Cultivating Dating Resilience
By Catherine (Coaching Client)
Single and online dating? I can see the eye rolls and hear the sighs from the singles that have been there and done that. If you’re feeling frustrated with dating online and the joy or excitement has gone, then it might be time to take a break. I was there and share the frustrations of many singles who’ve experienced what dating coaches call dating fatigue.
If this sounds like you, I encourage you to listen to that inner voice that calls for some time away from swiping, endless text messages and disappearing matches. I was one of those people who was in the cycle of deleting their dating profile only to reactivate it days later. I just couldn’t do it….until life forced me to really take a break. And, I’m so glad I did. I believe the time I took for myself propelled me into an emotional and mental space where I felt ready to meet that special someone. And I’m happy to say that I did…and yup, you guessed it, we met online.
As I reflect back on the process I experienced the benefit of taking that break which I believe is part of resilience in modern dating. A friend once shared a quote that resonated loudly with me. She said,“resilience is not only how we endure the hard times, but it’s how we recharge.” Mic drop. This makes so much sense.
My dating mentor and coach, Terran Shea, at Mutual Match, has always said “dating is an inside job”. And I understand now what she means. She’s encouraged me to focus on things that brought me joy and to push me to do things that were out of my comfort zone. Terran taught me that as contradictory as it sounds, being alone is a necessary part of the process of dating in that we need to find ourselves first and the right partner will follow. I can say from following her advice and from my experience she was right.
I would be lying if I said it was all roses and rainbows however I remember being curious about my self-discovery and self-care process. That curiosity pushed me to keep going and to do a lot of my own research.
Here’s what I found and what I hope will help those who are struggling with taking that time for themselves. It’s time for a factory reset. These are what I like to call the 4 R’s in achieving dating resilience that may help you along your journey to self-love and finding your forever partner.
When I think of recharge, I think of rest – something I struggle with being such a busy body. Rest can be in the form of whatever it means for you. Maybe recharging means taking a trip, and yes, doing it solo. This was something Terran encouraged me to do which was WAY out of my comfort zone. So, I faced my fears and took a road trip for a weekend up North to cottage country and stayed at a resort. I called it my “Eat, Pray, Love” weekend away. I can tell you that weekend was so eye opening and empowering. I overcame my fears of having dinner alone and spending time alone. And you know what I learned? I actually enjoyed my own company.
I find the best reflections come in time spent alone in nature, in therapy or just having some good old therapeutic time with friends. Surround yourself with people who are supportive and understanding. I did lots of reflection in therapy since my divorce and also on my weekend away. Rest and reflection can give way to some of the most clarity when it comes to self-awareness.
Taking a break from online dating is a great time to re-evaluate your dating strategy, your priorities, expectations, deal breakers, attitude, likes and dislikes. Often times we stand in the way of our own destiny by having unrealistic expectations, or a pessimistic attitude about dating and our worth that will only perpetuate the same cycle. Our thoughts and our beliefs (conscious and unconscious) do become our reality.
It’s very common for people to lose a sense of who they are after years of marriage and raising a family. Use this time to become re acquainted with yourself. What sort of things did you like to do when you were single? Try a hobby, sport or activity you’ve been putting off or stopped doing. For me it was learning to play the piano which was a childhood dream. After my divorce, I enrolled in piano lessons and it’s been one of the best decisions I made for my healing and self-confidence and it brings me so much joy.
We all want that person we meet to be awesome. We hope that they’ve done the work to be ready and available for a relationship with us because WE’RE awesome and we’ve done that work. Taking that time for yourself and doing the inner work means that not only are you giving that special someone you meet the BEST version of YOU possible, you will be that person all on your own – by yourself for yourself. When you are in that space, the universe WILL respond and send along your forever love.