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Love and Relationships

Dating is Exhausting | These 6 Things Are The Reason

Dating can feel like a lot of work! Knowing how you're making it more difficult is the first step to improving your dating joy and success.


Dympll Staff Writer


Feb 25, 2023

6 Habits that Make Dating Harder Than it Should Be

  • 6 things that add pressure and work to the dating experience
  • Ways to reduce the stress and improve success
  • Why not trying so hard could help you with dating

Why is dating so hard or feel like such work? For the most part, we only have ourselves to blame.

Dating Can Be Tough, Don't Make It Harder

Dating can often feel challenging or like hard work for several reasons, but it doesn't have to. Now, we're not saying it's always going to be easy. The act of dating or looking for a romantic partner is for all intents and purposes just trial and error, ideally with as little trial and error as possible. It can be very helpful when you actually date with intention or going through the effort of understanding yourself and matching up your needs with a pool of options that is closely aligned to your needs, and theirs, and finding that amazing connection as early in the process as possible!

The reason why everything can feel so difficult is because our strong desire to have exactly what we want, right away, can sometimes set up up for failure. And when what we want is a relationship with chemistry requiring quite a few signal and variables to click, on both sides, you really shouldn't beat yourself up too much. All you can do is be aware and know that there are things you can do to not throw in the towel too early or settling for the wrong person because you go tired of looking. Try to work on the following:

1.  Unreal Expectations

We often have a set of expectations about how a relationship should progress, which can make dating seem difficult if things aren't moving according to this preconceived notion. We also expect our potential partners to meet certain standards which sometimes are unrealistic.

Idealizing a Partner - Sometimes, we create an idealized version of the kind of partner we want. We might have a specific list of qualities or traits that we want them to possess. If we hold onto this ideal too rigidly, we might overlook good potential partners who don't meet every criterion, or we might be disappointed when someone doesn't live up to our idealized image.

Relationship Timeline - We may have expectations about how quickly a relationship should progress, influenced by societal norms, previous relationships, or stories from friends and family. If a relationship doesn't follow our expected timeline—whether it's moving slower or faster—it can create anxiety and stress.

Expectations of Perfection - No one is perfect, and expecting a potential partner to be without flaws is unrealistic. This expectation can lead to disappointment and the premature ending of relationships that could have otherwise been fulfilling.

Reciprocity Expectations - While mutual attraction and interest are important, expecting the other person to reciprocate feelings at the exact same pace as you can be unreasonable. People express their emotions differently and on different timelines.

Mind-Reading Expectations - Expecting your partner to know what you're thinking and feeling without communicating it can lead to misunderstandings and arguments. Good communication is key to a healthy relationship.

Expectations from Media - Movies, TV shows, books, and social media often portray a romanticized version of relationships. These portrayals can influence our expectations, making us believe that relationships should be effortless, always exciting, and free from disagreements, which is not the case in real life.

2. Unproductive Communication

When dating for a bit it can feel like you're saying the same stuff over and over. It's probably the same for your date. But, communication is a fundamental part of dating and it's your opportunity to express your needs, desires, and concerns, and understand those of your date.

This being said, there's a bit of an art-form to gathering this information. Try not going through a check list of questions in your head to see if they answer correctly or not.

Try enjoying the moment even if this might be the only date you might have. Much dating starts online now anyway so at least there's the opportunity to whittle down your options to just those that have already been able to hold your attention.

Active Listening - Communication is not just about expressing yourself, but also about understanding your partner. Active listening involves paying full attention, showing empathy, and responding appropriately to your partner's thoughts and feelings. It's not about preparing your response or trying to fix their issues, but simply being there and acknowledging their perspective.

Nonverbal Communication - Nonverbal cues like body language, eye contact, and touch also convey a lot about how you feel. Being aware of these signals can enhance communication. For example, maintaining eye contact shows that you're focused and interested, while closed body language might signal discomfort or disinterest.

Have Fun and No Fear - Be respectful, but also be yourself! What we mean by this is, its your chance to see if the two of you work, as much as everyone wants to keep the skeletons in the closet for as long as possible, so try and be the you that you want them to want to be with. You'll save yourself some time (and frustration) up front!

3. Choosing Bad Dates (Compatibility)

Finding someone who is compatible, shares your interests, and is headed in a similar direction in life is not an easy task. We're all unique individuals with our own quirks and preferences. Having conversation about things that are very important to you in a relationship early on, will help to save time and ensure you are on the same page. Big "deal breakers" should probably even be discussed during the initial messaging phase if you're online dating. The suggestions below are some areas you may want to incorporate into discussions to see how well the two of you align.

See out article on Intentional Dating

Compatibility is a critical aspect of successful relationships. It's the degree to which you and your potential partner align in key areas that determine the dynamics of a relationship. While there are many aspects to compatibility, here are some of the most important ones:

Values - Shared values are one of the most crucial aspects of compatibility. These could be moral, ethical, or social values. They form the foundation of how you see the world, make decisions, and interact with others. While you don't need to agree on everything, having similar core values can make a relationship more harmonious and reduce conflicts.

Lifestyle - This includes your day-to-day habits, your preferred pace of life, your level of cleanliness, how you spend your leisure time, your diet, your sleeping habits, and so on. Differences in lifestyle can lead to conflicts if not addressed or negotiated.

Goals - This encompasses both individual goals and relationship goals. Do you both see a future together? Do you both want children? Are your career aspirations compatible? It's essential to discuss these issues early on to ensure that you're both working towards the same future.

Interests - Shared interests are not necessary for a successful relationship, but they can help foster closeness and give you activities to enjoy together. That said, respecting each other's individual interests and giving each other space to pursue them is equally important.

Communication Styles - Some people prefer to address issues immediately, while others need time to process. Some are very expressive about their feelings, while others are more reserved. Understanding and navigating these differences is vital for healthy communication.

Emotional Needs - Different people have different emotional needs and ways of expressing love. Understanding what makes your partner feel loved and appreciated, and ensuring your partner understands your needs, is key to emotional compatibility.

Conflict Resolution - Disagreements are inevitable in any relationship. The ability to resolve conflicts in a way that is respectful and productive, and aligns with each other's styles, is critical for long-term compatibility.

Physical Compatibility - This involves sexual compatibility as well as general physical affection. It's about understanding and respecting each other's needs, boundaries, and preferences.

4. Unrealistic Time and Effort

Dating requires time, effort, and emotional investment. Juggling dating with other life responsibilities such as work, school, hobbies, and personal time can be challenging. The key is to remember it's not work, but an investment in something that you really want.

Take your time and do it right, but also remember, that in order to enjoy it you need to take care of yourself as well. Everything in moderation. Don't rush things!

Investment - Dating requires an investment of time. This includes the time spent on dates, but also the time spent before and after dates, such as planning, getting ready, and reflecting on the experience.

Online dating also involves time spent swiping, messaging, and getting to know potential partners. Recognizing this beforehand can help you manage your expectations and plan your time effectively.

Energy - Dating also demands emotional and mental energy. It involves putting yourself out there, handling the excitement and anxiety that can come with meeting new people, dealing with rejection, and figuring out your feelings.

It requires being present and engaged, expressing yourself authentically, and being open to understanding others. It can be fun and exciting, but it can also be draining.

Balance - Maintaining a balance is key. If you devote too much time and energy to dating, you risk burnout and may neglect other areas of your life. On the other hand, if you don't invest enough, you may struggle to make meaningful connections. It's important to find a balance that works for you.

Self-Care - Taking care of yourself is crucial when dating. This includes making time for relaxation and activities you enjoy, keeping up with your routine, staying connected with friends and family, and taking care of your physical health.

Pace - Everyone has their own pace when it comes to dating. Some people enjoy going on multiple dates a week with different people, while others prefer to take more time to get to know one person at a time. Respect your own pace and be mindful of the pace of others as well.

Patience - Finding the right person often takes time. It's normal to go on several dates or have several relationships before finding a compatible partner. Patience is key, and remembering that the journey itself can be enriching can help maintain a positive perspective.

5. Fear of Rejection

Fear of rejection or experiencing rejection can make dating seem like hard work. It can impact one's self-esteem and cause anxiety.

Rejection can be one of the most difficult parts of dating. Whether you're turned down for a date, or a relationship doesn't work out, rejection can leave you feeling hurt, confused, and unworthy. However, understanding and dealing with rejection can make the process of dating easier and healthier.

It's Common - First, it's important to remember that everyone experiences rejection at some point. It's a common part of the dating process. It doesn't reflect your self-worth or your value as a person. If someone rejects you it wouldn't have worked out anyway and you are better off. Next please!

It's Not Personal - While it may feel very personal, rejection often has more to do with the other person than with you. They might not be ready for a relationship, they might have their own insecurities, or they might be looking for something specific that doesn't align with who you are. The magic is when you are both feeling it together, so move passed it knowing your person is still out there.

It Can Be Protective - Rejection can often be a protective measure, keeping you from a relationship that wasn't right for you. It can be difficult to see in the moment, but with time, you might realize that the rejection was a blessing in disguise.

It's a Learning Opportunity - Each rejection can provide insight into what you're looking for and what you can improve in your approach to dating. Reflect on the experience and consider if there are any takeaways.

It's Temporary - The pain of rejection is real, but it's temporary. Allow yourself to feel the disappointment, but also remember that it will pass and there will be other opportunities for connection.

How to Handle It - It's essential to practice self-care after a rejection. Surround yourself with supportive people, engage in activities you enjoy, and remind yourself of your worth and the fact that you are deserving of a loving relationship. It's also helpful to maintain a positive perspective - view each "no" as getting you closer to the right "yes".

Avoiding Negative Coping Mechanisms - It's easy to fall into negative patterns like self-blame, withdrawal, or resentment after rejection. Try to be aware of these patterns and consciously adopt healthier responses.

6. Online Dating Incorrectly

While it has made meeting people easier, it also presents its own set of challenges. It can often feel like a job, sorting through profiles and messages. It also tends to be quite superficial, making it hard to establish deep connections.

Online dating has both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to seeking a long-term relationship. It ultimately depends on how you use it, your individual circumstances, and your preferences.


Larger Dating Pool - Online dating allows you to connect with a wide range of people that you wouldn't ordinarily meet in your day-to-day life. This means there are more potential partners to choose from.

Filtering Options - Most dating platforms allow you to filter matches based on various criteria like interests, religion, age, etc., which can help you find a partner who aligns with your preferences.

Convenience - You can use online dating platforms at any time and from anywhere. This can be particularly helpful for people with busy schedules.

Reduced Pressure - For some, initiating conversations online can feel less stressful than face-to-face interactions.


Superficial Interactions - Online dating often focuses on superficial traits such as physical appearance, and important aspects like personality and emotional connection might get overlooked.

Misrepresentation - People might misrepresent themselves online, such as using outdated photos or exaggerating their interests or accomplishments.

Choice Overload - Having too many options can lead to indecisiveness or constantly looking for the "next best thing."

Delayed Meeting - When interactions are online, it may take longer to meet in person and figure out if you have chemistry or a strong connection.

To increase your chances of finding a long-term relationship online, it's important to approach online dating thoughtfully.

Be honest in your profile, communicate openly, take the time to get to know potential partners, and when it feels right and safe, take the relationship offline and meet in person.

Not Trying So Hard Could Make Things Easier

Success in dating is more about being open to relationships and less about looking for them.

While there is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, various psychological and sociological theories suggest that being open, relaxed, and not "overly eager" may indeed contribute to success in dating and relationships.

Also read: Self-Care Confidence Boost | Level Up Your Attractiveness

Here are a few reasons why:

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Psychologically, if someone is overly focused on finding a relationship, they may interpret interactions with potential partners through that lens and potentially come off as desperate or needy. This might lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy, where your possible anxiety about finding a partner becomes a reality as it drives potential partners away.

Attachment Styles: Research on attachment theory suggests that individuals with secure attachment styles—those who are comfortable with intimacy and are neither overly anxious nor avoidant about relationships—tend to have more successful relationships. These individuals are typically open to relationships but do not desperately seek them out.

Authenticity: People are generally attracted to authenticity. If you are  primarily focused on getting into a relationship, you might not present your true self, as you could be more inclined to say or do whatever they think will make you more attractive to potential partners. Being open to relationships without actively seeking them out may allow for more authentic interactions.

Attraction Theory: According to the attraction theory, people are attracted to those who provide maximum rewards at minimum cost. Someone who appears to be content and happy with their own life (instead of appearing to need a relationship to be happy) is likely to be more attractive to others.

Serendipity: Many successful relationships begin when people meet under unexpected circumstances, when they weren't actively looking. Being open to relationships means being ready and willing to embrace these unexpected opportunities when they arise.

However, it's important to clarify that being open to relationships and looking for them aren't mutually exclusive. One can actively look for a partner while still being relaxed, maintaining their authenticity, and being open to different possibilities. Balance is key!


Understanding and managing expectations is crucial in the dating process and can help make the experience fun and exciting. It's essential to be flexible, open-minded, and realistic. So, don't get discouraged if you find yourself on a run of lackluster dates or it's taking longer than you want. The right mindset and maybe even a little strategy could turn this chore into a more fulfilling and exciting experience!

Related Articles:

What’s the point of dating? 7 Ways to Improve the Dating Experience

Tinder After A Breakup? | 13 Reasons Why Guys Start Looking Online

Self Care After a Breakup -  Top 15 Tips For a Breakup Recovery

1000% Improvement After a Breakup | Celebrity Successes

The 7 Stages of a Breakup | And How To Recover Quickly

Disclosure: This article was not written by a medical professional, unless specifically stated otherwise. Advice or support content is not intended to be either professional medical or mental health advice or recommendations. All support and advice is from direct and/or anecdotal contributor/author experiences and topic research. If you are experiencing a physical or mental health emergency or mental or physical abuse, please seek professional support. Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to us, at no cost to you when you decide to purchase a reviewed product.



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