If you’re about to give up on dating, you might relate to this recent comment from a reader: “So many wonderful quality women in my age range have all but given up. It’s mentally, physically, financially and emotionally exhausting.”
It happens, and it’s OK if you feel like giving up on dating.
In this article, I’ll show you why this can be a positive sign.
Plus, what you can do to move past dating frustration to satisfaction.
You Might Be Closer to Your Dating Goals Than Ever
In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield talks about resistance in our lives.
Resistance is at work when we feel frustration and the desire to give up. There are other symptoms:
- Obsessive or compulsive behavior
- Playing the victim
“Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
Resistance is most powerful when we’re near the finish line.
We want to give up or distract ourselves with one of the negative behaviors listed above.
There’s a Navy Seal mantra called “The 40% Rule” made popular in David Goggins book, Can’t Hurt Me.
When you are exhausted and feel you have no more to give, you’re only 40% done. You still have 60% left to give.
His point is similar to Pressfield’s in that achievement is mostly a mental game.
Goggins learned this by becoming a Navy Seal, a huge accomplishment on its own. Not only that, he also used his ability to beat resistance to compete in dozens of 100-mile ultra-marathons. In some of these he ran with broken bones.
Often, we’re our own worst enemies. We give in to Resistance too quickly.
And we miss out on dreams that are nearly within reach.
What to Do if You’re Ready to Give Up Dating
Before you give up on dating for good, think about whether you’re giving in to mental Resistance. It might just be a sign that you are very close to your goal.
It could be a simple matter of doing one or more of the following.
It’s OK to Pause
You might just need a break. Dating IS work and we need periodic rest from all work.
A pause can refresh your spirit and give you the energy you need to continue.
Start Being Yourself Online
One of the issues with online dating and social media is that we can’t help but look at what everybody else is doing. Then we compare. Then we try to present our “perfect” selves to the world in a way that fits in with the crowd.
But the whole point of online or offline dating is to stand out, to be honest, authentic, and real.
None of us is perfect. There’s no point in hiding who we really are.
We shouldn’t be recreating ourselves in the likeness of someone else who seems to be better, or more popular, or more accomplished. Nor does it mean we should expose our every flaw to the world.
Focus on Yourself
If you’re taking a break from dating, a little self-examination can really help.
I often hear complaints from frustrated daters about their dates or about other elements of dating.
- “The women/men these days are [insert negative comment.]”
- “Online dating sites send me crappy matches.”
- “There aren’t any decent single men or women out there.”
Whenever I’m tempted to complain about a person or situation, I think back to two things mentors taught me:
- Whenever I am disturbed, there is something wrong with me.
- Whatever I focus on, expands.
First, any disturbance originates with me. Either I’m afraid I won’t get something I want, or I’m afraid I’ll lose something I have. So, when I’m disturbed, I take time to trace those reasons why, to understand the fear beneath my disturbance. And I want to be sure I’m reacting to the situation intelligently and appropriately.
In short, should you find yourself complaining about dating, partners, or anything outside of you, the reason why might be staring at you in the mirror.
I learned about the second point in business years ago. We can only think one thought at a time. If I fill my head with negative, fearful thoughts, it leaves no room for the positive, productive thoughts.
It’s one of the reasons I stopped watching the news on television. The nature of television and online news is negative because fear and negativity sell. The headlines are not my reality, and it was a terrible way to start my day. They get in the way of me doing productive work.
Instead, I work to fill my head with the positive.
It doesn’t mean I ignore what’s going on in the world. But I don’t focus my thoughts and energy on things I can’t change or that don’t relate to my priorities.
Do You Know What You Want in a Partner?
If you don’t know what you want in your partner and in a relationship, you’re probably going to have a lot more frustrating dates than you should.
It’s like taking a road trip without a destination in mind. You’ll get somewhere, but will it be to your liking? And how will you know when to stop?
The flip side of knowing what you want is that if you’re too restrictive, you might shut yourself off from potentially good partners. If you have a lengthy list of relationship deal-breakers and you want to quit dating, its might be time to re-examine that list.
Are You Looking for Dates in the Right Places?
One fellow recently commented about not having any luck with online dating. His solution: “Think I’ll stick to the local downtown sports bar, but not many women in there.”
If, like our friend above, you’re expecting to find dates where the prospects are few and far between, you’ll get frustrated quickly.
There are dozens of places you can meet singles. Just be sure to manage your expectations accordingly. The sports bar may be great for hanging out with your buddies for a game, but lousy for finding dates.
Speaking of places to find singles, online dating sites and apps are still some of the best tools you can use to find the right dating partners.
They have huge databases of singles that you can access in minutes. You can digitally “meet” dozens of prospective dates in your area in a fraction of the time it would take through conventional means.
They have built-in screening tools to help you find your ideal match.
I met Daisy online, even though we lived across the street from each other for many years! It would never have happened if I dismissed online dating—which I almost did.
The key to successful online dating is to be proactive. Don’t expect the site to magically send you the perfect match. Think of it as one more tool to help you succeed at dating.
We go into more detail on how to get this right with our set of Mature Dating ebooks.
Final Thoughts on Quitting Dating
My recommendation is that if you’re ready to give up dating, online or offline, take a break before you call it quits entirely.
You might just need a recharge.
It’s also a good time for self-reflection and self-improvement. The more you work on yourself, the better partner you can be to someone else.
And remember, the resistance or frustration you feel could be a sign that you are closer than ever to finding your ideal partner. I’d hate to see you give up when you might be so close!