I’m sitting here in my tracksuits, eating chocolate cake and reflecting on my dating life. I mean, It’s been pretty awesome overall and I’ve loved it. I’ve dated more people than Samantha from Sex and the City, built my own boundaries over time, learnt a lot about myself and made some meaningful connections. But right now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m suffering from dating burnout.
Don’t laugh, it’s actually a thing! As Tinderella Worldwide, I swipe a lot in the countries I visit, arrange dates, go on as many as I can and NEVER tell them who I am – read my About page for more info. As much as it’s been a valuable experience, it’s kind of exhausting now. If you’re struggling to get dates and think I’m insanely lucky, go take a look at my article on how to write awesome bios (just don’t overdo the dates like me).
Psychology Today defines burnout as a state of chronic stress leading to exhaustion and detachment. Sure, the symptoms they give for it are waaaay more extreme than what I’m feeling – but I don’t want to get there anytime soon, which is why I’m taking a dating break.
When I was in Palermo, Sicily, I kept swiping and swiping and arranging dates. But it just wasn’t fun anymore. Even though a high percentage of guys were super-hot and even though one looked just like Jon Snow (seriously). But in the evenings, it just felt like I was doing a job. Recently, I came back to London and after attending the UK Dating Awards, I came to a realization: I’m done dating for a bit. These are the six symptoms of my dating burnout; can you relate?
Dating burnout symptom 1: Every date feels the same
I find a reasonably hot and intelligent-seeming guy and swipe right. The odds of Tinder are in my favour, because I’m a good-looking woman who knows how to make a solid Tinder profile – so we match.
We text a little and he’s not too pushy. We arrange to meet at a restaurant or bar and I go. During the date, I laugh, smile, make eye contact and engage in smart and witty conversation – this is easy for me (not bragging, but it’s true). I judge the guy on how he conducts himself. Usually, he tells me the following things:
- You have a nice smile
- You have a nice laugh
- You have nice eyes
- You’re very intelligent.
Boom. Score. He likes me. Towards the end of the date, he will probably try and make a move and hint at a second date. If I like him, I’ll kiss him and perhaps agree to one, if not, then I’ll just smile and brush it off. I go home, tired and sleep off the alcohol.
Yeah, it’s fun. Sometimes I do have great dates that are different and stand out, like The Kinky Brown Girl Hater and The Tattooed Consultant. But more often, they’re usually mediocre and after a while of the same pattern, the novelty wears off. I don’t feel like this, because it’s too easy. It’s more that the date is a routine that I repeat too often. And nowadays it’s part of my ‘work’. Sometimes I feel like a fucking robot. Which is probably not the healthiest attitude to have towards dating…
Dating burnout symptom 2: I’m not excited by dating anymore
I mean, you can kind of gather that by reading the first symptom. Don’t get me wrong; dating has made me who I am in so many ways. I’ve gained patience, resilience and a sense of who I am by meeting and forging connections with other people. And I’ve met some great people. But right now, all I feel is exhaustion when I go on a date and guilt, when I know I’ll be writing about them the next day. I feel like I’m constantly having to dress up, go out and be on my best behaviour… for what? Free drinks? I’m not angry; it’s just started to feel pointless to me. So I’m going to slow down and stop negative emotions taking over.
Dating burnout symptom 3: I’m less emotionally available
I’ve been single and ready to mingle for such a long time and do not regret it one bit. After all, we have to get to know ourselves deeply before we commit to other people. But over my dating life, I’ve become more guarded. Again, I think that’s partially a good thing – why should I put my emotions on the line for guys who won’t?
However, when I started writing this blog, something else changed – I really wasn’t looking for anything serious. At most, a fling or ongoing friendship was sufficient. At worst, they’d just bore me. Their main purpose was to be writing material. Don’t get me wrong; I love forming connections with people – it’s stimulating and the aim of my advice is to help other people do it. But the effort of constantly trying to do it is tiring me out.
By writing about dates and refusing to think of them as ‘potential’ I’ve taken so much risk out of the dating process, that there really isn’t anything left for me to give. And that makes it boring.
Dating burnout symptom 4: I find the swiping dehumanizing
I truly think Tinder is amazing. Why the hell would I call myself Tinderella if this wasn’t the case? It’s revolutionized dating and equipped me with the power to meet so many amazing people that I would never have had the chance to meet in real life. But now, I feel like I’ve been there and done that. I mean, I’m almost 27 and I’ve been on it since I was 22. 5 years of swiping plus 4 months of it as a social experiment takes it’s toll sometimes…
When I was in Sicily, every single person looked like the same tall, dark and handsome Italian stallion stereotype. My messages filled up with the same “Hey”s and it felt that my dating burnout was dehumanizing all the males on my screen.
Dating burnout symptom 5: Dating doesn’t have a purpose for me anymore
In all honesty, the game kind of ended after I met The Pirate. I told him he had come at the wrong time when I told him about my blog. But I guess that just happens. We connected on the deep emotional level that I really wanted in a partner and even though we moved apart geographically, we’ve kind of been in an open relationship since. It’s not complicated, it’s just that we have our own shit going on and know that we share something deeper than purely physical, but fulfill each other emotionally enough to not need anything more on that level. Maybe that just sounds like a lot of hippy-dippy bullshit, but whatever. Right now, when I have nothing emotional to offer or gain from dating, it just feels… empty.
Dating burnout symptom 6: I feel guilty as hell
I didn’t feel this before my dating blogger days. I am a person who hates lying to other people. It just makes me feel like a shitty human. So, when I go on a date, especially a good one and have to lie and say I JUST teach online and pretend I’m dating for the same reason as everyone else; JUST to meet people, I feel awful for hiding my secret identity. It’s like I’m a villainous spy. I feel worse if I’m attracted to a date. Even worse if they want to go on a second date and I have to do the whole “I’m leaving the country in two days” thing, because I don’t want to lead them on. Yeah, I know, sometimes I do that…
It’s not all bad. Sometimes I do tell them about this blog and they find it fascinating. But usually I don’t and the guilt of being a Tinderella sucks.
So What Now?
This blog is therapeutic for me. And I’ve learnt SO much doing it and it’s made me believe in myself as a writer. So, I will keep giving advice and write about my Sicilian dates from this month. However, I might go at a slower pace with the frequency of my posts. I also won’t write about any dates after Italy – at least for now. I mean, if I decide to go on a date, I’ll go on a bloody date. But the exhaustion, dehumanization and guilt of doing it as a ‘job’ wears me down and I don’t want to deal with that. I need a dating break, so I’m going to fucking take one.
I also plan to:
- Re-evaluate my life priorities (thinking of becoming a life coach: watch this space…)
- Increase social contact with people who are already valued by me.
- Keep nourishing my creativity with this blog and writing kids’ fiction (I swear I won’t fucking swear).
- Be healthy – sometimes it’s hard to keep a routine and sometimes I’m just a lazy motherfucker.
My Motto: Regret nothing, just keep changing your road-map a bit to fit the path you feel happy taking.
Here are some more useful tips on dealing with any kind of burnout.
Can you relate to this or have you ever had dating burnout? How have you dealt with it? Tell me, I’d love to know.