

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Expressing Your Feelings To Loved Ones

The first individuals who can lend their ears to you are your parents, siblings, cousins, and other loved ones. You can tell them everything, from your concerns to your fears. They will undoubtedly be there when you call them.

I suggest opening up to your loved ones about how you feel about the coronavirus outbreak because you have a close relationship with them. There is no need to act tough or sugarcoat your words whenever you are around them. Thus, all your deep-seated emotions may be able to come out and keep depression at bay.

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Empathizing With Patients’ Relatives

In case you have already spoken to your family, and it does not seem enough, you may try talking to the patients’ relatives. Indeed, since they cannot visit their loved ones in the hospital, they must be worried sick and always waiting for news about their health.

To empathize with the patients’ relatives, you need not leave your job to look for them. Typically, you may find them in the lobby or right outside the hospital. Just take time to chat with them and assure them that you are all doing everything to help them heal. Even if you don’t stay in touch, being able to connect to others can make you feel better, albeit slightly.

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Getting Help From A Licensed Therapist

If all else fails, licensed therapists are available to talk to you about your worries. You may ask your friends and family if they recommend a mental health professional, who may conduct a consultation online. You can also visit an online counseling platform for a quick conversation with a therapist at any time of the day.

The benefit of getting help from a licensed therapist is that they know how to guide through your emotions. They have prepared for it for years; you may not be the first person to come to them for similar issues. So, you should not feel self-conscious while spilling all the beans in front of them.

Final Thoughts

We may continue to feel the effects of the coronavirus outbreak until the end of the year (hopefully). Governments may lift their quarantine orders sooner than later, but the virus is still far from being gone. It entails that you may experience more depressing things, which will add to your psychological burden.

The only solution to avoid snapping permanently at this point is talk therapy. Try it now before your situation worsens.

Talk Therapy For HIV-Positive Mothers

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The 2017 Annual Public Health Seminar was very informative. Almost every quarter, the BU School of Public Health handle the Global Health Research Seminar Series. It is a one hour event that caters to many public health topic like HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, infant health, early childhood development, ART retention, and more. I know the topics may seem very general, but the seminars are specific and one of a kind. For example, I attended the seminar wherein women with HIV in South Africa has revealed their stories and more to that, they have given birth while with their disease.

Continue reading “Talk Therapy For HIV-Positive Mothers”

Family Harmony

Which family doesn’t argue? Every single family argues whether it’s over whose turn it is to pick the family day activity, or who gets to use the bathroom first! Even when a family has grown, harmony doesn’t always come. People love one another but they can argue and be less harmonious than possible! However, can family harmony really help heal a family and what should you do to try and bring family harmony to your household? This site partly talks about it.

You Must Do Your Bit

You cannot expect to get family harmony overnight or without hard work. Getting a family to put aside their differences and come together is not going to be easy in any sense and it’s going to take a lot of time, too. However, you need to do your part when it comes to creating family harmony. You cannot keep bringing up past issues that cause arguments and you have to move on from the person you used to be. Harmony will take time and effort on everyone’s part, even you.

Family Harmony Can Help Bring a Family Closer

When you have family harmony, then you can honestly feel closer to one another. That can be so very important for a host of reasons and really it might help bring a family back together again. However, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get a family back on track. There will be screaming, shouting, and tantrums but that is part and parcel of life. You cannot have a happy household every minute of the day and there will be tears. When there is harmony, however, the family can feel much closer and happier in their own ways. Click this site!

There Are Going To Be Disagreements

In truth, families are going to fall out. Families will tear strips off one another and absolutely dislike one another,  but that is a family. You cannot have harmony every second of the day. It’s very important to remember that because while you might want to have a happy family, you will run into difficulties from time to time. It’s all a part of family life and, in all honesty, we can’t always be happy with every decision someone makes. For some members of the family, they will disagree when their sister chooses a man who mistreats her; and daughters will hate it when their mother tries meddling in their life. That is family life and it’s a natural part of it. There can be family harmony but you do have to work for it and there will be tough times even when things are going well.

Love Your Family

Who doesn’t want the perfect family? Having a loving mother, father, and siblings can be great but it doesn’t exist. There are no perfect families out there and it’s important to remember that because if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll never find it. That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t be happy or love one another. What is more, family harmony isn’t as difficult to find either and with a bit of effort on your part, things can become much more harmonious. After all, perfection is boring!

 

My Therapist Told Me To Come Home – A Travel Blogger’s Depression

I’ve been a fan of travel bloggers.   I am amazed by their courage to travel alone.  It sounds inspiring when I hear most of them say that travel is life.  And I wonder, “Can I make it my way of life, too?” I have never left my hometown in my 21 years here on earth.  Will I ever have the courage to do it?

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Freelancing Is My Ticket To Traveling

I was determined to travel the world!

So I followed one travel blogger’s advice, and that is to do freelancing in order to afford life on the road.  I read, studied, and put to practice Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek.  Like the others, I made it my Bible in freelancing and traveling.  Getting into this kind of career was never easy.  I failed many times, but with determination, I was able to make it my stable source of income.

 

Overcoming The Anxiety I’ve Never Had Before

I would love to travel, but just the idea of traveling outside of the country became too overwhelming for me, so I decided to explore my country first.  I spent almost six months backpacking, and it was a crazy awesome experience.  I came back home for my mom to know that I was okay.  My family and friends were all excited to hear my stories.  Now, I am ready to travel the world, and my first stop, Vietnam!

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My Feelings Started To Change

It feels very different, and the level of anxiety is much higher.  My mind wanders, thinking of the worst-case scenarios that frighten me.  Different country, different culture.

It was slowly getting into me that I was a foreigner in this land of the unknown.  I tried hard to blend in and find friends.  I got lost in the streets but managed to find my way back to my rented room, which is part of the adventure.  I found the place exciting, and some places were really a paradise.  Some people were great, and there are some who were not, just like in any other places I visited.

 

It was at first fun flying from one country to another.  But I don’t know what happened to me. Suddenly, I was back in my hostel room, feeling so empty.   The excitement was starting to wear off.  Am I just missing home? Am I just overthinking? I tried going out more often and make more friends to divert my boredom, as I called it.  But things got worse when I found myself not going out much when I was in Thailand.  It was a beautiful place, but I was not sure why I could not find the energy to explore more.  Sitting at Phi Phi beach and watching families having fun made me miss my own family back home.  Loneliness struck me that for two nights, I was just in the room that I rented doing nothing until I found myself registering on an online counseling site.

 

I talked to one of their therapists and told him about what I was feeling and asked him what he thinks about it.  He told me that the way it looked, my sudden loss of interest and sadness could be due to depression.  Travelers, no matter how excited they are, can experience depression, especially when traveling alone.

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To Be Honest, I Want To Go Back Home

He asked me how I really feel now that traveling to me is no longer the idea I was just imagining but a reality of life for me.  I gave myself time to think, and my answer was I wanted to go back home. Traveling alone, seeing beautiful places, experiencing new things is not fun when you are alone, that’s for me to say.  I have this guilty feeling that I should be sharing all this with my family.   Whenever I look at my selfies sitting alone at a restaurant, playing at the beach, I think of the family I left behind, and I think of myself as “selfish.”  Instead of enjoying the rest of my travel, it depresses me.

 

Coming Back Home Can’t Be An Option, It’s Cowardliness

After several sessions and after hearing me out, my therapist told me why not go back home.  He said that I seemed to miss my family, which is true.   But I can’t.  I wanted to do this. Giving up and going home would mean I failed.

 

Then my therapist told me, “What’s the use of finishing your goal if you are no longer happy about it?  Think of what will make you happy and not what others will think. You travel not for another people’s satisfaction but your own.  If going home is what will give you your happiness, then that’s not failing. That’s knowing what you want.  Your travel has taught you so much and has opened your mind to many possibilities and experiences.  That’s not failing, but gaining, and not all are given a chance to have that.”

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All My Bags Are Packed

My therapist got me thinking.  And I found myself packing my bags and heading back home.  Traveling has always been my passion, and it has allowed me to grow and learn many things.  Coming home is what excites me now.  I miss sitting on our couch and sharing them my stories.  I miss my bedroom and my mom’s cooking.

 

Many people love the idea of traveling, but not all are ready to leave the comfort of their home.  But for those who gave it a shot, like me, but found themselves just curling up in their hotel room, bored, jittery, and depressed, it is not wrong to open your mind to the reality of what you are feeling.  Cutting your trip short does not mean surrendering to defeat. It’s the wisdom to know what you want and doing something about it, which many fail to consider.

 

I do not consider myself a failure because I took the courage to travel and find myself. It is just that maybe going alone is not for me at this point in my life.  But I will be back on the road, and when that time comes, I will bring along the most important people in my life.

 

My Beliefs Are Different From Yours

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(When Culture, Teligion And Tradition Clashes With The Modern Times…)

My marriage was arranged. Yes, it’s the 21st century and a woman must be free to choose her husband. But I belong in a family where tradition is rich and strictly followed. One of the many beliefs in our family is to set up a boy and a girl and will them to marry each other when they reach 19. The moment my parents knew I was a girl, my future has been “sold”. That’s how I saw it while growing up and I was very rebellious back then.

I wasn’t allowed to have suitors, let alone experience puppy love. Watching teen movies and rom-coms was the closest I ever got to “having a boyfriend”. My parents were preserving me for my future husband and I will meet him on my 19th birthday. I know which family he belongs to, but I don’t know who he is exactly. In parties, my mother would say – “Your husband is here and he says that you look beautiful. Masha Allah. He says that he is very blessed that you are a pious woman darling and he can’t wait to officially meet you on your birthday.” In a way, it made me feel all giddy, but the fact still remained – my choice was robbed from me – at that time, that’s how I saw it.

One day, my mother saw me crying. I have thought about my future that time and it made me panic. What if I didn’t like him or he doesn’t like the real me? Is he a good person? Will he be a wonderful husband to me? What will happen to me after we get married? Will I still be able to finish college? I really want to work and have my own income – will my husband allow me that? I have become so anxious and that anxietywas really building up to a point wherein I was hyperventilating. My mother saw all of that and came to my aid.

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She told me that she felt the same way when her 19th year was fast approaching and when her betrothed, my father, was still waiting for her. “I know how you feel and I’ve been there myself. But we are your parents and we need you to trust us. We will not choose a husband for you who will destroy your future. You will go to college and you will be able to work in whatever field you choose – your husband will support you. As for children, whenever you’re ready. All the other things, you two will work it out and me and dad, together with his parents, can suggest and recommend actions for you to do. The final decision will come from the both of you, of course.” She told me.

I asked her why she needed to sell me to some guy that I don’t love. My mother laughed and said that I am indeed her daughter because when she was younger, she asked her mom the same thing. She answered me the same thing my grandma said to her – “Selling means I have acquired money from the “transaction”, but I haven’t. We are not selling you and we will never do that. We are just making sure that when we are gone, you have a responsible husband by your side who will be your companion until Allah continues on with your fate.” Yes, we’re Muslims and for some, this situation is a sample of oppression. As I look at it, I was beginning to understand why. It’s not oppression and I don’t feel oppressed at all.

People are given their freedom to choose, but what if we intentionally pick to do the wrong things all the time? Is this right and justifiable? I feel now that my parents are just watching out for me, since I am a woman, and they don’t want me to be tainted by the “modern” culture – lies, lust, premarital sex, drugs, alcohol and more. I prayed to the Almighty for guidance and understanding.

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Now, I can say, that I am waiting for this day to come. Other people may not “get” it, but this is my life and these people who are not supportive have no say in the matter. If the marriage will pose a challenge, my mother said that we can always turn to mediation and couples counseling (yes, we do this too!) which sounds really good to me. At least we are both pure when we take each other as husband and wife and we can get to know one another after that. The Almighty reserved him for me as I for him and in a way, I do have my own Prince Charming, which is romantic.

Staying Sane But Not Single: Dating In The Modern World

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I don’t think there has ever been a time in history where dating was easy and both sexes understood each other with complete clarity. If a time has existed with simplified dating rituals and processes, I think we can honestly say now definitely isn’t it. With an influx of dating apps and websites in previous years, our dating lives have become ever more active whilst simultaneously becoming more and more complex. I remember when I was around seventeen, I was sitting with my mum in our living room when an advert for a cliché teen drama popped up on the TV, she immediately turned around to me and said, “if I went back in time and had to do the whole young dating thing in this day and age, I’m not sure if I could deal with it all”. She then began to elaborate and explained the mammoth difference between technology and dating now compared to twenty years ago. For the first time in my life, I realized that my generation is facing a completely different type of dating battleground. Generations before us didn’t even have mobile phones to text with, let alone swipe right to spark a potential relationship. Don’t get me wrong, it is an incredible time we live in with plenty of opportunities, but along with this simplified process comes a whole host of additional issues.

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While we now have a much larger choice of potential partners, this choice can leave us confused and overwhelmed. This endless selection of partners can spoil us and our expectations. When presented with such an extensive list we may become more picky, resulting in an individual endlessly window shopping for the perfect partner. This choice has proven to make us more judgmental and may result in us dismissing a potential partner that we may have given a chance in real life. Moreover, a prodigious amount of choice can lead to more fragile relationships. The chances of infidelity in a relationship can be far greater when temptation is only a tap away, especially with Apps and sites designed for those looking to cheat such as Ashley Madison.

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For girls, online dating can present an age-old problem that has transferred from the real world into the cyber world, men that are solely looking for sex. This may not be breaking news but it is an issue for women across many dating sites and apps. Though there are some good guys out there, dating apps and sites create another platform in which men can bombard women with overly forward messages and unflattering pictures of their genitals. The good news is that apps like Tinder and Bumble give women more power to selectively choose and message potential partners instead of allowing waves of men to relentlessly contact them.

Like many apps, it is important to remember that your engagement should have a healthy balance with everything else in your life. Because the truth is, just like Clash of Clans or Candy Crush, dating apps can be addictive. Operant conditioning dictates that we are more likely to repeat behavior if it is rewarded, and what is more rewarding than finding out someone thinks you are attractive. When we have a match or message from someone new. For example, Tinder has been known to strategically place those who have liked you in a certain order. This produces what feels like a random success rate of who you will match with much like the system used by slot machines to keep you playing.

All of this may sound incredibly depressing, but the truth is we are living in one of the most interesting times to be single. Societal norms are now more liberal than ever and technology is constantly keeping us on our toes, spicing our dating lives up for better and for worse. I will leave you with this clip as I believe the comedian Aziz Ansari perfectly sums up modern dating in a spectacularly hilarious manner.