If you’re looking for love, you’ll likely be looking online. But it’s an emotional rollercoaster and sometimes the only way to stay sane is to stop the ride and get off!
The question is: What are the warning signs that you need to take a break from online dating?
Internet dating can be wonderful, and I have heard many happy success stories. On the other hand, it can be emotionally battering and confidence-destroying! For this reason, taking a break will not only help your mental health but will make your dating journey more successful.
Here are the sure-fire signs that you need to ditch dating apps for a while.
1. Lack of enthusiasm
Being on a dating app should be fun and exciting.
If you’re not feeling it, then something isn’t right.
Whatever your reason for lack of enthusiasm, whether you’re not ready to date or you’ve had some bad experiences, you need to be all-in to make this work.
Let’s face it, it takes considerable positive intention to connect with and meet virtual strangers. If you’re not enthusiastic enough, you won’t get the desired result.
2. You’re not getting anywhere
If you feel like you are on a carousel, going round and round but ending up with matches that do not interest you, then maybe it’s a sign to step back.
It’s possible that the app’s algorithm is not doing you any favours. A tip here is to delete and re-install the app which can sometimes generate more potential matches.
Better still, take a break and return in a month or so to fresh potential matches and get a sense of achievement from your online dating mission.
3. Feeling drained
A girl can handle only so many witty online messages and first dates. Because, let’s face it, communicating and meeting up with strangers is arduous work.
If you’ve been putting your best foot forward with potential partners without success, you will likely feel drained and disheartened.
The online dating game is hugely time-consuming and can put pressure on other parts of your life, such as work, parenting, and self-care.
It’s ok to take a break and come back refreshed and ready to mingle.
4. Constantly comparing yourself to others
It’s great to hear a successful online dating story. It gives us hope. But, simultaneously, we can feel a wee bit jealous. You might find yourself thinking:
“How come she found love and I can’t?”
“What’s wrong with me.”
These negative thought patterns will not serve you in the dating world.
You need to be in a good frame of mind to be able to date with confidence. If you are focusing on others and feeling resentful or bitter, something is wrong, and you must step away from online dating apps.
5. It’s making you feel anxious
Do you feel uneasy when you check your dating app or are unpleasantly apprehensive before first dates? Are your experiences online making you worry or obsess?
You are not alone if you feel this way. However, you must take action because long-term anxiety affects not only our mental health but our physical health too.
I only allow myself up to six weeks on an app before removing myself for at least six weeks. This gives me the balance I need to keep all the other elements of my life in check alongside looking for a potential partner. This lessens anxiety and makes me feel calmer.
Remember, online dating should be fun and exciting, not anxiety-inducing!
6. Your mental health is suffering
The last thing you would want to compromise is your mental health when you try your luck in the world of online dating. I know it can be stressful and affect your emotional and mental well-being.
If you are experiencing depression or other negative emotions related to online dating, it’s time to re-evaluate your approach and take a break.
Reconnect with other hobbies that bring back your joy, or learn something new instead. Who knows, you might meet a potential date this way.
7. You can’t find who you are looking for
Dating involves vulnerability; there’s a risk of opening up to a complete stranger and counting on them to like you.
If you are going through the motions but the conversations are superficial, it’s a sign that you are not really invested in a potential relationship, and that’s fine.
If you are meeting people but are not making meaningful connections, this is your signal that you need to take a break. You can use the time to focus on other areas of your life, recharge and dive back in once you’re ready.
8. It’s become all-consuming
Do you check your app first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Are you neglecting work/family/friends to indulge in online dating? Do you spend a considerable amount of your waking hours thinking about online dating?
All the above are signs that your mission to find Mr Right has taken on a life of its own and might have a negative impact on the rest of your world.
Think of it this way: David/John/James from Tinder will probably not be in your life in three months but your friends and family will be. Nurture the relationships that really matter. If being online is stopping you from doing this, delete the app.
9. You’ve run out of people to match with
We all know that hopeless feeling when your apps tell you that you’ve run out of potential new matches in your areas.
Yes, you could widen your search area. But do you really want to match with someone 200km away?
Instead, it might be time to take a break from the dating scene and return when there are many fresh new people to match with.
10. If it’s not making you happy take a break from online dating
If you’ve tried online apps and they are not making you happy, it could be time for a dating detox.
Start by deleting the app from your phone and take time for your hobbies, new things to do, go somewhere different, or practice self-care.
Sometimes putting yourself first can reward you in unexpected ways. Your body and mind will thank you, and you will feel more refreshed and ready to take on dating, whether online or offline again.