Time off From Dating Can Save Your (Love) Life
There’s no question about it – deciding to drop out of the romance pool for an extended period of time isn’t a decision any of us would make lightly. If you’re still looking for the love of your life, how is taking yourself out of the game going to improve your chances of meeting Mr/Mrs Right? It’s a scary proposition. But is it really any more terrifying than falling into another doomed relationship that you know will burn itself out, leaving you back at square one? If you find yourself perpetually stuck on the best hookup sites 2020 has to offer; this is when it might be time to take time off from dating. Making this call isn’t about you finding love. It’s much more important than that. It’s about you finding out the different ways that you can love yourself.
Break the Cycle of Bad Romance
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Many of us probably know the feeling of falling into a short-term romantic cycle with the same kind of partners, only for things to go south time after time. We all have patterns of interpersonal and sexual behavior that we find gratifying. Perhaps some comfort we get from these is that we subconsciously know where these journeys end. It’s like ordering the same dish in your favorite restaurant: you might not have your expectations bowled away each time, but you know what you’re getting and can plan accordingly. That’s great, but in matters of the heart, sometimes we have to challenge ourselves a little more to get what we really want. If you’re in a relationship, you might think you don’t know how to tell your current partner or partners that you need some time off from dating. But if they ever cared about you, they will support your decision.
Reassert Your Identity
Part of the problem with serial dating is that we’re always trying to attract partners by carrying ourselves with the desires of other people in mind first and foremost. Doing this for long enough can cause our own identity to diminish, buried under different people we’re trying to sell ourselves as to potential partners. After a while, we can forget that we’re dating to find happiness for ourselves, not to make sure everyone else is satisfied! Think of time off from dating as self-care, and think about which parts of your personality are important for partners to see. Once you’re confident in who you are, that’s the face you’ll show to the world, and you’ll begin to find that the people you attract are drawn to the real you.
Use This Time for Therapy
Okay, this might sound a bit severe but bear with us. You’re taking a break from dating to work on yourself, and if you want to know how to take time off from dating, a therapist can be an absolute life-saver. Find yourself a good therapist to solidify your commitment to self-improvement. However, don’t just go with the first one you call up. Ironically, finding a great therapist is a lot like dating: it may take some searching before you find one that you click with who really understands what you want to achieve for yourself. Just be careful. Some therapists, subconsciously or otherwise, are using their practice to exorcise their own demons, so be sure you choose one who builds therapy around you. Use your time off from dating for mental health renewal, and you’ll become a stronger person with a new toolkit for navigating life’s ups and downs.
Realize Dating Isn’t About Your Partner; It’s About You
Moving your focus to yourself allows you to rebuild your sense of self. All too often, we’re willing to compromise on little things to keep our partners happy. Seems reasonable, right? But add all those tiny surrenders up day in day out, and what you have is a recipe for ego death. Use your time off from dating as a chance to start over and get back into the passions and interests that make you happy and glad to be yourself. For example, you might have been with partners who always insisted on picking the movie or only played their music in the car. Well, they’re not here anymore, so rediscover the things that make you smile, or laugh, or want to dance. Then when you’re next in a relationship, you can let your new partner know that these things aren’t so little after all.
Use Time off From Dating to Think About What You Want From Life (and What You Can Offer)
The saying goes that if you really want to love someone, you have to love yourself first. Likewise, if you want to know what you really want in a partner, you have to acknowledge the goals and ambitions you want to manifest in your own life as well. It may help to write down a list of all the qualities you would want in an ideal partner and then filter out the concerns that are deal breakers. Use time off from dating for thinking about the kind of men or women you want to stand next to you in your life. Once you’ve committed this to paper, you can start using this to filter out unsuitable romantic candidates and look for characteristics that matter the most to you.
Nourish the Non-Romantic Relationships in Your Life
When caught up in a whirlwind romance, we tend to sacrifice our long-term relationships for the excitement of living in the moment. But these are the relationships that will nourish us every day, whether we’re single or not. Take the time to strengthen these bonds because they’re the ones who will be there for you the next time you’re going through a difficult breakup. If you’ve got a lot of unconditional love in your life, you’re going to be less willing to compromise on yourself for the validation of short-term dating. This will help you hold out for the right partner knowing that you’re loved whatever happens.
Conclusion: Take Some Time to Date Yourself
You’re great, and you deserve someone who’ll love you for yourself. If you’re struggling to find a relationship like that on the dating scene, hit the pause button and take some time to really love yourself. A relationship should be pursued because it nourishes your life, not because it’s somehow validating you as a person in the eyes of society or keeping boredom at bay. So rediscover the person you always wanted to be. Then when you throw your hat back in the dating ring, you’ll start attracting people who want to date the real you. Did you ever take a break from the dating scene? How would you spend your time? Let us know in the comment section below.
Rebecca Shinn is a freelance writer and dating and relationship expert with a Psychology degree. Her field of expertise is relationship, dating, and marriage. The important part of Rebecca’s practice is to help couples with communication skills, problem-solving skills, stress management, or finance skills. Rebecca started writing two years ago to inspire and help people to have a better dating life, strong relationships, or find a way to keep a marriage strong for long years. Rebecca is proud to be a mother and a wife so she doesn’t only use her knowledge for helping others but keeping her family strong and happy.
Image courtesy of Bela cheers.