dating 2021: welcome to the hamster wheel

Just in time for Valentine’s Day …

I recently came across an article on Mamamia about a dark side of dating that gets rarely spoken about – dating burnout that, according to Emily Vernem (author of the article), is essentially the (at times) overwhelming fatigue that comes from the incessant dating cycle.

“The dark side of dating, which no one talks about, are [sic] the constant little heartbreaks you go through where the healing process is double the amount of time you dated that person for,” says Ms Vernem in her article titled, ‘The dark side of dating no one talks about: The constant little heartbreaks’.

“You feel like you don’t have the right to mourn someone you weren’t even in a relationship with, so you just put yourself back out there …,” she says.

While I’m not someone who goes on a lot of dates – I’m more the long-term relationship kind – speaking to my gal pals, this sentiment seems to be echoed at an increasing frequency particularly among my single pals (the ones who are married and in relationships – you are lucky to have dodged the 2021 dating bullet).

Is this because we have too much access to potential dates these days, through access to the apps? I mean, back in the day you couldn’t just sit at home on a Monday night mindlessly scrolling through the countless profiles of men you could potentially date.

And sure, I’ll stop being all high and mighty and admit that yes, I’ve had my own (very brief) experience with one of the dating apps:

I mentioned this in a recent story (click here) but in the last few months I think I had downloaded and deleted one of the popular dating apps about four or five times – downloading when I got bored, deleting it, well, also when I got bored; bored of the mindless scroll (left, left!) and pointless small talk with random strangers.

In those brief moments, I did have some interesting encounters (although not quite as interesting as some of the stories my gal pals have – *mind blown!).

One guy started chatting and wanted to meet me immediately.

Dude, it’s a Monday night. I’m in my PJs on the couch. The chances of me getting up, making the effort to get dressed to come and meet you? Unlikely. But thanks for the kind offer.

Another guy went straight for the (almost) d*ck pics.

Wow. Talk about confidence. DELETE … UNMATCH. Whatever you want to call it.

Another guy kept whinging about all the women that apparently just want him for his money.

Or something along those lines – can’t remember. UNMATCH.

While yet another one went straight for the: I’m really only interested in a one-night stand.

At least you’re honest. BYE!

And there was that one guy who I agreed to go on a date with …

Only because I had no other plans that night. But that was a big – NO! When you basically BOLT to your uber at the end of the night that’s a sure sign that things have not gone well.

So, yes, my experience with dating app/s is very limited.

I can’t say I have dating burnout because I don’t really date – I’m more the long-term relationship kinda gal (as I’ve mentioned in past posts, I’ve since met, J and things are pretty bloody amazing – not going to lie).

But I do feel for my gal pals who are in that incessant dating cycle, meeting mostly douche bags and getting burnt out in the process.

“Although it took me a while to recognise this toxic pattern in my dating life, I’ve become more aware of my action and have noticed certain signs when I’m about to go through dating burnout,” says Ms Vernem.

So, here we are. Dating 2021.

A time when you swipe left more than you swipe right; when you have to check: are you single-single? Or living-with-your-wife single?

Yep. Been there. A story for another night!

But as Ms Vernem says at the end of her article, perhaps it’s about a mindset shift. Perhaps we need to start thinking about it as simply meeting new people because “every person you meet will provide value to your life if you make yourself aware of it”.

And if nothing else, you learn more about yourself with each new encounter – bonus!

So, here’s a glass of Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut to dating 2021. It might just not be all bad after all.

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers.

x G.

Leaving you with a short clip from one of my favourite rom coms.

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