Charlotte York once said “I’ve been dating since I was fifteen. I’m exhausted. Where is he?”, and I don’t think I’ve ever related to a quote from Sex and The City more than now.
Trying to find the right person is exhausting in a normal environment, but throw in a global pandemic, and I end every evening closing out of endless dating apps feeling more hopeless than the night before. Even when I do go on a date with someone new, the person never seems to check all the boxes. I leave every single one feeling disappointed. I’m not sure how long I can keep doing this. Will I ever find the one?
– Officially Exhausted
Dear Officially Exhausted,
I get it, online dating and trying to connect especially during a pandemic can be challenging. You may experience exhaustion or dating fatigue. But before we get into what apps to use or any behavioral stuff, we need to dial it back to the basic level.
What do you want? And more importantly, how do you want to feel with your partner?
If you don’t get clear on this, you’ll constantly be reacting to who is choosing you, versus being proactive in choosing and filtering out people who don’t fit your values and vision of a partner.
Would you ever get on a train without having an idea of where you want to go? No. If you did, you’d pick whatever train came your way, and hop off and then find another one. Much easier if you know where you want to go first, and then look for your train. And if that train doesn’t depart that day, you’re not going to hop on some random bus that’s going in a different direction!
Here’s an exercise:
In your journal write down your perfect day, as if it’s actually happening in present tense. Imagine yourself waking up with your partner – how do you feel? Is there a smile on your face? Allow yourself to feel the emotions you feel with your partner. Perhaps you feel calm, peaceful and grateful. Feel the emotions like it’s happening right now. Continue on visualizing your day with this person. What do you love about their character, the way they treat you? Describe the values you respect in this person.
I find this exercise helps you get clear on what you want – not caught up on superficial things like height and the type of job they have – but how you FEEL when you’re with them. Get clear on what you want in a partner – their values, how you want to feel – because if you’re not clear you’re just going to be reacting to whoever is choosing you, or what’s thrown your way. That can feel disempowering and exhausting.
And remember your right fit may not appear in the package you think you want. Be open to meeting people outside your type. Do FaceTime meets before meeting in person because you can tell right away if it’s a clear NO.
Get yourself in an energy and frequency of love and that might even mean you take a break from the apps so you can focus your energy on yourself for a while and overcome your dating fatigue.