If you’ve been stuck in the dating game for a while and feel a little burned out by it all–then it might be time to take a break. A break from dating can take the pressure off, help you gather your thoughts, and allow you some time to refocus, refuel, and remember why you want to date at all.
How long of a break you need is up to you. Perhaps two weeks is all you need. Or maybe you need a month. Perhaps three months, or six months. It all depends on how lost you feel in the dating world.
If you think it might be time to take a break from dating, here are 4 questions to ask yourself, plus how to spend your break time so you are ready to come back to dating when the time comes.
- Are you discouraged about dating most of the time?
If you come home from a date and just want to throw in the towel, it may be time for a break. How often are you frustrated by the whole dating process? More than half the time? I mean every step of dating. Meeting people. Small talk. Asking someone out. Going out. Figuring out what to talk about. Not meeting someone you even click with. Wondering if you should try a second date. Then starting it all over again. Why is this so discouraging? If this is you, just take a break already.
Let me put it this way. Sometimes the best way to find something is to stop looking for it. If you lose your watch, and you can’t find it anywhere, eventually you will probably give up and just stop looking for it. Then, like magic, one day it just shows up as you are cleaning out a drawer. Pretty funny how that happens, right? All along it would have been nice to have a watch, but you’ve lived without it. And by not stressing about it, you allowed yourself to just let go and let it find you. So stop looking for love and let it find you. All you have to do is quit actively thinking about love and actively looking for love. Just stop. Focus on other things in your life that are more important. Then see what happens.
- Are you obsessively searching for your soulmate?
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. If you are obsessed with finding “the one,” just think about that statistics of that. How likely are you to find “the one” on a day to day basis? No very likely. You’d probably have a better chance at winning the lottery (give us a cut if you do win!). Finding your soulmate is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It may happen tomorrow, or in a year, or in 3 years. You just never know. The point is, obsessing about everyday just makes you crazy! So stop. Take a break.
Back away from looking for “the one” and instead focus on having fun and meeting lots of people. Instead of going on one-on-one dates, go to parties where you can casually meet lots of people. And have fun doing it! The focus here is your mindset. Rather than using a magnifying glass, use a wide-angled lens. Rather than focusing on finding just one person to love, find many people to like and be friends with. You’ll be much happier with all those new and lasting connections rather than several unsuccessful ones. And who knows? The one may emerge from all those new connections.
- Do you seem to be dating the same type of person?
Take stock of the people you have dated so far. Are they pretty similar? Uh oh. Why do you think that is? Could it be because you are looking in the wrong place, or are you just lonely and so you default to your “type”? Would this type of person actually enhance your life or drag you down?
It’s time to take a break, and let go of this type. Because it isn’t working for you. Instead, it’s time to meet completely new and different people. Take a 180 from your current “type” and branch out. If you always date intellectuals, then start going to comedy clubs with your friends. If you always date the unemployed, join a business development group. Not with the intention of “dating” necessarily, but of just meeting and getting to know completely different types of people. It will open your mind to new avenues and new possibilities that will help you when you are ready to date again. Plus, you’ll already have a pool of people to draw from.
- Would you date yourself?
This is probably the hardest yet most important question of them all. If you answer “no” that you would not date yourself, then it’s definitely time to take a break from dating for a while. You attract what you ARE, not what you WANT. If you wouldn’t date yourself, then think of other people out there looking at you! While this is discouraging to hear, try to allow this insight to motivate you to be your best self. Change is possible. The potential is in you.
Now is the time to take a break from dating OTHERS and instead, take some time to date YOURSELF. Learn more about what makes you tick. If you need someone to talk to, join a group of people who have your same interests so you can better pursue those interests. If you need to work some personal things out, go to a therapist. Just take the time to work on yourself. What do you really love? What’s most important to you? What things do you need to give up? What are you good at? Be the best person you can be, and in time, finding the right person to date will happen naturally.