Worn out and weary from online dating? The truth is, you are not alone. You stand with millions of men and women who are using online dating to find their soul mates and discovering that it can be -WORK.
Why is the soul mate search so full of trials and tribulations? Because you're not searching for a casual date. You want something meaningful, that has potential, and this sets the bar for success much higher. People who might have been "good enough" in the past don't make the grade. As time passes and you explore possibilities and meet new people, it's not uncommon to wake up one day and think, "The thrill is gone."
For most people these jaded, burned-out feelings are linked to fatigue. Football coach Vince Lombardi said, "Fatigue makes cowards of us all," and he was right. If you're burning the candle at both ends, and letting your mental and physical resources run low, the energy that it takes to sustain a positive outlook toward finding your soul mate will be the first thing to go.
In fact, online dating can accelerate the feeling of dating burnout by offering you a faster way to meet people and move through the stages of dating. For many online daters it's not uncommon to communicate with five or six potential matches via email, exchange several phone conversations, and experience one or two real-life dates – all in one week. Add to this schedule a full week of work and life responsibilities and it's easy to see how burnout can creep in.
Getting the Thrill Back
Treat your soul mate search as a marathon instead of a sprint. It's important that you think about your long-term endurance and organize your efforts in a strategic fashion.If you feel like you're already in the "jaded zone," here are some helpful ways to rekindle your spark for dating:
1. Pace yourself
One of the reasons for your jaded outlook may simply be the pace at which you're communicating and dating.It can be tempting to book every spare moment with a date-related activity. It can be enticing to fill every workday pause with an online trip to check your matches. Searching for a soul mate is, by its nature, an exciting exercise; your adrenaline starts to flow at just the thought of a potential new person. But over time, these moments of excitement can leave us with a roller-coaster hangover.
Make sure you balance your efforts so your soul mate search isn't the only interesting thing on your weekly calendar. It may be difficult to measure your efforts in this regard, but if you spend all your energy sprinting in the first two miles of your soul mate search, it can be very hard to stay in the race for the duration.
2. Read up on Success Stories
These real-life success stories can help motivate you, because they are reminders of why you are here in the first place. These men and women are just like you. They had moments of fatigue, frustration, and burnout. The one trait each success story participant has in common? Persistence.As in most areas of life, one of the best sources of knowledge and inspiration is people who've gone before and succeeded. Let their guidance give you strength and perspective.
3. Be EXTRA kind to yourself
Online dating can be hard, and it's vital that you acknowledge this fact. By reaching out and actively searching for a soul mate, you've taken a step that requires focus, determination, and guts. Give yourself a break and don't push too hard.It's important to remember that you've only got so much energy to expend. If you're putting money and effort into online dating, other areas of your life need to give a bit.
Consider the little treats that make life special for you. Maybe it's a massage. Maybe it's sneaking away from work in the afternoon to see a movie. Maybe it's a ball game with your friends. Take time to refill the tank and reward yourself for the time you're spending typing on a computer, answering email, and searching for that special person.
4. Break your patterns
If you're like most people, you have a specific "process" you use to meet people online. You have a photo you like. You have an "About Me" page with various pieces of information you've chosen to share. You have a set of questions you ask – a sort of routine that you follow when you meet a new prospect.One of the best ways to feel rejuvenated is to shake up that routine. We're not asking you to throw caution to the wind, just reconsider your process. Pick up the phone and call a new match (you can do it anonymously if you like), reveal some different bits of information, grab a friend and take some creative photos that show you in a new light (literally). Turn down your comfort level. Turn up your excitement level.
5. Reexamine your perspective
Sometimes people begin to feel jaded and burned-out because they believe that they aren't making any progress. "I've been on this site for ___ months and I haven't found the special person I'm looking for." We're wired as human beings to lose interest in repetitive actions that don't seem to make progress. So one of the keys to rediscovering your passion is appreciating the progress you have made. Our culture tends to have a black-and-white view of success. "We won." "He lost." A few days ago a major newspaper described a bicyclist who came in fourth in the Tour de France as a "loser." Really? There were 198 riders (22 teams, nine riders per team) and the guy who came in fourth was a loser? In one way, he was a loser; after all, he didn't place first. But should he feel like a loser because he only beat 194 riders?
Holding on to a narrow view of success in the world of relationships is not healthy. The truth is, the people you've met that weren't right and the dates you've experienced with no chemistry aren't "failures." They are stepping stones to the relationship you've come here to find, to the relationship that is right for you. If you can alter your perspective and appreciate the journey a bit more, the mental fatigue will decrease, and so will that jaded outlook.
Finally, remember: we are all in the same boat together. You are joined by many on this arduous and adventurous search for love, for that one whose soul is perfectly aligned with yours. As Longfellow once wrote, "The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide." Once you've made that connection, the wait and hardship will be worth it.