Between awkward first dates, getting ghosted, and potential relationships that don’t go anywhere, it’s easy to get worn out by the whole experience.
One study for Match.com found that 54% of women currently feel burnt out by dating. Men, I’m sure our numbers would be up there too. There are only so times you can go on a date where you get asked literally zero questions about yourself before a tiny part of dies forever.
Symptoms of dating burnout include consistently feeling negative emotions when signing into dating apps, often being bored on dates, feeling exhausted by the prospect of going on more dates, and struggling with negative thoughts around whether you’ll ever find someone.
If you’re one of the many people struggling with burnout, here are 5 steps that can help:
1. TAKE A BREAK
Dating Coach Gregg Michaelsen puts it this way, “When you are sick, you take care of yourself and take the time to rest and recuperate. The same should hold true when you are sick and tired of dating.”
If you’re burnt out, one of the best ways to re-fill your energy tank is to take an intentional break from dating. Temporarily delete the apps, hit pause on the endless string of coffee dates and politely decline any offers from friends to set you up with someone.
It can be tempting to spend a few minutes swiping whenever you’re feeling bored, so be strict about your time away from the dating game – whether it’s two weeks, a month, or 7 years living as a hermit in a wilderness.
At the end of your allocated break-time, don’t feel like you HAVE to immediately resume dating. Instead, take stock of how you’re feeling. If you feel more positive about the prospect of dating, then great. If not, extend your break.
2. REFLECT ON HOW IT’S GOING
When dates don’t go well, it can be tempting to block them out and move on as quickly as possible. However, reflecting back on our dating experiences can be a fantastic opportunity to learn more about ourselves and identify where we might be going wrong.
Set aside some time to reflect (and pray) about your recent dating experiences. Think back to a date that went well. What did you enjoy about it? Why did you feel a connection with your date?
What about a date that didn’t go so well? Were you bored? Did you struggle to connect with your date? Why? Answering these questions can help you to refine to what you’re looking for in a date and avoid making the same mistakes twice.
Keep an eye out as well for unhealthy patterns. For example, if you consistently find yourself dating emotionally “unavailable” people, it might be a sign that you’re missing some important red flags and/or that you’re struggling with emotionally availability yourself.
3. EXPLORE NEW AVENUES OF DATING
It may be that your dating burnout is actually only fatigue with a particular form of dating. A few years into my time at university, a friend and I were both feeling a bit “meh” about dating within our social circles. So, we decided to try dating apps.
This new avenue of dating renewed our enthusiasm. The way these apps worked was interesting, it was exciting, and we really enjoyed the opportunity they gave us to meet people outside of our social circles.
If you’ve only ever dated people in person, give dating apps or online dating a go. If you’re sick of swiping left on dating apps, try getting friends to set you up with someone or attending an in-person speed-dating event.
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4. SHAKE UP YOUR DATES
If you’re meeting up at the same coffee shop, ordering the same drink, and asking your date the same questions for the 10th time, boredom is going to start to set in. Avoid this road to burnout by changing what you do on dates.
A friend of mine who got sick of never-ending coffee dates decided to write a bucket-list of all the things he wanted to do in his city. On it were things like visiting the modern art gallery, trying the gelato at a highly-rated ice-cream shop, or going to a live-music gig.
When he asked someone on a date, instead of asking them to grab coffee, he would invite them to do something on the list. If the date went well, then great. But if it didn’t, he was still happy he had crossed that particular activity off of his bucket list.
5. DEAL WITH OTHER SOURCES OF BURNOUT
If you’re feeling burnt out, it’s unlikely that dating is the only cause. Is there anything else occupying a lot of your head space? Is there too much on your plate at work? Are you dealing with family drama?
The de-facto part-time job of dating is hard enough without feeling exhausted by other areas of your life as well. Try to take some pressure off. Is there anything in other areas of your life that you can resolve, eliminate or at least get some help with?
Dealing with these other sources of stress and fatigue will have a positive flow-on effect in every area of your life, including dating.
Are there any other steps you’d recommend for overcoming dating burnout? I’d love for you to let me know in the comments!