The Hardest Things About Dating Have Nothing To Do With Dating At All

You’ve heard every reason under the sun about why dating sucks: no one meets in person anymore, everyone ghosts, no one can even talk without an iPhone, and casual sex is all the rage. There’s another reason that dating is so tough… and it’s not even about dating at all. It’s about how nuts busy and stressful the rest of your life is. Here’s how this affects your search for love:

  1. You can’t pick and choose the best day for a date. Let’s say you plan a first date a week in advance. You’re not doing anything next Tuesday night, so you figure it’s a safe bet. But then… stuff happens. You have a stressful day at work, you’re exhausted, and you can’t even remember your name, let alone come up with friendly small talk. It would be awesome if it was common to schedule dates based on your stress level, but that’s generally frowned upon so you get stuck every time. 
  2. You can’t cancel every time you’re having a bad day. Or you could… but you’d probably never get another chance. The guy would think that you were definitely bailing on him, and you would sound like a big whiner, even though you’re being totally honest.
  3. You can’t press pause on the rest of your life. It would be great if you could take the week of a first date off. You could go to yoga, get a massage, spend hours cooking healthy meals, read a few books, and just generally relax. Of course, that’s wishful thinking. You can’t stop the rest of your life, and it’s never going to feel like you’re totally ready for the date.
  4. You can feel paralyzed about making a decision. Did you like him? Did you have a good time? Should you go on a second date? These are pretty normal questions to ask yourself, but when you’re super stressed, it’s impossible to figure out how you really feel about a new guy. And that really sucks.
  5. You don’t know what your date is dealing with. You’ve probably had this experience at least once: you go on a date, you’re your usual witty and funny self, and yet this guy is just not receptive at all. He doesn’t laugh or even crack a smile and you’re left wondering if you just magically lost your sense of humor. You write him off as a total jerk and think he’s boring… but what if he just had a horrible day at the office? You never know what someone is dealing with and that can make dating difficult.
  6. You have to put on a brave, smiley face no matter what. It would be great if you could tell this guy that you’re stressed to the max and exhausted. Chances are, you’re going to lie and say that things are great. You want to make a good first impression and seem like a legit potential girlfriend, but the truth is, sometimes you just aren’t in the mood for a date.
  7. Sometimes, you care more about other parts of your life. There are times when finding love is the last thing on your mind. You want to put in extra hours at work in order to finally score that promotion or you’re helping your BFF with her wedding plans. Of course, you’re going to beat yourself up for not having the desire to go on dates, when this is just how life goes sometimes and you can definitely try again soon.
  8. Sometimes, you really can’t carve out the time. You get an epic cold that lasts for two whole weeks. Your work schedule gets even more crammed. You’re moving next week or going on vacation tomorrow. You really don’t have time to go on any dates at all, and saying that you’re busy is the truth, not an excuse. This can really suck, especially when you really do want to meet a great guy.
  9. It’s hard to take breaks and get back into it. Some people swear by dating breaks, but you don’t always return to your dating life feeling refreshed and ready to go. You can realize that you don’t feel like going on dates or putting in the effort, and that can seriously ruin your chances at finding love.
  10. It’s easy to self-sabotage. Stressed AF? Just got a new job? Thinking about how much you hate dating? Since you’re not lying when you say that your life is nuts, you really can convince yourself that you shouldn’t be going on dates. And that sucks for obvious reasons. Everyone is just as busy as you are, so what makes you so special?
  11. It never feels like the right time. People always say that if you want to do something – write a novel, get your dream job, start your own business – you have to just start. You can’t wait for things to be perfect because there is literally no such thing. The same is totally true of dating. It doesn’t feel like it, though. It always feels like the worst time ever to go on a date or meet someone new. The problem with this, of course, is that you will never want to keep dating if you think this way. It’s a serious Catch-22.
Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor from Toronto, Canada. In addition to writing about dating and relationships for Bolde, she also writes about movies, TV, and video games for ScreenRant and GameRant. She has a Political Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Journalism from Ryerson University. You can find her on Twitter @ayatsintziras and on Instagram @aya.tsintziras.