After experiencing one too many dating letdowns and at peak fed-up-ness, I’ve sworn off men, toyed with becoming a lesbian, and considered getting cats. But honestly, none of that is practical. Guys are fun, girls don’t rev my engine, and I’m allergic to cats. Suddenly, the solution to my annoyance became super clear: Just quit dating. Here’s what happened when I did exactly that and why, if you’re in the same place as I was, you should consider doing the same.
- Say goodbye to paranoia. You’re lying if you say that dating doesn’t make you obsessive AF. Insecure about why he hasn’t texted you in 4 days? Check. Worried about if you’re the only girl he’s dating? Check. If he only wants to sleep with you? Check. It’s so much fun being constantly worried about silly things… said no one ever. Once I stopped dating, I had nothing to be so stressed about all the damn time and it felt great.
- You literally start to glow. This point is important and unexpected but it totally happened when I quit dating. Dating causes stress. Stress contributes to weight gain, headaches, lowered confidence, and acne. I’m not down for any of that. To be honest, I’d say it’s fair to compare the “single and DGAF about changing that anytime soon” glow to a pregnancy glow. You’re literally shining bright like a damn diamond, sans baby. What’s not to love?
- Focusing on work/hobbies/friends becomes easier. Think of how much brain power you spend on dating. Be honest. A part of your brain is always focused on keeping you in the dating game. The distraction can pop up in answering guys’ texts at work, at dinner with friends, and at yoga when you should be namaste-ing on the mat. When there’s no one to tend to, you can mind ya’ damn self. I feel like I get so much more accomplished and have way stronger relationships since I’m not looking for one with a guy.
- You spend less time trying to be flawless. I’m not naturally a slob, but when dating, I always make sure to look good. Like, the extra kind of good—not a hair out of place, contour on #fleek, and a kick-butt outfit. Not dating helped me loosen up about appearances. I spend less time worrying about others’ perceptions of me and more about how I feel about myself. I’m still out here looking like a snack, but the process takes me 10 minutes and zero stress.
- Guys who weren’t into you suddenly are. Familiar with the idea of always wanting what you can’t have? Apparently, men can sniff out when you don’t give a damn about them and they pounce. It’s mad. Proof: I pretty much went ghost on all the guys I would occasionally talk to. I kid you not, within a month all those dudes were suddenly interested in my life. Even guys that I hadn’t tried being involved with became all about me. I have no idea what to do with that kind of power because trust me, I’m not someone who usually has dudes on deck. If you want your ego stroked a bit, cut ’em off.
- Becoming a ‘down for anything’ person is possible. Life tends to take the backseat when you invest in dating. It’s not on purpose, I get that. It usually happens passively. We go to certain places because the guy we’re talking to might be there. We say no to things because we’re waiting to hear back from him/them about possible same-day plans. We give up a lot of stuff at times just for men. To quit dating is to eliminate that passive distraction. You’ll be surprised how much free time you have, and also how easy it is to say ‘yes’ to life.
- You don’t have to pretend anymore. Ugh, this is a big one. I’m still kicking myself for the years I spent mirroring the interests of my love interests. Quitting dating made me realize that I’m “into” a lot of crap that I claimed to like. A long time ago, a guy I was into loved Queen. So of course, I became a Queen fan (warning, unpopular opinion here) even though I hated Queen. I still hate Queen. But I tried faking it ‘til I made it. Spoiler alert: I never made it. Tons of energy wasted for nothing. Now I know all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody and I’m kinda mad about it.
- You discover new interests. While vying for male attention, I stopped pursuing hobbies I found interesting, all because I thought my interests would be turnoffs to guys I was trying to date. Isn’t that messed up? Now, I’m seriously into hiking and all things outdoors. TBH, the guys I used to be into were bums. They spend all their time drunk at football games/breweries/at the lake. In trying to mirror their interests, that’s how I spent my time as well, which didn’t work well. I never had much fun.
- Loving yourself takes on new meaning. Stay with me on this one. I’m the kind of person who measures her value through others’ opinions. Not healthy, I know, but I know I’m not alone in this mentality. There’s so much truth to the adage “You can’t love someone until you love yourself.” We yell about how our love life is disastrous, but we don’t do anything truly different. We try dating different men. We alter our appearance. We look for an outward issue instead of looking inward. I don’t think it’s healthy to bounce from guy to guy while trying to work out all the bs kinks in dating. Not dating really isn’t that hard, ladies. Men will still be around when you’re ready.