Getting ready, finding time in your schedule, the cost of going out to a restaurant rather than ordering the cheeky takeout you really want—whichever way you look at it, dating is pretty draining. At this rate, if I’m ever lucky enough to meet the man of my dreams through this lengthy process, I’ll be too damn tired to give the relationship a try.
The modern dating game is HARD. Dating isn’t the flowers and leisurely cinema trips that my gran romances about—the modern dating landscape is a cutthroat world where you’re lucky to come away with your dignity and self-esteem intact. It’s a full-time job and enough to take the enthusiasm out of anyone, especially if you’ve been single a year or so.
Online dating apps mean there’s no escape from the world of romance. Before online dating took off, you could file a date away in your diary and not have to think about it ’til the night before. Thanks to the aggressive social media system, however, we’re forced to spend every waking moment thinking about dating. Whether it’s swiping right, trying to appear irresistible (but not overly keen) by message or eventually pinning someone down to an in-person meet up, the constant nature of looking for love is enough to put anyone off.
It takes me at least a full day to prepare for a first date. An evening date doesn’t just mean I’m getting to bed later than I’d like, it pretty much writes off the entire day. By the time I’ve waxed, chosen an outfit and sat biting my nails for an hour or so, I’ve lost the time to do anything else with my weekend. It’s no wonder I’m totally fed up of dating by the time I get into a relationship.
If you really want to meet someone, you have to be a social butterfly. As someone who isn’t a socialite by nature, dating means constantly having to be way out of my comfort zone. Whereas you’d normally catch me out on one night a week max, I’m doing at least triple that to have a hope of meeting someone new, as well as keeping up with the people I’m actually friends with. All my social energy is drained right out of me before the relationship has even begun.
Putting yourself out there is exhausting. Even for people that like socializing more than me, dating is a particular brand of meet up that only a real extrovert could enjoy. Meeting someone new is like going to a job interview, only infinitely more personal, and the result is completely exhausting. Trying to suss out whether someone is BF potential while also trying to convince them that you’re a total catch, just makes me want to go and sit in a dark room for an hour or two.
Dating is like choosing to be rejected over and over again. When a relationship doesn’t work out, I’m sad, but I get over it in time. Dating is like choosing to face that rejection in miniature from pretty much once a day. It’s made me so hyper-afraid of being rejected that I never fully let go in relationships.
By the time you get to the relationship part of dating, the buzz of excitement has been lost. For all its panic-inducing stress, the one thing you can say about dating is that it’s never boring. The will he/won’t he text back drama creates the illusion of a spark and keeps things exciting, but it’s hard to carry that level of anticipation through to an ordinary relationship. When you know full well you’re going to be able to see him again, the relationship starts to lose its magic.
I haven’t got the energy to be the best version of myself 24 hours a day. I don’t know who the guys I date end up meeting on a first date, but it certainly isn’t the real me. The dating version of myself is infinitely more peppy, happy and willing to laugh at crap jokes than the real thing ever is. After so long in the dating game, it’s a relief to finally let loose and be myself. The problem is that the real me makes significantly less effort.
I don’t want to give too much to a relationship, in case my heart gets broken. Dating might be frustrating AF but it also feels pretty safe. I know that if things aren’t going well, I can just not call the guy back and that will be that. When you’re in a relationship, things are suddenly more serious, and you have to start considering someone else’s feelings alongside your own. I could go on dating forever, but the moment things get real, I’m scared of getting hurt.
To be honest, dating has pretty much ruined me for life. By the time I’ve come through the emotional trauma of dating a guy, the idea of having a relationship is pretty unappealing. I’ve wasted so much energy putting forward the best version of me possible, that I haven’t a hope of keeping it up long term. The dating game might be all about finding a relationship, but I’m too tired to play.
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