I Didn’t Realize How Addicted I Am To Dating Until I Decided To Take A Break From It

After a slew of failed mini-relationships and generally messy dating habits, I decided it was time to take a break from dating. Admittedly, it was a decision that was only made after one of my friends essentially staged an intervention, but here I am, off the market. Frankly, it’s way harder than I thought it would be.

I was obsessed with dating.

I went on over 50 dates in one year. I was out of control because I was utterly obsessed with dating, sex, and love. They became the focus of my life, more important than anything else. I spent literally hours every day on dating apps and then go on a ton of dates a week. It was a very unhealthy approach to dating, like I was operating on rocket fuel.

I desperately wanted to find “The One.”

I was yearning for and seeking “The One.” I kept trying to find that one person who would fit perfectly into my life and then we’d live happily ever after. I think I wanted it so badly that I prevented it from happening. Dates probably smelled my desperation, especially when I shared with a few people how many dates I was going on. That basically assured that I wasn’t going to find anyone.

I thought I could never stop dating.

The day my friend sat me down and told me that I needed to take a dating hiatus, I thought that it sounded impossible. I genuinely didn’t believe I was capable of taking a break. I was so used to going full-speed ahead that the idea of stopping sounded terrifying and totally lonely. I didn’t know how to do it on my own. I needed to get help.

Still, I vowed to take a break for months.

I’m taking a break from dating for at least four months, which aligns with another meditation challenge I’m doing. The amount of time is arbitrary; I just chose it because I’d already be committing to something for that length of time. I may get to the end of these four months and decide that I need to do longer. This is entirely possible. Regardless of the length, though, I’m taking a break.

I still find myself obsessing.

I was kinda hoping that after a couple of weeks I would stop obsessing about others so much. I thought I might start to focus more on other things but I’m still mostly focusing on crushes and fantasies. Obsession plagues my every move. I think eventually it will fade and perhaps even stop completely but it’s just going to take time. I guess I’ll have to be patient.

It’s really hard to not date.

I met someone who I really liked and was interested in. I had to walk away from the potential opportunity because I’m not dating. That was really difficult for me. It’s just overall been difficult to keep away from dating because I feel like I’m missing out on something. I have lots of FOMO around it. I think I’ll miss my future lover because I’m taking a break.

I’m a sex and love addict.

This is something I’ve come to accept. I’m addicted to sex and love. I’ve learned this from looking at some characteristics of an addict, such as: “We assign magical qualities to others. We idealize and pursue them, then blame them for not
fulfilling our fantasies and expectations.” Yup, this has me written all over it.

I have to go through recovery before I can date in a healthy way.

Sex and love addiction is just like any other addiction, it wreaks havoc until you tend to it in an appropriate way. I’m healing through going to meetings, working with a sponsor, and learning from other people how to act. There’s no way to go but through. If I ever want to have a semblance of a normal life I have to recover from this issue that ails me.

I’m trying not to count down the days until I can date again.

I’m trying to just enjoy this dating sabbatical for what it is rather than counting down on my hands and toes how many days or weeks I have left. When I think about how much longer I have until I’m “allowed” to date again, I just go crazy and want to give it up. I really have to keep my mind in the day, thinking just one day at a time.

I’m trying to focus on the benefits.

I’m whining about how hard it is, but there are also benefits to not dating. For starters, I’ve gotten a ton of my time back. I was spending anywhere from 20-30 hours a week on dating when I was active. I now have time to do my hobbies and learn new ones. I have lots more time for friends and I have more emotional space in my mind to hang out with family. It’s definitely not all bad.

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