Taking A Break From Dating: Why You Should + What To Do

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Dating. It can be fun, but it can also be exhausting.

It can even leave you feeling bitter and cynical about the whole love thing. You’ve been searching for it for so long, so is it even out there?

Of course it is.

But when you get dating fatigue or dating burnout, it’s time to take a break.

Don’t confuse taking a break with giving up.

You don’t have to constantly and continuously search for The One to find them. In fact, this can be counterproductive.

You’re not quitting on love by taking a break from dating, and you’re not destined to be alone forever. You’re just switching your focus.

Keep reading to learn why you should take a break and what you can do while you’re out of the dating pool.

15 Reasons Why You Should Take A Break From Dating

When you’re stuck on a question during an exam, it’s always a wise idea to skip it and proceed to the next one. Instead of wasting time staring at the blank page before you, you can answer everything you know and go back to the difficult question after all the others are done.

This is similar to what you’re about to do with your love life. You probably haven’t had a lot of luck thus far, so instead of forcing it, switch your focus to other things in your life. You can always go back to dating, but this is why you need to take a break from it now:

1. You learn more about yourself.

When you stop focusing on finding a partner, you can put your energy toward rediscovering yourself. You can learn more about who you are when you’re not in a relationship or influenced by a romantic interest.

What are your dreams separate from the life you would have with a potential partner? How can you cheer yourself up and take care of yourself on your own? You learn all these things and more.

2. You learn from your mistakes.

When you’re continuously dating, it can become a routine. You could be constantly repeating the same mistakes without even realizing it. Taking a step back from dating for a while gives you a fresh perspective on the entire experience.

Maybe you always open up too soon, or you constantly talk about your ex. Perhaps you fall for the wrong people or are attracted to those who are emotionally unavailable. In the end, maybe you’ve just been searching in the wrong place. You could realize this during your time off.

3. You stop looking.

We’ve all lost items only to find them the moment we stop looking. This can happen with love too.

In addition, when you stop looking for a perfect match, you start noticing a lot of other things in your life that you could put your energy into instead.

Most importantly, you notice that life can be fun and fulfilling even when you’re not dating anyone or looking to date.

4. You learn what you’re looking for.

After a while of dating with no success, it gets very tempting to simply settle. You lower your criteria bit by bit until you find yourself considering a relationship with someone who is a walking red flag.

Don’t let this happen to you. It is better to be single than in the wrong relationship.

While you’re not dating, you can learn what you’re really looking for in a partner and a relationship. You can set higher standards and define your ideal match and your ideal relationship.

5. You discover new possibilities.

New possibilities open up once you’re out of the dating pool. Don’t forget that you don’t have to be constantly swimming in the pool for someone to push you in out of nowhere.

You could take a break from dating apps and start noticing that people flirt with you in random places and when you least expect it.

You could start going to new places and meeting new people, and one of them might turn out to be your match in the end.

6. Sex doesn’t cloud your judgment.

Sex is confusing. It can cloud your judgment and cause complicated situations that didn’t have to happen in the first place. When your mind is not occupied with sexy thoughts and the emotions they cause, it can give you a lot of energy to invest in other areas of your life or yourself.

Yes, sex is also fun, but when you’re not in a serious relationship it’s more confusing and distracting than fun. Take a break from all the sexual tension and use that time and energy to create the life you want. There’ll be plenty of time for sexy stuff once you’re in a committed relationship.

7. You have more time to work on what you want.

All that time and energy that’s left after taking a break from dating can be put to good use. You can work on your goals, improve yourself, and focus on what you really want in life.

What is it that you want other than a partner? Write all those things down and start crossing them off your list one by one. When you put all that focus that you’ve been using for dating into achieving your dreams, you’ll get all that you want.

8. You learn more about other types of love.

Romantic love is not the only love there is. If you know what to focus on, you might even notice that love is all around you. Love is not gone from your life just because you’re not in a romantic relationship.

You probably love your friends and family members, and you love to see the sunset or to help a stranger on the street. You love the smell of books and the taste of champagne. You love your pet, your plants, your candles, and your collection of vintage records. It could be anything, but there’s surely love in your life already.

9. You see everything more clearly.

When you’re constantly dating, you could be too into it to see the big picture. Once you take a break, you start to see things more clearly. You get a better understanding of your mistakes and yourself. This helps you improve your future dating experience. Your goals and wants become much clearer which will help you eventually find what you’re looking for.

10. You learn more about love.

Have you been jumping from one relationship to another? If so, this might have prevented you from seeing yourself separately from a potential partner. Because of this, you might not even know what true love is.

Give yourself and your partner enough time to grow on your own and experience those butterflies once you finally meet. When you give it time, you learn more about love and how magical it can be.

11. You learn the difference between being alone and lonely.

You don’t have to be lonely just because you are alone. When you take a break from dating, you can start to enjoy your alone time more. You’ll be more aware of yourself and your needs and wants. Use them to make yourself happy and show yourself love.

You’ll learn more about this later on in the article. For now, you should know that you can confront loneliness. Ultimately, being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely.

12. You do more with your life.

People often get sucked into their romantic relationships. A lot of their resources go into maintaining that relationship, and since they prioritize it, other aspects of their lives suffer.

When you’re single by choice, you can do more with your life than if you were in a relationship since all of those resources (time, energy, money, effort, attention…) are at your disposal.

For instance, imagine if you put the effort that you put into finding a partner into getting a promotion at work or making a career change. You’d probably have enough resources to get what you want!

13. Love finds you when you’re not searching for it.

It’s funny how we find things once we stop looking for them. This is often how love works for some reason. You’ve got to stop wanting a partner so bad, and once you’re entirely devoted to other things in your life, someone will pop up out of nowhere and give you butterflies.

It just somehow works that way. You can’t purposely go out there and search for love and find it like it’s a hidden treasure and you have a map. It finds you, often when you least expect it.

14. You learn to love yourself.

They often say that you need to love yourself first in order to have love in your life. When you’re entirely devoted to a partner and prioritize them, you put yourself aside more often than you would if you were alone.

Once you take a break from dating, you’ll have more time to show yourself love in whichever way works for you. Maybe you’ll go on a spa day, hit the gym, go shopping, or visit a local gallery. Maybe you’ll stay in bed all day and watch sad movies with your dog. But you’ll prioritize yourself, give yourself what you want, and show yourself love.

15. You don’t distract yourself with dating.

Your love life can be very distracting, even to the point that you neglect all other areas and yourself. Falling in love is magical and great, but it’s also extremely distracting to have someone else constantly on your mind.

When you take a break, you think about yourself and have much more time at your disposal. Now, what should you do with all that time? Keep reading.

18 Things To Do When You’re On A Dating Break

If your days have revolved around your love life, it can be difficult to figure out what to focus on. How about you? Focusing on yourself and other areas of your life could be very fruitful and make you feel fulfilled and complete without a partner.

Keep in mind that we often find what we are looking for only once we stop searching for it, or when we’ve forgotten about it entirely. Someone new might pop into your life at any point.

1. Take your time.

Take it easy and take your time. You’re not in a rush to get anywhere or do anything. Yes, you want to find a partner for life, but you don’t need to do that ASAP. There’s little to nothing that you really need to do right this instant.

Enjoy just spending your time doing whatever feels right in the moment. Watch a movie, listen to music, take a nap… When you’re off work, you don’t have to achieve something big during your free time. Relax and slow down the time.

2. Fight your FOMO.

The dating world isn’t all hip and happening. It’s not raining men, and women aren’t waiting for you to put a ring on it. It’s really not as exciting as we think.

There aren’t endless great guys/girls that you’ll miss out on if you take a break from looking for them. There’s nothing major going on in the dating pool while you’re just getting a tan. Most importantly, the clock isn’t running out. A soulmate is never late, nor are they early, they arrive precisely when they are meant to.

3. Prioritize yourself.

You come first now. What is it that you want other than a soulmate? Maybe you would like to lose weight, quit smoking, buy yourself a new bag, or learn to cook. Do it. Prioritize yourself and your own needs and wants.

Wanna paint? Buy a canvas and pick up a brush. Wanna have a spa day at home? Put on a face mask and light some candles. Wanna read a magazine? Buy the one that you like. It’s that simple. You get to do whatever it is that you want when you’re not in a relationship.

4. Focus on your passions.

What are you passionate about? Maybe you like art, sports, or DIY projects. Find what you are passionate about and devote your time to perfecting and enjoying that.

You don’t even have to be good at it; if it makes you happy, do it. If you keep at it, you’ll get better with time. The important part is that you are passionate about something that gives your life meaning and makes you feel fulfilled. It might be a new hobby.

5. Find a hobby.

You could revisit your old hobbies or start new ones. Don’t hesitate to try things out just to see whether you like them. There are thousands of hobbies to choose from, and they all offer you a sense of meaning and purpose as well as fun quality time that often involves meeting new people with shared interests. One of those hobbies might even lead you to a new romantic interest.

6. Spend time with friends.

When people couple up, they often neglect their friends, family, or other people close to them. Spend time with these people you love and talk about things other than your love lives. Go out, have fun, and joke around—spend quality time with people close to you.

Feel their love for you too. Platonic love is just as important as romantic love. If you don’t have many friends, start meeting new people. Be open to friendships with different types of people, because you can learn something from everyone.

7. Go on vacation.

If you can afford it, travel! If you can’t afford it, take a road trip! The important part is that you go on vacation, whether it’s by yourself or with friends. You need to relax from the whole dating scene, and what better way to do that than to experience a change of scenery and possibly meet new people at a new location?

8. Take yourself out.

You can go on a date even if you’re not dating anyone. Take yourself out on a date! There’s nothing wrong with getting a table at your favorite restaurant just to treat yourself to a meal that you like. Take yourself out for coffee, or drinks, go to the movies, or do anything else that you would normally do with a date. You’ll realize that it’s fine to do it alone, and if you’re lonely, you can always bring a laptop, magazine, or book.

9. Work on yourself.

Use this time to reflect on the areas that you can improve about yourself and work on them. Maybe you could get in shape, learn to be more grateful, get a new haircut, or become more patient. Set goals and work on becoming the best version of yourself. This will also increase your chances of finding quality matches and developing better relationships!

10. Make yourself happy.

What makes you happy? Go shopping, have a spa day, watch your favorite movie, sing karaoke, play a video game, or buy yourself a cake and eat it whole. You are a single adult and this means that you pretty much don’t have to think about anyone other than yourself. Use that to make yourself happy in all the ways that feel right for you.

11. Learn new things.

All this free time also gives you the opportunity to learn new things. Have you ever wanted to learn to play the guitar, speak a foreign language, or dance the tango? There’s no better time than now!

There are thousands of resources where you can learn basically anything you want, and they are either free or very affordable. Don’t forget that learning new things also gives you an opportunity to meet new people!

12. Say yes to more opportunities.

Have you ever seen the movie Yes Man with Jim Carrey? It’s the best movie to watch now that you’re taking a break from dating, and you should learn from it. What if you start saying yes to more things?

Maybe your friends often invite you to do fun things, but you’re too tired to go. It’s time to start saying yes and embracing the opportunities that come your way.

13. Boost your confidence.

The best thing that you can work on about yourself during this time is your confidence. Boost your confidence in whichever way works for you.

Maybe you could take care of your appearance more than you did before by getting a new hairstyle, refreshing your wardrobe, getting in shape, and learning how to highlight your best qualities.

Or maybe you could work to become more successful in your career, or you could take up a new hobby.

14. Plan your future.

Your plans for the future probably include a romantic partner, but what else do they include? What are your goals when it comes to your professional life, social life, health, finances, education, and anything else where you could improve over time?

Make a plan for your future that is separate from your love life and work on that until the right person comes along to join you.

15. Meditate.

Meditation is one of the relaxation techniques that can help you during this period. Learn to just exist and let your thoughts go as they come. Exist in the moment and focus on your breathing. This will make you feel at peace and more in touch with yourself. It is a great stress reliever.

16. Break bad habits.

Do you smoke, bite your nails, or leave your socks on the floor? What are the bad habits that you’ve held onto for years even though they don’t serve you? Now is a great time to work on breaking bad habits and establishing new ones.

Real change happens gradually through ditching bad habits and establishing new healthy ones in which you persist indefinitely.

17. Read (or listen to) more books.

Reading can definitely help you learn a lot, increase your vocabulary, or simply entertain you. You can bring a book with you when you go out to help ward off any feelings of loneliness. Get lost in an imaginary world full of twists and turns or learn a new valuable skill.

Don’t forget that you can also listen to audiobooks and podcasts while working out or doing something else.

18. Practice self-care.

In the end, treat yourself kindly, with love and care, the way you would treat a best friend. Draw yourself a bath, get a massage, establish a new morning routine or a new skincare routine… Treat yourself the way you would like your partner to treat you, and you will likely find a partner who treats you that way.

About The Author

Ana Vakos enjoys writing about love and all the problems that come with it. Everyone has experiences with love, and everyone needs dating advice, so giving these topics more attention and spreading the word means a lot to her.