I go through waves of dating. At my best, I am extremely active on the dating apps and agree to go on dates often. When I’m truly putting myself out there I average 2-3 dates a month. At my worst (laziest), I don’t try at all. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I won’t go on the dating apps for weeks at a time, will leave messages unanswered, and put zero effort into starting conversations with strangers when I’m out and about. Sometimes it’s because I’m busy living, traveling, and spending time with family or friends. Other times it’s pure lack of motivation.
I haven’t been on a date since early July. To those who don’t make an effort to date, that’s not a long time. To me, it feels like an eternity.
When I start to experience those dating lulls, I can feel my mojo slipping away. For better or for worse, I don’t feel as confident when I’m not actively dating or seeing someone. It’s not about the attention. When I’m going on dates— whether that be with one person, or multiple— I truly put the best version of myself out there. In my opinion, early dates are a lot like interviews. You’re selling your best qualities, while trying to figure out if said qualities are a good fit with your suitor’s.
But here’s the thing: why do we need to wait until a guy takes us out to be the best versions of ourselves? We should hype ourselves up and boast about our wins every damn day— ya know?
Here’s a good example.
Earlier this year I was in pretty bad place. I had lost my job, and my dignity. My new (to me) asthma symptoms were holding me back from a lot of things that normally made me happy. I let my well-being and my ego slip away. But on the same coin, I was dating a lot. I think it was something I needed to make me feel better about everything else that was going wrong. However, on those dates I felt really insecure about where I was at, and wasn’t giving these great guys a fair chance. I was just going through the motions to fill a void. I had no job or solid prospects, I couldn’t afford to get my hair done (I was unemployed), and I wasn’t working out. I didn’t feel good about myself, and was trying to put a bandaid on it by going on dates.
By spring and summer, things started to look up. I really took the time that I was out of a job to focus on my blog and to decide what I wanted out of a career. But my dating life took the bench. Sometimes I feel discouraged that I’m not dating as much, but then I realize how far I’ve come since earlier this year. I am more driven, financially secure, and motivated than I’ve ever been. I am starting to see a lot of success in my career, and in my side hustles and passion projects (blog). Even though I’m more single than ever, I’m in a way better headspace than I was 8 months ago. I took a lot of time to focus on myself and I feel like I have a lot more to offer because of it. Now I can genuinely put myself out there knowing what I bring to the table.
I realize now that even though it’s hard not to get discouraged, there is purpose in every season. As cheesy as it sounds, I had to find myself before I could find someone else that I expected to be with forever. Those dating lulls allowed me to fall in love with myself, and my life, again and I wouldn’t trade that for 100 great dates. Sometimes you have to reprioritize, and date yourself for a while, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for that. If your dating life is taking the back seat, use that as an opportunity to focus on you.
All that to say, whenever I’m feeling down (because I’m human, and it’s inevitable), I try to remind myself that what’s truly meant for me won’t pass me by.