We all crave and desire a deep, emotional connection with a certain someone. As humans, it’s only natural to experience the feeling of being loved and loving in return. No man is an island, after all. However, it’s not something we can easily wish for and receive instantly. A relationship requires dedication, effort, and a load of dates to go to. The latter is challenging, often leading to rejection and disappointment in the early stages.
Because of that, we get irritated and hopeless. Hence, we leave the dating scene to deal with our dating fatigue.
Delve more into this type of fatigue through this beginner’s guide and how we can combat it so we can return to the dating scene stronger, smarter, and more confident.
What is Dating Fatigue?
Dating fatigue was first formally defined by AASECT Certified Sex Therapist Caitlin Cantor LCSW, CST, CGT as:
“…as an attitude of indifference, feeling depressed and hopeless, exhausted at the thought of another date, or thinking you’re ready to give up.”
She also adds that it can happen after a few dates or years of being on the dating scene. Dating fatigue is mostly common in dating apps, wherein its broad algorithm sets us up with people with whom we share various interests. Yet creating that bond we aspire for isn’t guaranteed since only a few number of things are revealed in an app compared to dating the traditional way. When dating fatigue hits, we may feel anxious and apprehended to ever open up to anyone for a long time.
Some extra factors that directly influence dating fatigue include:
- Your standards
- How you take care of yourself
- Dating as a means to grow or not
- How often you use dating apps
- How you respond to rejection or disappointment
Why Do People Get Fatigued at the Dating Scene
Many people anticipate going on dates because it allows them to meet new people and tap into their romantic side. Like who wouldn’t want to feel soft and let your heart flutter from a prospect? However, we’ll reach a time when dating will be the last thing we’d focus on. Know more exactly why people experience dating fatigue through this section.
1 They feel pressured.
Even with societal norms and standards progressively changing, some families may still uphold following a certain timeline to reach maximum happiness and be accepted. Especially with women, who internalized that we must be wed by a successful man and have a family with them. For example, start dating in your twenties, marry by 28, and have children in your thirties. But life doesn’t always work that way, and we can get judged for that.
Again, dating should be enjoyable. It shouldn’t be the only thing we revolve our life around. We can expect to meet the one right away on the first day (unless you’re insanely lucky or living in a rom-com film).
Social media also gives us an illusion of those with their significant others and how happy they are. But we must keep in mind that they don’t show us everything on social media because it’s a platform we only show the best sides of us. So let’s not believe everything so quickly and appreciate their love for each other from afar.
2 Their safety is on the line.
The internet can be a scary place, especially for women. Instances of getting catfished, scammed, receiving inappropriate content, and even sexual harassment can occur from meeting a prospect on these apps. Thus, it’s always encouraged to meet in person when you can and have your trusted friends track you when you go on these dates.
3 Dating apps aren’t always showing everything.
As mentioned earlier, social media only showcases the parts of you that you’re keen to show. The same applies to dating apps. All you get are a few pictures or videos of the person with limited information about themselves, info they only want to show. Sometimes, you may need to pay extra to unlock more facts about them. Additionally, 45% of current users get frustrated while using those apps.
4 Most dating apps contribute to hookup culture.
Hookup culture isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not entirely good either. It allows us to explore our options, not settling down so easily. However, when the sex gets too intimate, the lines between your sexual relationship with the person can get blurry. You’d want a relationship, but the person you’re with only wants to mess around. That’s the only reason they’re sticking around on the app.
Or maybe you’d be okay with sex, but a consistent pattern like this can be tiring. These days, dating apps are usually avenues to hook up, so if that’s not what you’re looking for, they won’t be useful. Quite ironic, don’t you think?
5 We can get overwhelmed by the numerous choices from dating apps.
The world is a big place. With advancements in technology, we’re easily connected to many people based on our interests and filters. But that doesn’t always guarantee a perfect match. In fact, we’re more likely to pick the wrong people based on this research. If we think about it deeper, our way of searching is quite broad compared to traditional dating, where we get to see the whole image in one go. What we see is what we get, then with online dating, they only show the sides they want to show to others. So remember that it’s quality over quantity when it comes to these apps.
6 Generally, dating is a challenging realm.
We all crave instant gratification, whatever it may be about. When we want something, we want it immediately. However, that doesn’t work with dating. It requires effort and time to swim through to find the right person. It’s not an overnight success. Another challenging aspect of dating is that we don’t want to be consistently vulnerable to a prospect. From the talking stage to going out on a few dates, they suddenly no longer reciprocate your energy and leave you out in the blue without a word further can be frustrating. Continuing this repeatedly is exhausting, so we’d rather stray away than try again for disappointment.
Signs of Dating Fatigue
Aside from the reasons behind why people feel such a type of fatigue, what are other indicators that signal us that we need to take a break from dating in the meantime? Check this list of dating fatigue signs that may have you nodding or agreeing.
- You’re bored with the process.
- Bad dates directly influence your opinion on dating.
- Going on dates isn’t fun anymore.
- You may come off as “rude” even if it was unintentional.
- Your friends grew sick of your constant complaining on dates.
- You no longer consider the chemistry or substance of the person you’re going on a date with.
- You reply slowly or not at all aka you ghost them, which is bad.
- Every person on the app is somehow starting to look the same.
- You reject dates easily without rainchecks.
- You’re in a cycle of downloading and redownloading dating apps.
- The dates you go to follow the same formula (ex: dinner and dessert after).
- Your overall view on dating has become negative.
Tips on How to Combat Dating Fatigue
Now we know what to emotionally expect with dating fatigue, how can we conquer it? That way, it won’t fully affect how we live our lives, and we feel a lot better about the idea of dating. We have the key tips that’ll do the trick of alleviating your dating fatigue.
1 Focus on self-care.
This is one crucial tip! Our dating persona reflects how we take care of ourselves individually. So take this time to enjoy your own company, your solitude. Spare time to write down everything you enjoy doing for self-care and monitor what needs to be given more attention lately. For example, if you enjoy dancing but haven’t been active lately, book a class that you vibe with. Or maybe you’ve been lacking in the sexual care department, so you opt to check out our website to find the best love toys for you here.
Dating fatigue is an opportunity to give yourself some “me time”, so make the most out of it.
2 Delete dating apps.
To alleviate a problem, remove the biggest source of it. Dating fatigue is caused by dating apps, which can take up so much screen time. From there, all that energy can be poured into doing something more meaningful and productive. You’ll also be more disappointed when you use them and no one catches your eye.
Take this chance to put your phone down also and not even think of dating. Then once you’re feeling much better, decide whether or not to re-download those apps and try again.
3 Consider your expectations.
Know what you want and be affirmative with them, especially your non-negotiables. Don’t settle for less than what you deserve, and don’t praise over the bare minimum either. Get real with what you want, need, and avoid and honor them. Oh, and don’t rush either! Dating apps help connect you with people with similar interests, but you can still decide whether they’re the one for you in the endgame. That takes time to work on. Alongside this, get a second opinion from companions about the people you’ve gone out with.
4 Start a new hobby.
With all that time and energy you put into swiping left and right on dating apps, channel them elsewhere by trying a new hobby. Whether it be a sport, a type of art, or something you’ve been keen on trying out for a while, carve time to engage in it. That’ll get your mind off gaining surface-level validation from dating apps and gain an authentic appreciation for yourself in trying new things. The more you do this, the less your dating fatigue shall get.
5 Spend time with loved ones.
When was the last time you saw a loved one? Check in on them when you can and plan a day/night to hang out with them. Be immersed in catching up with old friends or family and sharing any new stories since the last time you’ve seen each other. Invest in strengthening these relationships instead of making new ones for now. Be with people who love you for you. And perhaps for a couple of nights, turn a blind eye to look for a prospect when you have a girl’s/boy’s night with your friends.
6 Ask for dating advice.
No matter how experienced you can be with dating, that doesn’t mean you know everything. Or even as a beginner, you can’t rely merely on your opinion. So it’s helpful to gain words of guidance from people you trust or a professional about dating. No man is an island, so don’t isolate yourself to face your dating fatigue alone. From there, develop them into dating skills that’ll benefit you when you’re ready to go out in the dating scene again.
7 Travel for a change of scenery.
For a fresher mindset, explore vast locations you’ve never been to. Escape your comfort zone for a bit by visiting a new cafe, checking out a different side of your city, or going on a tropical vacation. Activities like these re-energize you with newfound motivation and courage. Opt to go with your friends or pamper all by yourself.
8 Avoid taking things personally.
Dating apps set you up with random people, so accept that this happens often. Don’t force it if you don’t match because it will add to your dating fatigue. Also, how they act around you is a reflection of themselves, not you. So don’t define your worth based on their opinions. Easier said than done, but you’re a lot worthy than all the dates you’ve been on and people you unsuccessfully connected with.
9 Reflect on your past dating experiences.
Observe if there are patterns from all the people you’ve gone on dates with. They may be hindrances from meeting the right people for you. Figure out the root of your dating fatigue from the factors we mentioned earlier. From there, be open to change. Every dating experience is an opportunity for growth. Look back on them and think about what you would’ve done differently. Oh, and stop with the mind games too! Be straightforward with your intentions, so neither of you get hurt.
10 Accept that taking breaks is okay.
There’s still a stigma that self-care and self-love are selfish. But how can we give back to others when we have an empty cup? Dating fatigue isn’t a one-time instance; it’ll come the more active we become in the dating scene. With that, accept that you’ll have stages you’ll need a step back from the scene. Like how it’s okay to take breaks during work hours to replenish our minds and bodies, taking breaks in between socializing for possible serious relationships is more than okay. It’s necessary to present our confident, favorite selves around them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still curious to learn more about dating fatigue? Here are some answered queries to help you navigate through this exhausting state.
1 What’s the difference between general fatigue and dating fatigue?
General fatigue is an overall sense of exhaustion from our daily lifestyle, while dating fatigue is specific to exhaustion from being on the dating scene. But they both share the same solution — taking a step back and taking a break.
2 Is dating fatigue similar to dating burnout?
Yes. With dating burnout, there’s that sense of worry about whether or not there’s someone out there for you. You also get tired and stressed when you’ve ventured through heaps of people, and none of them tick your boxes.
3 I think I’m ready to date again. What’s one big tip I should do in hopes of changing my dating life around?
Take charge! Don’t wait around for someone to come your way and sweep you off your feet. Don’t also rely on the likes on your dating apps, and pursue someone you genuinely like.
4 Can you get dating fatigue from traditional dating?
Yes. When a companion consistently sets you on blind dates or dates with people you’ve met in passing, it can be exhausting to put yourself out there. It equally drains your social battery, like dating through apps.
5 Can one get dating fatigue more than once?
Yes. Being social and meeting all sorts of people can tire you out, especially when the dates are unsuccessful or not to your full liking. You can also have waves of motivation to date again and then fall into this state of dating fatigue. That’s why you must always prepare yourself and know when to back away so the fatigue doesn’t disrupt your lifestyle entirely.
Dating fatigue is an unavoidable state. Realistically, we won’t meet the right person right away. We need to build on trust and effort for a relationship to work out healthily. But in the meantime, know that you aren’t alone in facing the emotional challenges of dating fatigue. Surely, you must accept that this kind of fatigue is part of the process, but there is no linear success in the dating realm. Take all the necessary breaks and follow the tips we shared in hopes of finding the right person in time.