Battling Dating Fatigue? A Therapist Gives 3 Tips To Bring The Excitement Back

Dating without focus can leave us feeling confused and disillusioned. Here's how to cope with dating fatigue.

By Jourdan Travers, LCSW | August 29, 2023

Many people come to therapy stuck in a cycle of downloading and deleting their dating apps endlessly. They may say things like:

  • "Will I ever find love? It's so hard to date these days."
  • "Dating apps just don't work. No one wants a serious relationship anymore."
  • "I keep seeing the same kind of profile and clichéd bio over and over. It's so hopeless."

If you too find yourself completely exhausted by the thought of going on a date again, you're most likely experiencing dating fatigue. This phenomenon is characterized by feelings of hopelessness, indifference, frustration and disillusionment with the process of dating and finding love.

The disenchantment with dating can be demotivating for people in the long run, in some cases leading to beliefs that you might stay single forever or losing faith in the idea of dating for good. To avoid such embitterment, it is worth examining where your dating fatigue truly stems from and taking steps to manage it before going on your next date.

Here are three things you should consider before putting yourself out there again.

1. You Are Facing Choice Paralysis

A significant reason behind dating fatigue is that there are simply too many options. A 2016 study confirmed the effects of "choice overload," finding that online daters who chose from a large set of potential partners were less satisfied with their choice than those who selected them from a small set.

It can be overwhelming to swipe through hundreds of dating profiles, and it often causes decision paralysis. This makes it hard to commit to one person or to choose the ones you really want deeper connections with.

You may also feel constant dissatisfaction while swiping every few seconds, especially when the profiles you see do not meet your expectations. This can make it frustrating to keep going.

To start with, setting clear preferences and filters, staying open-minded and having realistic expectations from your matches, and limiting the number of dating platforms you are on can help. After having created these stopgaps, you can then go ahead and look inward for clues:

2. Have You Developed A Rejection Mindset?

A recent study found that having a "rejection mindset" gradually closes us off from our potential matches online. The study showed that having too many choices increases the likelihood of dissatisfaction with the pictures you're seeing and also makes you more pessimistic about your chances of finding love online. This, in turn, makes us more likely to reject every new profile we come across.

Another reason fueling our tendency to reject indiscriminately is the intention of seeking validation on dating apps. Rather than pausing and trying to deeply connect with our potential matches, we might take the validation we need and walk away.

You might also be exhausted because you aren't emotionally ready to open up again or are afraid of being hurt and rejected yourself, making the option to reject any matches you receive the only one.

Dating authentically requires engaging in inner work to become emotionally available to yourself and others, rather than the draining emotional labor of trying to get someone to be who you need, when they aren't. Focusing on one potential partner at a time and taking sufficient breaks from swiping can help with the fatigue.

3. There's Too Much Pressure

The act of constantly searching for a partner takes up a lot of emotional energy. The pressure to be continuously available and responsive can leave you feeling exhausted and disengaged instead.

The pressure also increases when we or people around us expect too much from us. We can feel like we must have a partner immediately or at least by a certain age to avoid being viewed as a "failure."

Being too focused on meeting someone can take away from the other parts of your life, making you focus on what you don't have rather than all that you do. It's important to set boundaries with yourself and others, such as limiting the amount of time you spend swiping and learning to be gentle with yourself during the dating process.

Additionally, as much as we do to take care of ourselves while dating, we have to acknowledge that we could get hurt at some point and that dating does take a mental toll. For example, a 2020 study showed that experiencing both 'breadcrumbing' and 'ghosting' online is linked to less satisfaction with life, more helplessness and feelings of loneliness. It is essential to lean on your support system and take time to replenish your emotional energy when you're using dating apps.


Modern dating can be a long and exhausting process of trial and error. Whether you're coming in with a rejection mindset or you're tired of facing rejection and heartbreak yourself, you can fight dating fatigue by bringing more authenticity, vulnerability and open-mindedness to the dating process. Swiping mindfully can be a game-changer for your love life.