Is 'Dating Rust-Out' Exhausting Your Love Life? Here's How To Find Out

If you've been out in the dating world for a long time, then you know it can be exhausting — terribly exhausting. You match with someone on an app, have a nice back-and-forth chat for a week or two, set up a time to finally meet, then head out on that date. Sometimes first dates are great and result in second or third dates. Other times, they're awful and you're forced to fake your own death right there mid-drinks, as it seems like the only way to ensure that you never hear from that person again.

While feeling exhausted and emotionally drained is inevitable, you might be experiencing other feelings, too — ones that you haven't been able to put a name to until now. You might be smack-dab in the middle of a dating rust-out. Unlike dating burnout, dating rust-out is less about being fatigued about the whole dating scene, but feeling like every date you go on is the same and trying to find the difference from person to person, and date to date, becomes harder and harder. It can make even the strongest and most rational of people want to set their phone on fire and never have contact with another potential love interest again. If every experience is the same, then why even bother? 

If the monotony of dating is getting you down, you might not be burnt-out, but rusted-out instead.

What's dating rust-out?

Dating rust-out isn't just about being tired and jaded, but being bored and uninspired. With dating rust-out, you've reached a point where every date feels like the date you just had the week before, and your whole dating life is playing out like the plot of some story on repeat, without an end in sight. You're not challenged, the conversations are boring you to tears, and rearranging your sock drawer seems like a far more stimulating way to spend your time.

Simply, you've reached a point where you're going through the motions of dating, but you're not in the game at all. You've checked out, but you keep showing up to dates with the hope that something — anything — will move you enough to feel deeply again. It's not that you're incapable of dating or having a relationship — you have what it takes — but it's the people out there and the tedium of each dating experience being the same that's standing in the way of your progress. Dating is a process that is supposed to progress forward, but the current dating environment can make us feel like we're stuck in the mud, and dating rust-out can make us feel indifferent to being stuck in that mud. 

How it can affect your love life

No one can live the same day, moment, interaction, or date over and over again. At some point, once the rust-out really seeps into your bones, you'll hit a wall and question why you're even putting yourself through this since it's evident that it's just not working. 

You might find yourself in goblin mode — which isn't a bad place to be for some — or being so profoundly out of cares that you're just over all of it. When that happens, dating loses what charm it had left. If you've reached dating rust-out, the best thing you can do is take a step back and reassess what you're looking for and if you're going about the right way to find it. Since dating apps aren't for everyone, maybe you could try letting a friend who knows you really well set you up with someone they know. If you break out of the mundane and repetitive ways you've been dating, you'll not only shake off some of that rust-out, but you just might find better ways to date. 

As much as human beings are creatures of habit, if something isn't working, no matter how many times you try it, then it's time for a change — especially if what you have been doing has officially made you feel dead inside. Remember: Dating is supposed to be fun.