How Decision Fatigue Is Ruining Your Dating Life

Florence Williamson
4 min readMay 7, 2023
Woman experiencing dating fatigue
Photo by nrd on Unsplash

Can’t seem to pick something nice to wear during your date? Are you undecided on your date’s venue? Do you feel like you can’t make decisions about your dating life at all?

If you have this problem, you may be experiencing decision fatigue.

But wait, does that phenomenon truly exist and if so, how does it impact your dating life?

According to mental health counselor Leighya Richard, it does. She defines it as an experience where “one’s decision-making ability declines after having to make decisions throughout the day.” She also says that dealing with it doesn’t just affect our decision-making skills; it impacts the quality of our decisions too.

According to Cambridge and Harvard researchers, people are confronted by an average of 35,000 decisions every day. A Cornell University study also says that we make 227 decisions daily on what to eat. Quite alarming, yes? With those statistics, it does confirm that we’re bound to get burnt out by making choices at some point.

That fatigue affects any facet of our lives. We can experience that tiredness in our dating lives too. And if we don’t do something about it, that’ll make our search for love more complicated than it already is.

The Warning Signs

How can you tell if you’re experiencing such fatigue in the dating department? Consider these signs as warnings you shouldn’t ignore:

Using dating apps and sites become tiring and overwhelming

GIF by Lovecraft Country on Giphy

Regardless of your chosen platform, the thought of going through profiles is already making you feel exhausted.

Many people are on dating sites and apps, making the possibilities endless for daters. However, the sheer number of singles can pressure us. That pressure can lead to bad decisions, which can further discourage daters from shooting their shot.

Communication breakdowns begin happening in your relationships

If you can’t make up your mind on many things, people in your circle will inevitably get frustrated with you.

For example, let’s say you can’t decide which household responsibility you’ll shoulder when you and your partner move in together. The longer you remain indecisive, the more tension will likely arise between you.

Minor decisions become difficult on dates

Decisions like date locations and outfits are pretty small, yes? However, they can be enough to make some daters anxious. If making minor choices is already difficult, how much more will it be if you’re confronted with major decisions?

Overcoming Decision Fatigue in Dating

How can daters get rid of this fatigue? Get over the tiring hump with these reminders:

Avoid comparisons

No two daters have the same experiences. Sure, you may read dating success and horror stories from time to time. However, you shouldn’t compare yourself to them. That will only tire you out. Besides, everyone has different paths in romance, and your experience is yours and no one else’s.

Cut down on site and app usage

GIF by CBC on Giphy

Placing limits is a good thing. They help pick and weed out toxic habits/patterns, making way for a better quality of life.

For example, cutting your time on dating apps to 15 minutes instead of endless hours of exploration will make you feel less fatigued. And with that, dating will feel more enjoyable again.

Don’t compromise on your non-negotiables

Every dater should be 100% sure about what they want. So, if you’re looking for a serious relationship, don’t waste your time pleasing people who are only out for more casual arrangements. Knowing and sticking to your non-negotiables will make navigation on sites, apps, and in-person dates a little less stressful.

Stopping decision fatigue takes much self-validation and compassion, so don’t punish yourself for feeling it. You’ll only feel more tired if you play the self-blame game, which makes decision-making in your dating life more difficult.

Cut yourself some slack and take a breather. I hope this entry will help out in that area.

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