How to Deal With Dating Burnout
By Ellie Spencer-Failes
Dating should be about those butterfly feelings before the first kiss and the excitement of texting your friends on the way home. But sometimes, it might not feel so fun. It might even start becoming tiresome or begin to feel like a chore. If you’re feeling that way, it’s possible you’re experiencing dating burnout. Though burnout is something we usually associate with work, it can be applied to any area in your life where you’re expending effort without a rewarding return—including dating.
“Burnout shouldn’t necessarily be an expected part of the dating process,” says dating coach Erin Tillman. “But if dating starts to feel draining and unenjoyable, it could be time for a break.” The good news is that if you do feel burned out, the feeling can be overcome, and you can get excited about making new connections again. Read on for expert advice about spotting the signs, how to deal, and how to prevent dating burnout.
What are the signs of dating burnout?
Dating burnout can manifest in a variety of ways, but overall, it boils down to a drained, despondent feeling—one where you’re no longer having fun on dates or even looking forward to meeting someone new. You may feel like dating is a waste of time and start to disassociate from the idea of finding a partner—or dread the idea of going on a date. While using Bumble, you may notice signs of dating burnout if “your swiping begins to feel mindless,” says psychologist and dating coach Dr. Madeleine Mason Roantree. “Burnout can also look like not replying to messages in a timely manner, becoming more critical of profiles, and being quick to dismiss potential dates.”
Other signs of dating burnout are negative self-talk and having critical thoughts about yourself. If you’re not getting what you want out of dating, it can feel easy to blame yourself and result in low self-esteem. “If you don’t think anyone would find you desirable, you might be prone to feeling burned out and disillusioned with dating,” says Roantree. If you lose sight of the connections you’re trying to find, either from dating with little return or from rejection, it can quickly snowball into a feeling of hopelessness that’s closely associated with burnout.
How can you deal with dating burnout?
If you’re feeling symptoms of dating burnout, our experts say that the first thing to do is to take a break from dating. This will give you time to recharge and reset your thoughts and intentions. On Bumble you can turn on Snooze Mode, which will pause your Bumble Date account without deleting any of your information or losing any of your existing connections and conversations.
Then, take the time to figure out how burned out you are and what you might need. You may just need a short break and have a loose plan in mind to return to dating when you feel the urge. You may need to take a substantial break to dive into your social life and self-care routine. You might even want to spend time working through any deeper feelings you may have about dating, perhaps with a dating coach or therapist. Everyone’s experience is different, so honor how you’re feeling and work out the right approach for you.
No matter the timeframe you decide on, Dr. Paulette Sherman, a psychologist and author of Dating from the Inside Out, says creating a self-care routine that makes you feel good is essential to healing from burnout. Getting in tune with yourself and actively supporting yourself will help you “maintain a positive mindset about your dating future,” says Sherman.
How can dating burnout be prevented?
When you feel ready to resume dating, there are things you can do to help prevent feeling burned out again. The first step is to set intentions so you know what you’re seeking. “Be purposeful with your dating,” says Roantree. “Know what you’re looking for and only proceed with connections that are meaningful. Resist scrolling through online dating profiles as a way to pass time when you’re feeling idle or bored.” This can help prevent you from going on dates for the sake of it and increase your enthusiasm for meeting new people.
Another way to prevent dating burnout is to know your capacity for dating and how much energy you want to dedicate to making romantic connections. “Being aware of how much time you’re spending swiping, messaging, juggling dates, and even limiting the amount of time you spend on a date can lessen the chances of burnout,” says Tillman. By setting your own boundaries you can foster a dating life that works for you and prioritizes what you’re looking for. Experts also recommend balancing dating with other activities that you enjoy to help ensure that dating doesn’t become all-consuming, which can lead to burnout.
If you feel as though you’re experiencing dating burnout, remember that it won’t last forever. Take a step back to focus on you and reconnect with your dating intentions so that you can put yourself in the best position to find healthy and equitable connections. Bumble will be waiting for you when you’re ready to return.