Originally published in The Hudson Reporter
Okay guys and gals, Valentine’s Day is over and we can settle back down. There’s no real pressure to find someone until at least it warms up out there. And while we’re always on the lookout for that next potential match, I feel like there’s a bit of a breather right now. While we’re in a bit of a lull, I wanted to talk about something that all you singles out there may be feeling right now.
It’s called Dating Burnout. This usually occurs right after the times where there’s high pressure to get a date (pre-New Year’s, V-day, summer.) We keep going full blast to the detriment of ourselves and then comes the inevitable crash. For instance, if there is a guy who dreads approaching women, he might need a month to psych himself up to talk to a girl and if that one conversation doesn’t go well, he will withdraw back into his shell. Why? Because he doesn’t want to get hurt. Same way if a lady goes out on first dates over and over, but isn’t getting second dates, she might feel fatigued and not want to put herself out there in the dating world. That’s dating burnout.
Have you ever had a date scheduled with quite the looker but still didn’t want to move off of the couch? Can you not remember the individual conversations you’ve had on your last three dates? If you are relaxing, do you feel like you’re neglecting your Match or OKCupid account? You, my friend, may be suffering from DBO!
Burn out is a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest. It is largely an organizational issue caused by long hours, little down time, and continual peer, customer, and superior surveillance. How the stress is processed determines how much stress is felt and how close the person is to burnout. One individual can experience few stressors, but be unable to process the stress well and thus experience burnout. Another person, however, can experience a significant amount of stressors, but process each well, and avoid burnout. We’ve probably all seen this at work. There are some people that just thrive on pressure and deadlines while others seem to visibly wilt and almost break down. Another way to see this is in sports or a club you do, something fun.
If there is something that you do that’s purely for the enjoyment of it but after awhile it seems to become something of a chore, you might be getting burned out. I used to play on a pool league here in Hudson County (which I highly recommend) that played on Wednesdays. For years, it was great fun and I looked forward to it every week. As the years wore on and some people couldn’t show and I was tired and work was stressful, it changed into a midweek burden and became a commitment. I got so burnt out that I dreaded it and finally had to leave.
When it comes to dating, this can happen when you are putting yourself out there too much. Because dating is such an emotional event, we get invested in it. Even before the date there’s the initial excitement of finding a hottie, the butterflies as you look forward to the date. Then you’re there and sharing stories, flirting, opening up. And then he or she never calls back, and as the days mount, you go from curious to indignant to sad to resigned. All of this constant up and down and uncertainty can take its toll. And this is on top of the physical demands such as staying out late, maybe drinking more than usual, extra hours of commuting, etc… It’s only natural that if you keep pushing yourself, you’re going to hit a wall.
To prevent dating burnout, stop stressing out before your dates. Stop thinking about what might go wrong. Your mind shouldn’t be focused on how hurt you are, if the girl who gave you her number never returned your call. Stop putting high value on things that never might come to fruition. Don’t think, “They are the best guy/girl for me” before you even have a first date. Go on a date and then decide if she is the girl for you.
Yet, if you did hit burn out area and now you are never in the mood to go out and mingle, be conscious that this is a passing emotion. You should go to a few parties to meet and mingle. Don’t put high pressure on yourself to meet someone, go to a party to enjoy the atmosphere. Become less outcome-oriented, and you will notice that as you stop beating yourself up for the dates that were bound to fail, you will enjoy more the meeting and dating process and will have a much happier life. Amusez-vous bien! – Hunt