REASONS WHY I'M ON A DATING HIATUS.
As a single woman in her early 30s, for as long as I remember there's always been a social stigma that this is a crucial time to start looking for a life partner or start settling down — and if you’re not, there's either something wrong with you or you've decided that there's no hope (aka. will settle for the "crazy cat lady" lifestyle). Well how about this... for some of us, being single is not so much a lack of options or because we've given up, it's simply a choice.
"THAT DON'T IMPRESS ME MUCH" - SHANIA TWAIN
Don't get me wrong, of course at some point down the line I'd like companionship. As humans, we're social beings and it's natural to want to connect with others. There's no denying that. However, societal pressure makes single people invest themselves in the wrong relationships, just to feel accepted, feel "complete" or feel better about themselves. The pressure of being in a relationship (particularly for us women, you know... the whole biological clock thing! 🙄) also causes people to go on endless swiping sprees across multiple apps, desperately seeking "Mr./Mrs. Right". Consequently we become mentally exhausted with a pile of disappointing matches — which, quite frankly, the majority fit the description of "Mr./Mrs. Right Now" (although some individuals don't even qualify for that title!) 🙅🏻♀️
YOU DO YOU
Ladies and gentleman, you've heard it many times before, and I'll say it again. There’s nothing wrong with being single, sometimes it’s the best possible choice to make. Not having another person in your life leaves more time to take care of other aspects such as hobbies, finances, fitness & health, learning a new skill, working on your own business, etc. We don't realise but there's an infinite amount of things we can do with our time, not just for enjoyment but to build a better quality of life.
The reality is that being single is about being in a relationship with yourself. Isn't it ironic that a relationship with ourselves should feel like the most natural thing, but it’s often regarded as one of the most uncomfortable, difficult ones? We find it easier to be with others than to be with ourselves! And for a number of us, the desire to be in a relationship is fuelled by the discomfort of being alone.
After many hard lessons I've learnt that listening to your intuition is key. In my eyes, when intuition kicks in, it's like your soul is speaking to you in order to redirect you, like a sat-nav! Turn left, turn left... turn fucking left! If dating is fun and exciting, by all means keep going! But when there's no joy and you start feeling jaded... it's time to take a break. And that's with anything in life to be fair. 2020 has been an interesting year for dating, it certainly wasn't awful! I've been on a few really great dates (both in physical form and over Zoom calls), but I've also entertained people that I really shouldn't have. More recently, the addition of entering Winter season (my time for hibernation), going in and out of lockdown, juggling my full-time job with this blogging stuff... plus a whole heap more (!!!) has made me decide to de-prioritise dating, essentially taking a step back. And I couldn’t be happier with my decision, everything seems to be working out well! 😊 If you're like me, and think you'll benefit from a romantic cleanse of your own, have a read through my next few points. These are some of the initial, brutally honest reasons why a dating hiatus was much needed! EXCUSE ME, WHAT IS THIS? I AM NOT PLEASED. From socially awkward guys to narcassistic dickheads to emotionally unavailble weirdos... I think I've tried enough and lost my appetite from this questionable, tasteless, all-you-can-eat buffet of online dating men. I'm a firm believer that people will get results based on the efforts put in. From pure observation and personal experience, it was evident that only a small percentage of people would bother to put any effort in building a real connection. One particular trend I found (over and over again) were dead-end conversations — adding to the existing graveyard! Not to mention the half hearted messages that led to no meeting, and matches that suggested they were interested in dating, but their choice of topics or comments made didn’t support their claims! I quickly realised that about 80% of my time was spent swiping through dating apps and filtering through a lengthy list of unqualified leads — it's rather comparable to a cold-calling sales job! Bloody horrendous. While the remaining 20% was spent responding to a few messages then shortly after... I'm sitting there wondering: "why the hell did I even match you in the first place?" Look, I know there are good men out there, and the above makes me sound like bitter bitch! But instead of trying to force it or worse, gradually wiring my brain to associate dating apps with negativity, it's probably best to remove myself from the dating scene for the time being. EMOTIONALLY, I'M NOT HERE FOR IT. I think it's very important to be choosy with who you give your energy to. By energy, I mean your words, time, money, and other resources. Recognise your value, and understand that not everyone deserves it. For me, I was on both sides of the fence. In some instances, I gave my energy away (too easily) to people who did not value the opportunity enough. Then there were times where I may have missed out on some great potential because I was only willing to put in about 25% effort. In all fairness at this point, I was already prepared to say my "goodbyes" to the mind-numbing dating apps! My focus was far more concentrated on other aspects of my life such as fitness, writing and reading! SLEEPING WITH PEOPLE I LIKE... BORING! I don't know about you, I mean... I've always felt like a retired pensioner in a younger woman's body, so excuse me if I'm about to sound like your grandma. But having sex with people I "like enough" just doesn't do it for me anymore. Sure, it's fun and exciting... but honestly, the novelty has worn off. I don’t think you have to necessarily be "in-love" to have amazing sex, but in my opinion there's a notable difference between having sex with people I “like enough" and people who I share a much deeper, intimate connection with. "I WANT FIREWORKSSSSSSS!!!" - SAMANTHA JONES, SEX AND THE CITY I'm bored of meeting these mediocre, not-quite-on-my-level, kinda guys. I'm not being arrogant, I'm not saying I'm the best thing since sliced bread, but I know what fuck I want, and I know my worth. And I would happily stay single until someone makes me spark because I could never settle for less than I deserve. Even if it takes months, years, hell... even if my destiny is to be in a relationship with myself. I know that I've gone through years of incredible growth; I went from a wild teenage hot-mess to a mature, grown-ass woman who has her shit together and is comfortable, confident and can sail through any given situation. Right now, I'm relaxed, I'm blessed and cracking on with the things in life that make me fulfilled and satisfied. In the meantime, if you need me I’ll be in my room, in the lotus position. 🧘🏻♀️
Generally I take on a "glass is half full", "everything happens for a reason" approach to life. At the same time, I’m very committed to cutting out or reducing behaviours, habits, and relationships that don’t serve a purpose or contribute to the positive, mindful lifestyle I strive to live by. With that in mind, I hope this post has given you valuable insight, some food for thought and perhaps helped you consider whether it might be worth giving yourself a healthy break from the dating world.