How going through a “no dating” phase can actually benefit your future love life

We can all agree that there are times when dating feels more overwhelming than enjoyable. As we get older and move through different phases of life, our interests change and sometimes our dating life gets pushed to the back burner, and that’s completely okay. According to a Gallup poll, 64 percent of Millennials were single in 2014. But despite the fact that single Millennials hold the majority, there’s a negative stigma still attached to being single, especially if you’re a single woman. Despite the idea that something must be wrong with you if you’re not in a relationship, the time spent being single and not dating can actually be beneficial to your future love life.

First of all, dating is time consuming. It’s an entire process of having to find someone you’re attracted to, then investing energy to see if you are actually compatible beyond physical chemistry. And then, even if you do find someone worth dating, you actually have to spend the time to do that. So, if at some point in your life you just decide you’re not interested in dating, we totally get it!

Whether you just need a break or you got your heart broken and need to recover, if you use the time wisely, your next relationship could possibly be the best you’ve had.

Margaret Paul Ph.D., a relationship expert and co-creator of Inner Bonding says,

“There is one major cause of relationship problems: self-abandonment. We can ‘abandon’ ourselves in many areas: emotional (judging or ignoring our feelings), financial (spending irresponsibly), organizational (being late or messy), physical (eating badly, not exercising), relational (creating conflict in a relationship), or spiritual (depending too much on your partner for love). When you decide to learn to love yourself rather than continue to abandon yourself, you will discover how to create a loving relationship with your partner.

In other words, take the time to get to know yourself better and create a fulfilling life for yourself while you’re by yourself.

Once you’ve spent some time getting reacquainted with yourself and what you want, you’ll have a better understanding of what you require from a romantic partnership. It can be so easy to lose ourselves in relationships, often putting the other person first (which feels sweet at the time, but is ultimately a bad idea) or ending up settling for a partner who doesn’t necessarily treat us badly but don’t celebrate us either. All told, honestly all of us need time to adjust how we’re approach dating. And when you’re content with your non-dating existence, you’ll be able to do exactly that.

According to Neely Steinberg, Boston-based dating coach, author of Skin in the Game says, “You have to put in the time, effort and energy — even when you feel like throwing in the towel or avoiding it altogether. And that means not just getting out there dating, but really understanding what and who you are looking for on a deeper level, and not the superficial stuff.”

Taking the time to prioritize what you need over what you think you should want is never time wasted.

Another plus side of taking a break from the dating scene: It’s the perfect time to explore your body and your sexual desires. That way, when you’re ready to get back out there, you’ll know exactly what you want, which is the first step to getting it.

Next! Guys, dating can be expensive as hell. The latest Singles in America study by Match shows that the average cost of a first date is around $60 to $70. When you consider how many times you’ve swiped right: If you’re the one paying even half the time, taking a break from dating will result in a super not-small chunk of change saved. Put that money away for when you find yourself in a new relationship and you’re ready to spurge on your new love.

If you’re currently going through a phase of not dating (even if it’s by choice), we know it can get a little tough, when you see happy couples everywhere and you start feeling like the universe is just toying with you. But this is the time to lay the foundation for your future love life so that you can bring your best self into your next relationship. Decide what you want out of love and life and commit to having it, because you totally can. You just might have to start appreciating the value of alone time first.

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