Sometimes making the choice to stop dating and actively looking for love is the best way to allow what you want to find you.
By Mitzi Bockmann — Last updated on Aug 16, 2023
Photo: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A / Shutterstock
Are you sick of dating sites, coffee shops, and endless conversations with people who definitely aren’t the one for you?
I get it. Looking for love can be exhausting.
When should you stop dating even if you still want to find love?
If you have hit dating fatigue, it’s time to let go of dating for a while. You can stop looking for love, it is okay. You don’t have to stop forever, but sometimes taking a break is the best thing you can do.
You should take a break from dating and stop looking for love in order to do these five things:
1. Give yourself a rest.
Looking for love is exhausting work. You have to make a dating profile, spend endless time swiping right or left, make tons of small talk with strangers, and deal with people either stalking or ghosting you. Only to then be disappointed when dating doesn’t work out in your favor.
Who has the time and strength to deal with exhausting labor that only leads to disappointment? You can get your life when you stop looking for love. You will have a chance to spend time with friends, exercise, binge watch your favorite show, got to bed early and maybe even read a book!
Imagine how you would feel if you didn’t spend all of your time in the pursuit of love, but instead, you took a break and rested. Pretty amazing right?
2. Focus on yourself.
It’s a cliché, I know. It’s a phrase people use when they have recently broken up with someone and they want to sound strong. However, focusing on yourself is actually a fundamental part of being a healthy human, especially one in the dating world.
For many people, dating means you put yourself on hold. It’s hard to be your authentic self when you’re dating because you have to put your best foot forward to be someone who others would want to be with. As a result, you may lose yourself in the process. You stop doing yoga because you don’t have the time, and you lose touch with how important a daily practice is for your sanity.
You stop having girls’ nights out with your friends because you want to be free to date. Therefore, you don’t have people to laugh with or call you out, both of which are super important. You might neglect work, family, or your dog, all in the pursuit of love.
When you let go of looking for love, it allows you to take some time to refocus on yourself and get to know yourself again. You can spend time with people you love, to make the things that keep you sane a priority, and to curl up in bed with your puppy and watch your favorite old movies.
Then, once you know and love yourself again, you might be ready to put yourself back in the dating world as the totally awesome person you are.
3. Give more thought to what you want in a partner.
Have you ever been caught up in the dating process and realized you might be dating people for the wrong reasons?
Do you find yourself using the perspective date’s height, or pets, or distance from your apartment as the criteria on which you are willing to date someone?
If I asked you right now what you wanted in a person, would any of those three things be the first on your list? Probably not.
Imagine you met a person through a friend or at a bar. If you liked them, if you felt the chemistry, would you know or care about whether they liked dogs or cats, or whether or not they lived in New Jersey? Probably not.
If you want to stop looking for love, know it will give you the opportunity to step back and re-assess what is important to you in a partner.
Make a list of what you want, and how your perfect person would make you feel. That way, when you do meet them, you will actually see them for who they are, no matter where they live with their cat.
4. Get comfortable with alone time.
People hate it when I say this, but I do think it’s super important. If you’re going to be in a successful relationship, it is essential that you’re good at being alone.
I have a friend who, when she first got divorced, found out being alone was the most uncomfortable thing for her. As a result, she frantically looked for love in a desperate need to fill up the empty space left by her ex-husband. Eventually, she was exhausted by her search and decided to take some time off from dating. At first, she was still uncomfortable in her home but, in time, she got used to it.
She learned how being alone allowed her to truly be herself and to do what she wanted to do. There was no one to take care of or compromise with — it was her way, always. And she liked that.
Learning how to be alone, to not be desperate for the company of another person, changed my friend’s life because without the neediness she became a stronger, more self-confident and in turn, attracted stronger, more self-confident guys. Guys she really liked. Guys who had to prove themselves to be allowed into her space.
So, take some time and get to know yourself, spend some time alone, you will be glad you did.
5. Allow love to find you.
There is a saying attributed to Henry David Thoreau, “Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase it, the more it will evade you, but if you notice the other things around you, it will gently come and sit on your shoulder.”
This is true with love as well.
You often pursue love like you’re training for a marathon or pushing to get ahead in your career. But love isn’t found like that. Love is found when you’re rested and know yourself; when you’re happy being alone and have the self-confidence to put your best foot forward.
If you continue your dogged pursuit of love without stopping and noticing the world, you could miss all that is beautiful, including the love of a person you didn’t see because you were swiping left or hyper-focusing on the stunning man at the bar.
Ending the quest for love might be just what you need to find your forever person. It is a big step, a leap of faith you hope won’t sabotage your love life forever, but the search for love is a marathon and not a sprint.
You need to take your time, nourish yourself, and have the self-confidence love will find you and if it doesn’t happen right away, you’ll be OK alone. You don’t need to stop dating forever. You are pressing the pause button on the love quest, just like you would on a song or a TV show or anything else you can get back to when you are ready.
Take a moment. Step back from your pursuit of love. Believe you will still find your happily ever after person, just maybe not today and that’s OK. You will find them someday.
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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based certified life coach and mental health advocate who writes dating advice for women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.
This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.