After a distasteful or painful dating experience, it’s tempting to stop dating for a while. In fact, some people find a heartbreaking experience so odious that they swear off dating for years.
While it’s a good idea to take a break to heal your wounds, if you go too long you lose your rhythm. You get rusty. It can affect your self-confidence. Yes, it is like riding a bicycle, the skills comes back. But sometimes it’s hard to get your head back in the game.
My strategy is to take a little time to regroup, assess the lessons, refine what I want — and don’t want, but then get back on the horse that threw me. If you don’t, you’re saying the setbacks win. You’re letting a guy get you down who has undeveloped communication skills, lack of integrity, emotional unavailability, immaturity or who just realizes it isn’t a match. You’re letting his actions determine your happiness (or unhappiness). Don’t give anyone that power.
Everyone has setbacks in life, it’s how you deal with them that determines your future. If you let a few mishaps make you give up on finding the love you want and deserve, you are giving up on your future. Not all dates are fun and enchanting, although my experience is only about 10% have been less than enjoyable. The great majority are unremarkable — not great, but not horrible. A few are heavenly, some resulting in equally sublime second and subsequent dates.
After an unpleasant experience, journal about the lesson(s) from it, take a bath, get a massage, go out with a gal pal, have a good cry, enjoy a little chocolate, go for a rigorous workout, attend a comedy club, update your perfect boyfriend’s job description — whatever it is you enjoy. Decide how long you will wait to get back on the dating horse. Maybe it’s a few days, a week, or a month or two. But don’t wait too long. Or the horse wins.