Somehow we got it stuck in our heads that if we’re single, we should be dating. I was a serial monogamist up until a few years ago. I jumped from relationship to relationship without much thought. It never occurred to me that maybe I wasn’t ready to date when my relationships ended.
Nowadays, it’s even harder. Dating apps seem to be an entirely accepted part of modern society. A new person to flirt with is a simple swipe away.
But it’s ok to be single, even more so if you’re not ready to date.
How can you tell? Well, look for these signs that indicate you may not be ready to date:
You constantly cancel your dates.
You may think that you’re just finding reasons not to meet that particular person; perhaps you’ve convinced yourself you’re busy.
But maybe it’s time to stop and consider if the reason is that you’re not ready to date. Canceling plans over and over is a pretty tell-tale sign that something deeper is going on if you ask me.
You’re uninterested in flirting or the dating process in general.
When I was single and loving it, I didn’t see guys as potential relationships anymore. I mean, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find men attractive, but I no longer vyed for their attention.
If flirting seems off-putting or going on dates just doesn’t appeal to you, that’s a good indicator you’re not ready or interested in dating.
You’re still hurting from your past relationship.
You’re not a superhero. You don’t have the magic ability to rid yourself of the shitty emotions of a break-up.
Coming out of a serious relationship involves a significant life change and plenty of unpleasant emotions. It’s completely ok to take some time away from dating to focus on yourself and adjusting to your new life without your ex.
Plus, it’s not fair to the new people you date if you’re still reeling over your ex.
You’re focused on finding a partner that looks good on paper.
If your motives for finding a partner are superficial — i.e., finding someone that will impress your friend — maybe consider taking time away from dating. Think about why it is that surface-level aspects of a person are so important to you.
Remember: the person you date has feelings as well.
You’re pessimistic about the outcome.
Believing that every person you date will eventually hurt you is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. You’re going to enter the relationship, not being able to trust the person and judging their every action.
Instead, maybe it’s time to take some time away from relationships and evaluate the negative beliefs you hold around dating.
You’re determining your value through other people.
Your value is not determined by how many people you match with on Tinder. Nor is whether or not your date asks you on a second date.
Your value is inherent. If you can’t see that, take some time alone to work on your self-confidence, which is easier to do when you’re single.
You’re spending more time dating than on your hobbies.
If dating is replacing the time you spend doing things you love and seeing your friends, there’s a problem.
Investing time into the things you love is part of what makes you, you. When you take away from that time, you’re enmeshing yourself too much with the dating process.
You’re stuck in the Rom-Com fantasy.
You think that an instant connection between you and your date is an indication of finding a soulmate.
Well, hate to break it to you (actually, love to break it to you), but this notion of love is bullshit. The kind of love that is perpetuated in Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz movies is unhealthy and co-dependent.
Lasting love is the kind that builds up. If you’re unwilling to see things that way, you might just let something good pass you by.
You’re not able to be alone.
If you come home at the end of the day to an empty apartment, do you feel lonely or solitude?
If you feel content and enjoy your time alone, good for you!
If you’re frantic to check your dating apps and meet up with someone, anyone, then perhaps you’re lacking self-love.
It’s one thing to enjoy hanging out with your friends and being social, but another to dread spending any time alone.
You’re enjoying being single.
When it comes down to it, if you’re loving being single, then there’s no pressure to start dating.
Maybe you’re chasing a career you love, or you’re enjoying getting to know yourself better. Whatever your reason may be, just know that it’s completely ok to love being single.
Not everyone that’s single is meant to be on the dating scene; there’s power in taking a dating-hiatus.
Don’t feel pressured or alien-like if you choose to be single. If anything, you’re amongst the braver ones.
If you struggle with feeling insecure and overthinking when you date, check out my free dating anxiety journal prompts.
If you want to move towards feeling confident and secure when looking for love, grab your copy of my 30-day dating guide, "From Anxious to Secure."
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