Before you send your crush that flirtatious text or keep on swiping on that dating app, take a step back. You want to find love, of course, and that means putting in effort. However, if your whole life is revolving around this task or you find yourself being way too extra with a guy you barely know, it may be time to take a step back. Here are some signs you’re trying way too hard in love and need to relax.
You match with everyone. You know that your perfect person might not always come packaged in the way you expect, so you match with everyone who likes you to see if you have a connection. The danger of this is that you end up in conversations with people you don’t even want to know, or you end up blocking people before having a conversation with them. Why not stop and take your time to make your matches count based on what you’re looking for? It’s way less stressful!
You ask a ton of questions right away. You want to stand out from the crowd on a dating app, so you decide to jump in with some interesting and creative questions. While this has some merit, you really don’t want to go OTT as that can make it seem like you’re trying too hard instead of letting the chat flow naturally.
You log in multiple times a day. You might want to take online dating seriously, but that doesn’t mean you have to dedicate hours to it every day. That can cause you unnecessary stress that you don’t need. It might also put pressure on you to make matches. It’s dating, not a job search. You need to have other things going on in your life.
You subscribe to multiple dating apps. You might want to subscribe to more than one dating site or app so that you can increase your chances of meeting someone great. However, if you have more than two dating apps on your phone, it’s just too much. You’re turning your search for a relationship into something obsessive, and it can backfire by making you try too hard to meet lots of people. What’s the point when you’re not even enjoying the process?!
You feel down when you don’t match with anyone. When you don’t make matches, it hurts your confidence. You start worrying that your profile’s not good enough or that you as a person aren’t valuable to date. See how the thoughts can spiral? Don’t turn matching into something ego-driven. That’s the classic way in which you’ll come across as desperate and end up jaded.
You try the shock tactic. You want your first message to someone to be as memorable as possible, so you resort to a shocking statement or question. While this will definitely make the person remember you, you’re unlikely to keep their attention for long if you can’t sustain it with something a bit more realistic. Instead of trying so hard, keep things casual in the way you would talk to someone you met in real life.
You go too deep too quickly. Speaking of keeping things light, avoid heavy topics like religion and politics right off the bat. You might think getting into a real, deep conversation will help you connect, but it can be too much too soon. It’s a dating app, not a talk show. Ease into it.
You change your profile pic daily. Pictures are what people mostly go on when making matches until they get to know someone on a more personal level. But obsessing about your picture too much can make you seem desperate. Stop changing it every day! Focus on a shot you really like and then leave it alone.
You share too much. You know that if you want to connect with someone on a dating app you need to open up a little, but sharing too much about your life too soon can backfire. Not only will you exhaust conversational topics, but you’ll also come across as desperate for a connection or for someone to listen to you. Ugh. Don’t be that person.
You text at odd hours. This one might not seem like a biggie, but the time when you send someone a message can reveal things about you. If you’re sending your match messages really late at night, it makes it seem like you’re only keen for some dirty talk. Plus, bear in mind that the person is probably heading to work early in the morning on a weekday, so texting them a long message and expecting a reply right away is unrealistic. If you do this often, it might also seem like you’ve woken up with the sole intention of getting in touch with them.
You’re too invested. The person you’ve been chatting to tells you that he’s got to go for a root canal at the dentist or he’s got a big meeting at work. You go ahead and wish them good luck. Nothing wrong with that. However, if you hardly know the person and you’re still only chatting on a dating app, yet you’re telling them you’re thinking of them and then asking them how it went immediately afterward, you’re maybe coming on too strong. You’re not a couple yet. Slow down and breathe!
You feel tired after an exchange. After talking/texting with or seeing the guy, you feel like you’ve had all the life sucked out of you because it feels like being with him means having to be the brightest/funniest/most gorgeous woman in the world otherwise he won’t take notice. You shouldn’t have to be anyone other than yourself. You’re amazing as is and if he can’t see that, it’s not meant to be.
You’re always the first texter. Most of the time, you’re the one who initiates contact. You’ve even saved “Hey, how’s it going?” as a draft text so you don’t have to type it up. Obviously you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out, but if you’re the only one who ever does, there’s a problem.
His lack of response only encourages you to double down on your efforts. If the guy goes quiet and isn’t even reading your messages, and you react by trying to get his attention (sexting, anyone?), then that’s a sure sign you need to stop trying because he’s clearly not interested. Dating is not supposed to be such hard work.
You’re always the one who makes the plans. Are you his love interest or his personal assistant? If you’re always the one trying to make plans because you know you’d never get together if you didn’t, then a good test would be to stop completely and really see what he does. Enough with dragging the guy along — he has to earn your time.
You’re stretching out the first impression. Every time you’re with the guy, you try to be your absolute best: you look amazing, turn on the charm, and really try to show him you’re a valuable potential girlfriend. Is he doing the same for you? If you’re rocking up dressed to the nines while he’s slouching around in a ratty t-shirt and cargo shorts, there’s your answer right there.
You free up your entire weekend every week in case he wants to hang. When he wants to see you at the drop of a hat, you’re available. Every. Single. Time. Nothing screams out that you’re desperate for this guy’s attention like emptying your social calendar so that he can make an appearance.
You don’t express yourself. You might think that to get the guy, you’ve got to be like the guy. That means biting your tongue when he makes a weirdly sexist remark, enjoying the hobbies he does, and so on. But that’s just crap — no guy is worth such a compromise. Don’t you want him to like the real you?
You’re swatting away your doubts. Those annoying doubts — that maybe he’s not the right guy for you or maybe he’s not as interested in you as you are in him — come at you like flies. You’re going to get muscular arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger from trying to swat them away all the time. The doubts are there for a reason, so pay attention to them.
You’ve overstepped your boundaries. There are things you’ve done for this guy that you know have run through your boundary lines faster than Usain Bolt, like when you helped him sort out his drama, gave him money or accepted his ridiculous excuses yet again for why he stood you up. You did them so that he’d see you as a cool chick, but all he sees is someone who’s willing to let him get his way.
Your cuticles are a mess. You feel insecure about where things are going to the point where you’re biting your cuticles off. You wonder if he’s really into you, what he’s thinking about you, and when he’s going to ask you out on an official date, already. Ugh. No guy is worth an emergency manicure.
You’re an interviewer. Do your dates with this guy sometimes feel like you’re interviewing him because you ask so many questions about his life? You’re interested in what he’s about, but he’s not really asking you so many things about yourself, which is total BS. If there’s not a two-way dialogue, there’s no connection, which means there’s no relationship.
You’re always just “in the neighborhood.” You found yourself in the mall across the road from his place of work and decided it wouldn’t be so bad to pop by and say hi, especially since he was so quiet over the weekend. Um, you’re not popping by, you’re popping any chance of a relationship with this guy! It’s so awkward to show up in his life unannounced, especially because it’s basically asking him why he’s not contacting you. Desperate much?
You change your appearance. Everyone wants to feel sexy on dates, but if you’ve made a drastic change to how you look, such as with your hair or by purchasing clothes you wouldn’t usually wear, it might be a desperate attempt at trying to impress him. Honestly, a guy doesn’t care what hair color you have. If he hasn’t asked you out by now, the only thing you should be changing is your mind about him.
You’re always “on.” You answer his texts and calls no matter what time of day or night it is, even if you have a busy morning the next day or you’re busy with your friends. Instead of impressing him by being there for him, you’re really telling him that you’ll be around whenever it’s convenient for him. You’re a queen, not a lapdog. Make sure he knows that right from the start!
You dish out compliments like oxygen. You tell him how gorgeous his hair looks or how he’s got great biceps. Yeah, you’re buttering him up, but it’s coming off a little too much like desperation. Remember, less is more—and feels more genuine.
You try to get in with his friends. You meet his friends and hit it off with them. By the end of the evening, you’ve asked them for their names so you can connect on Facebook. You also start following them on Twitter and Instagram. Whoa, slow down! It just looks like you’re trying too hard instead of letting things develop naturally.
You always text first. No matter what happens, you’re always the first one to text him. Maybe you do so to check in to see how his day’s going or you want to share something interesting you saw online. Although your enthusiasm can be awesome, it can sadly also look OTT. You want him to meet you halfway and think of texting you first sometimes too, otherwise, you’re doing all the chasing here.
You talk about things that don’t usually interest you. He’s into politics and philosophy, and now that he’s in your life, those are the things that you find yourself talking about. You don’t have to be a clone of him to get him. In fact, that’s a guaranteed way to repel him!
You change your appearance. It’s normal to want to look your best before a hot date with him but you’re supposed to be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. It’s just not worth it and shows that you don’t love yourself. That’s a turn-off.
You don’t ask for help. When you’re going through a difficult time, you hide it from view of the guy you’re dating. You want to seem perfect all the time which isn’t only unhealthy, it’s impossible. You’re not a robot. Besides, if you never show your vulnerabilities, you can’t learn to trust each other.
You try to keep up appearances so you don’t seem moody. You don’t always have to be fun and carefree unless you’re a member of the Brady Bunch. If you’re not in the mood to smile, so what? Be real! If he can’t handle that you’re a real person with real feelings, then he’s nuts.
You’re always free. He wants to see you at midnight and you drag yourself out of bed. He wants to see you during your lunch break even though you’re busy, so you rush through traffic to see him so that you can get to the office on time. Geez! Putting in so much effort just sends him the message that you’ll do whatever it takes to have him.
You buy him a gift. It’s not always easy to know when it’s a reasonable time after meeting someone to give them a gift, but if you’re bringing him something after just a few dates, it can give him the impression that you’re trying to buy his love. Remember, you don’t have to be loved for what you do but for who you are. Trying too hard won’t change his feelings. Save your energy.
You apologize first. No matter what happened to make you and your guy fight or who started the argument, you’re always the one to say you’re sorry. Although it can be good to focus on making up and having peace in your relationship, this just tells him that you’re willing to lie down so he can walk all over you. Like hell you are!
You fit into his life. You’re always willing to go the extra mile to see him, even if that means putting your schedule aside so you can prioritize his. SMH. That’s no way to learn to compromise with someone. You’re just setting yourself up to get taken advantage of, instead of liked – yup, you’re killing his interest in you without even realizing it.
You laugh at his unfunny jokes. Yeah, it can be awkward when the guy you’re dating cracks a joke that you don’t find funny. To alleviate the discomfort, you might laugh anyway. This boosts his ego and you might think that’s what he wants, to know that he can make you laugh, but at what price? It’s so much better to mean your belly laughs instead of fake them— and he’ll probably be able to tell when you’re faking anyway. It’s not a good idea to go there.
So, you got the guy — are you trying too hard to keep the relationship together?
You may think that being a little OTT once you’re actually in a relationship is cool, but you could still be forcing the issue.
You have to justify the relationship to loved ones. Your friends and family see what you refuse to see: that the relationship is just bad news. It isn’t good for you. Instead of recognizing this, you explain to your loved ones that everything’s actually fine and they don’t know the whole story. This may be true, but the reality is that they’re probably right. Having to explain the relationship is a regular occurrence. In this case, it isn’t a nosy family member or friend at fault, it’s genuinely a messy situation.
You regularly feel like you’re walking on eggshells. Your partner is very nitpicky. It seems you’re always in trouble for something or another. You rarely know what the next “issue” is going to be, so you’re on thin ice and it feels like your partner can make you fall through at any time. This isn’t a way to live and it’s definitely an indicator that it’s about time for you two to split. You’re trying too hard to make things work. Where’s his effort?
You just feel totally exhausted. You know the exhaustion isn’t just about long days at work. Rather, it’s about the fact that you and your partner are working double time to try to hold the relationship together. You’re pooped. You feel like you’re dragging around with little energy. You may not even have the energy to fight with your partner! You’re too tired to even break up.
You’re bothered by almost everything they say. When your partner talks, it’s like nails on a chalkboard. You hate listening to them. This is a bad sign that you probably shouldn’t be together. When you’re wincing at everything your partner says, you’re likely trying too hard to make it work. You shouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen with them in public for fear they’ll say something stupid.
You have some blatant incompatibilities. You want kids and they don’t or you want to be monogamous and they’ve said they only want to be poly. These are obvious incompatibilities, yet you’re just ignoring them to keep the relationship going. They’re guaranteed to bite you in the butt at some point. You can’t keep your head in the sand forever. Stop trying too hard and relax.
You overanalyze everything they do. It’s to the point where you’re not even enjoying anything that’s happening in your relationship because you’re overanalyzing their every move. You’re assuming that they’re going to leave you soon or you’re feeling like they’re cheating on you. The problem is that your thoughts aren’t grounded in reality, they’re just fear-based over-analyzations.
You keep finding yourself compromising. Sure, relationships are about compromise, but not all the damn time. You shouldn’t be constantly compromising what you want and value because your partner wants you to change. This is a bad sign that the relationship is actually toxic. You shouldn’t be staying in all the time when you really like to go out. Your partner should be compromising too, but it always seems you’re compromising more.
You’re secretly waiting for your partner to change. You know this isn’t possible but you’re waiting anyway. You want your partner to change and you think that if you’re just patient and loving enough, maybe they will. Newsflash: this is trying too hard to make your relationship work. You shouldn’t be dealing with that quirk of your partner’s if it makes you absolutely miserable. People don’t change unless they want to.
You’ve stopped talking about the future at all. Maybe things are so lackluster or you’re fighting all of the time. Either way, there’s been no talk of the future for a while. You just sort of miserably live in the now and assume that you’re stuck together or that the relationship will blow up soon enough.
You feel like you’re going against your gut. This is probably the worst sign there is. When your intuition is clearly telling you that this person shouldn’t be your partner, you should listen. Instead, you’re trying to jam a square peg into a round hole when your gut really knows what’s best for you. You can feel that gnawing feeling inside that’s making it clear to you that you aren’t listening. Listen for once. You’re trying too hard to make puzzle pieces fit that aren’t meant to. Stop.