With the access and opportunities afforded by online dating comes a tremendous amount of pressure. It can be pressure that you put on yourself based on the perceived expectations of whatever platform you’re using, or it can be pressure from a match. Regardless of the source, it’s important to come up with some boundaries for your behavior on dating apps. What do you want to do, what are you willing to do, and where are the lines that absolutely cannot be crossed? Some areas to consider implementing boundaries:
I think it’s important to set limits on when you respond to messages. It’s really unhealthy to make yourself always available and responsive to messages, especially at night when your brain and eyes need a break before bed. Timely responses to matches messages are important to fan the flames, but not at the expense of your own well being. Once you set a boundary (for instance, “I will not respond to messages past 10pm”), it’s up to you to communicate that to your matches (but don’t feel guilty about just leaving a convo until the morning!). If you’re texting back and forth, just letting them know you’re headed to bed works for you on multiple levels: (1) You set a boundary and are sticking to it, (2) You communicated that, and now they won’t get anxious that they said the wrong thing, and (3) now they’re imagining you in bed, which is almost certainly sexier than if they actually saw you in bed.
Pretty much the same idea as above. Leave your phone at home when you go on walks, or turn off dating app notifications and just set a specific time to check it during the day. You get to be in control of where your attention is.
Have a clear idea in your head of what feels comfortable for you at any given stage of the relationship - this will help you avoid feelings of regret later. Maybe someone asks you on a first date, but you like to get to know someone online for a while before you meet up. Choosing to communicate that and not go out with them does NOT make you a bad dater or too cautious and it doesn’t mean you’re leading someone on - you just know what you’re willing to do at any given point in the relationship and keeps you from having to backpedal or cancel.
Bottom line: set boundaries. Live your best life.