Signs You Should Take A Break From Dating For A While

We've all been stuck in a rut before while dating, and when you're single, it can feel like you're destined to endlessly kiss frogs instead of finding a prince. Participation in the dating game, however, isn't mandatory — even if it feels like everyone you know already has a significant other. In fact, there are some signs that may indicate it's time to take a break from dating for a little while.


While it's natural to feel like you're missing out when all of your friends are busy on date night, these types of emotions shouldn't be overwhelming or all-consuming. For example, you shouldn't say yes to every date opportunity out of a feeling of obligation. If you're spending more time on dating apps than seeing actual people, you may also be in need of a break. "A break should be as long as it needs to be for you to fall back in love with yourself or fall in love with yourself for the first time," life coach Carmen Parks explained to Bustle. "You can establish contentment in life when you love who you are inside and out."

Whether you're the person in need of a dating break or you know a friend who could use one, here are some signs that now is the time.


You dread all of your dates

It can be invigorating to meet someone new, and it can be just as exciting to plan to connect with them on a date. However, dread should never come into the equation once you've agreed to meet up with a person — but that's how it might feel if you're in need of a break from dating. "Dating burnout is a lot like job burnout," Esther Boykin, a licensed love and relationship therapist, told Bustle. "What was once fun and exhilarating has become exhausting, frustrating, and overwhelming."


If you need to get ready for a date but just can't seem to pry yourself off the couch out of dread, take a moment to think about why you said yes. Depending on how long you've needed a break, the answer may come to you sooner than expected. This doesn't necessarily mean you should ghost the person you already agreed to meet, but consider your need to rest and reboot if someone asks you out in the future. You'll be saving your time, as well as the time of the person you don't actually want to be dating.

Everyone you date ends up being the wrong person

If you've tried everything from speed dating to online dating apps, your attempt to find true love may begin to feel a bit pointless. However, you might not realize that a break could be just what you need to refresh yourself from the inside out. If every person you've gone out with as of late has struck out, don't start thinking that the problem is you: Instead, you may have just lost that special spark that comes with dating someone new. By taking a break, you can gain more perspective, refine your approach, and more importantly, regain the spark that accompanies connecting with a new person in your life.


Keep in mind that there is no specific timeframe for how long a dating break should last. Depending on your situation, you might only need a week, or you could need a couple of months. Take as much time as you need to reassess past dates and what you're looking for in a partner. Consider your own wants and needs, as well as how they could fit into a committed relationship.

You're afraid of being single forever

If you have friends who are already settling down with a partner or walking down the aisle, you might feel an overwhelming amount of fear about what the future holds for you. This fear can become paralyzing if you're a part of the dating game, which can sometimes feel like being on a hamster wheel. "What can often happen is that we get preoccupied with passing windows or periods of time, and we can feel this even more intensely if we see friends or family going through relationship stages and feel that we are being left behind," relationships expert Kate Moyle told Metro.


Instead of putting pressure on yourself in fear of being single for the rest of your life, take a break from dating to focus on yourself. Think about how you could be spending your time on a new hobby or skill. By the end of your break, you'll feel refreshed and far less overwhelmed by thoughts of what your dating life might look like in the future.

You spend too much time on your dating apps

There's no doubt that technology has transformed the way we interact with other people, and this extends to the dating world. These days, finding a date is as easy as using your finger to swipe in an app, but how often have you left feeling fulfilled after these types of interactions? Furthermore, how much time are you burning on these apps when you could be doing something more productive?


Taking a break from dating apps, in particular, can help you reset and refocus on friends, family, and activities that are important to you. On your phone, consider removing the apps or disabling your profiles, so you won't be inclined to start scrolling in moments of boredom. If you begin to cringe at the thought of completely deleting your profiles, remind yourself that the break is temporary — you don't have to fully delete accounts and wipe data from your phone, but you should try to relish the time you have away from the apps.

You're lowering your standards

As the old saying goes, there are plenty of fish in the sea, but the sheer volume can evoke feelings ranging from boredom to anxiety. If you've been in the dating game for a while without taking any breaks in between, you might already be at the point where you're lowering your standards. While you should understand that your knight in shining armor likely won't be flawless, you also shouldn't be selling yourself short — knowing your worth, as well as why your wants and needs matter in a relationship, are all essential.


If you're questioning whether you really need to take a break from the dating scene, consider your thought process on your next date. Are you making excuses for the person you are dating to fit them into your vision of Prince Charming? Does the person make you feel bad about who you are when you try to be vulnerable around them? These are all red flags that you could benefit from taking a step back and reassessing what you're looking for in a partner, as well as a happy, healthy relationship.

You feel obligated to say yes to every opportunity

Even if all of your friends aren't wearing diamonds on their ring fingers, you might still feel obligated to take part in the dating game. In fact, seeing your friends preoccupied with dates every night of the week might put even more pressure on you to continue saying yes to opportunities that come your way. However, the feeling of obligation alone is enough of a sign that you could benefit from a dating break. "Society in general is quite couple-centric, so many of us feel like that should be what we're aiming for, but that's the wrong reason to do it," Kate Moyle, relationships expert, explained to Metro. "You should be doing it for your personal happiness not because it subscribes to a common narrative."


Instead of immediately saying yes, take a moment to think of the possibilities that could come with saying no. Rather than looking at them in a negative way, look at the free time as an opportunity to focus on you for once. Even just skipping out on a few dates can give you the space you need to reset and reframe your expectations.

Your self-esteem has been negatively impacted

Whether you're feeling societal pressure or you're simply tired of wasting evenings on bad dates, it's no secret that dating can take its toll on your mental health, in general. Some of those dates gone awry may leave you feeling depressed, rejected, or just emotionally spent — all of which can lead to a drop in your self-esteem. If you no longer come away with any positives after a night out, it's time to take a break from dating. 


"It's common to lose yourself while dating," life coach Carmen Parks told Bustle. "If you're in a relationship or are casually dating and you notice that you can't tell the difference between your thoughts and your partner's words, it's time to take a break. Especially if those thoughts/words make you feel badly about yourself."

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.