Dating can be an amazing personal experience, full of learnings and adventures, but it can also be exhausting. From meeting people, arranging times, getting physically to the place, learning a new person, doing the whole tap-dance around social norms- it can be enough to want to throw your hands up and say, “Eff it. I’m staying in and watching every show on Netflix and accepting this as my life forever and ever amen.”
Before you get to that point, try to recognize the signs in yourself that may be telling you to take a break. Dating is supposed to be a pleasant experience. One of self-discovery and growth. Though growth is never easy, it isn’t supposed to be torturous. There is a fine line between “putting yourself out there” and “kicking the shit out of yourself”. You don’t want to get to the point where you’re so fed up that you either settle for something less than you deserve or give up. Watch for the signs of dating fatigue and remember to give yourself a lot of self-care and compassion. Dating isn’t easy. You take care of you- first and foremost.
You’re forcing it
Whether it’s forcing it with a particular person, or it’s being forced into your schedule. If you find yourself working really hard in the beginning to make something work (meaning a date or two)- it’s probs best to let it go for now. Whether it’s on the other person’s side; meaning they’re tough to make plans with, or if you find yourself having to meet them at 3 on a Saturday for a walk to the post office because you don’t want to give up your weekend nights and are too busy during the weekdays. That means you’re forcing it. You’re not making time for that person, or they aren’t for you. Let it go before you either get resentful or fed up. Give yourself some time to regroup and relax.
If you find yourself meeting a million people-and sort of liking them, but not really, but you feel restless so you think you have to go on a million dates. This can sometimes mean you’re subconsciously putting pressure on yourself, possibly avoiding something else going on in your life and you’re projecting/redirecting your energy or stress into dating. That isn’t going to yield the best romantic results when you have a gun to your head. Take a break. Take some stock in your life and get real about what’s going on.
You’re dreading dates
If you find yourself with a pit in your stomach- not a nervous butterfly pit but a pit of dread; then it’s probably time to take a break. This is especially true if this pit comes around when you’re getting ready for second dates. Dates are nerve-wracking and hard, but if you’re getting worked up over seeing someone again, you may just… not want to see them. This is obviously a very personal thing because everyone is different. Some people get nervous before going to the grocery store while others are cool to talk to strangers on the subway. But if you are really dreading the date- not the interaction in general with someone you don’t really know- then maybe you need a break. Usually, a part of you knows when you want to see someone again. Don’t force it. Let it be.
You’re getting negative vibes
There’s no way to date and not break or bruise some hearts in the process. This works both ways too. You’re bound to get beat up a bit in the ego/heart area when you put yourself out there. That’s okay. You shouldn’t run from that. Sit with it. Accept it and process it. Do your best to not hurt others as well and show everyone (including yourself) respect. However, when you’re dating a lot and bopping around from person to person, this can be a fun time and exciting, but also a time where pressure builds. If you find yourself receiving a few passive aggressive (or maybe just aggressive) texts here or there, and feeling like you’re disappointing people. It’s time to pump the breaks. Again, this is showing that you either haven’t met the right person or just may not be ready for a relationship right now. Instead of wasting time (yours and theirs), maybe take a break.