How can you make dating sustainable and fun again when you find yourself needing to take frequent breaks?
Think of the ideal dating process:
You’re chatting with women, you’re going out on dates, and technically everything is sunny. Right?
- Why then is it such a mental struggle to return text messages from your online dating matches?
- Why do you get the urge to cancel a first date when it’s time to start getting ready to go?
- How come you consider deleting your dating apps and taking yet another extended break from it all?
Thankfully, you’re not alone in feeling this way. Introverts in the world of modern dating frequently share these feelings. Happily, that’s what we’re going to solve today.
So if you’ve started to feel like dating is more of an interval workout to be endured rather than a breezy jog you can enjoy and maintain, read on.
Today, we’ll go over strategies for…
- keeping your online dating messages more manageable,
- pacing yourself to avoid emotional fatigue, and
- setting realistic expectations that help you build toward success, free and clear from falling into the same old cycle.
Our goal is to get rid of any emotional overwhelm, texting fatigue, and dating dread, and replace those with the (very real and attainable!) sense that dating can be fun.
Before we go any further, however, let’s talk about why you might be feeling this way in the first place.
Why is it so difficult for introverts to make dating sustainable and fun?
The answer often lies in the unique way you make connections with other people.
When an introvert is interested in getting to know someone, he really wants to understand that person in depth.
You may feel like social connections worth putting your time and effort into don’t come along very frequently. So, when they do, you dive in head first and go deep with that one person. Which can be a great thing.
However, extroverts cast their nets more broadly and make many connections on a more surface level right off the bat. They may take much longer to decide to dive in more deeply with someone they are interested in.
To an introvert in the dating world, a screen full of shallow text messages about weekend plans and a series of first dates that lead nowhere can feel like a dating failure.
Meanwhile, to most extroverts dating, that just feels normal.
Since it isn’t really possible to change that difference in dating dynamics, we are instead going to focus on ways you can adapt yourself and your mindset to work with your natural, introverted tendencies, which is much more fun and effective.
Now, let’s talk about how you can make dating sustainable and natural!
First, limit your conversations from online dating.
A lot of online daters look at their number of matches on apps like Hinge or Bumble as a sign of success. If you have five or ten women interested in talking to you at once, you’re sure to have at least a couple of great connections there, right?
Actually, probably not. At least, not if you talk to them all at once.
Talking to too many women at once can be a recipe for texting fatigue if you’re not used to it.
If you’re finding it hard to pick up your phone and respond because you have four conversations going simultaneously and everyone seems to be blurring together, limiting your conversations can be a supportive next step.
“But wait,” you might think. “Doesn’t talking to more women give me a greater chance of finding the right match for me?”
If you walk into a room with five women in it and try to hold a simultaneous conversation with each of them for an hour, what would happen?
You’re likely to forget something someone said, lose the train of conversation with at least one of them, and gloss over important details that might have sparked further interest.
You may leave feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and like you don’t really know any of those women much better than when you started an hour ago. (!)
However, what if you spent one hour talking to each of those women privately?
Yes, it may take you five times as long to get to know all of them. But, you might not need to get to know all of them.
Because hey, maybe your third conversation went exceptionally well, and both of you hit it off and decided to go for a second date!
The point is, even though it feels like you’re limiting your options by cutting down on the number of conversations you hold at one time, you’re actually increasing your chances of forming a true connection with someone.
Breezy jog, all the way!
Take the beginnings slowly.
If you’re the type of man who meets a woman and falls head over heels within the first week, we’re talking to you. ;)
While sudden and intense connections are not necessarily bad (and can be really fun if the other person shares your feelings!), recognize that these feelings come from infatuation, not real love yet.
And while introverts may share this experience because they dive in deeply, extroverts may be in a completely different part of the process. So, when you’re getting stars in your eyes after the first couple of weeks, she might not be feeling it yet.
Not only that, but intense feelings of infatuation can blind you to red flags and signs of incompatibility. It’s super important to keep your head clear and think things through logically, even when your heart is singing and you’re weak in the knees.
Why not just fall into it and enjoy the rush?
Well, to a certain extent, you can, and should. Dating is meant to be enjoyable, after all.
But keep in mind that sometimes an intense beginning fades out or leads to a painful ending when hidden incompatibilities eventually surface.
If you jump in with both feet before you know this is truly the right woman for you, you’re putting your heart at unnecessary risk.
And if you’re already having thoughts of dating being too overwhelming and stressful, climbing on board this emotional rollercoaster is probably not the best idea. The idea is to make dating sustainable, not exhausting!
This constant tug between high and low, soaring hopes and then disappointment when it doesn’t work out as you wanted, is a large factor in dating fatigue.
If every time you get your hopes up it feels like the rug eventually gets pulled out from under you, no wonder you’re finding it difficult to put in consistent effort to your dating life!
You are free to smooth things out a little bit.
Thankfully, you can avoid the intense ups and downs by setting limits for yourself to move more slowly when you pursue a relationship with a new woman.
That doesn’t mean you have to wait until date number five for a goodnight kiss, unless that’s what you both want. But it does mean you need to make the effort to return to your logical center when you feel yourself getting attached too quickly.
Pause and think.
Getting excited for your third date at the local theater on Friday? Awesome! That’s totally normal and healthy.
Daydreaming about how many kids you’ll have and whether you’ll enroll them in soccer or marching band? Slow down and breathe.
Remember that real love is built gradually, over time, as the two of you face life and overcome obstacles together.
This is a simple concept to understand, but it’s not always easy to implement in real life.
So, in practical terms, how can you pace yourself, readjust your emotional tempo, and avoid mentally planning your wedding in the first two months of dating?
That’s what Step 3 is all about.
Lower the stakes and take the pressure off.
What is your mindset as you go into a first date, or even a second one?
Many men searching for a real connection and a healthy relationship go into a date with the hopes of meeting their future wife. They want to fall madly in love and start a deep and meaningful relationship.
As far as long-term dating goals go, that’s absolutely fine. In fact, you are built to keep that ultimate goal in mind as the point in the distance you can stay focused on.
However, when you go into each date with the hope or expectation that “this could be the one!”, you’re setting yourself up for a string of disappointments.
And as we discussed in Step 2, those disappointments start to get overwhelming and make dating feel less than fun.
The problem in dating with this mindset is that it puts so much pressure on you and your date! When the stakes are this high, it’s almost impossible to stay calm and laid-back, actually enjoying your date.
So, how can we take the pressure off and lower the stakes?
Reframing your mindset can help you make dating sustainable.
Instead of going on this date to meet your future wife, you’re going on this date to…
- get out of the apartment for the evening,
- enjoy a nice meal in the new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, or
- get some physical activity as you go bowling or investigate the local hiking paths.
And, hopefully, if all goes well, the company will be enjoyable. You might make a new friend, or you might line up a second date. Or maybe neither.
Either way, you’re going to go and enjoy yourself because those goals for the evening are easy to achieve.
Your expectations are based solely on goals you can accomplish today. Your long-term goals are still firmly in the future where they can’t put pressure on your date this evening.
You’re a lot more likely to walk away with a feeling of success if you think, “I’m going to treat myself and my date to a nice steak tonight,” rather than, “I’m hoping my date tonight will be the one and I can get off of dating sites forever.”
And remember, even if a first date does not lead to a second, it’s still a win.
- accomplished your goal (getting out and going on a date),
- practiced your conversational skills,
- earned some more dating experience, and
- had an enjoyable evening while you were at it.
All of those things make it more likely that you will meet the right woman in the future!
That’s because when you are enjoying yourself, your date will be way more likely to relax and enjoy herself, too.
You’ve not only lowered the pressure on yourself to be amazing and attract a future spouse, you have also lowered the pressure on her to do the same.
Happily, this means you both will actually be more likely to have fun and make a great impression on each other!
This will lead to more second (and third, and fourth…) dates naturally. Yay!
Conclusion on how to make dating sustainable, fun, and natural
By now, you understand what led to your feelings of dating overwhelm. You also now know how to make dating sustainable by reframing those negative associations into positive expectations.
Today, we talked about…
- talking to a sustainable number of women on dating apps,
- slowing your emotional investment at the beginning of a promising relationship, and
- approaching dates with a calm and measured mindset that will help you enjoy the time instead of dreading it.
That’s a great start. For even more helpful tips you can put into action to improve your dating prospects, download our free ebook, “Why PUA Doesn’t Work for Introverts & What Works Instead.”
Sometimes, you might face a uniquely challenging situation. We can help you through times like these with personalized, customized dating advice in our Launch Your Dating Life program. You can apply here for a 1:1 phone call, where we’ll talk together and see if the program is right for you!