Sometimes you just need to take a break from dating. Maybe it's because you've realized you haven't seen your friends in a million years or you really want to focus on you — or maybe you just really aren't enjoy it anymore. Dating burnout happens and when it does, it's so important that you take a breather.
Whatever the motivation behind it, there are a lot of benefits to a dating detox. “Breaks are helpful when you're dating to give you the chance to take a step back and reevaluate," life coach, Carmen Parks tells Bustle. "Maybe you started dating with one goal or purpose in mind but when you take a break you realize that some things have changed. For example, life perspectives, life goals, career goals etc. may have changed. Taking a break gives you time to reevaluate and determine what you really want now, which could be different than what you thought you wanted one, two or five even years ago.”
And while you're taking this break to clear your head and figure out what you actually want, you can use this newfound time to the fullest. You want to focus on activities that are going to make you feel good and take care of yourself, but also ones that are going to get you back in touch with what you love.
So here are some great ways to spend your free time, because you've earned it:
1. Commit 20 Minutes A Day To Learning Something New
Learning a new skill is so satisfying — it's useful and gives you a confidence boost. So take 20 minutes every other day or so to learn to crochet, play the piano, learn a language — whatever you've always wanted to try. It doesn't matter if you become an expert, take your time and enjoy just learning.
2. Take Yourself On A Date
Don't be afraid to treat yourself. "Challenge yourself to get all dressed up and take yourself out to dinner the way you'd like to be treated at a date," Raeeka Yaghmai, CEO of Dating With Confidence, tells Bustle. "This is a great exercise for confidence-building and not giving any power to the fear of being judged." Learning to do things on your own is a strengthening experience, but also can be indulgent and fun.
3. Say "Yes" More
That work friend who wants to meet you outside the office? The school friend you keep blowing off? Take the time to do something social outside of your comfort zone. "If you don’t expand your social circle, you won’t meet new people," LoveSuccessfully.com relationship expert Samantha Burns tells Bustle. "Attend with the mindset of making new friends, rather than searching for a potential significant other."
It really is good for everyone. "Take a meditation class or sign up for an app, such as Calm or Headspace," Burns says. "The more you practice mindfulness, the more aware you are of your self-defeating thoughts that may make you feel cynical and disheartened about your dating life." It'll make you feel better about yourself and the idea of dating again, whenever you're ready to start.
5. Affirm Your Confidence
Whether you do it through actual affirmations, self-care, exercise — do whatever is going to make you feel confident. "Begin letting off the 'I am happy with who I am; I am just looking for someone to make me even happier' instead of that desperate 'I'm looking for anyone because I feel FOMO, hate being alone, or too accustomed to just having to swipe or text because it’s easier'. Desperate is not sexy; confidence is," Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and author of the relationship blog, You’re Just A Dumbass, tells Bustle. It'll make you feel more confident as an individual and as a potential partner.
6. Create A Morning Routine
Everyone's life can benefit from having the right morning routine. "Morning is a sacred time of day," certified holistic health coach Alexandra Napoli tells Bustle over email. "It's a moment to practice valuable self-care before the rest of the world is knocking at your door. If your mindset or routine is chaotic, your day will be chaotic. Incorporating a few healthy habits to your morning will set you on the right foot for a wonderful day and set your health on the right path for a long healthy life." Plan ahead, set your alarm 10 minutes earlier, and set up a routine that starts you off on the right foot.
7. Go For A Walk With A Podcast
Exercise, sunshine, and you might learn something? Getting into books on tape and podcasts can be a game-changer. "Books on tape are the perfect way to start your day," says Napoli. "In the morning, your subconscious mind is still active so the messages that you let into your mind have a tendency to stick. By skipping the news or gossip pages and instead filling your mind with ideas and inspiration from change-makers, your whole life could change."
8. Take A Road Trip With A Friend
Maybe for a week or maybe just for the afternoon. Take the time to reconnect with a friend and visit somewhere new. Hopping into a car and just going is always an exciting and freeing experience.
9. Put That Money To Use
Dating is expensive and now that you're having a break, you can treat yourself. A spa day with your mom, a shopping spree on your own, booking a vacation, or just buying yourself that ClassPass membership — take the money and splurge on something that is going to make you feel amazing.
When you take a break from dating, there's no limit to what you can do with your free time and money. So find ways to improve yourself while being good to yourself. Dating will always be there at the other side.