On dating apps and self-love: ‘Swipe right to yourself first’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 13) — There is a certain kind of joy in searching for love, but it comes with loving oneself first, according to a life coach.

Dating apps have created a whole new landscape for meeting people. Daters sign up for different reasons whether to find true love or engage in momentary fun.

READ: What’s the best dating app for you?

According to life coach Eric Cruz, a person searching for love should fall in love with onself first, even in the online dating world.

“Find joy in the search, not like you go out there as if kulang ka. The power of online dating is to be seen and chosen. Swipe right to yourself first,” he said on CNN Philippines’ On the Record.

Cruz said the key to a success story in the online dating world is being “clear with your intentions and to be authentic.”

“Match your online self with your offline self.” he added.

Cruz said that the main difference of online dating is having a curated image of oneself, putting the best foot forward. Relationships that begin from dating apps usually go through major challenges during the first year because it is the only time that the couple gets to know each other on a personal level.

Success stories

There has been a stigma attached to online dating in a conservative country like the Philippines. Some may engage in dating apps merely for fun, but some truly find the one.

RJ and Stephanie Lopena met on Tinder in 2016, and got married in 2018.

“Proud ako na nag meet kami sa Tinder kasi akala ng lahat joke lang pag nag meet kayo sa Tinder. No'ng tumagal na, na-appreciate na ng mga tao 'yong dating apps, na may nagiging success story pala,” Stephanie said.

[Translation: I am proud that we met in Tinder because everyone thinks that it is a joke. But they appreciated it (dating apps) later on, that there are success stories from it.]

Cruz said meeting people through dating apps is commonplace for its convenience and accessibility. However, there have been repercussions surrounding these platforms, including identity theft and scams.

The repercussions

Francis Señora, National Bureau of Investigation Cybercrime Division senior agent, said people usually encounter “love scams” that involve giving false promises. He added that majority of victims scams are women who are sad and alone.

Senora shared some safety tips for online matchmaking.

“When you engage with an online relationship, tell your family or friends. Check the account if it is not recently created. Always verify. Google search the photo of the profile itself. Find out if it was used in other accounts. Next, check kung gaano na katagal 'yong account,” he said.