According to dating experts, dating app burnout is very much a real thing that’s not only common but also normal. You’ve been on several dates in the past month, and it feels like you’ve swiped on everyone on Earth (and the moon, for that matter!).
You’ve felt tired and burned out at work, especially with all those Zoom calls during the pandemic, but dating app burnout is just as real.
When most people think of dating, they envision having a good time. So why the burnout? You get burned out from something you repeatedly do and don’t enjoy. Even when the dates don’t work out, at the very least, you’ll have a good (and sometimes funny) story to tell your friends.
But what happens when dating stops being fun and begins feeling like that chore your mom gave you every week? As a kid, at least you got an allowance. Now, you’re lucky if you get a decent dinner.
What does dating app burnout even look like? The signs of burnout often include loss of motivation or interest, fatigue, hopelessness, self-doubt, and a general increase in negativity regarding dating.
I’ve met many people, including myself, who have spent countless hours swiping, so these symptoms hit home. The experts will tell you that dating is only a numbers game, but they fail to tell you that if you’re not in the right mindset, it can be counterproductive.
When you start seeing the same people repeatedly through your list of matches, you know it’s time for a break. Relax! Dating apps aren’t going anywhere. When you’re ready to come back, a few new ones may appear on the list.
Dating burnout existed way before online dating. You can’t blame the apps because most have specific designs to make the experience of meeting someone much more straightforward.
Burnout typically comes from your mindset. You may put in a lot of effort, but the results are blah. Consider if you spent the same amount of time and effort meeting people IRL and still received no results. Of course, that would make you feel frustrated and tired.
It doesn’t matter if you’re meeting people at your local hangout spot or swiping in the comfort of your own home; try these suggestions to avoid dating app burnout so you can achieve your desired results.
1. Watch Your Time
Spend only 15 to 30 minutes daily with online dating. This sounds much more manageable than the 10 -12 hours per week some other experts suggest. And this is outside of other weekly obligations like work and children.
Think about it; it makes sense that people are feeling burned out, especially when experts suggested they spend a quarter of their weekly hours looking for dates online.
What’s the saying? Quality over quantity. There is no need to spend more than an hour of your time each day on online dating–and that’s being generous. It’s not how much time you spend but how wisely you use it.
Spend those suggested 15 to 30 minutes thoughtfully by first considering your options. Then, proactively start conversations instead of mindlessly swiping through profiles, waiting for messages to come in, or sending out the periodic “hi” or “how’s your day going?”
Most people are searching for someone who is emotionally mature, so up your game when it comes to conversation, and remember, focus on quality rather than quantity.
2. Know Your Deal Breakers
You can spend too much time frustrated with dating apps because you’re not getting what you want. But then it hits you; “I don’t even know what I want!”
Write down four or five personality characteristics you want in a person and only date individuals with those traits.
It’s easy to know what you don’t want because it hits you like a ton of bricks every time you come across it. But if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you may miss it because you’re focused on the ‘don’t want’ aspect. When this happens, it will turn you off dating apps and burn you out.
Once you gain clarity on your must-haves, you’ll be more flexible in other areas. Soon, you’ll realize how a little clarity can change your entire swiping experience. You’ll instantly know who to swipe no on, and you’ll be able to take more chances on people you would have otherwise passed over.
3. Take Regular Breaks
When you reach the point where you begin dreading opening up your apps, or you feel like dating is your part-time job, it’s time to give it a rest.
Another indication you need to hit the snooze button is if the excitement of going out with someone new has diminished. It’s better if you look forward to going out with a new potential long-term partner, not dragging yourself out in hopes that they’re finally The One. Even if you are searching for your perfect match to settle down with, the path that leads you to them should be exciting and fun.
If you’re feeling bummed out, most likely, you’re doing more harm than good by forcing yourself to get on the apps to meet someone to go out with.
If you’re not feeling optimistic about the process, DO NOT DATE! You may think you’re hiding your hesitation (and sometimes, disgust) but trust us; they will feel your lack of energy.
4. But Don’t Hesitate to Return to It
You took your much-needed break, got a chance to clear your head, and now it’s time to hop on the saddle and get back out there again.
You’ve refilled your cup and refreshed your mindset regarding dating, so now you can put your best foot forward. You’d be surprised what a week or two can do to restore your faith in the dating process.
When you take your break, use your time off the apps to do things that relax you and bring you joy. Focus on self-care and keep reminding yourself why you’re dating in the first place.
Do you want a friend with benefits, or are you simply looking for a way to get out of the house and meet new and exciting people? Before your break, maybe you were looking for a long-term partner. However, this go-’round, you’ve decided someone to hang out with is a better option for you.
Just as you have reset your mind, also update your dating goals. Create a new set of objectives that are clear on what you’re attempting to get out of the apps.
Dating Again after a Breakup
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been off the market for a couple of weeks, months, or even years. Returning to the dating world isn’t easy, especially if your confidence level is shot.
You may be comforted by the fact that experts say you’ll have to kiss a few frogs before finding your soulmate. But then again, that same thought might terrify you.
We get it! Whether you kiss one frog or a thousand of ’em, it’s intimidating to think about dating. That’s OK because dating after a breakup is doable, and you’ll be happy to know; it’s also quite simple. Here are some steps to help you start dating again with as little discomfort as possible.
Do What You Love Again
When we become involved in a relationship, we tend to stop doing some of the activities we loved when we were single. Reconnect with yourself by writing a list of all those things that bring you joy.
As you mature, your preferred choice of activities has probably changed. Sign yourself up for that cooking class you always wanted to take. You may find joy in taking hikes or riding your bike. So now you also have new date ideas, which can be a common interest you share with a potential partner.
Close the Book on the Previous Chapter
This is common sense, but you might be surprised how many people don’t even realize they’re pining for their ex. But before you jump back into the dating pool, you should be entirely over your last relationship because you want to close that chapter in your life.
Unfortunately, without making this step, you risk not being able to move forward because you still feel stuck in your past. You’ll likely bring that emotional baggage with you on your new dates when this happens.
Define Your Needs
When you start dating before you’ve gotten clear on what you’re searching for in a new partner, it can feel like driving down a long, dark road with no destination. Before going out on your first date, get clear on your dealbreakers in a relationship and a partner.
Note that there is a difference between needs and wants. Needs are what you need to keep the relationship alive. These include things like feeling sexy, seen, and secure. Another need may be open communication. If you don’t have these things, your relationship will fail.
Wants, however, are physical characteristics. They’re nice, but they’re not needed to keep the relationship alive. Physical characteristics include things like, hair color, eye color, height, weight, and style of dress. Wants also include material things like the type of car they drive and their career choice.
Make It All about Self-Love
After your breakup, start focusing on yourself again. In a relationship, we can’t focus one hundred percent on ourselves because we have our partner to think about. So, before you even consider dating again, find self-love because you won’t be able to love someone else if you don’t love yourself first.
Who are you now? The person you are today isn’t the same one in your last long-term relationship. Instead of getting down on yourself because of the breakup, celebrate who you have become through all your life experiences. Remember that you’re a sexy, kind, beautiful, giving, eligible single. This is the new you that you should show to the world.
Take Your Time–but Not Too Much Time
Rushing into dating before you’re ready is a recipe for disaster. You may still have residual emotions for your ex. Whether they’re resentful feelings or hope for reconciliation, you haven’t closed that chapter. So, don’t be afraid to take your time to sort through your emotions before getting back out there.
But you don’t want to waste too much time sorting through your feelings because the longer you wait, the harder it can be to get the courage to start dating again.
Give yourself a deadline. Take just enough time to get yourself together so you can start a new potential relationship reenergized.
After Your Deadline, Check In with Yourself
You’ve given yourself two months away from the dating scene. When you’re approaching that deadline, check in with yourself. Do you feel ready to date again? Or does the thought make you want to crawl back into your bed and hide under the covers?
If you don’t feel ready, don’t force yourself. That can cause more harm than good. Instead, reset your deadline by giving it another few days (or weeks), depending on how much time you’ll need to focus successfully on your dating goals.
Don’t let your family, friends, or the Facebook post announcing your ex has moved on force you into dating again. Remember, this is a self-imposed timeline. You can change it as you see fit.
You should only resume your dating search when you feel emotionally strong. Otherwise, you risk falling back into the same negative patterns, which will only yield the same results.
Set Your Fear Aside
Can you sit across from your new date without fear, running up and down your spine like a sprinter in the 100-yard dash? OK, that was a colorful image, but the point is if you can feel comfortable while a stranger asks you about your childhood, you’re ready to date.
When it comes to emotional survival, resiliency is vital. Emotionally speaking, you’ll feel ready to date when you no longer feel afraid of exploring the possibility of romance. You must be more curious about that opportunity than scared.
Screw the Rules
There are so many rules regarding dating we’ve lost count. They change regularly, but here are some of the current rules:
- Who pays?
- When to call?
- Who plans the date?
- Going to their house on a first date
- When to have sex?
- Who makes the first move?
And these are just a few rules you’re supposed to consider when dating. It may have been quite a while since you dated, so you may need help to keep up with the rules. Well, we say, screw ’em! It’s your dating life, so you make your own rules (if any at all.)
Stop fretting over not getting the rules right, and don’t do what you think you should. Instead, do whatever feels good to you. For example, make the offer if you are fine paying for the date.
If you had a good time and want to call the next day, do that, too! Instead of following the rules, allow your intuition to guide you. If you’re someone who doesn’t mind following rules, then make your own!
Give Yourself Permission
You may have healed from your breakup, but sometimes you are stuck on contentment and don’t want to make moves to find your match.
To find love, you’ll need to give yourself permission to date. Grab a piece of paper (or do it on your computer) and give yourself written/typed permission to go out on a date.
It may sound bizarre, but often, people wait for a sign that says it’s OK to move on. The only sign you truly need comes from you.
At the Beginning, Keep Conversations Lighthearted
You don’t need to give your entire life story on your first date. Instead, focus the discussion on lighter topics for the first couple of dates. If you want to discuss more serious issues, wait until the fourth or fifth date.
You don’t want to scare your date off by talking about your childhood trauma twenty minutes in. Also, don’t ask a lot of deep questions. Instead, inquire about surface things like where your date grew up, how many siblings they have, and whether or not they have pets. You know, topics that aren’t too intense.
5. Listen to How You Feel
If you genuinely believe that you attract the energy you put out into the universe, you should be putting your best foot forward. So, if you constantly have bad energy, you’ll only attract that back.
Start paying attention to how you feel and be sure not to push yourself too far out of your comfort zone. When you tune into your emotions, you can see those times when you’re not as intentional with your search as you should be. When this happens, it may be time to take a short break from dating apps.
When dating starts feeling like a job–especially one you don’t like– take a breather. It likely feels this way because you’re treating it like one.
The good news is that millions of other people are searching for their match and feeling the same way you do, so you’re not alone.
Dating apps allow you to meet and connect with people you might never have in person, but you must be mindful of your time. Also, be intentional about how you date because when you do, you will have a better time with the process.
6. Mix and Match
You ever hear the saying, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket?” We strongly suggest the same for dating apps. To help you cast a wider net, use multiple dating apps.
Doing so helps you avoid redundancy and gives you an excuse to update your profile. Take stock of your photos and spice things up a bit with a new prompt response.
It would be best if you didn’t stop there. Also, add some variety to your dates. If you have a typical go-to first date spot for drinks, step out of your comfort zone and check out that new bar.
Instead of drinks, why not try out a new activity? Adding in some variety helps make dating feel more entertaining, which helps bring back the excitement in your life.
7. Call on Your Friends
Our lives are a cycle of work, home, and swiping. In our spare time, we’re out on a date or looking for another date to replace the dud date we just had. It’s a never-ending cycle.
If we aren’t careful, we can become distant from our friends. Sometimes, when we get involved in a relationship or continuously focus on our search for the perfect match, our friends can fall by the wayside.
When you feel burned out, take a break. But on your break, begin reconnecting with your friends. Call them up and ask to hang out. Go to dinner, make a spa date, or go on a mini vacation.
If you feel it’s been too long away from your friends to send an invitation to dinner, start by connecting with them on social media.
For example, like or comment on one of their posts. If they like or comment on your post, open up a conversation with a DM that says, “Haven’t talked to you in a while. How are you?” The objective is to open the lines of communication again.
If you have tickets for a concert, ask them if they want to go. Or say something like, “I heard a new restaurant opened up. Want to check it out?” When you return to dating apps, you’ll be refreshed and have a new outlook.
Of course, you want to find your perfect match, but it doesn’t happen overnight. If it does, hurry up and buy a lottery because you’re one lucky SOB!
For the rest of us, it’s only natural to get burned out when searching for true love. When dating becomes cumbersome, take a break, get your thoughts together and pick it back up when you feel refreshed because your Prince(ss) Charming is just around the corner.