If you’re ever felt overwhelmed or even hopeless about your romantic prospects you might be experiencing what’s known as dating fatigue. Dating fatigue can come in many forms but it typically shows up as a general indifference about dating, feeling exhausted by the thought of messaging someone back or meeting up for yet another cup of coffee and a feeling of dread or burnout about the whole process.
Given the psychological toll that online dating can take, it’s no wonder that people could use a break now and then. While all that swiping and cyber flirting is fun at first, it can get old fast. Plus, since people typically spend up to 10 hours per week on various dating platforms, these apps and websites can be a huge drain on your time and energy if you’re not seeing results.
If you’re feeling like you might be experiencing dating fatigue, know that you’re not alone. (Far from it). Here are five things you can do to reset and re-energize your relationship search.
1. Take a break
Sometimes you just need to hit pause on dating. When you feel dating fatigue creep in, the best thing you can do is take a break from it all and focus on filling up your life in other ways.
Zero in on the opportunities you have as an unattached person like the ability to travel unencumbered or to decorate your home however you please. Take classes that inspire you, learn new skills you’ve always wanted to master or make more of an effort to spend quality time with friends or family members. Focus your efforts on creating a life that you truly love.
2. Evaluate your true needs in a future partner
As you take this break from dating, think about what you’re really looking for in a partner. You may even want to journal or make lists about your wants and needs in a future relationship. Look back on the first dates and romances in your past and try to understand why these partners didn’t pass muster for the long haul.
Ask yourself: What initially drew you to these people? What needs of yours were or weren’t met? What are some key qualities your forever partner must have? What behaviors or characteristics are deal breakers for you? Having a clear picture in your mind of what you’re looking for will help you find the right person when you’re ready to jump back into dating.
3. Tell your friends and family that you’re open to the making new introductions
It may be worth putting the call out to those closest to you that you’re looking to change up your dating strategy. You never know who your family members and friends may come across—a single dad at your niece’s elementary school, a family friend who just moved back to town or your parents’ neighbor’s adult single daughter.
Remember: If your loved ones don’t know that you’re actively wanting to get set up then they don’t know to look out for you. And by having friends or family members make a love connection, you don’t have to do any of the legwork, which will help ease your dating fatigue while still allowing you to put yourself out there.
4. Attend more in-person events and activities
While dating apps and websites can lead to love connections, statistics show that only 13% of people end up getting engaged or married to someone they met on these platforms. If you’re feeling burnt out from online dating, get yourself out there in person. You could consider signing up for singles events in your area, try out some local trivia nights with your group of friends or find volunteer opportunities with a cause you really care about.
What might be even more effective, however, is finding an activity or group that meets regularly so you can connect with people on a consistent basis. Psychologists and relationship experts suggest doing this to meet friends as an adult and this strategy can also be effective for building romantic connections. Whether you join a book club, a charity, a religious group or a sports team, you’ll be able to expand your network of like-minded connections and create lasting bonds with other people. Even if you just make platonic connections, these people may be able to set you up with a potential partner.
5. Change your tactics
Sometimes you need to try a different approach and shake up your dating strategy. If dating apps and sites are your main or only source for finding a partner, then expanding your options is definitely the next move. If finding someone through friends and family doesn’t seem to be yielding any promising results, you might try consulting with a professional matchmaker. A matchmaker can take the guess-work out of the romantic search process and allow you to date with intention.
Using a service like Tawkify connects you to a matchmaker who will develop a deep understanding of what you’re looking for, then hand-select potential matches for you from a pool of single people who are also looking for love. Unlike online platforms, everyone using a matchmaking service is on the same page about looking for a lasting relationship, which gives you the peace of mind that anyone you meet is open to a real romance.
It’s important to realize that dating fatigue is just like any other low period in your life: at some point, things will get better. It’s only natural to feel discouraged if you’re not finding the right people using your current strategies. Taking a break from dating, putting the focus on yourself and your needs and shaking up your tactics when you’re ready to get back out there will turn things around again. Know that you’re worth the wait—and your forever partner will be too.