A former client came to see me recently and complained about dating fatigue.
She had worked with me through one terrible breakup and her re-entry into the dating world and seemed to be doing well. She started a relationship that was short-lived and sent me a short note that she was doing her “Getting Past Your Breakup” work again and she would be okay. She started dating again shortly thereafter.
But lately things seemed to be going backwards for her instead of forward and she wanted to make an appointment.
We looked at a few things that had happened since we last spoke and she was getting further from the work we had done together. She had forgotten that a healthy mentality is something that needs to be maintained by staying vigilant and doing the work of staying self aware. It was clear that it was time to take a break, refocus and go back to basics, which is something many of us need to do over the course of time.
In Getting Back Out There (GBOT) I write that it’s important to change your attitude about dating as something you need to “go through,” like some kind of punishment, on the way to having a relationship. It’s not. Look at it as a learning experience where you are picking up valuable clues about what you want and don’t want in another person. And stay committed to the fact that you will not continue dating one person just to avoid having to start all over, with “first date” with someone new.
One thing I’ve learned about relationships and how to find a healthy one is that you have to know when to leave. In my own work and the work I’ve done with others for over 25 years, I know, unequivocally, that no matter how healthy we get, we are always going to run into attractive people that may be ill-suited for us. When I wrote “Getting Past Your Breakup” (GPYB) I wrote about finding real love at the end and explored it more in my second book “Getting Back Out There” (GBOT).
Still, it’s good to have a bit of a primer and a reminder that when you’re out there dating again, it’s not always a straight trajectory from one relationship into a healthier one. Sometimes we get tangled along the way, lose our focus or have some other reason for sliding backward.
The more healthy we become, the less unhealthy partners come around but somehow, some way, they can still find a way in. If we let down our guard or get into a flippant “I don’t really care” mode, we can open ourselves up to all kinds of trouble. We have to understand that even if we’ve done the work and are a much healthier person, we are still going to have dysfunctional or personality-disordered people come our way. Just because we are healthy does not mean that every person who walks in will be as healthy. We will attract a better, mentally fitter group of people, but there may be some dysfunctional people that we truly want to avoid. We have to be on the look out for them but also have to stay vigilant about where we are at any given time.
Coming off a difficult breakup and then hearing that we can still attract the undesirable, many people ask me, “How can I trust anyone again?” The way to trust others is to trust ourselves first. And that means trusting yourself to keep yourself safe and leaving when it’s clear that you are with someone who is not treating you as you deserve to be treated or even you’re dating and just having a gut reaction.
Becoming healthy means taking care and taking care of yourself. Even when we are steadily becoming more healthy, we still might attract or somehow wind up on a date or a budding relationship with trouble. There might be a part of us that is unhealthy and is running the show when we feel down, fatigued or not particularly in tune with ourselves or our new found wisdom. Sometimes we’re just lonely and willing to throw caution to the wind. A few “weak moments” can come along and give our unhealthy side an opportunity to wreak havoc in our lives.
The year before I met the love of my life, I did two things that I had never done before. I left the middle of a date and left and stood someone up for a first date. Both times I felt this gut feeling that something was not right. While I believe that water seeks its own level (and talk about that concept in both my books) and you attract the people who are the same emotional health, there is a part of everyone that may be raw and untested and unhealthy because there is more work to be done or you could just be in a down phase and not being as cautious as you should be.
I wasn’t particularly vigilant when these two came along and there was a part of me, an unhealthy part of me, that was running the show. I was emotionally tired and not choosing wisely. I had developed an “Oh whatever” mentality. I was, overall, fine with being alone. I had a nice life and I was happy there but I dabbled in dating sometimes and did so with a fairly pessimistic attitude and thought, sometimes, that being “casual” or just physical would work for me (it doesn’t, it was a mind game I was playing with myself). I’m actually surprised it did not get me into more trouble than it did. I was playing with fire and I knew it.
So the lazy and unhealthy part of me sometimes made dates and somewhere in the middle of it, the healthy person would show up and bells would go off…ding, ding, ding….and the healthy person would think, “not so much.”
As I talk about in both books and the workbook, it takes a while to trust ourselves and sometimes we over analyze a situation. Well how can I be with Mr. Wrong when I’ve done all this work and water seeks its own level? Well, you can be and the thing to do is to get out while the getting is good (early on).
source : https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/getting-back-out-there/201610/dating-fatigue-and-dating-burnout-can-be-real