Over and over again, I hear men and women griping that there is a severe lack of eligible singles. Men complain that women are using them as a meal ticket and women complain that men do not know how to plan an appropriate date. More and more of my friends and clients are tired of online dating and are willingly saying that they would rather remain single. The negative mindset is contagious – especially during the holidays.
If you haven’t read the opinion piece on dating in Silicon Valley, it is an unfortunately common description of dating experiences. All I can say is, no wonder everyone is exhausted!
Dating fatigue is defined as the result of continuing to date, over time, with perceived lack of success in finding a high quality partner.
Do you have any of these symptoms of dating fatigue?
- Feeling “over” dating
- Not bothering to return emails, text messages or calls
- Telling friends you would rather be single even though you long for a healthy relationship
- Feeling bored on dates
- Exhaustion and increased negative thoughts about finding someone
- Increased negative talk about persons you are meeting
How do these symptoms affect your long term chances of finding love?
Research discusses the importance of having a positive mindset while attempting to find and maintain a healthy relationship. If you are burnt out and struggling to recover, the chances are that your dating fatigue is attracting emotionally unavailable people.
And guess what? That also means you may be emotionally unavailable to screen out elusive red flags and may end up in a continued cycle of horrible dating experiences and creating the self-fulfilling prophecy that you are meant to be single while all your other friends are married!
Recovering from Dating Fatigue is not about bolstering your self-esteem
It is about cultivating self-compassion. Self compassion is a skill that many researchers are realizing is the true key to leading a healthy and happy life. According to Dr. Kristen Neff,
“Having compassion for oneself is really no different than having compassion for others…Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment? Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings.”
We all go through periods in which our dating lives and our relationships are less than stellar. Having compassion for yourself while walking this journey means we are more likely to maintain a positive mindset and less likely to have a negative outlook on dating. So while taking a dating detox can always be helpful, you must also be aware of how your thoughts affect your mood and behaviors or you will burn yourself out again and repeat the cycle.
Dating should be fun, right?
To discuss with Dr. Rhodes whether you need a plan to overcome your dating fatigue, email her now to schedule a time to chat.