Contrary to popular belief, being single isn't always the perpetual state of trying to become unsingle. In fact, you can be single and not dating and be perfectly happy. Though it may sound obvious to those completely happy and confident in their solo status, it took me a while to realize for myself. For so long my relatives, and even some of my friends have been telling me that I should be dating, and giving more people a chance, so when I do fall in love again, I'll finally reach the ultimate level of happiness.
But the thought of being in love with something other than my job or my last brunch trip just didn't seem appealing. To put it simply, I wasn't about it. I continued to be active on any and every dating app, all the while not being able to shake the feeling that I was trying to force something that didn't feel natural. Though I was browsing through many different guys, none of them excited me. Not to mention the constant frustration of subjecting myself to having conversations with cool guys, only to be to be ghosted for no conceivable reason whatsoever.
But it wasn't until I started texting a dude who seemed interested in me that I realized being single and not dating was actually an option. When I finally asked him to hang out because it seemed like the logical next step, he respectfully said, “I know this isn't what you want to hear, but I need to take a break from dating right now.”
Sure, I was bummed, and I immediately thought he was trying to reject me without being overly honest, but then I took a second to think about. If he could be honest enough with himself about what he needed, why couldn't I? And if you're thinking that you might need to break yourself, here are some reasons a dating hiatus may be a good idea.
1. You Can Finally Start Doing Things For Yourself
Like I said, part of the reason I continued to date when my heart wasn't in it was because other people were telling me to. If you're finding that outside influences like your parents, or your friends continue to suggest that being single somehow isn't good for you, it's time to tune them out. Doing something for someone else may feel good for a hot sec, but there's something insanely liberating about pursuing what you want, despite what everyone else is telling you.
2. You'll Be Less Frustrated
It's not uncommon to become frustrated with the ways of modern dating. From the endless superficiality that comes with swiping culture, to a pool of unsolicited, insanely forward messages that leave you feeling wholly disrespected, it's enough to make anyone want to give up. Whether your goal is to remain single or not, it can be a good idea to delete the dating apps for a while if they're giving you nothing but headaches. There are other ways to meet people, you know, in real life for instance, but if you want to fly solo for a while, chances are your lack of interest in dating is only contributing to your frustration. Single life can mean an existence without a little flame icon on your screen, and it's a glorious thing.
3. You Can Focus On Other Priorities
There's no law that says that dating has to be a single woman's priority, and if you feel it shouldn't, why waste your time? There are plenty of other things in our lives that consume our attention, and justly so. If you're in a space where you'd rather take time to climb the career ladder, focus on your friendships or family, or even foster a new hobby, absolutely do it. At the end of the day, you choose what makes you happy.
4. You Could Be Hurting Someone Else
Whoever created the concept that, “getting over one person requires getting under another” was not a person who cared much about future consequences. If you just came out of a relationship that has drained you physically, emotionally, and mentally, it's always a good idea to take a break from dating. Rebounding comes with a lot of repercussions that could potentially hurt someone else, or force you to face the truth of your heartbreak in a more acute way than if you took it on initially. There's nothing wrong with being by yourself, and the more time you take to do so, the easier it'll be.
5. You'll Start To Realize There's Nothing Wrong With Being Single
Single shaming is a very real thing, highly ingrained in the sexist notion that a woman somehow cannot function in this world if she doesn't have a man guiding her. *vomits in mouth*. Though many of us realize these ideas on single women are completely outdated, there still seems to be an internal dissonance when we consider the prospect of being single. Will we be lonely? Will we feel like something is missing from life? Not necessarily. If what you want right now is to be alone so that you can take time for yourself, all the stereotypes of how single women tend to feel will become background noise. As Tina and Amy so flawlessly put it, there are greater problems in life than being single.
6. You Can Enjoy You Time
If you're the type of free floater who shudders at the concept of being pegged down, than naturally, single life is preferable. Like I said, the single-shamers will tell you all they want why your lifestyle is going against the natural course of things, but who the f*ck cares? If you're happiest alone, and you aren't a fan of commitment, then do you. Independence and self-reliance are incredible characteristics to have, so go ahead and work them.
7. Your Only End Goal Can Be You
Dating for the sake of dating is completely fine – I mean, how will you know what you want if you don't sample some things out, amirite? – but if you're dating without any sense of where you want things to go, maybe you shouldn't be dating. If you find yourself avoiding Tinder dates like the plague, or going out with your latest match, only to feel completely bored, it's time to start focusing on you. What you want right now doesn't have to be a partner, so take a second to lay out some of your goals, and figure out how you'll get there. One of the most beautiful aspects of a solo life is living for yourself, and yourself only.
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