Take a break from dating (Yes, I said it). Dating can be a complex process of finding the right person to match with, kind of like finding that perfect puzzle piece that happens to be under the couch – it’s there the whole time, you just have to actively look for it! But perhaps you’re having a little bit of an identity crisis – not quite sure about who you are, what makes you happy and what you’re looking for in your life.
To all single people out there, how many of you keep getting asked the following: Are you seeing anyone? or how is your love life? These questions can be daunting.
Take the first Bridget Jones movie: a single woman, in her early 30’s, trying to figure out her life: a new career, adjusting to a healthier lifestyle; all while dealing with her parents splitting up. No matter where she went; be it a friends dinner or a family event, everyone kept asking her about her love life and why she was still single.
It’s no wonder dating can be difficult – we put so much pressure on ourselves as well as on each other to accomplish milestones on a specific timeline that fits societal norms.
Focusing too much on one thing can leave you off-balance and this can cause personal care to fall off to the side. The recent study, Pressure Points, commissioned by Plenty of Fish, found that 16% of singles in the United States never practice self-care/improvement! The silent generation (age 70+) leads the charge on practicing self-care daily with 47% vs. 39% of Millennials and Gen X.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and haven’t quite gotten your groove back, I suggest you simply take a break until you feel excited and ready to get back out there. In your hiatus from dating, try the following to improve your self-care daily!
Focus on Your Health
Stress is a huge factor that affects your health. When taking care of a health crisis or situation, it is so important to remove any factors that take your focus off getting better. This is especially true when you are getting tested, diagnosed or trying to stabilize. If it’s not a health scare, it could be that you’re looking to make healthier life choices and looking to join a gym, a workout class or a cooking class. Dating someone from the class or gym might not be your focus at the moment.
Meeting someone new while you are not present and your mind is wandering, is not fair to you or to the person that you are out with. The best kind of dates are when you’re able to put your full self into the moment with that other person.
Find Your Passion
What is it that you love to do? Do you have a camera bag sitting on the shelf collecting dust? Do you have an easel that is covered up in the corner of the basement? If you were paid to do what you truly loved to do, what would that be? Take a night class or dust off that camera bag and go for that hike you always wanted to do.
Finding new skills or brushing up on old ones, can give you a spark for life again. Once you start exploring your many talents, you learn so much about yourself and possible hidden gifts that you didn’t know you had!
Tackle Your Bucket List
It is a great myth that you have to be “retired” to cross things off your bucket list. Is there something you saw someone do on TV and said, I want to do that. Is there a local attraction that you keep saying that you are going to go to someday, but you never seem to get there? Is there a place that you have always wanted to travel to but think its just going to be in your dreams?
What is stopping you? Is it fear? Write down your bucket list items and start crossing them off your list, one by one!
Indulge in the Guilty Pleasures
Take advantage of your solo time by enjoying things that only you love. Buying that stinky cheese that no one in your family appreciates but you. Watching that movie your friends don’t like, even though you know it’s a cult classic. Wearing your bathrobe all day, while eating chocolate and reading your favourite book. Sounds super cliche? Maybe? Sounds like a great night in? For sure!
62% of singles admit to taking intentional breaks from dating altogether to focus on themselves and self-care.
Renovate and Refresh
A change of scenery helps to energize and start new. You don’t need to go to the extreme and move to a new home, but you can spruce up the one you currently live in. Clear out the items you don’t need anymore, by donating or recycling. Getting rid of things from the past, helps open you up to the future of possibilities. Dust off the shelves, buy some candles and move around the furniture – this can help breathe new energy into the home. Even a new coat of paint makes a home feel revitalized.
Flying solo can be good for you on so many levels and reignite that spark that may have dimmed a bit. Knowing who you are helps you find the right partner. You don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy, but you should be happy in order to be in a relationship.