“I just don’t feel that spark,” I ended up telling the poor guy sitting in front of me after he had started planning the next dates.
You see, in this kind of situation I get to understand the previous guys who didn’t stick around. If they didn’t feel it, why bother investing more time?
I’ve never thought I’d be the kind of girl to serve the cliché excuse of “it’s not you, it’s me”. It wasn’t the first time happening, but I could see him crumbling in front of my eyes and I felt guilty. I just couldn’t make myself fall in love with him, so I decided to be fair and not lead him into something more.
The second he went out the door, I promised myself it’s time to take a break from dating and figure out what I am doing wrong. I couldn’t keep being in this never ending cycle: I fall for a guy, he wants nothing serious, I get heartbroken, I meet someone new, he falls for me, I don’t and I get him heartbroken. What a failure of dating this is!
So I stopped going out on weekends, deleted all my online dating apps and stuck to my “work – home – gym” routine. I mean, I stuck to the safe places that I knew would keep me away from drama. Even if I would get in the vecinity of a guy who would ask me out, I would put on my resting bitch face and reply: I’m not going on a date with you!
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Whenever my friends asked me if there is anyone new in my life, I would try to explain that I deliberately took a break from dating and had to fight their “are you crazy” looks. The whole time I stayed out of the dating game (more or less 4 months), I ended up learning a few valuable lessons that made me aware of why it is important to be by yourself sometimes.
1. When everyone else has drama in their lives, you have peace
During this whole period of time, I would end up meeting up with my friends and they would ask about my love life. Since I had no updates, they would start sharing their stories, their unhappiness of their relationships or their hassle with all the schmucks they were dating.
Not having a story to share makes you a better listener and makes you thankful that you don’t have to worry about a guy not texting you back or having to decipher his behaviour during that night at that party.
It’s refreshing for you and also for your friends as you now have time to be there for them, give them advice and listen to all their inner debates.
2. You take responsibility for your schedule
Whenever there is a new guy in my life that I really like, I tend to transform my schedule into a flexible piece of gum that I can mold based on when he asks me out. To hell with that!
You have to live your life regardless of having a partner or not. It doesn’t mean you put your life on hold if you’re single. On the contrary, you now have the time to take up all those hobbies you were thinking about or starting that business you have been planning for months.
You can schedule a night at the cinema, you can take a trip or you can just put down in your agenda a night at home. You make your own planning and no one gets to interfere with it. When someone new steps in, if they respect you, they will ask about your schedule and make sure to find a suitable time to meet up without messing with your already made plans.
If a guy says “are you free later for dinner” and you happen to be, just say so, if you are busy, just suggest to reschedule. It’s as simple as that.
3. Taking a break from dating is a choice
If I spend my whole weekend at home, of course I’m not going to meet anyone. Because I choose to not go out and put myself out there, I choose to spend my time doing an activity I enjoy without making “meeting men” a priority.
When you decide you are ready to take that leap of faith, you start choosing activities that require you to leave the premises of your house and potentially meeting new people. Not necessarily potential dates, but even just for networking. If you don’t make an effort, it is your choice to not meet new people.
4. You are more tempted to get out of your comfort zone
When you are by yourself, you focus on improving and becoming the best version of yourself. Or at least that is what you should be doing.
As I mentioned earlier, your life doesn’t have to be put on hold until you meet someone. You explore, you travel, you learn new skills, you fulfill your passions. And you may or may not meet someone along the way, it doesn’t have to be top of your mind, all you need to do is enjoy the journey.
You push yourself to the limit to see if you can jump with a parachute or speak in front of an audience. You learn your boundaries, you create your standards and get to know yourself a little bit better.
5. You rediscover the value of friends
When you are single, you might have the bad luck of having only married friends or in stable relationships. Organize a girls night out, they need it more than you do, but you will benefit from it as well.
Meet up regularly with your best friends. Keep in touch even by phone or email. Go out there and make new female friends. Become more open and you will end up having some really great people around you that will support you regardless of your status, after all they get to know you for who you are and how you are.
Friendships are valuable and no guy should become a reason to cancel on your friends or drift apart. After all, it’s your friends that will be there to pick up the pieces in case something goes wrong.