As it gets easier to get a first date it gets harder to endure the bad ones. How to know if it’s time for a reset.
His back was to me when I arrived at the Midtown Starbucks, but I could tell he was irritated about something. His shoulders slumped forward and he was rearranging the chairs in the seating area by dragging and tossing them into place, ensuring their metal legs clanked and scraped across the concrete floor. When he finally turned around and our eyes met, there was a sour look on his face.
We proceeded to limp through the next hour by asking one another the perfunctory first date questions of “what kind of work do you do?” and “where did you live?” His short, curt responses were often preceded by a sigh. He did everything to signal his boredom except yawn in my face. Finally, it dawned on me: he’s inflicted with a bad case of “dating fatigue.”
The irony is on “paper” my date seemed amazing: good education, impressive career, varied interests, and hobbies. Yet, his demeanor drained the energy from the room. When our paths crossed again several years later I was shocked how vividly he recalled our date, but, more so, that he wanted a repeat. He seemed so miserable that beautiful spring day we first met.
Thanks to social media dating has never been easier. All one has to do is click or swipe to unlock the door to the world of a countless supply of women in every shape, size and color. Still, the high rejection rate, compounded by the volume of ads and people one must weed through to secure a date, can be tiresome, if not demoralizing.
How do you know it would be more productive to stay home and work on your car rather then meet your latest OkCupid match at the local pub? If you can identify with any the below signs, you may consider sitting out for a round or two to recharge your batteries.
You’re bored. You find yourself going through the motions and have no real desire to engage with your date. Her interests and hobbies? You could care less. She could be the first woman to climb Mt. Everest without an oxygen tank and you would be unfazed.
You’ve become cynical and jaded. Bad dating experiences have tainted your opinion of the entire female population. You now suspect that all people you date lie or bend the truth. You’re inclined to make hasty assumptions and have caught yourself saying things like, “All women are difficult and demanding.”
You’re no longer polite. In the early days of dating, you would have excused someone for being a few minutes late or monopolizing the conversation about their latest work saga. Not anymore. You’re prone to cut dates off midsentence and display your disappointment if they don’t exactly resemble their picture.
You’ve become a lazy dater. Most of your dates are in Starbucks so as to eliminate the burden of finding a place. In some cases, you defer the task of selecting a place to your date.
You’re vocal about your disappointment. You’ve been on and off a variety of dating sites and have yet to meet your match. Frustrated, the focal point of all your conversations is your dating woes. You spend time on dates rehashing dating horror stories of the date who downed three martinis in a half hour and the single mom who spent the entire date texting her babysitter.
You’re resigned. You’ve abandoned all hope that you’ll ever find that special someone. You’re convinced that you’re just some unlucky schmuck whose destiny it is to be alone forever.
If you find yourself in a dating funk, take it as a sign you need a break so to clear the energy. When you return, try to see it not so much as a search for “the one,” but as a way to broaden your horizons and have fun. Dating, with the right attitude and sense of adventure, can be a wonderful way to meet people outside your social circle and engage in new activities. And, sometimes it is through these experiences, that you meet the one.
Photo: Getty Images