If you think you need a break, you probably do.
The term “burnout” means experiencing exhaustion, dwindling motivation, and a loss of interest in something that formerly engaged you. We usually apply this term to working environments, but burnout can easily happen to people in their love lives, and often for the same reasons it happens in their work lives.
At work, burnout usually occurs when you start to feel like you’re working too hard for the results that are being produced. This happens in our personal lives and our romantic relationships too.
Relationships that are on the decline can become as demanding and taxing as a full-time job. If we worked exceedingly hard to make the relationship work and it still fails, the period of singledom that follows your breakup is often riddled with signs of burnout.
Following relationship advice might not be enough, so if you find that any of these are true, you’re suffering from that burnout and most likely need some alone time to recover.
1. You think dating sounds awful.
After a breakup, some people can’t wait to get back into the dating scene, but some feel indifferent to dating for a longer period of time. These are all relatively positive reactions to being single again.
But if you have a strong negative reaction to the idea of going on a date for a significant period of time post-breakup, that’s an indication of relationship burnout.
2. You don’t find it fun to look for someone new.
Most people find actively seeking dates (such as online dating) stressful, but what about meeting a potential person organically? What if you meet someone you’d normally be interested in through work or through a friend?
If even the idea of meeting someone right now sounds dreadful, you’re probably burned out in the relationship department.
3. You feel emotionally exhausted
After a breakup, it’s pretty common to feel emotionally stressed, especially if you lived together and it took a while to get things separated again. But there’s a particular type of exhaustion that indicates relationship burnout: complete lack of emotional energy.
If you find it hard to have an emotional reaction to anything — even small positive things like jokes and laughter — your emotional reserves may be completely depleted.
4. You can only remember the bad parts of your past relationships.
Typically, when you leave a job to move on to another opportunity, you tend to remember your previous job holistically — the good parts as well as the bad. But if you quit your job because you’re completely burned out, all you can remember are the stressful and overwhelming parts of your job.
If you can only remember the fights you had with your former partner and not much else, the negative energy of the breakup is still very much with you.
5. You feel cynical or pessimistic about love.
Do you imagine that if you got into another relationship, it would be doomed to fail? Do you secretly believe that people in love are fools? This type of disillusionment about love, in general, is an unfortunate consequence of relationship burnout.
If you notice any of these signs in yourself, it may be time to recognize the role of relationship burnout in your life.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to make this period of your life easier and move past it like giving your previous relationship time to make sense, being upfront with potential partners, give yourself permission to not be interested and spark interest somewhere else in your life.
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