One thing I hear a ton from my clients during our first session is that they are burnt out on dating or the “apps”. They feel like all they meet are duds and are tired of not meeting their person. They usually feel this way and admit the stakes feel pretty high for them when going out on dates. Can you relate?
Dating burnout is real in this culture. While I’m a firm believer in online dating— it’s so great for practice! and you can meet really wonderful people who want relationships!—it can also easily overwhelm the best of us. Usually when burnout on dating we will feel a need (subconscious often times) to get into a relationship to complete some part of ourselves. These are the high stakes. Every date will feel like it’s in a pressure cooker because you’re trying to figure out if this person is your person or not. I’ve also heard there’s a forced intimacy and can feel like pressure for the date to head towards getting physical. It can be easy to get caught up in all the things that can be annoying about dating or go wrong in dating situations. It’s easy to focus on the no’s, the ghosters, the emotional unavailable humans, etc. Usually when we are focusing there it’s because we haven’t created a strong enough foundation to stand in. If we have all these expectations on a stranger than we aren’t taking responsibility for our fulfillment and happiness first. We aren’t fully in our worth. How do we turn this around?
First, take the word date off the table for the first few dates. Instead use meet ups. You’re meeting up with another human to have a conversation and see how you get along. Low stakes! Remember it’s your job to create a fulfilling life, a full sundae life, and a relationship will just be the cherry. High sakes is making someone responsible for more than the cherry on your sundae. Second, keep the meet ups light! Literally, by doing day activities (weekends are perfect for this for 9-5’ers) that do not involve drinking because then there’s less forced intimacy. Heading back to your place to fool around after walking the high line with someone you aren’t sure you like yet isn’t impossible, but a lot less likely than if you were out for drinks later in the evening (extra points, use your training wheels and make plans for after your day meet ups so there’s no temptation to take it to night time). Third, flip your perspective. What do you enjoy about meet ups? Checking out new art galleries, getting outside, meeting a new human, fun conversation, the process of getting ready and picking out an outfit that feels for good you to be in (versus what you think the other person might like), etc. Focus on what’s fun about dating because dating IS fun— when the stakes our low, when your creating your full sundae life and you’re rooted in your foundation.
If you’re having trouble finding dating fun, I look forward to connecting over a session.
Photo by: Desire Pais