The pursuit of love is thrilling, hopeful and incredibly sweet. But it is also emotionally exhausting, frustrating and painful. ‘Dating fatigue’ is a term that refers to the burnout experienced by an individual in the romantic sphere of life. If you’ve had a series of failed relationships or several hit-and-miss dates, you know just what we’re referring to.
But why is it important to talk about dating fatigue? Because you’re going to struggle with building meaningful connections when you’re emotionally exhausted. It’s essential to be in a healthy state of mind when you’re going through the dating process. We’re here to give you a quick overview of dating app fatigue – meaning, signs and ways to cope.
Let’s dive right into it with the guidance of psychiatrist Dr. Dhruv Thakkar (MBBS, DPM) who specializes in mental health counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy and relaxation therapy. Cast your worries away for he’s here to answer all your questions.
What Is Dating Fatigue?
Does the idea of a coffee date fill you with dread? Are you tired of looking at Tinder and Hinge on your home screen? How long before you seriously give up on love? These woes are not unique to you; countless people are emotionally exhausted from dating in the 21st century. But why does this happen? Here’s the ultimate dating fatigue meaning you need to know:
Dr. Thakkar explains, “When the prospect of going through the dating process generates negative emotions, a person is said to be experiencing dating fatigue. Pessimism, hopelessness, and frustration occupy the mental space and the individual loses faith in relationships. They might think along the lines of “There’s no one out there for me” or “I’m doomed to be alone.” There are many layers to such a thought process and the weariness they are feeling.”
Generally, dating fatigue occurs when a person has been chasing love for a while. They want to be in a relationship with someone ASAP (and we’ll discuss the implications of this shortly). But you can’t speed things up when it comes to romance; an emotional connection has to follow its organic course. Jumping from one potential partner to the next is a recipe for disaster. But how can you know for sure that yours is a case of dating fatigue? Take a look at the signs below…
Related Reading: What Is Fear Of Commitment And How To Deal With It
Top 3 Signs Of Dating Fatigue
It’s easy to mistake the signs of dating fatigue for a passing low phase. After all, locating the source of emotional burnout is no easy task. Dr. Thakkar says, “Excessive dating takes a significant toll on a person’s mental health. Putting yourself out there and exploring your options takes time, energy and resources. You’re bound to exhaust them eventually. It’s vital to identify the warning signs at the onset and take remedial action.”
If you’ve been wondering where your melting pot of unpleasant emotions is coming from, this list might help you find the answer. We’ve listed the top 3 signs of dating fatigue that people experience. Do an honest self-assessment, so you can get some clarity about where you stand on being single vs. dating.
1. A pessimistic outlook: The most important dating fatigue meaning
Dr. Thakkar explains, “One of the first things to watch out for is how you feel about dating. Take a pause to evaluate the situation if your emotional response is primarily negative. Despair, frustration, indifference, etc. spell trouble. Before having met the person, you might think that the effort is not worth it. That nothing will come out of the interaction. Pessimism is the harbinger of dating fatigue.”
American novelist Sarah Dessen wrote, “If you expect the worst, you’ll never be disappointed.” And we think that’s the logic you’re going by. If the glass is always half-empty for you, it might have to do with the love failures you’ve experienced consistently. To prevent disheartenment, you tend to view the dating world with gray-tinted glasses.
2. Emotional burnout
As we said before, a relationship requires emotional investment – patience, support, empathy, trust and a willingness to be vulnerable. You’re going through dating fatigue if you can’t offer these resources to a potential partner. Simply put, you don’t have the emotional bandwidth to date anyone. You’re not bringing much to the table because you aren’t your best version.
Ask yourself, “Am I emotionally equipped to date someone?” or “Am I tired because I have drained my resources?” There’s little scope of you building a healthy relationship because there won’t be a give and take between you and your partner. To be honest, you’ve barely got enough for yourself… The wisest course of action would be to steer clear of dating for a while (more on that later).
3. Unresolved issues are signs of dating fatigue
Maybe you’re carrying emotional baggage from your previous relationship. Maybe you have a fear of commitment. Or maybe you’re unclear about why you want to date someone. Dating fatigue is indicative of unresolved issues that run deep into your psyche. An in-depth examination will reveal what lies beneath your tiredness.
Dr. Thakkar explains, “No emotional state occurs out of the blue. If a person is emotionally exhausted from dating, there should be more to the problem. For instance, why were their dating patterns intense and frequent enough to wear them out? Why was there a need to be in a relationship at the cost of well-being?” These are astute questions only you can answer.
By now, you must have figured out if you’re undergoing dating fatigue. But how to tackle this problem? Our next segment focuses on the 6 strategies that will help you cope with offline and online dating fatigue. No matter where you’re coming from, these pointers will get you through this awkward and gloomy phase of dating.
6 Tips To Cope With Fatigue While Dating
Why has dating fatigue become more common in the past decade? Because we’ve got so many new ways of meeting people. The world of online dating, fascinating as it is, has contributed to the growing number of short-lived, casual connections. The deeply human need for belongingness remains unfulfilled as people keep swiping left and right on apps. Their efforts seldom bear fruit, usually leading to the question “why is it so hard to find love?”
If you’ve pledged (for the hundredth time) to avoid dates and the business of relationships, you’re in the right place. It’s important to understand why you’re feeling this way and how you can move past it. It’s not healthy to dwell in a place of resentment and irritation. Dating is lovely – once you strike the right balance. So, here’s how to get over dating fatigue.
1. Enjoy singlehood to prevent online dating fatigue
Here’s a cycle you want to avoid: going on a bad date, lowering your standards, going on an even worse date, lowering your standards even further, and so on and so forth. Dr. Thakkar explains, “Have periods of singlehood between relationships to ground yourself. Learn to enjoy your own company and get comfortable with the idea of not having a partner all the time. Don’t be in a hurry to find someone.
“When you date constantly, you might compromise your individuality. So, spend some time getting to know yourself. Having a strong sense of self is essential to leading a happy life.” There are many advantages of singledom and you will discover them along the way. No more relationships, casual or serious. Dedicate a period to simply becoming emotionally self-sufficient. Date yourself and do what you love!
In general, immersing yourself in the quest for a partner is a big no-no. Quite a few individuals lose themselves in the world of virtual dating too. No wonder online dating fatigue is on the rise. Uninstall your apps and allow your relationship status to be ‘single and not looking to mingle’.
Related Reading: 8 Expert Tips To Let Go Of The Past And Be Happy
2. Work on yourself
It’s entirely possible that there’s an area of your life you’re dissatisfied with. It could be your career, family, friends, creative pursuits, education, etc. A lot of discontentment may stem from the knowledge that you haven’t realized your full potential yet. When your self-esteem isn’t exactly at its best, you’re bound to be emotionally exhausted from dating. Take some time off and put yourself first.
Work toward becoming a healthier and contented individual who feels confident about themself. Dating, and all your other relationships, will become much easier to navigate when you are okay with yourself. So, if you’re exhibiting the signs of dating fatigue, have a conversation with yourself. A little introspection will reveal if you’re trying to fill a gap by seeking a partner. You know what to do – fill the gap yourself.
3. How to get over dating fatigue? Date with clarity
Dr. Thakkar says, “A person should always date with clarity. What is the goal? Do they just want to have fun or are they dating to marry? Do they expect a serious relationship or a casual one? If the individual is clear about their expectations and objectives, the bond is not likely to end in a messy or ugly manner.” Therefore, don’t start off with a no-strings-attached relationship when you actually want commitment.
Consecutive breakups, dating-related confusion or chaos, and anxiety about your partner can be very distressing. If you stick to the same path, you’re going to experience new relationship fatigue every time there’s a new person on the horizon. It’s imperative to be clear about your emotional needs in the arena of dating. This way, you’ll find someone who’s on the same page as you.
4. Surround yourself with loved ones
A romantic relationship is one of many other meaningful connections in our lives. Dr. Thakkar explains, “It isn’t a good idea to derive fulfillment from one person, i.e., your romantic partner. That’s a lot of dependence from your end and a very heavy burden for them to bear too. Relationships are add-ons, not the whole and soul of your existence. They’re wonderful to be in because they bring happiness and value to your days. But you should function just as well in their absence.
“Being with your friends and family can serve as a good reminder of the bigger picture. That there’s so much more to you than dating another person.” When you’re seeing someone, most of your energy is channeled in that direction. This naturally pulls you away from your social circle. Make it a point to connect with them and cherish their company. Return their calls, go out for drinks and talk to your parents. Dating (and dating app fatigue) is temporary, these people are permanent.
Related Reading: How To Slow Down A Relationship If It Is Going Too Fast
5. Seek professional help to overcome dating fatigue
There are times when your emotional exhaustion will get heavy to deal with on your own. So, how to get over dating fatigue? Dr. Thakkar advises, “Reaching out to a professional can be very beneficial during difficult times. Therapy guides you in the right direction for recovery. And you stand to learn so much more about yourself. Don’t hesitate in asking for help; emotional problems are best tackled at the onset.”
If you’re considering seeking help, skilled and experienced counselors on Bonobology’s panel of experts are here for you. They can help you assess your situation better and provide you with the right means to heal. Several people opted for therapy in the wake of COVID-19 as well. Yes, there were cases of dating fatigue even during a pandemic. If your mental health seems precarious, please seek support.
6. Set healthy boundaries
As American researcher and professor Brené Brown wrote, “When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice.” You can bid adieu to new relationship fatigue by setting healthy boundaries with your partner.
Don’t give another person complete access to your life. Balance independence in the relationship and keep some wiggle room for each other. This way, your emotional state won’t totally rely on the condition of your love life. The highs and lows of the connection will elicit moderate emotional responses and not drain you psychologically. You’ll strike this equilibrium when your boundaries are in place.
Well, now you know how to get over dating fatigue like a pro. Take some time to focus on yourself; emerge as a healthy individual who has lots to offer their partner. May you attract love and joy in your life and may the likes of dating fatigue never steal your thunder!
When a person engages in the dating process repeatedly, yes, dating gets emotionally draining. Since it requires one to invest their time, energy and resources, it’s wise to adopt a balanced approach and not overdo things. An individual runs the risk of experiencing emotional burnout if they date constantly.
If done in a healthy manner, no, online dating doesn’t cause depression. But overuse of dating apps, multiple relationships that end poorly, a lack of boundaries, etc. can lead to depression.
Absolutely. In fact, it is advisable to take a break between relationships and spend time with yourself. This is a grounding period for you. There’s no compulsion to jump from one relationship to the other. Take your time and take your breaks!