What is dating supposed to be?  FUN! That’s right!  But I am also aware that there’s a big difference between the words “should” and “is.”

Yes, dating should be fun, but for a lot of us, it can seem like work. You come home, hop on Match or OKCupid to answer a few emails, check out some potential matches and just cruise around.  Then you have to make sure that you are going out some days a week in order to meet potential new dates as well as going ON dates each week.

It can start to get overwhelming, especially if you are not having the results you were hoping for.

If you are a guy who dreads approaching women, you may need a week to psych yourself up to talk to a girl that’s in your social circle.  If that one conversation doesn’t go well, you might withdraw back into your shell. Why? Because you don’t want to get hurt more.

Likewise, if a woman goes out on first dates all the time, but isn’t converting any to second dates, she probably is getting fatigued and not wanting to put herself out there in the dating world.  That, my friends, is dating burnout.

Dating Burnout 1

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Were I to be out on a date and felt this desperation or negative energy coming off of the woman, I sure as heck wouldn’t be looking for a second date.

When you are out for the fourth time this week with your friends, but don’t really want to be, your crossed arms posture and your resting annoyed face is not going to make anyone want to come over and talk to you.

At this point, it’s time to take a break from dating and reconnect with fun.

Dating Burnout 2

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What do you enjoy doing?  What gives you pleasure? Sometimes in the bustle of life, we put our own needs or desires on the back shelf.  Rediscover something that you did that was just for fun’s sake.

Me, I like to build furniture and work with wood.  For you it might be biking or belly dancing or bikram yoga that gets your juices flowing.

Sometimes you may have to pick up a new hobby to fill this void.

When you are doing something you like, your body language opens up, your energy rises, you smile more. If you are in a group setting, people are going to remember this dynamic person.  Even if there’s no one in that group you’d date, they all have coworkers, friends, siblings, etc.

Dating Burnout 3

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When I’m in a social setting and I ask someone what they did over the weekend, “chilling at home and binging on Netfilx” is not going to inspire me to find out more about them. 

However, what if the answer was, “I met some friends for coffee Saturday morning and then met up with my runners group for a couple mile jog. Sunday, I did some work in the park and came home and worked on my flower garden.”

Now that is going to catch my attention and make me want to continue chatting with them.

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Hunt Ethridge is a Hoboken-based dating consultant and a fashion writer. Currently, he is the Senior Dating Coach at New York Dating Coach (www.newyorkdatingcoach.com).