It May Be Time To Start Applying 'Quiet Quitting' To Your Dating Life. Here's How

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The COVID-19 pandemic did a lot more than normalize masks in public. It also gave rise to a number of career trends that are still doing their rounds. 

One such movement is called "quiet quitting" and it was first born on TikTok sometime in 2022. Although its exact inspiration is hard to pinpoint, it is safe to assume that "quiet quitting" was brought on by a combination of pandemic-related factors: time on our hands to reflect on our lives and professions, and burnout from having no boundaries because of working from home. The term refers to doing only what's required of you as per your job description and nothing more. No extra hours and no bringing your job back home. The idea is to safeguard your mental health and to find a healthy work-life balance.

Have you considered the possibility that your dating life could be affecting your mental health in a similar way? Especially if you spend long hours on dating apps, intent on finding a mate. In Aimée Lutkin's memoir "The Lonely Hunter: How Our Search for Love Is Broken," the author forces herself to go on a number of dates a week in order to increase her chances of meeting someone worthwhile. What she finds — halfway through her experiment — is that you can feel burnout even in the dating world. Keeping atop of the biggest dating trends in itself can start to feel stressful. How can you navigate this challenge? 

Perhaps it's time to think about 'quiet quitting' your pursuit of love

How many times a day do you pick up the phone mindlessly to scroll through one of the dating apps you're on? 

Being on dating apps, swiping right based on someone's profile or how they look, and dealing with rejection can all start to take an effect on someone's mental health. Even if you don't experience rejection, the search for love alone can easily become something you turn to at all times, especially given how convenient and addictive dating apps are designed to be. Before you know it, you're experiencing burnout from juggling multiple conversations or from dedicating hours on end to match with more and more people to give yourself a better chance at finding someone. 

Chief dating expert at Match Rachel DeAlto told InStyle that singles often compromise on their standards because of the belief that "trying harder means giving everyone a chance, regardless of their gut instincts or energy levels." And this simply isn't true. When you apply "quiet quitting" to your dating life, you're going to become a lot more intentional with your connections and a lot more mindful of the time you dedicate toward the pursuit of love. Exactly how can you apply this pandemic-inspired career trend to your dating life?

Here are some simple steps to follow

It is possible to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of dating apps and the number of people on it. In fact, according to biological anthropologist and chief scientific advisor for Match, Helen Fisher, this sensation in the dating world is very similar to what arose with the jam experiment, where more customers bought jars of jam when they had fewer flavor options to choose between rather than more (via Time). Setting boundaries with the number of people you connect with can not only be good for your mental and emotional health, it might even give you a better chance at meeting someone that meets your standards. 

Something important that goes with setting boundaries is self-awareness. If you don't have direction within yourself about what you want out of a person or an exchange, your experience with dating can quickly start to feel overwhelming. DeAlto advises setting "four non-negotiables" in potential suitors — characteristics that are important to you. 

Time is the other important element. No matter how tempted you are to pick up your phone after a long day at work, try and resist the urge. Give yourself an allotted time each day — 15 minutes or half an hour — to dedicate toward the pursuit of love. You could also take a break from dating apps altogether so you can come back more aligned and refreshed. The idea is to find a healthy balance between living your life and engaging with people that add something positive to you.