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Love Letters: Exhausted From Binge Dating


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Q:

Hi Meredith,

I'm a woman in my mid 30s and my last serious relationship ended about two years ago. I felt ready to get back into the dating scene a few months after that relationship ended. I joined Match.com and soon my calendar was filled with first dates. I saw a few of these men more than once, but none of them turned into a relationship and soon I felt burned out by the online dating scene. I was tired of investing my free time meeting up with total strangers instead of pursuing my existing friendships and hobbies.

I left the online dating scene and got more involved in my co-ed sports leagues, MeetUp groups, etc. These were (and continue to be) a whole lot of fun, but never once did I meet anyone who was a romantic partner. Fast forward a few months and I began to feel like I was really missing dating, so I decided to give the online scene another go. I rejoined Match.com, and within about 8 weeks I was exhausted and hid my profile.

Meredith, this cycle of "binge dating" and then not dating at all has repeated itself several times over. I really haven't enjoyed online dating, and I would like to quit it for good. But although I'm involved in numerous co-ed activities, they haven't yielded any romantic interests.

Honestly, I'm exhausted. How can I better meet men offline? How can I find some middle ground where I'm actively dating but not binge dating? If I get back on Match, how can I slow the pace down a bit? Are other people struggling with this?

(Go easy, guys. I'm a fellow commenter. I want some real advice :) )

– Feast or Famine, Cambridge

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A: It's up to you to set the pace of your online dating schedule. If you feel like you're binging, only go out with the guys who seem super exciting. Only check the site every few days and accept that you'll miss out on some opportunities.

Also take a close look at your social schedule and think about what really brings you joy. It's great that you signed up for a bunch of MeetUp activities, but are they adding to your exhaustion? Would you want to be on these co-ed sports teams if you knew for sure that you'd never meet anyone by playing?

It sounds like you're not just exhausted by online dating but also by your life in general. You should have at least two or three nights a week that are just for you or for plans made at the last minute. If there are any activities that inspire stress of feelings of obligation, drop them.

And remind your friends that you're looking for a partner. There's no magic way to find a nice boyfriend, but it helps to have friends and acquaintances who can keep you in mind. You're not supposed to have to do this on your own.

Readers? How can she avoid the binge dating and exhaustion? What about all of the MeetUp activities and co-ed sports teams? Are they making it worse? Advice for this commenter?

– Meredith