There’s a lot about dating that can be really fun, like meeting someone new, feeling that first spark of chemistry, having new experiences, and flirting — lots of flirting. And it’s so exciting to see that blossom into a meaningful relationship. But sometimes, it can feel like those awesome moments are few and far between, and all the swiping can start to feel like a chore. You’ve gone from single and loving it, to single and tired of dating. Listen, I get it, I’ve totally been there — and the longer the funk goes on, the harder it can become to snap out of it. But here’s the good news: You’re not alone. According to Cherlyn Chong, a dating coach who specializes in helping professional women through their breakups, feeling discouraged about dating is extremely common.
“Unless you’re one of the lucky 0.1%, a good 80-90% of the people you meet will not be a fit for you, and if one isn’t prepared for that much disappointment or lack of success, it’s easy to become disillusioned,” Chong tells Elite Daily. Dating apps give us an abundance of options, but we can also just end up with a whole lot of people who aren’t a fit, explains Jenna Birch author of The Love Gap. “Searching all those profiles and downloading all those apps, it can feel like an information overload sometimes. You also can’t plan love. If you’re dating for a relationship and haven’t met someone you click with on that level in a while, you might grow tired of the search” she tells Elite Daily.
Julie Spira, online dating expert, calls these feelings “dating fatigue,” and says that when it surfaces, it might be time to put a pause on dating for a bit. “When fatigue sets in, it’s a good idea to take a break. Whether you set a defined time of three to five days or just decide to take a walk or a hike to clear your head, pushing the pause button on dating will give you a fresh look at the process. Plus, new people will become single while you’re out-and-about on your brief dating hiatus,” Spira tells Elite Daily. It also helps to remember and focus on the more encouraging things about dating, because contrary to popular belief, there is plenty of hope. Here’s what the experts say to remember.
You can slow down on dating — or take a complete break.
Has the pace of dating worn you out? Then take a breather, says Birch. “It’s not a test, or a race, to see how fast you can find a new flame. You can go on a dating hiatus, and just focus on yourself,” she suggests.
Spira agrees, adding it’s important to take some of the pressure off to date everyone. “When you’re exhausted in swiping left on 90% of your matches, remember that you don’t need to meet everyone. That can feel overwhelming. If you can focus on the 10% who have similar values and interests as you do, then it’s a more manageable experience,” she says.
Not everyone is going to be a match, and that’s OK.
It can be especially discouraging if it feels like you just aren’t clicking with anyone. Chong says not only is that OK, it’s totally normal. “There are a million different reasons why someone just isn’t a fit or doesn’t reply to you. The faster you stop assuming and just accept what has happened, the easier it is to move on,” she explains. “Apply the 80/20 rule, or the Pareto principle, to dating — 80% of the people out there just aren’t going to be for you. But the 20% of people who are for you are going to give you 80% of the joy.”
Your love story may already be in the making.
It may feel like you’re stuck in a love desert, but Birch says that may actually not be true at all. “I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve met or interviewed for my book who had a love story that was years in the making — a friend needed to evolve into something more, or a person from the past was set to creep in later on, or an ex with thwarted timing eventually comes back around. It can take years for a spark to stabilize into a long-term relationship. But even if it feels like you haven’t met anyone who you can see dating, sometimes it just takes more time for things to unfold,” she says.
Single life is awesome, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Perhaps the best advice of all is to remember to embrace what you have right now: the single life. There really are amazing things about it that you’ll probably miss if you’re coupled up. “One of the most important things you’ll ever do is enjoy each phase of your life before rushing into the next,” says Birch. “Savor high school before heading off to college. Explore all college has to offer. Dive into early adulthood not knowing where you’ll be in a few years. And enjoy being single while that is your season. I promise: One day you’ll be coupled off, and honestly, you’ll wish you spent more of your single time building friendships, taking on that extra project at work, solo traveling and living alone. That’s how you grow the most — taking advantage and loving every phase of your life. So don’t be single and tired of dating; be single and building a life where you’d be happy with or without a plus one.”