Clinton Power, Australian relationship counselor, looks at the benefits of taking a break from dating to reset your thinking, be self-reflective and ultimately be more open and ready for the kind of relationship you really want when you get back out there.
If you’ve been in the dating game for a while, it’s likely you’ve experienced some of the highs and lows of dating. Sometimes you have the best date and connection with someone new and you can’t wait to meet them again, and then there are the other dates where you can’t get away fast enough.
But have you considered that taking a break from dating could be one of the best decisions you make in order to find a mate?
Many of the women I work with in my therapy practice get to a point in their dating life where they feel tired, stuck, and disillusioned with dating. It’s no surprise if you’ve been dating for a while and been on lots of dates that you can start to feel like this. If none of your dates have transpired into a serious relationship for a long period of time, then it’s easy to feel pessimistic about the possibility of meeting your ideal mate.
It’s at this point you might want to consider taking a break from dating.
How do you know when to take a break from dating?
There are a number of signs you want to look out for that indicate it’s a good time to take a break from dating.
- you don’t feel any excitement about meeting new people
- you’re feeling tired or exhausted from dating too often
- you’re feeling sad or disillusioned about the dating process
- you start to feel depressed when a date you like doesn’t call you back
- you have little tolerance when meeting people that aren’t a good match for you
- you can’t be bothered replying to online dating messages
If you can relate to any of the feelings above, it’s time to re-evaluate your approach to dating and consider a new strategy.
What are the benefits of taking a break?
So why would you want to take a break from dating? Perhaps you’re concerned that if you stop dating that any chance of meeting someone will dry up. That doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, taking a break from dating can lead to:
- feeling more positive about yourself and an increase in self-esteem
- greater confidence in social situations with new people
- increased enjoyment of activities and hobbies you used to enjoy
- more calm and relaxation in your life as you take time for yourself
- more time to reflect on what’s important in your life and how you can do more of that
When I work with women who are struggling with dating and they take a break, something fascinating starts to happen. Almost invariably they start to enjoy life more. They feel more relaxed, confident and happy, which leads to greater spontaneity in their day-to-day life. And the interesting thing is they then start to attract people who are drawn to their energy and outlook on life.
The thing is, if you’re not enjoying dating, or it’s starting to make you feel miserable, it’s clearly not going to work for you. Your whole mindset is not right for being open and available to new connections.
How do you know when you’re ready to start dating again?
There’s no black and white answer to this question, but what’s important is you carefully track your own levels of happiness, relaxation and confidence. Once you regroup, recover and reinvigorate yourself away from dating, then you’re going to be in a much better state to re-enter the dating arena. And the great thing is you’ll start dating again with a brighter and more positive mindset, which will be felt by those you are dating. Confidence and happiness is attractive and your renewed outlook on life and how you feel about yourself will be contagious.
So is it time for you to take a break from dating? It could be the change you’ve been waiting for.1