Originally posted on Bustle
Taking a break from dating can be so beneficial — for your love life and just for your mental health in general. But although it can be a huge help, it can be difficult to know when you need one. You’re so lost in the dating rollercoaster that you don’t even notice that you’re burned out. But sometimes you need to just take a step back, so you can get back in touch with yourself and what you want.
“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 Parkstells Bustle. “You can establish a contentment in life when you love who you are inside and out. Take the time you need to become the partner you want to be and make room for the partner you wish to attract.”
So how do you know it’s time to take a break? Well, the bottom line is: you need to take a break when it’s just not working. But that can take a lot of different forms. So here’s what you need to look for, because sometimes just dating to date isn’t doing you any good:
1. You Have Pre-Date Dread
If you’re dreading every date, it’s time to make some changes. “Dating burnout is a lot like job burnout. What was once fun and exhilarating has become exhausting, frustrating, and overwhelming,” Esther Boykin, licensed love and relationship therapist, tells Bustle. “Over the course of normal dating, people will experience moments of frustration or exhaustion but when those feelings become the primary response to even the idea of a date, burnout has definitely set in.” Dating should be fun, so try not to lose sight of it.
2. You Can’t Tell Them Apart
Is the Wednesday date the one who likes punk or is it the wine lover? When they’re all starting to blur into one, then you’re not giving any date a real shot.
3. You Have No Time For Anything Else
Dating should not take over your life — it should be an amazing addition to your life. If you find that you’ve stopped seeing your friends or doing things you love because your dating schedule is out of hand, you need to take your life back.
4. You’re Constantly Underwhelmed
When you’re burnt out on dating, every date is going to feel kind of mediocre. You’re just too tired of it all to get really excited about anyone — so you’re not giving anyone a fair shot.
5. You’re Giving Up
“If you decide after many sour experiences that there is no point in continuing to try and that no one is out there for you, you’re headed toward a breakdown,” Boykin says. And that attitude isn’t going to get you anywhere. Make sure that you take a break and let the spark come back into your dating life.
6. You Jump At Every Possibility
Even if you find someone really boring or not quite right, you may be so sick of dating you go along with it — even though it’s not something you really want. “It’s common to lose yourself while dating,” Parks says. “You can get so focused on being a supportive loving partner and overlook ways you may be being mistreated. 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. It’s easy to rationalize it away or pretend like you don’t notice, but know that those words are having a significant impact on your psyche and your self-esteem.” Taking a break makes sure that you’re prioritizing your needs, rather than just going along with whoever is interested.
7. You’re Addicted To Apps
If you’re checking Tinder more than talking to your friends, that’s a problem.
8. You Can’t Remember When You Weren’t Dating
It’s normal to go through a dry spell — and it’s healthy. If you can’t remember the last time that you took a break from dating, it’s definitely time.
9. You’re Scared Of Being Single
If you’ve thrown yourself into dating because you’re scared of being single, it’s time to face your fears. Being single is an amazing opportunity to learn about yourself. Not only that, it’ll stop you from getting in a relationship for the wrong reasons. Don’t be scared of it.
There are a lot of reasons you may need a break from dating — and don’t be afraid to take one. It’ll give you time to reset… and the dating game will always be there on the other side.