I have been dating for more more than 10 years, 10 years of ups and downs, both metaphorically and literally. There have been great loves, all consuming don’t think I can breathe without him love, there has been lustworthy nights of awesomeness that lead to slightly awkward walks home the next day, there have been short love affairs over before they began and long hauls that should have ended long before they did. 

why taking a dating hiatus might be the best thing
I am not alone in my current state of late twenties singledom, in fact a large portion of my friends are currently flying solo. The difference for me is simple, I have chosen to be single. Not indefinitely, I ain’t giving up dating for good, but I decided that I needed to take a step back from it all and learn to date myself (I am well aware of how wanky this sounds, but just hang in there with me).

I was in my first relationship when I was 15, Lordy did I love him, we dated until I was 18. Since then I have gone from relationship to relationship, I love being coupled up, it’s the best, until it isn’t the best then it’s the absolute worst! Being in relationships has taught me innumerable things about men, how to read them, how to charm and persuade them, but most of all it’s allowed me to find my feet as one half of a relationship. What that lead to however was me never fully embracing being a whole on my own, without a boyfriend, by choice and happy about it.

When the most recent man in my life and I parted ways, I fully embraced the ‘get back on the horse’ mentality and dated again within weeks, which lead to a hideous realisation of just how sad I was that it was over. Which in turn then lead onto somewhat of a minor existential crisis of the person I was and what I wanted from life. This was the beginning of my dating hiatus…

This crisis resulted in my penning an “Emma Manifesto”. Some people might just have a chat with a friend, or write a little note, not me, I managed to scribble roughly 3 pages, detailing what I want from life; not just romantic relationships, but friendships, family ties, work, fitness and travel. It made me realise that the time I was consuming dealing with dating was getting right in the way of my life. I was focusing vast amounts of care and attention on a potential date whilst forgetting to promote my new fledgling business, or nurturing my wonderful friendships or getting my out of shape ass to the gym. All of this writing lead to me to one simple conclusion; no more dating. 

why taking a dating hiatus might be the best thing
I set myself the time frame of 6 months initially, that was just over a month ago. In that month I have grown my business faster than in the 5 months before combined, I have immersed myself in seeing friends, creating new friendships and above all else spending a huge amount of time with myself, having coffee, going out for dinner, I even went to a lunch time movie last week, alone. 

I realised that I was spending hours of my day writing quick witted emails to complete strangers and forgetting to email my friends. I was trying to impress people who more than likely weren’t going to reply to my suggestion of a drink in lieu of going out for a drink with someone I already know and love. I honestly dread to think of the hours wasted on online dating sites and apps!

Since the dating hiatus began I have; gained three more clients, booked a solo holiday, signed up for some short courses, adopted a puppy and dyed my hair purple…the things you have time for when you are focused on yourself!

why taking a dating hiatus might be the best thing
Learning to take time out for me, learning my own needs rather than hoping I fit in with another person hasn’t been plain sailing, but what it has taught me is how to handle my own damn sails not worry about how others are handling theirs. 

 

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