Should You Take a dat­ing break?

Swipe, match, meet. Swipe, match, meet. Dat­ing fa­tigue is real— and a com­mon prob­lem. To re­boot your search for love, con­sider tap­ping out for a while.

Cosmopolitan (Philippines) - - Love -

There’s no deny­ing that dat­ing can be ex­hil­a­rat­ing. But from end­less swip­ing to meet­ing to re­ject­ing (or be­ing re­jected by) dozens of matches, it can also be pro­foundly ex­haust­ing. When you haven’t found suc­cess, and you’ve be­come re­liant on your smart­phone to try to find the per­son you want to be with long-term, it’s easy to grow dis­il­lu­sioned and re­sent the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence.

I see this among my clients. Peo­ple who are nor­mally friendly, warm, and up­beat grow cold, de­feated, and cyn­i­cal. They’ve been through so many de­ceit­ful, “I’m just go­ing out with you so I can sleep with you” let­downs. They tell me that they don’t be­lieve in love anymore and ques­tion whether their ex­pec­ta­tions are strato­spher­i­cally high or cat­a­stroph­i­cally low. Clearly frus­trated, they even start to doubt their own self-worth.

In cases like these, I rec­om­mend tak­ing a de­lib­er­ate break from dat­ing and treat­ing it like a cleanse. That may sound dras­tic, but it works won­ders for your self-care and sets you up for a more fruit­ful dat­ing future. Here are your ground rules for press­ing pause.

Make sure the time is right

If you can re­late to what I’ve de­scribed above, a ro­man­tic re­cess is likely a good call. But if you find you have no real rea­son to stop dat­ing or you’re do­ing so be­cause you can’t deal with any re­jec­tion what­so­ever, then this ap­proach won’t work for you. Not dat­ing could be­come a crutch—a way to avoid ever get­ting back out there. You’ll only be us­ing it as an ex­cuse to stay out of the sin­gles’ pool, and that could mean miss­ing the chance to meet a per­son who would be great for you. Re­mem­ber: A hia­tus is meant to be tem­po­rary.

Fo­cus on You

After you delete your apps and swear off all dates, re­place them with some solo time. In­stead of ob­sess­ing about great first-date wine bars or hit­ting it off with some­one, your mind is free to re­flect on your past ex­pe­ri­ences— and you can think smartly about shift­ing your ap­proach. Ask your­self: What have I learned so far? What do I want to do dif­fer­ently? What’s worked? What hasn’t? Dur­ing this un­in­ter­rupted time, you can un­cover real, use­ful an­swers.

Most im­por­tant, your self-worth no longer hinges on whether some­one likes your look in photos, sends you a mes­sage, or asks you out. By tak­ing a break from all that, you can re­mind your­self what a catch you are and that your true value lies in who you are in real life—which is a won­der­ful, in­trigu­ing, and at­trac­tive per­son.

put Your­self out there

...but not with ro­man­tic in­ten­tions yet. Say yes to new so­cial sit­u­a­tions by join­ing a run­ning group or tak­ing that ran­dom co­worker up on his house­warm­ing party in­vite. This will get you out of the habit of turn­ing down or ig­nor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­ter­act with peo­ple who aren’t po­ten­tial mates. You’ll have in­ter­est­ing, ful­fill­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and be re­minded of how easy it can be to con­nect with some­one when you have zero ul­te­rior mo­tives.

Do some­thing that in­vites phys­i­cal con­tact with oth­ers

Sign up for a dance class or a boxing ses­sion be­fore work. By chan­nel­ing the need to con­nect with some­one into an ac­tive pur­suit, you’ll get the rush and feel­ing of touch with­out the emo­tional weight of a date. (Oh, and by the way, if you just so hap­pen to meet a spe­cial some­one while you’re out and about? That’s okay. The main pur­pose of a break is to re­move your­self from a state of dat­ing ob­ses­sion. If a con­nec­tion hap­pens or­gan­i­cally IRL, it’s com­pletely fine to make an ex­cep­tion.)

start anew

There’s no set time for when a dat­ing time­out should end—it could be after a few weeks or even a few months. You’ll know you’re ready to get back in the game when you feel con­tent with just your­self and you’re not al­ways won­der­ing about match­ing with an­other sin­gle.

This time, try a mix of ap­proaches. Down­load your fa­vorite apps again, but also keep mak­ing an ef­fort to meet new pla­tonic friends. After your cleanse, you’ll be more likely to give peo­ple a chance and not judge them so quickly. You’ll be­come a smarter, more com­pas­sion­ate dater—and an al­laround fuller per­son.

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