The newly trending term “quiet quitting” typically refers to someone doing their job at the bare minimum to achieve work/life balance and move away from hustle culture. It’s not really about “phoning it in” but rather seeking more appropriate boundaries at work, like by leaving work on time every day, or outright refusing to answer emails and team messages outside of working hours. Burnout can happen in all areas of our lives, including our personal life. So if you’re also suffering burnout or stagnation in your love life, should you also try “quiet quitting” your love life?
According to some experts, yes, you should. And while “doing the bare minimum” might sound harsh when it comes to looking for and/or sustaining love, some experts believe that by choosing to quiet quit your love life, including implementing better boundaries, not going above and beyond for the other person, and putting yourself first, you might actually help to improve it.
“‘Quiet quitting’ can be a difficult decision to make, but it can also be a very empowering one,” says Joni Ogle, a licensed clinical social worker and certified sex addiction therapist. “It’s important to remember that you’re not giving up on love—you’re just making a decision to focus on other areas of your life first.”
“Quiet-quitting” your love life allows you to focus on you
If you’ve been dating for a while, constantly on the apps, with a packed Friday and Saturday night, you might have very little time for yourself, which can leave you feeling unfulfilled. That’s not exactly the vibe you want to put out into your next date. When someone asks about your interests and hobbies, it’s important to have something to share so they know you have a life outside of your dating life.
“One of the biggest benefits of ‘quiet quitting’ your love life is that you have more time and energy to focus on improving yourself,” Ogle says. “When you’re not putting all of your efforts into your personal life, you can direct that energy elsewhere—like working on your career, picking up new hobbies, or spending more time with friends and family. Building yourself to become your best self can be incredibly fulfilling, and it’s something that you can only do when you’re not devoting all of your time to someone else.”
It will improve your mental health
According to Dr. Lee Phillips, psychotherapist and certified sex and couples therapist, your mental health is likely to suffer if you’re spending too much time on a dating app and getting disappointed again and again because you haven’t found what you are looking for or are tired of feeling rejected.
Choosing to “quiet quit” your dating life might mean limiting your time on a dating app or allowing yourself to check other profiles or your messages only once or twice per week. As Phillips says, “it can decrease triggers of depression and anxiety because of the disappointment and rejection that comes with dating, and it increases well-being because you can focus on your own needs and quiet quitting gives you time to think of what you really want in a relationship.” It might also help you to lower your expectations, which can bring a lot of peace and clarity to how you want to approach your love life.
It can improve the quality of your relationships
If you’re constantly looking for the next match, you might be more addicted to the chase of dating rather than being more intentional about what you’re looking for or if you’re actually compatible with that person. Quiet quitting can also help you to reassess what you really want from a relationship.
“When you’re not putting in the extra effort, you may realize that the relationship wasn’t as great as you thought it was,” Ogle says. “This can help you to end things before they become toxic, or it can help you to work on communicating your needs better within the relationship.” It can also help you go at your own pace in relationships rather than dive head first.
It allows your partner to initiate
Quiet quitting also applies if you’re in a relationship, especially if you feel you are putting in too much effort to the point where your own needs are not being met.
“Quiet quitting in a marriage/relationship allows you to feel less hurt, agitated, or resentful towards your partner because you are stepping away by allowing them to initiate things that are important in your life that you have constantly been doing in the relationship,” Phillips says. “If you are in a marriage/relationship, your emotional needs can be met because you are allowing your partner to step up to the plate and initiate the things and activities you desire. This allows for change and for them to get out of their comfort zone.” That is a win-win situation for both of you.