I’m Single But I’m Not Actively Dating — Here’s Why

Modern dating culture sends some pretty mixed messages about being single. On the one hand, more people are embracing the idea of singlehood as a valid life choice. On the other hand, some people still insist you’re not complete without a significant other. Regardless of what anyone says, I’m single and I’m not dating right now by choice. Here’s why it’s the right decision for me.

  1. I actually love being alone. While some people don’t like to believe a woman could enjoy being alone, the truth is that many of us do. Loving your downtime and having your own space isn’t a bad thing. While it’s important to have a support system full of chosen family and friends, it doesn’t mean I want someone around all the time. There is a lot less pressure when you can just enjoy your life on your own terms. I actually love being single, so dating just isn’t all that important to me right now.
  2. I have to find someone I like more than myself. Taking time to date yourself might sound like a cliche, but it’s totally worth it. Since I love my own space and value my own company, I’d only date someone who I enjoyed more than my freedom and doing my own thing. While this wouldn’t be impossible, it’s not always easy to find the right fit for my independent lifestyle.
  3. The dating scene is rough right now. Modern dating hasn’t been easy for a long time. What with online dating being the norm and difficulty finding people who want the same things, it’s often more trouble than it’s worth. But, since COVID, it’s become even more complicated. You have to figure out how to get out there again after some time of not having much of a social life. Plus, it seems like more and more people are unwilling to meet in person, which sometimes makes sense but sometimes is a hurdle to true intimacy.
  4. There are issues regardless of which gender you date. While it might be a cliche that men are trash, the truth is that dating people of any gender can be difficult. People are individuals with their own personalities, flaws, and strengths. There are some common issues of more traditional heterosexual pairings, such as finding a man who is willing to see you as an equal partner, but dating women or others in the queer community can come along with its baggage, too.
  5. I like to do things my own way. Many women are judged for being too headstrong or knowing what they want. But, while society might find a confident woman threatening, I don’t mind. While being in relationships can be great, you often have to consider another person’s dreams, goals, and desires. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes you want to be free to make whatever choices you feel and follow your own needs.
  6. Truly, I like to focus on my careers and hobbies. One of the biggest romantic comedy jokes is that women never actually care more about their careers or other hobbies than they care about romance. But, while this sexist idea might be popular, the truth is that not all women are hardwired for romance. Some women really do like to focus on their careers and other passions. While this might change in the future, it’s where I’m at right now, and I don’t mind at all. How can I focus on dating when being single is keeping me so busy?
  7. No one has come along recently that I want to date. While I’m not anti-dating, I’m not going to go out of my way to find a partner. For some people, dating is a really easy thing and seems to happen out of nowhere. For me, it tends to be something I have to put effort into. I don’t give out the energy of someone looking for a relationship, so I’m not really attracting one. So, no one has come into my orbit who I super want to date.
  8. I enjoy sleeping around. There are many ways to have relationships. It’s possible to be in a relationship and still have an open situation, but often, dating means committing to just one person in the bedroom. Sometimes, focusing on one person in this way is very rewarding, but I love the ability to have sex with who I want as long as we are both enjoying ourselves. Women can love to sleep around too.
  9. Dating can be an emotional rollercoaster. At its best, dating helps you meet new people you enjoy getting to know. Even if you don’t end up in a romantic relationship, you could find new friends or learn new hobbies and ideas from interesting people. But, at its worst, dating is full of ups and downs. Ghosting. Stress. Heartbreak. While the negative and the positive are both parts of the process, I have enough other things going on in my life, so I’m just not interested in the game right now.

Why taking a break from dating to just enjoy being single can be beneficial

A lot of people might think I’m missing out on valuable time to find a relationship but I know that’s not true. Here’s what the experts have to say.

  1. It’s nice not to have to deal with disappointment for a while. The truth is that single people tend to have more bad dates than good ones, so taking a break from dating and just chilling as a single person is a nice respite. As speaker and spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport told INSIDER: “If you get burned out, are tired of being rejected, or meet a lot of undesirable people, it might be time to take a break. No one likes to be put in a position where people can and do attack you, lead you on or disappear. Your self-esteem may take a hit and if you continue dating at this point, you tend to not trust anyone and may not present yourself in the best possible way.”
  2. The next time I do get into a relationship, it’ll be for the right reasons. Because I actually like my own company, I won’t jump into dating someone just for the sake of it. This is true for anyone who decides to step back from the dating scene. “The truth is when you are okay just on your own, you are far less likely to date someone out of desperation or settle of a relationship that falls far short of your expectations,” says Regina DeMeo, a divorce and mediation attorney. “So it is really good to spend time alone, and just be comfortable on your own.”
  3. I have a pretty good idea of what I want. People who hop from relationship to relationship rarely get the chance to be alone with their thoughts and process their feelings, which is so important. “Breaks are helpful when you’re dating to give you the chance to take a step back and reevaluate,” life coach, Carmen Parks tells Bustle. “Maybe you started dating with one goal or purpose in mind but when you take a break you realize that some things have changed. For example, life perspectives, life goals, career goals etc. may have changed. Taking a break gives you time to reevaluate and determine what you really want now… which could be different than what you thought you wanted one, two, or five even years ago.” Makes sense!
Amanda is a queer woman living in NYC and a professional writer/storyteller. She loves poetry, TV, killer whales, activism, fandom, Captain America, and leather jackets. Amanda is passionate about sharing her experiences and hopes that other people can relate and connect to them.