Take a break from dating. You probably need it.

Last week, I needed a break from the blog. My day-to-day life had gotten so busy that trying to write or podcast would have overwhelmed me. So I took a break. Taking a break doesn’t come easy for me. I feel a certain sense of obligation to write and podcast. I’m not the biggest name in dating advice by any stretch of the imagination, but having strangers from halfway across the world say “this helped me”  is an incredible feeling, but also a significant responsibility in my eyes. I love feeling like I’m helping people, and that is its own reward. But, I still need a break from time to time so I don’t burn out.  Sometimes you need to take a break from something you do often, whether you enjoy it or not.

I’ve lost count of the times that I’ve said that everyone needs to take a break from dating eventually. I talk about it a lot, I write about it a lot, and if you’ve read my work for any significant amount of time, maybe you’ve noticed that. Most of my advice around taking dating breaks comes from the position that if you are going to take a break, you should use that time in a constructive way. Take a break and find the cause of your dissatisfaction, try to come up with solutions to fix your problems or at the very least, ameliorate them. I stand by that advice, but I realized that this is only applicable if the reason you want to take a break is because you don’t enjoy a part of dating. So let me add to the idea a little.

Everyone should (eventually) take a break from dating, whether dating is an overall enjoyable experience or if it makes you miserable.

I would urge you to take a break from dating when it’s a significant source of dissatisfaction in your life in a very direct way,  but I think there is value in taking a break from dating even if the experience is enjoyable overall. You can take a break from doing something you enjoy without feeling guilty about it. I love writing, and I love podcasting, but occasionally I need a break from doing both of those things. When I do take a break, whether that break is a day, or a week-long, I feel like it’s worth it. You can enjoy something, and still not have the energy for it.

It’s easy for me to tell someone to take a dating break when it makes them unhappy, but trust me when I tell you that the things you enjoy can wear you down too. I love to create, always have, and I always will. Whether that’s drawing (my first real passion), writing, podcasting, or editing, I love every part of it, especially the finished products. But getting from blank blog post, to 500 (or usually more) words or more takes time. It takes the same sort of energy it would take if I didn’t enjoy it. If you love dating, you might feel like you’re getting a much better reward for the energy you invest in dating, but you’re still expending time, energy, and effort into dating. You’re still spending time swiping on dating apps, starting conversations, getting to know people, planning dates, getting dressed up, going on first dates, and hopefully, going on successive dates. All those things, even if you love them, use up resources.

That’s why I wanted to tell you to take a break from dating. Especially if you’ve gone 6 or more months straight of dating without interruption. Even if that time has been an enjoyable experience overall, you should still take a break. Take some time away from dating. Take some time to be single, but not necessarily actively searching. Use all the energy you’re spending on dating in other ways. They don’t have to be constructive, or critical, just do something else. Hang out with friends you haven’t seen in a while. Catch up on the shows/music/movies/arts/literature you’ve been neglecting. Seriously, just take a break, and use it any way you want to. If you’re not seeing anyone now, take a couple of days, or maybe even a month off, and come back to dating fresh. You can use the time constructively or not, that’s up to you, but if you’ve been consistently dating for what feels like forever, take a break. Think of it as a rest period, if the word “break” has a negative connotation to you.

It’s okay to take a break from dating if you enjoy it, and it’s more than okay to take a break from dating if you don’t enjoy it. Take a break. Enjoy some “me” time. And when you get back to dating, make the best of it.

Good Luck Out There.

Also published on Medium.