I’ve got dating fatigue. Do I power through or take a break?


DetectiveZ asks:

I’ve been going on a lot of dates recently, and really putting effort into finding someone. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve gone on dates with 9 different women (some of whom I’ve gone out with several times) and still nothing’s clicking. I understand that dating is a numbers game, but I’m starting to get tired and frustrated of setting up dates, and always being out and about. It feels almost like a job search, and it’s starting to become less and less “fun,” for lack of a better way to put it.

My question is: is it best to maybe take a few weeks or a month and “recharge the batteries,” or should I just keep going, power through it, and hope for something that clicks? Or perhaps a change in thinking/mindset?

Demetrius says:

I think in your case, you need a break from dating to “recharge the batteries”. I think in general, a good mix of taking dating breaks and rethinking your approach to dating is needed by just about everyone. Myself, you, and just about anyone who has ever dated included.

You know what I think is funny? The people who date with no real goal in mind are often the ones that meet relationship minded people. I’m not a superstitious person by any stretch of the imagination but I do believe in the idea that when you’re searching for something that doesn’t have a direct path, like say finding a good romantic partner, inspiration, or lost keys, it’s harder to find these things by searching directly for them, but you’ll usually find these things by accident when you’re not really looking. It’s why when I lose my keys in my apartment, I try to find them by cleaning up, not just “looking” for them. Does that make sense?

I think in your case, taking a break is the most important and productive thing you can do. You’re dating in a way that makes dating feel like a chore and I can promise you that even if you met someone who would normally be compatible with you, your outlook on dating would turn them off and you’d have no shot. That’s the thing that people often overlook when it comes to being dating fatigued but wanting to power through. Dating isn’t just a numbers game, it’s also a right place/right time/right person/right frame of mind game. You need to not only go out there and get dates, but you have to be in a position in time and space where you can meet the right person, AND you also need to be in the right frame of mind for them to want to date you. Let’s say during your general dating malaise that you did find the love of your life. You’re down on dating, you’re probably not as fun or as charming as you’d normally be, so even if you met a perfect match, they’d probably be turned off by you. The thing I ask people when they want to know whether or not they should take a dating break is “Is dating still fun?“. If the answer is no, as it is in your case, a break is in order.

Less specific to your situation though is the advice I give to anyone who thinks they might be a bit burned out by the dating process:  take time to think about your approach to dating and make some changes. I’m talking about taking a serious inventory of how you date, identify areas where you are either bad at dating or don’t enjoy the process, think of ways to fix these areas, and start the process dating again after implementing changes. Repeat this process ad infinitum, or until you meet your match(s). Whether your issues with dating are financial, time based, process based, search based, or a lack of viable options, evaluate the problems and see what solutions you can find. If it’s about time, cut out the amount of time you take in the dating search and time spent going on dates, whether that means cutting your dates shorter, or going on less dates. If it’s financial, go on less dates, or go on dates that are less expensive. If the process is bothering you, try to see what can be changed in how you get dates and how you go on dates. Don’t be afraid to make a drastic change to make yourself happy, or at the very least more comfortable dating. Dating is an opt-in process and if you aren’t enjoying it, opt-out, evaluate your dating process, and make changes to your dating style that would make YOU happy.

In your case I think you definitely need a break, but might I suggest a break and an evaluation of your dating process as well? If you take a break and never attempt to solve the core problem you’ll be in exactly the same position you are in now. Take a break AND try to break your dating problems down.

Good Luck Out There.