Dating in the Summer: Navigating Dating Burnout and Finding New Hope
Updated: Jul 18
Dating in the summer can often feel like a tangled web of ups and downs. With the flip of a switch, we go from feeling blissful and excited—anticipating our newest romantic adventures―to suddenly feeling discouraged and disappointed when things don't go as planned. And for those who have already been on the dating scene for some time, it can be tough to feel optimistic about finding love amid burnout and discouragement.
As a therapist who works with young adults struggling in the dating scene, I've seen firsthand how difficult it can be to navigate dating, especially as the year wears on. In this blog post, we'll explore the challenges of dating in the summer and strategies for overcoming burnout, finding hope, and enjoying the unique opportunities that summer dating offers.
Post-Winter Dating Burnout: What Causes it?
Let's start with something we can all relate to: the struggle of post-winter dating burnout. You know the feeling - it's cold, dark, and dreary out, and all you want to do is stay inside and watch Netflix. But then you start feeling this pressure to find someone to cuddle up with, and you think, "Maybe I'll just download that dating app again and see who's out there."
And then it starts – the endless swiping, the ghosting, the awkward first dates that feel more like job interviews than anything else. You begin to wonder if there's anything out there for you – if all this effort is worth it. The energy and thought you put into preparing for every date - let alone crafting a single text message or DM - isn't just taxing your time but your emotions.
On the flip side, some of us may not have given winter dating much of a shot. The cold weather, shorter days, and general unease can deter even the most optimistic. So when spring rolls around, it's natural to feel renewed energy and want to return to the dating scene after a long hibernation.
But no matter how much time and energy you've dedicated toward dating so far this year - or when - it seldom takes long to become discouraged in the dating scene. The pressure to find "the one" and settle down amid the rejection, self-doubt, and even guilt - depending on which "side" you're on - can put you on the fast track to dating burnout any time of year.
It's no wonder so many individuals feel frustrated, exhausted, lonely, and powerless when finding love – particularly those who have spent the first half of the year draining their dating capacity, feeling defeated by the start of summer.
Navigating Dating Burnout in the Summer
So, how can you overcome these feelings and maintain a positive mindset? First, take a break and focus on self-care and personal growth. There's nothing wrong with taking some time off from dating to recharge and center yourself. Use this time to reflect on your goals and values, pursue hobbies and interests you enjoy, and connect with friends and family. Remember, you are more than your dating life!
It also helps to set realistic expectations and avoid putting too much pressure on any particular date or relationship. Embrace the idea that dating is a process of trial and error or a numbers game of kissing frogs. The point is, dating is an adventure - full of surprises, twists, and turns. So why not ditch the pressure and allow yourself to have fun and explore different connections? There's no set timeline for getting into a relationship.
Here are a few more strategies to consider to overcome burnout and maintain a healthy outlook on dating this summer:
Explore alternative ways of meeting new people: While dating apps can seem like the most convenient way to meet potential partners these days, they're not the only option. Expand your horizons and engage in activities and communities that align with your interests. Join a sports or book club, volunteer, or take a class—wherever you might turn to meet like-minded individuals.
Surround yourself with supportive friends: Your support system is crucial through the ups and downs of dating. Surround yourself with friends who lift you up, share your dating woes, and have a good laugh together. Plan fun activities and adventures that remind you there's so much more to life than finding a hot date.
Seek professional guidance: If dating burnout is taking a toll on your mental well-being, don't hesitate to seek support from a therapist or counselor. They can provide guidance, help you process your emotions and overcome burnout, and offer valuable insights to navigate the dating scene with resilience.
Summer: A Unique Ray of Sunshine for the Dating Scene
This season can be a ray of hope for anyone feeling burnt out on dating. For one, the longer days and generally more pleasant weather help create a relaxed and positive atmosphere. Plus, there are so many unique dating experiences that just aren't possible during the cooler seasons.
Think about it: outdoor movie nights, day trips to the beach, exploring local farmers' markets, and food festivals...the possibilities are endless! And even if you're not super outdoorsy, with all the extra daylight, the summer is a great time to try out a new hobby or activity with someone you're interested in.
Here's a list of a few more fun, unique summer date ideas to get your creative juices flowing and help you get to know your date better from the start:
1. Picnic at a local park or beach
2. Attend an outdoor movie night or concert
3. Rent bicycles and go for a ride in a park or scenic area
4. Take a hike or nature walk together
5. Try an adventurous water activity like kayaking or paddle boarding
6. Visit a farmer's market or food festival
7. Attend a cooking or mixology class and learn new skills
8. Take a scenic drive or drive around town and explore new places
9. Visit a comedy club and have a night filled with laughter
10. Visit an escape room and work together to solve puzzles and mysteries
Now, I know that even with these suggestions, dating can still be tough. Try to approach it with a fresh perspective and a sense of adventure, and remember to give yourself grace and be kind to yourself along the way.
If you are feeling particularly stuck, discouraged, or overwhelmed, you can always reach out to Authentically Living Psychological Services for additional support.
This summer, with your fresh new take and attitude on dating, you might be surprised with the connections you make. And if it doesn't happen, that's okay too - there's a beautiful world out there waiting to be explored, with or without a partner by your side.