In the age of dating apps and ever-disappointing “f*ck-boys,” it’s easy to fall into the hole of serial dating. It could be a series of dates with people you’re not excited about or interested in, or a never-ending string of dinners or drinks with people who ultimately don’t deserve to be spending time with you, but it all ends the same way. Many of us women in our twenties are burnt out when it comes to dating. Sound familiar? This is where a break comes in handy.
With many of us knowing the math of when we need to meet someone in order to get married or have kids based on some timeline in our head, it can sound ridiculous that a break could be the solution to your ticking clock problem. But it could actually end up being what saves you from your dating nightmare. I don’t just mean to take a month off of going on dates or switching to Bumble BFF mode for the time being, but really taking some time to reevaluate your dating strategies or figure out what keeps going wrong on your quest for true love.
Obviously there are outside factors that are affecting your dating life, but serial dating that always ends in failure can also be a symptom of the way you are choosing to date. Maybe you’re not over an ex and are sabotaging your dates, or maybe you have a tendency to become clingy because of insecurities you’re avoiding confronting. Whatever the recurring complication is, this is your time to work on it for yourself.
Try this: Write down some of the reasons your last handful of dates haven’t worked out, and see a pattern presents itself. Ask a close friend why they think things don’t work out for you. Friends are often aware of things about your personality or habits that you aren’t. Look at relationships that you envy and learn how to take away things from them that you want to apply to your next relationship.
So once you’ve made an agreement with yourself to take a dating break, how long does it need to last? A month? A year? According to Rachel A. Sussman, L.C.S.W. and author of The Breakup Bible, you shouldn’t put a time limit on your break, but instead measure it by emotional milestones. Some examples of this could be “I’m not dating until I’m over my ex,” or “I’m not going on a date with anyone until I find someone who I’m excited to date.” These help focus you on improving your dating experience instead of having to follow an unhelpful timeline.
In the end, this break will leave you refreshed and able to focus your attention on finding someone who is right for you, and more importantly, being the best version of yourself. You deserve it, and think about it—so does your future partner.
Are you going to take a break from dating? Tweet us about it @feather_mag!