If you have tried online dating, you know it is much like getting a second job. There is research to be done, interviews to be conducted, correspondence to be engaged in, and so much more. Still, it’s not all bad. Using online dating sites can also be a lot of fun. However, if you do not organize your time wisely, it will leave you emotionally and physically exhausted.
In this article, we’ll talk about the signs that indicate you need a break, as well as share tips to help keep you sane as you go through the process.
What Is Online Dating Burnout?
Burnout, or “decision fatigue,” is a psychological condition we usually associate with prolonged stress from work. But seeking a partner in online dating isn’t all that different from full-time employment. Moreover, burnout can show up in almost any area of our modern life, and burnout in the online dating context is a very common occurrence.
Dating app burnout refers to a widespread phenomenon in the online dating culture that affects our mental and physical health. People grow weary of scrolling endlessly through potential dates. Many grow impatient when realizing how much time they spend online swiping compared to how little time they spend going on dates.
Due to unrewarding interactions and unfitting matches on dating sites and apps, singles experience burnout symptoms such as exhaustion, hopelessness, and inadequacy. Recognizing these symptoms is crucial for maintaining mental health.
Why Is Online Dating So Exhausting?
There are several causes behind dating exhaustion. Whether it’s the overwhelming number of possible matches to sort through, hopping between various dating apps, or just bad online dating culture, they lead to negative emotions that users associate with online dating.
Let’s take a closer look at what exactly creates discomfort for burnt-out users.
Too Many Options
One of the main causes for feeling burnt out on dating apps is the overwhelming number of people on these apps. Having to swipe through hundreds of people to find one who is even remotely intriguing takes a lot of time and effort, especially on some apps with paywalled features.
Not only is wading through all the potential matches to find one person that sparked your interest exhausting, but you have to engage in conversation with them. The talking phase, planning to meet with them, and the actual date require a lot of time and work.
What’s more, just texting with a person doesn’t reveal anything about them, so even if you have a great conversation with someone, meeting them and realizing after only ten seconds that they’re not someone you want to get to know is a waste of time.
Realizing that the person who seemed like a great match online isn’t so great in real life poses a big problem in online dating.
Some Apps Are Poorly Designed
Another thing that usually causes displeasure and contributes to burnout among dating site users is the bad design of the app. People grow weary of paywall features that may have improved their app experience.
For instance, some people prioritize a possible match’s political views over anything else. On some apps, though, you must pay to exclude users based on these traits. Therefore, if you aren’t paying, you are forced to pass through countless individuals from whom you wouldn’t want a second glance
Also, many people navigate multiple dating apps at once because they believe it increases their chances of meeting a compatible partner. Hopping between various apps and their interfaces can create troubles, especially if you get used to the interface of one app. For example, you can accidentally swipe left on a person you meant to like or super like someone whose pictures you just wanted to check out.
Bad Online Dating Behaviors
Interacting with matches is another challenging part of the online dating process. The fact that many people are prone to acting disrespectfully online opens up a whole new set of bad online dating experiences.
For instance, most millennial singles have experienced ghosting during the dating process. Namely, people find it easier to ghost the individuals they communicate with when the screen acts as a mediator, which isn’t the case in person-to-person conversations.
Online, people are more often toyed with. This implies that not everyone who uses dating apps is genuinely looking for a date. Even those who are can behave disrespectfully, either on purpose or because it takes a lot of effort to treat everyone with acceptable levels of humanity.
Thus, when a user associates negative feelings with online dating, then burnout may very well be exacerbated by poor treatment online.
Four Ways That Online Dating Takes Its Toll
1. You Aren’t Getting Enough Shut-Eye
Have you ever found yourself up past midnight replying to texts from online matches? If the answer is yes, then you, my friend, need a break. Online dating can be and is addictive. There is just something about all the attention you get that keeps you up all night. However, this could seriously affect your life and health if it affects your sleeping patterns.
2. Your Fingers Are Getting Sore
Yes, that can happen. If you are constantly swiping left or right, then your thumbs will have a lot to complain about. Maybe you are exhausting them with all the typing you are doing. Whatever the case, it is important to understand and appreciate the physical consequences of being glued to your phone in the name of online dating.
3. It Is Constantly on Your Mind
If online dating is all you think about, it will leave you exhausted. You find yourself remembering that sweet compliment from John Online Dating Doe. Or it could be that you can’t get over the fact that you got ghosted by the girl of your dreams after finally plucking up the courage to text ‘hey.’ This obsession will take a toll on you psychologically.
4. It’s Just Not Fun Anymore
If you are no longer excited about the process, there is a problem. You can’t bear to go on one more date. You groan and roll your eyes every time you receive a text because you know you have to get back to your ‘job’ and come up with a reply. That is one of the most common signs of dating app fatigue and will take away from the beauty of your experience.
Should You Stay or Take a Break?
Yet, despite the exhaustion, many singles continue using the apps. How do you know if you should stay or take a break?
Some people have learned how to make the time spent on a dating app more efficient by going red-flag hunting. But this can also be exhausting as you’re judging perpetually and looking for landmines in every person’s online dating profile. Approaching dating apps with more intention and being more upfront with your matches about what you want may be a better attitude.
On the other hand, a dating pause and taking time to work on themselves may be the best for some people. In the end, it all depends on how you feel.
How to Deal With Dating App Fatigue
It is pretty clear now that online dating can be brutal. However, this isn’t a good reason to give up on it. All you have to do is figure out how to balance your life and manage your time.
Here are ten tips that should help.
Prepare for a Marathon, Not for a Sprint
If you expect to meet someone straight away, you’ll be let down way faster than if you accept that it will take time. While some online dating apps may attempt to pair you up with people who share your hobbies and interests, this is very different from finding the right person.
Accept that building a relationship with someone takes time and that finding the ideal person to do so will also take time. You have no influence over how long it takes.
Get a Life
Sorry, but a little tough love here and there is important sometimes! Focusing on other aspects of life allows you to escape when it all gets too hard. Get a new hobby and connect with your friends. With these distractions, you will not have to always turn to online dating to keep you occupied.
Don’t Take Things Personally
Since dating apps will match you with random people based on your shared interests, finding an ideal match will take time. And throughout that time, you may face a lot of rejections and ghosting, or things just won’t work out with some people. If you aren’t prepared not to take this personally, then you’ve just embarked on a difficult and painful journey.
It’s important to remember that the actions of another person reveal more about them than they do about you. Their behavior doesn’t define you or say anything about your worth. Remind yourself that rejection is just a part of dating life that everybody faces at some point.
Have an Actual Schedule
If you are a type A planner, this tip should work beautifully. Designate some time in your day for online interactions. The evening is, of course, the best time. It is also important as you do this to make your matches aware so that it doesn’t come across as if you are ignoring them.
Be Selective About Who You Interact With
You do not have to respond to every message in your online dating inbox. Remember that you do not owe anyone anything. Pity replies drain your energy and waste your time as you, more than anyone else, know that the relationship is going nowhere. So stick to people you are interested in pursuing something long-term with.
Learn How to Date
You were probably never taught how to date, just like most of us weren’t. Dating is a skill that, like any other, requires practice. You can certainly get better if you’re not very good at it now.
You can boost your chances of connecting with someone you like by making a few little interpersonal and personal changes. Learning certain dating techniques will lessen the dating process’s strain and discomfort while enhancing your sense of self-worth.
Take One Step at a Time
You’ll undoubtedly have some unfitting matches, failed talking stages, and you might even get ghosted. It may be difficult to continue using the apps with all of that. Before it becomes tiring, consider taking your matches one at a time.
When you find a match, focus on getting to know them rather than obsessing about the distant future with them. If the talking stage goes well, consider meeting them offline. And then you can think of a second date. But during the entire process, you’ll probably be let down if you treat each match as if it were your one and only.
Move Your Relationship Offline
Another way to avoid online dating fatigue is to move the relationship into the real world. Having actual dates is important as it helps you narrow down on matches with Mr. or Mrs. Right’s potential. That way, you do not have to spend time or energy on relationships with no future.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Getting to know someone and planning a date should get you all excited. Yet, many cases of dating burnout can be attributed to feeling like it’s a chore or growing weary of failed lengthy talking stages.
Not every date will be an exhilarating journey, but you shouldn’t fear opening the app or talking to your matches because you believe they won’t go well. So relax, stay in the present and have fun in the process.
Give Yourself Some Time Off
Just take some time to love yourself and take care of number one. This regrouping is important as it helps you figure yourself out before sharing your heart with someone else.
Go Forth and Date Smartly
Online dating is not easy. However, with smart planning, you should be able to get the most out of the experience without burning out. The most important thing is to strike a healthy balance between your online and offline lives. With all the information provided above, this should be a piece of cake.