Here’s What Dating Fatigue Is and How to Get Over It

How to Handle Online Dating Burnout

Dating can feel like a second full-time job. It takes time and effort to strike up conversation with someone at the bar, or to sift through profile after profile looking for the right person to message. There’s also the matter of keeping up with witty texting banter, which can be especially stressful when the conversation stops dead in its tracks. Let’s not forget the part where you build up the courage to ask someone out, too. It’s all part of the dating process, and we haven’t even reached the point of going on the actual date. This, ladies and gentlemen, all leads to the inevitable online dating burnout (more commonly known as dating fatigue).

It’s all too common for this to happen, especially in the era of apps and hookup culture. The thought of going out on another mediocre date feels like a fate worse than death, and instead, you choose to stop dating altogether and resign yourself to a solitary life surrounded by way too many pets. While it’s not a bad idea to take a break from dating if you’re feeling drained, you shouldn’t stop dating altogether. At some point, you’re going to have to get back out there.

RELATED: Foolproof First Date Topics That’ll Keep the Conversation Going

As Julie Spira, the founder of the Cyber-Dating Expert, says, “Dating fatigue is like a common cold. It doesn’t last forever.”

When it’s got you feeling like never going on a date again, here are five things you can do to fix that.

1. Take a Break, But Not Too Long

If you find yourself bored of the same first date conversations over and over again, a dating break is certainly warranted. During this time, however, you shouldn’t be twiddling your thumbs.

“You should use this time to take an objective look at what might have been holding you back from connecting with someone you like,” explains V-Club CEO Courtney Cleman. Without being overly critical, ask yourself what you can do to get yourself excited to meet someone new. Do you need to improve your self-esteem? Get better at small talk? Buy some better fitting clothes?

“If there’s something you think you should work on, use this time off to focus on those things,” she adds.

2. Reassess Your Expectations

The older some people get, the more jaded they become. It’s a sad but inevitable truth. “If you’ve been on many dates, especially if you’re over 35, your capacity to fall head over heels in love with someone is probably not what it used to be when you were in your 20s,” explains Cleman.

To get over the hump, Cleman recommends giving decent first dates a second and third as long as you liked them (and found them attractive enough). Sometimes, it takes a few outings to really start to view someone as a serious romantic partner. Often, this can only occur after we stop “performing” on the first date and be ourselves.

3. Be Selective, Not Inflexible

If you’ve been dating for a while to no avail, you can probably pick out some of the telltale signs that someone, most likely, isn’t going to be the right person for you.

“Use this knowledge to weed out people who are unlikely to become your future special someone,” Clemon says. But at the same time, “too inflexible in your requirements [means] you could miss out on a beautiful surprise.”

She notes that a lot of couples she’s worked with say that they never thought they would end up with someone like their current partner. Thus, the key is eliminating potential dates for the right reasons. If they seem inconsiderate or flippant when you text, that’s a valid reason, but if they’re a few years outside your target age range, no, that’s being inflexible.

4. Have an Online and Offline Strategy for Dating

Spira believes that some men rely too heavily on meeting people in real life or conversely, only use the apps. She suggests using both. “That means go to your favorite hangouts, be open to chatting with an attractive stranger at a party or concert, but at the same time, keep an active profile on a dating app,” she says.

As we’ve all heard time and time again, finding the right person is a numbers game. By utilising both apps and IRL conversations you’re doubling your chances of finding your future partner.

5. Tell Yourself That Not Dating Means You’ll Be Sad and Lonely

Clemon notes how “harsh” this comes off, but she insists that fear is “probably the strongest motivator that is available to us.” Sometimes, we need to think worst case scenario to motivate ourselves to keep dating.

She advises: “So think about how crappy it would feel to end up alone when you’re experiencing dating fatigue and feel like giving up.”

At the end of the day, you’re never going to meet anyone if you stop dating. That’s fine if you prefer being a bachelor for the rest of your life, but if you’re looking for more, take your needed break, but then get back out there. Remember, all it takes is that one person to turn your romantic life around.

You Also Might Dig:

5 Dating App Photos Women Are Sick of Seeing The Best Free Dating Sites Worst First Date Situations

Here’s What Dating Fatigue Is and How to Get Over It