Dealing With Dating Fatigue

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?

Never Chase The Girl

When I was a kid, my dog died chasing a car.  Great opening right? Ha.  But seriously this dog always wanted to chase cars but usually was tied up.  But one day somehow she wasn’t and off she went.  Apparently she “caught” the car.  I don’t know all of the reasons dogs chase cars but I do know it never turns out well.  One of two things are going to happen.  They either fail to catch the car or they get hit.  It’s a lose lose.

The same is true when a guy chases a girl.  Let me explain what I mean.

First of all, the idea of chasing involves someone running.  Someone is running away and someone else is chasing that person.  That’s the whole set up.  So if you are chasing a girl that means that she is not moving towards you.

Now this is different than pursuing a girl. Pursing someone essentially means (in date speak) getting to know someone.  In other words, showing interest or asking questions or asking them out.  That’s not what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about chasing someone.  It’s this thing guys (and sometimes girls) do when they like someone and they are convinced that this is right even though the other person is not interested.

Perhaps we ask a girl out and she says no – or some equivalent that means no.  But that doesn’t stop us.  Instead we keep going.  It might be that we went on a date or two and the person says they just aren’t feeling it.  But we keep trying, keep calling, keep trying to talk them into it.

This is bad on so many levels it’s going to be hard to list them.

For one thing it makes you look like a total wuss.  And no one wants to date a wuss.  I’m sorry but that’s the truth.  It makes you even more unattractive.  It makes you desperate.  It will not change her mind!  It’s also kind of disrespectful.  She has said no. Leave it alone.  Walk away.  If you’re not careful you will become a punchline in her life at best and a stalker at worst.

It’s also bad because it makes the whole thing about you and it makes her an idol.  It becomes something that you are trying to “win” or “attain” which turns her into an object. At that point you are like the dog in that even if you miraculously (and it would be miraculous) caught her you’d be dead.  You’ve given up all of your power and leadership. You’ve given her total power over your life.  You’re dead.

Sometimes it can be hard to see and even harder to admit that you are chasing someone. So here are some keys to look for.  If any of this is true you are probably chasing:

  • You try to find all sorts of ways to be around her or angle to be with her but you have never asked her out
  • You have asked her out, she said no and you still follow her around (this includes social media) and keep trying over and over again.
  • She says things like, I just want to be friends, you’re a great guy, I just don’t feel that way etc and yet you keep working towards getting her to like you
  • You think you can somehow earn her liking you
  • You have ever or are getting ready to try to talk her into liking you.
  • You buy her gifts even though you are not in a relationship
  • You have all sorts of pretend conversations with her in your head – where you “lay it on the line”
  • You actually have a conversation where you “lay it on the line”.
  • You don’t go on other dates because you are waiting for her to like you and you don’t want to “mess it up”.
  • You are down or depressed over her not liking you
  • Most of your prayer life is about her

These are all really, really bad signs.  I know because I’ve lived it and it has cost me time and for a while some of my manhood.

We as guys have to understand that chasing the girl doesn’t work.  If anything it makes her run further away.  The truth is that if you ask someone out and they say no you may still have a chance – if you can walk away.  But if you can’t she’ll know.  And she won’t be attracted.  She might like the attention but she won’t be more attracted.  The only chance you have is to walk.

There are a lot of things you can do to never get in this spot to begin with and we’ll talk more about that.  But for today I want to encourage you to examine yourself.

Are you currently chasing someone?  Do you usually chase the girl you like?  How’s that working out?  Is it time for something different?