How do I keep putting myself out there?

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Dear Meredith,

After getting through the exhaustion of dating apps, I finally met someone who I had a genuine connection with. It was such a great feeling. We talked every day for a few months and had a lot of fun and interesting dates. I felt like things were going really well, and then out of nowhere, he said he didn’t see a future for us. I was honestly blindsided. Granted, we had only known each other a few months, but I was starting to get excited about the possibly of it turning into something more.

I feel like you can often tell if something isn't working. The other person will start to become more distant. Maybe they take longer to reply or put off making plans to hang out. But there was none of that. We talked and hung out frequently, and those conversations were initiated by both us, not just me.

I respect this person for telling me how they feel and I don't fault them, but I can't help but to feel confused and sad. I don't know if I have the emotional capacity to keep putting myself out there and I'm genuinely afraid that I'm never going to find a long-lasting connection. How do you push through the dating fatigue and disappointment? Time keeps passing and I'm only getting older; it’s starting to feel like it may never happen.

– Confused and sad

I believe that when we're burnt out on a thing, we have to rest. It's OK to take a break.

I know that sounds counterintuitive, because as most active daters know, it's difficult to find someone when you're not looking. But how can you present your best self and notice wonderful things about others when you feel tired, confused, and sad? It's better to take a beat and stop with the apps until they seem less doomed – and less important.

I'm sorry you were blindsided. That means a bigger break might be necessary. You need time to get over a real loss.

Remember that there was a very real connection here. This person said they didn't see a future with you, but who knows what kind of life they want? Maybe they're right about this not being a match. Let’s consider the positive – that you met a person and shared a great romantic experience with them. The next great person you meet might share your vision for more, and then ... that's all you need, right?

After time, you might see this experience as a hopeful one. It's actually possible to meet someone you like. Yay.

But that's a feeling for later. For now, give yourself some time off to get your energy back.

– Meredith

Readers? Pep talk here? Time off?