When the scrolling won’t cut it and the apps have only given you a headache, Lou Ramsay investigates dating fatigue 101.
Dating fatigue is the newest name for dating boredom; users of dating apps like Tinder or Grindr have reported feeling lacklustre in their dating efforts, reported in The Atlantic. So what’s happening on our side of the pond, at our university?
Dating fatigue theory, by my understanding of it, is how many young people come to uni but already feel burnt out by dating. They did the exams in school, made the big choice for the next four years of their lives, and they’re done now. University is the sudden ‘drop’ moment: attempting to correlate the new freedoms of your life with the ever present obligations of further education. Being an-actual-grown-adult. Then we decide to stick dating on top of that.
It’s no wonder there’s such a popularity on dating apps, they use barely any effort. You can swipe in McDonalds! In clubs! On the loo! We are so busy and in demand of our lives, creating the foundations of our futures as we progress through uni, that adding another person to your life feels a lot like…well… far too much effort. Almost like a binding contract. Like we can’t see a get-out-of-jail-free card.
But here’s the thing: this dating fatigue I’m talking about, it centres primarily around dating-apps. As The Atlantic reported, “When the apps were new, people were excited, and actively using them… Each person felt like a real possibility, rather than an abstraction.”
We could come to the conclusion that our body and mind are both chucking the toy out of the pram. It’s tired. Dating is boring. Our brains need stimulated. And that’s actually what happens when you date someone you really, properly fancy.
But before we even think of dating I want you to answer me something – why do you want to date? Do you feel a pressure? From your friends, or family? Does ‘finding the one’ feel sorta like a big box you just gotta tick off? Maybe it’s the same as getting a job or a house. Have you been made to believe your life is better when you’re a ‘we’? Because if you’re feeling like it’s something you need, then you really don’t need it.
What you do need, is to be working on yourself.
Working on yourself is one of the most fundamental parts of your university journey. You are here because you want more out of education and to improve through this. That includes improving yourself through stuff you can do outside of uni, working on yourself and feeling confident with who you are. You can become fit, take dance classes, join societies and meet people there. Where better to meet potential partners than through things you enjoy, than swiping away on your phone in queues?
You can get out of your comfort zone. Try new things. Try old things. Get back into your habits of the summer or try the thing that’s tugging on your shoulder. Go to gigs. Go to pubs. Get a job, a job you like and meet friends there. Get out of the headspace that you need a significant other to be complete. You are complete, on your own. Men or women (or both, whatever you desire) are like dessert. Sometimes we’re too full to have dessert, and that’s perfectly alright.
So before you surrender yourself to dating fatigue, if dating apps are the downfall of your love-life, make your life full. Have it so filled and so happy, it spills over into other lives. Don’t watch a rom-com on and wonder when it will happen to you. Wonder instead how you can build a life you will be content with. A future of your own doing. Make a home for yourself, in your body. For only you, firstly.
Have dessert, but only when you desire it. Never when you feel the pressure, you’re full then. Acknowledge it.
By Lou Ramsay