10 Ways To Get Back In The Dating Game After A Burnout Break

Looking for love is fun, exciting, and full of possibilities… until it isn’t. Everyone experiences dating burnout sometimes, when it’s best to step away from dating to focus on yourself. Once you’ve had a chance to recharge and refocus your energy and you’re ready to hop back into the dating pool, here are 10 ways to do so confidently.

  1. Lead with your strengths. One of the most draining parts of dating is being rejected. Even for the most confident and empowered, it can be hard to put yourself out there, only to be ignored or overlooked. As you enter the dating game again, make sure you know exactly what your strengths are. Dating and meeting new people can be a gamble, and not everyone will like you. But what’s most important is that you like yourself, regardless of what your dating app matches or those guys at the bar think.
  2. Know what you want. Dating should be fun, but let’s be honest: it has some not-so-fun moments too. That’s why it’s important to know what you want and why you’re dating in the first place. Do you want to meet your future spouse? Looking for noncommittal romance? Be clear with yourself what type of relationship you’re looking for. Then, don’t settle for anything less!
  3. Be aware of red flags. Being able to identify and respond to dating red flags quickly can help save you time and energy—and prevent future burnout. Think back to the red flags you missed in partners in the past, and get to know some of the often overlooked red flags that commonly show up when dating.
  4. Create boundaries for yourself. You may already know that boundaries with other people are necessary to protect and care for yourself. But you must have boundaries and ground rules that you follow too. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re attracted to someone new, so set the limits for yourself that you’re comfortable with. For example, you may decide to create a boundary against hooking up before the third date. Or you may promise yourself that you’ll take time to listen to your gut before accepting a second date. Strengthen the relationship you have with yourself by creating the boundaries and agreements necessary for your well-being.
  5. Try out online dating. Online dating may have worked for you in the past, or maybe you’ve sworn it off as your worst enemy. But it can give you a chance to ease back into dating by matching and messaging with others at a comfortable pace. Even if you truly think online dating isn’t for you, it can still be a great way to see who’s out there and get you prepared for meeting people IRL.
  6. Have an elevator pitch. Okay, so elevator pitches are typically for businesses, but they’re a great way to succinctly explain who you are and what you’re about. Many people sell themselves short on dates, having no clue how to explain their interests, background, or what they want. Prepare a loose script (keyword being “loose”) that summarizes you as a person. That way, the next time someone asks what your hobbies are, for example, you’ll be prepared. After all, there’s a lot that makes you an interesting person worth getting to know, and communicating that is key!
  7. Be aware of your type. Who are you usually attracted to, and has that person really been best for you in the past? Be honest with yourself about what type of person you’re usually attracted to, and stay open to those who don’t fit that profile. Remind yourself to see the good in those that may not be the type you instantly feel attracted to.
  8. Be the energy you want to attract. It’s easy to get burned out when meeting a string of bad matches. Maybe you’ve had dates with overly negative types who saw flaws in everything, or maybe you’ve experienced a date with someone whose desperation sent you running. People give off energies that either attract or repel us. But how much focus have you put on the energy you give off? If you want to attract someone with a positive personality, it helps if you have a positive personality too. When it comes to dating, attracting the right people starts with you.
  9. Practice mindfulness. While meditation and yoga can be healthy forms of mindfulness, being mindful in dating is much more than that. To avoid burnout again, practice mindfulness by dating slowly and taking your time between each date. Limit how many dates you go on each week (or even each month). Then, check in with yourself after each. Notice how you feel, and give yourself plenty of time before making dating decisions. Burnout can creep up slowly, but it’s easier to spot when you take time to turn inward.
  10. Stop when you want. The choice to date—or not— is yours. If you feel like you’re getting burned out again, take a break. Don’t let anyone pressure you into dating (and that includes your well-intentioned friend who wants you to be coupled up ASAP). Sometimes, we rush ourselves to fall in love because of internal pressures like loneliness or external pressures like a societal expectation of marriage. But ultimately, there’s no need to rush, especially if you’re feeling burned out in the process. Take your time, and give yourself a break from dating again if and when it feels right for you.
Relationship educator, writer, host of the Relationship Reminders podcast, and mental health advocate hailing from the US and currently based in Tokyo