Never before have my clients experienced dating fatigue like they did in 2022. Despite reports that more singles are serious about finding love, the journey to a healthy relationship isn’t always easy. While there was hope that post-lockdown, after the height of the Covid pandemic, there would be a surge in intentional and mindful dating in which people opened their minds to the possibility of finding love with those who weren’t typically their type, that mentality was short-lived. By the time early 2022 rolled, people were back to their usual dating habits — the ones that didn’t particularly work in their favor before 2020, and aren’t likely to work now that the pandemic has simmered in much of the world. One must change their behavior, whether it’s in dating or in some other area in their life, to see progress and get better results.
Dating fatigue, especially for those who are bent on finding a long-lasting relationship and then, ideally love, is tragically part of the process. However, if you put your mind to it, have a clear understanding of not just what you’re looking for in a romantic partner, but who you are and what you can bring to a relationship, as opposed to mindlessly swiping, then you can avoid repeating the dating fatigue that plagued you — and plagued everyone, as a matter of fact — once 2023 hits.
Not sure how to leave those bad dating habits in 2022 where they belong? Here’s a start:
- Lazy opening lines. “Hey.” “Hi.” “How was your weekend?” When it comes to online dating, you want to stand out and show that you actually read their profile and it piqued your interest. Try these openers instead.
- Swiping only for an ego boost. You swipe to see how many matches you can get, but you have no intention of meeting up IRL or, in some cases, even starting a chat. Don’t be one of those people who wastes the time of others. You can find more creative ways to increase your confidence that don’t involve playing with other people’s emotions.
- Not getting to IRL within a reasonable timeframe. If you just want a pen pal, make better use of your time here. Otherwise, meet your match in person so you can more easily see if there’s potential and you’re not wasting someone else’s time or your time either.
- Not initiating conversation with your match. You match, but you don’t do anything about it. If you’re overwhelmed with the number of matches, put your profile on pause after three to four matches, and focus on developing those connections.
- Giving one-word answers and/or not asking questions of your match. A huge turn-off is lack of engagement and curiosity. If you struggle with what to ask, here are some suggestions.
- Refusing to try a video date. Who didn’t find themselves on a video call to catch up with friends, virtually work with colleagues, or participate in class during the pandemic? It’s the new norm, so get used to it. Also, it’ll save you time, money, and energy.
- Being dismissive. Maybe it’s because they don’t meet a superficial height requirement, or you don’t like what they do for work. If you find yourself rejecting someone without even knowing enough about them to make a well-informed opinion, try getting to know them a little before simply dismissing them.
- Being nitpicky. You tear apart small things that, in the grand scheme, don’t really matter. Figure out why you do it — are you scared of closeness and nitpick to create emotional distance? Do you have anxiety and need to control everything your partner does? Whatever it is, you won’t be satisfied with anyone if you let little things always bother you.
- Love bombing. One of the most harmful dating trends to come out of the last several years is love bombing. If you have a pattern of love bombing your dates, seek help to stop this destruction.
- Ghosting. Healthy relationships require the willingness for each partner to manage uncomfortable situations and emotions. If you’d rather avoid these things and you’re dating someone, the easiest route is to ghost — but while it’s easy, it doesn’t make it right no matter how little time you may have invested (exceptions include concerns for safety). Instead of ghosting, realize these awkward scenarios are a great opportunity to start practicing getting more comfortable with discomfort by ending each storyline before you move on to the next. Everyone, even if it’s only been a few dates, deserves closure.
- Immediately expecting the Spark. If “The Spark” were enough to keep relationships together, there’d be no divorce. Chemistry is a poor indicator of a long-term fit. The Spark will fade no matter who you’re with, so why put so much emphasis on a fleeting feeling?
- Chasing unavailable people. Whether they’re physically unavailable because they’re in a relationship with someone else or emotionally unavailable because they’re not in a place to date, chasing these types of people is painful. Don’t waste your time.
- Having sex too quickly. If having sex too soon clouds your judgment and makes you feel attached too quickly, try to hold off. You may end up wanting to be with someone who’s not a good fit because of the sexual attachment that comes from physical affection, closeness, and that damn love hormone, oxytocin, hard at work.
- Creating a fantasy. If you start by putting your date on a pedestal and fantasizing about life with them, you risk ignoring red flags.
- Ignoring deal breaker issues. You want marriage but your date says it’s just a piece of paper. You don’t like to drink a lot, but your date gets blackout drunk. People erroneously think they’ll “figure it out later.” The way to know if a deal breaker issue is a deal breaker is to have conversations with your date and see if you both can effectively compromise.
- Blaming your current date for past dates’/exes’ behaviors. Your date doesn’t know what triggers you, so give them the benefit of the doubt. Instead of making assumptions about what you think they mean, clearly communicate your needs. And, if you’re comfortable, share significant past events so they can understand where you’re coming from on certain issues.
- Not capitalizing on IRL opportunities. Say “hi” to the stranger in the Starbucks line or hold eye contact with a cutie across the bar. While rejection can prevent people from approaching others, you can increase your chances for a real-life connection by signaling clear interest.
- Tying your self-worth to whether or not someone likes you back. You won’t always know why someone wasn’t interested in you, but 100% of the time it has nothing to do with you or your worth as a human being.
- Assuming exclusivity. “I’m not seeing other people” is not the same as “I’d like to be exclusive.” Save yourself from being burned by being clear with your intentions and desires, so make sure you have “the talk.”
- Leaving out or hiding important details. If you just got divorced and have four children, or are planning on moving out of state soon, or gained 30 pounds in the last year, be transparent. Lying, hiding, and omitting the truth is a bad way to kick off a relationship and leads to mistrust.
- Going through the motions. If you find yourself mindlessly swiping, forcing yourself to go on dates, and can’t seem to find excitement about anyone, then you’ve caught a case of dating fatigue. Dating should be fun and void of indifference. If you can’t be fully present when dating, it’s time to take a break.
- Not owning your dating goals. Be upfront about your desire to have a relationship. You may think keeping this to yourself or being vague about it is the best way to not scare a date off. But people who are serious about finding a partner won’t be scared of your dating goals — they’ll be excited by it.
Stopping these bad dating habits can help increase your chances of finding love in 2023. May this year be your year for love!