Dating Is A Full-Time Job, Dating Feels Like Work, Dates Feel Like A Job Interview, Dating Is A Lot Of Work, Dating Feels Like A Chore

The dating culture these days feels like it’s getting worse and worse with each passing day, swipe, and awkward first date hug. Anonymity on dating apps leads to worse behavior. People have less free time than ever and are lonelier than ever thanks to technology, WFH, regression in social skills and It’s hard to stay motivated, let alone excited about the prospect of a new match or date. 

Every news article out there talks about the hopelessness of dating apps, awful dating trends (chatbots, scammers, ghosting, cheating, and lying), the proliferation of ENM, poly or partnered folks on dating sites (seriously, is everyone in an open relationship?) and rise in people giving up on dating apps and dating in general. 

The amount of people who don’t take themselves or dating seriously feels like it has hit an all-time high. Dating is a serious commitment and who you spend your time with is arguably the most important thing in life yet too many people don’t give dating the time, effort, focus, planning, and preparation it deserves.  

Related read: Best Dating Site For Busy Professionals

Related read: Are You Ready To Date?

Dating Lies: There Is Someone For Everyone, You Will Meet Someone When You Least Expect It

I am sure you have probably heard this before from a friend, family member or colleague. This is complete BS. Mathematically, there are not enough people for everyone to be in a relationship in a country. Gender ratios, sexuality, deal-breakers, preferences and intentions are not in perfect sync – there are imbalances everywhere.

Similarly, even if groupings were perfectly aligned, you have to factor for things like distance, effort, interpersonal skills, timing, luck and ever-changing things in life like sickness, death, divorce, mental health, cheating, lying, people changing over time, people falling out of love. The fluid dynamics of life make it so that things are always changing and nothing is constant – even love.

Yes, love requires patience, but it also requires a bunch of other things like working on yourself, growth, prioritization of dating, self-awareness, effort, timing, interpersonal skills and luck. No one tells you this. The more static you are in life, the longer it will take to meet someone. Dating favors those that go outside, work on themselves, practice dating and learn from mistakes.

Going on more dates will not get you closer to finding love if you are making the same mistakes over and over again – bad first date ideas, not being present, being too trusting, overly investing yourself in strangers too quickly/easily, failing to be vulnerable, learning to read people, and taking chances in life. These soft skills are difficult to learn because they are not taught in school, not learned in the workplace, and not discussed nearly enough in life and social circles.

Luck is when opportunity meets opportunity (Seneca). You have to be ready to meet someone amazing at all times. This means you need to be prepared at all times, expand your reach, trying things more than once and occasionally toss the rule book out. 

Related read: Dating Apps vs Matchmakers

Image Consultant: Wardrobe, Social Skills & Lifestyle

Eddie is an image consultant in San Francisco with clients in NYC, LA, and beyond. He assists clients w/ fashion sense, social skills, hobbies & interests, etiquette, being more approachable around others & making friends.

Always Be Date Ready To Date, Working On Yourself – Dating Is A Full-Time Job

The more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities you will have to meet others, but only if you are ready. Being ready means a lot of things. It means being emotionally and physically ready. Do you have time to date, do you have space in your life to give time and attention to others? Have you done enough self-work to show you are ready to prioritize dating in your life?

Things like finances, mental health, social circles (friends), grooming, hygiene, communication skills, hobbies, interests, and lifestyle choices all matter. Dating is not just about appearance or charm, but others things in life that people assess when screening for dates and relationships. If you don’t have time to date, what makes you think you will have time for a relationship?

The more you work on yourself, the more you can offer others and the more marketable you will be. No one is perfect, everyone is a work in progress (some more than others) but having a plan, working towards it and having ambition and passion will set you apart from the competition. The things you do while not on apps or on dates matter (exercise, career, social circles, nutrition, hobbies, interests, etc.).

Being ready to date also means addressing yourself physically at all times. How you dress when you leave the home, how you chew your food, how you sit and stand, how you speak, how you smell, how you carry yourself – these things all matter. I am not suggesting you become superficial or dwell on looks, but basic maintenance and work can go a long way.

The other thing to consider is where you spend your time and who you spend it with. Are you going to places that attract the types of people you want to meet? Are you hanging around people that make you look bad or repel others you are interested in? Location matters. It’s possible to meet anyone, anywhere, but the more strategic you are, the easier it will be to meet others that are in alignment with your lifestyle.

You can meet the love of your life at any moment, any time, but if you are not ready, you could be squandering opportunities. Dating and love is a marathon, not a sprint. There is always work and training to be done.

Related read: Dating App Fatigue


Playing The Odds – Being Strategic While Dating, Knowing Your Audience

Just because you are open to dating others doesn’t mean they are. You have to acknowledge and respect free choice. You have to think in terms of what others want and what others prefer if you want to develop a strategy. The more you aim outside your league or with those that are not compatible with your life plans, deal-breakers, or place in life, the harder it will be for you to find someone.

I hear often from men that they are willing to date women x years younger or from far away distances. That is great, but it is also inefficient. Many women do not have the same preferences or flexibility you do, and the more you waste your time with others that are statistically less likely to be interested in you, the more likely you will waste your time. This is especially true with dating apps that factor things like interests levels when deciding who to show your profile to.

Having boundaries, filters and deal-breakers are great, but if you spend too much time with others who don’t have similar approaches and preferences, you are wasting your time. If your dating pool doesn’t overlap with their dating pool, you might be wasting time swimming in the wrong lake.

You have to be strategic beyond just demographics, superficial items like education and jobs as well as appearance. You have to know if someone is on the same page about wanting kids, getting married and staying put or moving closer to home or being a nomad indifferently.

Related read: Dating App Swipe Etiquette/Strategy


Online Dating Advice For Women

Screening Profiles, Why Don't Guys Reply, Low-Effort Messages, Overwhelmed w/ Matches, Signs He's Not Into You, What Your Dating Photos Signal, Coffee Dates, Lying About Age, 'No Hook-ups' In Profile & More

How To Make A First Date Fun: Be Selective, First Date Strategy

You can’t control how others look and feel on a first date, but you can control how you approach things, how present you are, and how you give of yourself. Not every date will be smooth. The more dates you go on, the more jaded you can become, so be sure to be selective about who you go out with. If you are not excited about a date, you are already setting yourself up for failure.

Rather than pick a mundane place for a first date, go somewhere fun or someplace you have been meaning to check out. If the date is awful, at least you picked a place you wanted to check out. With that said, some people may reject date ideas for a variety of reasons including being too close to work or home, not liking the crowds, and having to trek across town.

Location matters. Details matter.

-How far you have to travel for a date matters.

-Vibe and noise levels matter.

-Where you sit matters.

I am not saying you need to stress out and plan things perfectly, but you do need to acknowledge these variables can affect a date. Similarly, even if you pick perfectly, you have to understand that some things are out of your control. The goal of a first date is not to get a second date, but rather definitely figure out if you do not want to go on another date with the person or if you do want to go on one more date – nothing more, nothing less.

Stop putting too much pressure on a date. Learn to enjoy one’s company. The more you treat a date like an interview, the less fun you will have.

Related read: Online Dating First Dates


Dating Feels Like A Job, Dating Is A Lot Of Work, Dating Is A Second Job

Even if you come ready and plan a perfect date, things may not go well. As a guy, you can approach a woman 10 times and get 10 different results or reactions based on how her day was, who approached her before you, who she is with, what angle you approach her, what you say, how you smell, how recently she broke up with her ex or how she feels that day.

You can’t control everything, so just focus on what you can control and influence, and understand some things are outside your control. You can control how you react to others. Chances are you will be lied to, will be ghosted, or will be treated with low-effort. Rather than be bitter, focus your time and effort on those that match your effort, enthusiasm, honesty, transparency and sustained interest.

Understand, the next person in your life has nothing to do with the past date. Give people a blank slate, give them the benefit of the doubt (within reason). With that said, if you experience trends and similar outcomes, again and again, you may want to get help with your strategy, technique, outlook, attitude, biases and blind spots.

Related read: Why Can’t I Get Second Dates?

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Dating vs Being In A Relationship – Dating Is Like A Full-Time Job, Is Exhausting

Dating someone is different from being in a relationship. Being in a relationship requires you to think down the road, assess lifestyles, make concessions, communicate well, plan together, constantly check in and see if you are still in alignment with each other, and being honest with each other and yourself. Too many people are afraid of asking difficult questions or discussing plans and intentions because they already know the answer or are afraid of what they might here.

The qualities that make you desirable to date may not be the same ones people value and prioritize in a partner. Some people may not view you as relationship material. Others may not be ready for a commitment. Some people might say they want a relationship but not necessarily with you. Others might lie despite what they write on a dating profile.

The best way to learn about someone is with quality time, focus and sustained effort. If you are spending most of your time having drinks with someone, you may not know what they are like at work, with friends or alone. Similarly, you may not get a 360 view of their life, priorities, commitments and intentions.

If you haven’t met their family, are not spending holidays together, are not planning for the future, and are not taking time to get to know each other, you might really know the person that well. Don’t assume people want the same thing as you. Even if you do want the same things, don’t assume that will always be the case. Things change, and things happen.

Related read: Manipulation Tactics in Relationships


Why Is Dating Harder Now Than It Used To Be, Why Is Modern Dating So Hard

Too many people lack the social skills, emotional IQ, time, self-awareness and effort needed to be successful with dating. These days, people are more isolated than ever, rely on dating apps way too much, have fewer friends and don’t have as much free time as they use to. The cost of living has gone up, so social activities have become more elusive than ever.

People are also more comfortable not getting married, not having kids and not in a rush to settle down in life. In places like the United States, different backgrounds and cultures means more confusion, ambiguity and etiquette around dating norms.


Why Is Dating So Hard In Your 20s? Is It Harder Dating In Your 20s? As A Woman, As A Guy

That is because most guys in their 20s lack social skills, communication skills as well as confidence, hobbies, interests, style etc. to stand out. They are too shy and insecure. Women like confidence and that typically comes with age, looks, practice and experience.

Similarly, lots of women can fall prey to master manipulators while dating in their 20s. They often overlook red flags because of confidence, love-bombing and other manipulation tactics. Women receive lots of interest in their 20s but they have to be on the lookout for pervs, liars and married guys.


Why Is Dating So Hard In Your 30s? Dating In Your 30s As A Man

When it comes to dating apps in your 30s, things can become tricky. What worked in your 20s may not work in your 30s. For guys, you might come off as too immature. Some guys may find they are unable to connect with younger women and can’t compete with men in their own age bracket. Social regression is real and more evident as others have leapfrogged you over time.

For women, many guys lose interest in women with age. There are significant drop off at 25, 30 and 35. There is also a lot of ambiguity around dating casually vs dating with intention, family planning and rushing the dating process. Some women want to settle down, get married and have kids asap and many guys are not in a rush, want to take their time dating and make sure they get things right.

Related read; This Is Why You Are Single


Why Is Dating So Hard In Your 40s? Dating In Your 40s As A Woman

As for using online dating in your 40s, you will likely encounter lots of divorced folks who don’t have time to meet others offline, have kids, might be jaded and either lack relationship skills. Some people become too stubborn or picky and fail to realize that they are not as desirable as they once were.

As you age, dating becomes harder for many folks. Being rich or accomplished means less for men, as women are outpacing men with degrees. Similarly, women may notice they get less interest from men, as their age preferences don’t always sync up with those of women. The other thing to note is that more men are comfortable being alone and single, and may not be as interested in relationships as much as women are.

These are overly generalized comments, but this is what you can expect on apps in different age groups. In my coaching sessions, I will help you uncover blind spots, help you work on weaknesses and be more focused while dating. Rather than focus on odds and statistics, focus on being a better you. Don’t worry about others.

Related read: He’s Just Not That Into You 

Percentage of Childless Women In The United States By Age Chart

Dating Is Overwhelming – Too Many Matches On Dating Apps; Dating Feels Impossible

Dating can feel overwhelming at times which is why I recommend taking breaks and learning to throttle usage so you don’t overload yourself. If you are a guy, it can take days if not weeks for women to see your likes or comments. There are upwards of 3-4x as many guys as women on apps and given women spend less time on apps, are more selective and focus more on fewer matches at a time, it can be a while for conversations to start.

Similarly, if you are a woman with too many matches, that’s on you. It takes two to match. Swipe right less, use apps less, learn to ID red flags and learn to be more selective, patient. It’s not uncommon for guys to swipe right on profiles without taking a look, let alone being interested in you.

Related read: Paradox of Choice: Too Many Choices On Dating Apps

Related read: Taking A Break From Online Dating


Final Thoughts – Modern Dating, Dating is A Full-Time Job, Dating Feels Like Work

Time is one of the most precious things we have in life. Who you spend your time and rest of your life with is arguably the biggest decision one can make in life, yet most people don’t know what they are doing, don’t get help, don’t put in the effort, lack strategy and focus or lack self-awareness.

Think about how much time you spend working out, studying in school, working on that promotion, cooking or working on a skill. Have you honestly invested that much time in dating? If so, did you wing it or get help? Do you understand that you can approach a woman 10 times and get 10 different reactions and results? Do you understand people have biases, preferences and are in different stages of life?

Dating is tough because it is complicated. People oversimplify things, blame apps or others for their woes and rarely are honest about themselves. You can go on 20 awful dates, have the worst strategy with dating, and stumble upon love on date #21.

Similarly, you have great self-awareness, solid strategy, put in lots of effort yet fail with dating because you are too dismissive or too trusting, lack the ability to read people or cut off time-wasters or don’t know how to act on dates.

There is no magic bullet. Dating requires you to be flexible, change paths/strategy, improvise, give the benefit of the doubt in some cases and make quick snap judgments in other situations. You can be efficient and not waste too much money on dates if you are plan accordingly, are creative and self-aware.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

Related read; Why Online Dating Won’t Solve Your Dating Woes

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About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie is a dating coach for men & women in San Francisco (clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, & beyond ), as seen in the NYT & Bumble). He helps w/ profiles, photos, wardrobe, messaging, date ideas, red flags, lifestyle choices, hobbies, grooming/hygiene, communication, social skills & offline efforts.