All that swiping got you blurry-eyed and frustrated? Are you seeing the same men on different dating apps? Messaging overload and getting nowhere? Asking the same questions, giving the same answers? Are you wondering why you have to work so hard at this? Is it worth it? And let’s not forget the dick pics! Ugghhh.
You, my dear, may be suffering from dating fatigue. This happens when dating starts to feel like a chore. It’s important to recognize this state before disillusionment sets in. Do not get to the point where you give up and feel like there are no good men left. So what do you do?
Take a break!
It could be a one week mini-break. No apps, get offline, no dating, no whining and complaining about dating for one week.Get dating off your mind and refrain from talking to your friends about dating and men for one week.
After the week how do you feel? You should start to feel less anxious. Are you more relaxed when you think about dating? Are you a teeny bit looking forward to getting back online, discovering who's out there, ready to start swiping again? Then go for it...but in moderation. Limit the time you are online. Don’t be obsessed with your phone. Don’t overbook coffee or dates. Keep it light and fun.
But, what if after the dating hiatus you’re still feeling frustrated and anxious. Maybe even a little angry, and you find yourself asking why need to get back into it? Are you hating men? Hating dating? Well this is a clear sign of dating burnout.
The remedy to dating burnout? Take a dating sabbatical. Here are a few simple steps:
1. Set a specific length time and the exact date you will return to dating.
The ideal break is a 4 - 6 weeks.
2. Full break from dating.
Turn off dating apps, no dating sites, no dating, no complaining, no casual coffees, no flirting.
Let friends and family know you’re on a dating sabbatical to shut down questions about your dating life; but don’t complain about men. You are doing this for you.
3. Reconnect with your friends and family.
Organize brunch, potluck, movie dates with your BFF’s.
Avoid the bars and clubs during this time.
Is there anyone you haven’t seen in a while? Hit them up.
How about a weekend getaway? Family reunion?
You get the idea. Connect with your social support group, the people you feel most happy and comfortable with.
4. Reconnect with yourself.
Hibernate with a good book. Binge on Netflix. Start meditating? Journaling?
Don’t forget to move the body. Hit the gym, yoga or just get outside.
Is it time to freshen up your look? Go ahead, get a haircut, update your wardrobe.
Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to start or have let peter out? Time to pick it up.
5. Re-evaluate your dating history. Set some time in the last week of your break to review your dating strategy. Think about the type of men you tend to go for; is it time to widen your criteria? What traits or qualities are important to you? What are your deal-breakers? Are they reasonable? The men you have met/dated, what about them would you want in your ideal man.
Develop a game plan.
Narrow down your apps.
Take this time to think about what has worked well and what didn’t.
Is it time to enlist outside help?
Review with your supportive and objective friends (no man-haters here) or objective third party.
6. Get back into it! When you reach your end date, turn on the apps. Get back online. Implement your game plan. Yes it’s true, modern dating is a numbers game. Take charge and take control.
There are a multitude of benefits to taking a break when you feel burn out. It will give you time to recharge, refresh and reevaluate. A break will keep you from hardening your heart, throwing in the towel and buying 5 cats. You will not lose your confidence or your spark. In fact, with a new skill, new wardrobe and having reconnected with yourself and with friends, you’ll be glowing and ready to conquer the world.
With a fresh attitude and new game plan, dating will be fun. The anticipation and opportunities in meeting new men who may eventually be that special someone, or even as a new friend, is such an adventure. Embrace it.
PS. Oh but you ask, what if you get asked on a date during this time? Don’t change your plans. If he interests you, then an upbeat and positive response is all you need. Try something like: “That sounds like a wonderful idea. I would love to get to know you better. I’m currently on a dating sabbatical until (x date). Why don’t we make plans to connect on (y date)?” There, easy peasy.