As I sat in the restaurant in Portlaoise watching the man I was on a first date with cry, I couldn’t help but feel utterly exhausted. The conversation, messages and videos leading up to the date all looked so promising. But there I was, sitting across from him, completely fed up, frustrated and ready to leave. The first signs of dating burnout were kicking in.

And I know I’m not the only woman feeling this way. There is a huge sense of overwhelm and fatigue when it comes to dating right now. Add in all the covid relationship casualties, and you’d be right to think that things are looking a little bleak. 

It’s fair to say that swiping through a pool of heartbroken, burnout people hopelessly trying to find love is not fun. The desperation and despair are palpable.

But all is not lost! If you’ve reached the point of dating burnout, here’s what you should do:

Take a break from dating

After every crap date, I take a break. I come off the apps, spend time working on my mindset and focus on myself. After every dating disaster, ramp up your self-love. The mindset you go into dates with has a massive impact on how the date goes. If you’re going into dates fatigued, you’re not allowing the best you to show up, which significantly impacts your chances of creating chemistry and connection.

Taking a step back gives you the time to focus on yourself, your mindset and what you are genuinely looking for in a partner. Invest in yourself. Spend time doing what you love. Go on solo dates. Take time to know who you are, what you like and what you want, and that will bring you more dating success.

Be a conscious dater

I am particular about my matches, I know exactly what I want, and I am unwilling to accept less. Get yourself into the same headspace. Identify what you want and don’t accept less. Too many women are matching with people way below their standards and way below what they deserve. And while it’s great to get dressed up and go on dates, it’s not good to go on dates with people who are less than what you deserve. They will drain you.

The best way to avoid dating burnout is to only match with people with who you’d actually like to go out with. The fewer matches, the better. And unmatch at the first sign that this person is not for you.

Take back the control

It’s very easy to default to mindless swiping and treat the apps as a means of entertainment. And when you swipe mindlessly, you get crap results. Take control of your dating life. Better yet, take responsibility for your results.

Creating dating boundaries while using the apps will lead to a lot more success. Set limits to how long you are going to spend on the apps each day, set limits to how many people you are willing to message at the same time and know your green lights and red flags. Be the boss of your dating life, be intentional and give yourself the best chance to find high-quality matches. (Hint: The less time you spend on the apps the better.)

Get off the couch

We’re all too reliant on dating apps to meet someone, killing our ability to make genuine connections with people. And it’s creating more loneliness in our lives. 

If you want to find The One, you need to be proactive. And that means leaving the house. You can’t expect your perfect person to walk to your front door out of the blue unless your ideal match is your local DPD driver. And you shouldn’t hand over all of the control of your future happiness to an algorithm on an app. Get off your phone, and your off arse, and get out there!

Meet people in person with the intention of making friends rather than finding The One. Get to know people on a more genuine level, allow them to get to know the real you and see what comes of it. Be authentic and be open to all possibilities.

Go and get yourself a hobby, go to the gym, take a yoga class, go to gigs, grab a coffee on your own. The more you do things you enjoy doing and the more open you are to meeting people, the greater the chances of meeting someone who is ideal for you. People like people who are like them. Use hobbies as the foundation for your dating life rather than an app.

Prioritise your self-love and self-care

If you really want to find love, the journey starts within. Create a solid self-love routine that will have you feeling amazing every single day. I have a rock solid morning routine that includes yoga, meditation, reading, celery juice and a dog walk. My day starts stacked with what makes me happy. By the time I sit at my desk I feel amazing. I take time to listen to something that will inspire me and lift me even higher and I journal.

I also prioritise my self-care; skincare, gym, healthy diet. I keep myself fit and healthy. I keep my home environment beautiful and clean, my friendships and family relationships easy and drama free. Creating a more easy, fun and loving life overall will help raise your vibration to attract in someone who deserves you.

Remember, dating is meant to be fun. It’s all about that genuine connection and chemistry. I love to think of it as finding best friend chemistry; someone I could hang out with, have a great time with and want to jump their bones. Long-term. If that’s what you want too, then take the steps to avoid dating burnout and put yourself out there in an authentic way.

Oh, and if you were wondering why my date was crying, he was trying to play the victim for his past mistakes and calling his ex unpleasant names. And I called him out on it. A big red flag for me is any man thrashing his ex on a date, especially if that woman is the mother of his child. No woman deserves to be treated like that, and I most certainly will not entertain it.