One in 10 Americans is looking for love online—are you one of them? Dating can take a toll on your physical and mental health—but it doesn’t have to. One Medical Group providers share their tips for staying safe, healthy, and sane as you play the digital dating game.
1. Smile! It releases chemicals (endorphins and serotonin) that make you feel happier. – Honore Lansen, MD – New York
3. Kick the butts. One more reason to quit smoking: 89 percent of Match.com users prefer to date a non-smoker. – Desmond Watt, PA – Chicago
4. Freshen up naturally. Add mint or parsley to your water before a big date for a vitamin boost and fresh breath. – Erica Matluck, ND, NP – San Francisco
5. Don’t get caught up in the waiting game. If waiting for texts from potential dates stresses you out, distract yourself with a long walk or catch up with a friend. – Kristen Scarlett, MA, LMHC, NCC – New York
6. Ask how your date manages stress. Having a partner with good coping mechanisms is integral to your mental health as well! – Erica Matluck, ND, NP – San Francisco
8. Ask how your date spends his or her time. It’s an important predictor of health. Will a workaholic have time for you? – Erica Matluck, ND, NP – San Francisco
9. Listen to your intuition. Don’t compromise your boundaries, and respect your date’s. – Ellen Vora, MD – New York
10. Trust your gut. If you feel uneasy being around a person, cut the date short. – Christine Celio, PhD – San Francisco
11. Keep a clear head. Instead of beer, order a mocktail or bubbly water. Make clear decisions and avoid a hangover! – Kristen Foskett, RN – Virtual Medical Team
12. Don’t let a bad break up ruin your appetite. Eat three meals a day, each containing at least 20 grams of protein, to keep insomnia, anxiety, and depression at bay. – Jenny-Viva Collisson, MD – San Francisco
14. Don’t just sit around. If dating makes it hard to find time for a workout, plan active dates, like rock climbing or a bike ride. – Will Kimbrough, MD – Washington, DC
15. Eat smart when you’re out. Don’t let nerves get in the way of making healthy eating choices. Stay on track with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbs (fiber) at every meal. – Karyn Duggan, CNC – San Francisco
16. Don’t leave your drink with your date. If you must, take it with you while using the bathroom. – Erica Matluck, ND, NP – San Francisco
17. Keep your friends in the know. Meet in a public place and tell a friend where you’re going. – Michelle Kay, NP – San Francisco
18. Be transparent, and expect the same. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions—about drug use or HIV status, for instance—and be prepared to answer yourself! – David Bowden, MD – San Francisco
19. Always practice safe sex. Barrier protection cuts your risk of infection with HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia as well as syphilis, herpes, and genital warts. – Paul Stabile, PA-C – New York
20. Know your STI status, and ask about your partner’s. There are 19 million+ new cases of STIs in the US annually, but most people are unaware that they’re infected. Consider this when you engage with new partners. – Erica Matluck, ND, NP – San Francisco
21. Don’t wait if you may have been exposed to HIV. Contact your provider ASAP: Prevention medication must be started within 72 hours. – Paul Stabile, PA-C – New York
The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, an innovative primary care practice with offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC.
Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. The One Medical Group entities and 1Life Healthcare, Inc. make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.