Dating can be overwhelming. Not only are you hoping to find “the one,” but you’re also investing a great deal of your time in the search. Fairy tales have it all wrong. Damsel in distress comes into the path of an obstacle that’s so grand, only the help of a handsome man can help her solve the problem, and then they live happily ever after. The reality version is woman is in distress, she wishes that a handsome man would sweep her off of her feet and make all of her problems go away, but it doesn’t happen. The single lady is left to pick up the pieces and find a solution on her own. To add to her stress friends and family members try to set her up on blind dates and drown her with advice on love and what she’s doing wrong. Sound familiar?
Dating is not something that has a defined time period. In fact there is no telling how long or short the duration of dating will actually be. Some people meet their happily ever after on their first date, while for others it may take months or even years. When is it enough? When do you say, “Okay, I’m over this?” Again, there’s no definitive answer that says when you “should” stop dating and hang up the towel for a while. The only advice anyone can really give you, is to suggest that you listen to that little voice inside that tells you when they’ve had enough.
You can’t remember the names of your dates.
If you find yourself constantly stumbling around, in your mind, to remember your date’s name – then it’s time for a dating break. Dating should be fun and provides you with an opportunity to meet great people that you otherwise wouldn’t have ever spoken to before. If you’re investing time with someone, make sure that you’re attentive and willing to extend the olive branch. It could also be possible that you’re going on too many dates and that you’re bogged down by the constant pressure that’s being presented date after date.
You’re talking about your ex.
Boy oh boy, this is a sure sign that you’re in desperate need of a dating break. It’s okay to mention times that you and your ex may have shared, but not on the first date – or second, or third, or fourth date! If you find yourself talking about your ex constantly, then it’s time to take a dating time-out and reflect on whether or not you’re actually ready to get back into the dating game.
You’re comparing your date to your ex.
While it’s okay to recognize similarities and differences, or even things that you absolutely did not like about your ex in comparison to your date, it’s not okay to constantly compare the two. Moving forward means just that – move forward. If you’re continually comparing the two people then you’ll never be able to get over the old feelings and embark on the possibility that the future offers.
You’re focus is elsewhere.
As adults, there are a number of elements that take up our focus – children, family members, school, career and everyday life. Be honest with yourself, if you don’t have the time and energy to devote to another person then don’t waste someone else’s time. Dating when you’re not ready will only place additional stress in your life and possibly hurt someone else’s feelings in the process. While you don’t want to end up a lonely cat woman ten years from now, you need to be realistic about the expectations that you’re placing on yourself.
Your children aren’t ready.
Dating with kids can be a very tricky ordeal. Even though you may think they’re ready, the reality is they may not be. Children did not ask to be part of the situation and shouldn’t be forced into a dating circumstance that they’re not ready to accept or process. Make sure that you have a conversation with your child about dating and advise them that it’s okay for them to communicate with you about their frustrations and concerns.
If you have went on a few dates and haven’t found someone that you’ve clicked with, then it’s not time to hang up the towel just yet. However, if you’ve went on multiple dates and haven’t found someone that you’ve enjoyed a night out with, then it could be time to put dating on hold and move your focus towards something else. You might need to take the pressure off yourself and fate could step in and put someone in your path that you’re meant to be with.
You don’t like anyone.
Be honest and ask yourself, “Are you looking for the wrong person?” Perhaps the qualities that you’re searching for in a mate are not the ones you should be searching for. Be proactive, make a list and jot down the things that are important traits a mate would need to have. Then make a list of traits that you don’t want your potential mate to have. Have a close friend or family member go over the list with you and allow them to provide you with constructive criticism – odds are you’re placing too much emphasis on something that’s not really important or maybe you’re looking at things from a different angle.
Maybe you found someone.
Here’s another angle that many people don’t take into consideration when they’re dating – they found the perfect someone, but are still engrossed with anxiety. Perhaps you did find “the one”, but because of your history or the timeliness of the situation you’re not able to identify for yourself that this is love. Communicate with the person you’re dating and identify that you’re both on the same page. Maybe they’re afraid too and have the same reservations that you have. Once you’ve talked it out, you might realize you need a dating break because the dating process worked and you found your happily ever after.
Dating is scary. The fear of being rejected or coming up empty handed can be terrifying. However, it’s important to never give up. It’s okay to take a dating break, just as long as you understand that it’s a break and not the end. Anyone who’s dating must remain patient and understand that relationships are not cultivated over not.