‘Betterment burnout’; when you are tired from the quest of finding perfection

  • Living
  • Monday, 08 Apr 2024

More and more singles want to free themselves from social pressure and feel more fulfilled. — AFP

WITH the proliferation of podcasts or books focusing on personal development, and the influence of carefully crafted lifestyles on social networks, more and more singles are considering shunning, or at least questioning, the relentless pursuit of perfection.

In fact, this quest can lead to a form of mental exhaustion known as “betterment burnout.”

What if we stopped chasing perfection? By constantly striving to improve, the opposite effect can occur. People can become desperate and end up experiencing a form of psychological fatigue known as “betterment burnout.” This weariness is often seen in single people, around half of whom (51%) feel obliged to constantly strive to improve in order to find love, according to a study by dating site Bumble released earlier this year.

The study was conducted by Censuswide among 3,021 nationally representative consumers aged over 18 in Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Germany between Dec 18 and Dec 20, 2023.

For Dr Caroline West, relationship expert at Bumble, “betterment burnout” is not unrelated to the lockdowns and restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic: “Even now, many of us are still experiencing post-lockdown fatigue from the relentless pressure to acquire new skills, monetise side hustles and manage numerous responsibilities, whilst ‘achieving.’”

She continues: “When paired with constant comparison on social media, ‘betterment burnout’ results. Curated online personalities from peers and celebrities contribute to a personal sense of inadequacy, leading to the relentless pursuit of our perfect selves.”

To avoid this mental exhaustion, 26,849 singles surveyed by Bumble have decided to swap the pursuit of perfection for that of happiness. A quarter of singles worldwide have decided to focus on happiness rather than self-improvement, particularly Gen Z singles and young millennials (32% under 35).

Across Europe, nearly two-thirds of women now want to make decisions for their own happiness, detaching themselves from the norms and expectations imposed by society.

Another 40% are looking for partners who accept them as they are, without trying to change them. Indeed, single people are now turning to self-prioritisation, putting their self-esteem before the love of another.

So it’s not surprising to see that dating trends where the emphasis is on the quality rather than the quantity of encounters are flourishing in the dating world. – AFP Relaxnews

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