Once when I was a senior in high school I had two dates in one day. I went and met a girl for lunch that a mentor set me up with (yes I was already being set up – weird I know).Then that night I went out with a different girl from my school. Now when you’re a senior who has struggled to get girls to like him, that’s a great confidence boost – I was “the man” for a day. But when you get older a day like that just makes you tired and there’s not much “the man” about it.
Today I want to talk about Dating Fatigue. There are a huge group of singles who are suffering from this. Now some of you are thinking, “I don’t really go on that many dates – I surely don’t have this problem.” Not so fast.
Dating Fatigue (DF) is more about a feeling and attitude than about how many dates you’ve been on. Here’s a simple definition of DF – You are flat tired of dating. You are tired of meeting people, tired of spending money, tired of online searches, tired of wanting to like someone and not, tired of not being excited about anyone, tired of people asking how it went, tired of being rejected, tired of having to reject someone else, just tired, tired, tired.
I’ve been urging you over and over again on this blog to not just sit there and hope it happens but to go out there and get in the game. Nobody gets married if you don’t go on a date, and you have to go meet people to do that. But the truth is that it can be exhausting.
Even if you are energized by meeting new people (as I actually am) it can still be tiring. This is turned up a notch in a couple of main ways. For starters we are all busy and we don’t want to waste time dating people we aren’t interested in. More than that though, as you get older, you don’t have as much time to play around. If I’m 25 I can kind of ride something out for a few dates, but honestly at 35, not as much, or at least it feels like it.
But most of all, gearing up for hope, and then having it not go anywhere is just emotionally tiring. Worse, if we aren’t careful, it can affect how we are on the very dates we go on – it can make us bad dates.
Now, I’m talking about dates, not dating. In other words I’m not talking about relationship fatigue. That’s another issue altogether. Nor am I suggesting that getting to know several people is a bad idea. In some ways, whether we like it or not, it is a numbers game. I’m just saying that sometimes it gets old and we need to deal with that. So what can you do? Here are some things that have helped me.
- Go with hope but with as few expectations (good or bad) as possible. Just go to get to know another person
- Realize that this might be the only time you will meet this person, so go in peace and as full of the Spirit as you can.
- Make the first date short. This is so key. You are probably going to know in the first 10 minutes if you want a second date. If you do, keep it short, and meet again – this actually creates good tension and excitement anyway. If you don’t, then you aren’t stuck for a whole day (or weekend – yikes that was a tough one).
- Some people say give everyone a second date. I totally disagree. If you know you aren’t interested its ok not to do that. Nothing adds to dating fatigue more than extra dates to “be nice” or to “try to like someone”. I would say that most of my dating fatigue came from this (including when I was on the other end of it).
- Don’t tell the world that you are going on the date. Others wanting to know how it went just adds to DF.
- Take a break from dating. If you’ve been on a lot of dates and are burned out, just step back. But do me and your friends a favor and don’t announce it. Just do it. And secondly, don’t miss on a person you really like just because you are on a “dating break” – for the love – really?! (Oh, and ladies, don’t use this as an excuse to say no to someone. Just say you aren’t interested – trust me).
- Self evaluate. If you have been on a lot of dates and none of them go anywhere, be sure to ask if you might be the issue. Maybe it’s something you are doing. It might not be, but it might be worth asking or if you are really brave ask a friend or two.
DF is real! We slide in and out of it all the time. Dating shouldn’t be a chore so we need to do all we can to avoid it and then when we do experience it, take a breath, realize that it’s ok, get our bearings with the Lord and community, and then re-enter the scene.
Have you experienced DF? What led to it? How have you combatted it? Help each other out here – what has helped you?