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Dating Burnout

In today's dating climate, it's easy to get burned out.

young couple having argument and turning their back on each other
young couple having argument and turning their back on each other

It’s another site.  Another swipe.  Another chat.  Another date.  Still nothing.  No spark, no chemistry, and no connection.  It leads to the ominous question, “What’s the point of it all?” and the threatening proclamation, “Maybe I’m just meant to be alone.”  There it is.  That one statement that lands you right in the lap of dating burnout.  Here’s what you can do about it.

Relationships are Work

Some believe, like the World Health Organization (WHO), that burnout is a work thing.  The WHO calls it an “occupational phenomenon.”  However, the exhaustion, cynicism, and feelings of inefficacy they use to describe burnout can impact any area of someone’s life, including dating.  The core of the burnout problem is that sense of inefficacy.  It’s the belief that nothing you’re doing matters, and you’ll never reach your goal.

After a breakup, it’s easy to feel ineffective.  They were supposed to be Mr. or Mrs. Right, but they weren’t.  The larger the time investment, the harder it is to believe you’ll have to start over.  Once you’ve started over, it’s hard to believe that it’s so hard to find that next person.  Maybe you message them and get no response, or you move to the first date, and you just don’t hit it off.  It’s easy to wonder when you’ll finally find someone – or if you will.

Relationships and Estimating Problems

The problem of trying to predict when you’ll find Mr. or Mrs. Right is that it is a difficult estimating problem.  Though we don’t think about it like that, we estimate when we’ll find Mr. or Mrs. Right based on the likelihood they’ll cross our path.  The problem with this idea is that we have no more idea when we’ll find the right person than we know how to pick a winning bingo card.  That is, the timing of the solution is unknowable.

One way to change the probability of winning a game of bingo is to increase the number of bingo cards.  The second way is to learn how to ensure you make every card count.

Counting Cards

If you’re committed to playing multiple bingo cards in a place where the numbers are read out fast and furious, you’re going to have to get good at marking.  You’ll need to be able to get clear on what numbers you do and don’t have and get ready for the next.  In a dating context, this means getting clearer about who you are and what you want.  The clearer you are, the faster you’ll get at sorting people into or out of the possible pile.

Working on yourself and figuring out who you are is probably the best way to attract the future Mr. or Mrs. Right to you.

Increasing the Odds

If you get burned out and decide that nothing you’re doing will ever work, you’ll stop doing anything – and that will limit your chances.  Sure, it could be the cable person, the UPS delivery driver, or the plumber who is Mr. or Mrs. Right, but it’s more likely they aren’t.  You’ll need to get out there and get more chances to find the right person.

It could mean more time on dating sites – but it might be spending more time in meetup groups, where you get together to enjoy time and don’t worry about the dating thing.  The more friends you find – particularly with diverse social circles – the more likely you’ll be to get introduced to someone who you can connect with.

Being Okay

It’s okay to not be in a relationship, no matter what the romantic comedies say.  It’s okay to be who you are without someone else until that someone else finally shows up.  You beat relationship burnout by refusing to accept that what you’re doing is pointless or hopeless, and instead insist that the right person will come your way at the right time.

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