After I realized how much time and energy was being sucked up by my disastrous love life, I decided to take a break from dating. I was hoping to get some peace and clarity, but I was not expecting my moratorium on dating to also change my career.
I have more time to accomplish things. One of the best things about working as a freelancer is that I don’t have a set schedule, but when dating woes and triumphs start eating up my time, my freedom can end up being my downfall. Between shopping for outfits, stressing over a pimple no one else can even see, and endless swiping, dating is pretty time-consuming. Putting a pause on dating freed up so much extra time that I actually got an amazing new gig within two weeks of deleting dating apps.
I developed greater self-confidence. Between breadcrumbing, ghosting, and unsolicited sexual messages, dating apps definitely have definitely not been the best thing for my self-esteem. As a freelance writer, I have to feel confident enough to go after clients and ask for the rates I deserve. Without strange men on the internet or real life screwing with my head, working up the confidence to seize what I deserve and chase my goals is starting to come a lot easier.
I have more emotional energy. Dating doesn’t just take up time, it also calls for a lot of emotional energy. After the end of each almost-relationship, I’d often be sent spiraling. Taking the day off of work because I was too drained from a bad breakup or too hungover from a bad date started to happen way too often. Less swiping and fewer dates meant I could put more of myself into my work. Not only did this improve my income, but by putting my passions into my work, I ended up developing way more career satisfaction.
I spend more time on self-reflection. With the time and money I freed up by placing a moratorium on dating, I was really able to do a lot of self-reflection. I took up journaling and experimented with hypnotherapy to get to the root of what was standing in the way of finding love. While I was on this journey, not only did I gain more confidence and eliminate some energy-consuming issues, I also got more clear on my career goals. It’s pretty hard to excelint your career when you don’t know what your goals are.
I develop more connections. Building a career as a freelancer is all about developing connections. Unfortunately, working remotely can really limit your ability to mingle with interesting people. When I would go out while dating, my focus was on meeting eligible bachelors. Now when I go out, I can really focus on connecting with people. I’ve been able to score some great interviews and get plenty of ideas for stories just by striking up a conversation with a stranger.
There are fewer distractions. Another great aspect of freelancing is that I basically don’t have a boss. But when no one is holding me accountable for every minute of my day, it can be easy to end up wasting them. My phone regularly dinging with messages was a constant source of distraction, while swiping was an all-too-tempting way to procrastinate. I can’t even calculate how many hours of my week have been rescued from the dating app blackhole.
I completely focus on myself. When I was dating, I would end up making decisions based on my love life rather than purely on myself. Now, if I want to pursue a time-consuming career opportunity, go on a solo trip, or spend a Saturday night writing, I don’t have to worry about how my work impacts someone else.
I have stricter boundaries. Saying no to dating in general (and promising gentlemen in particular) wasn’t easy. It takes boundaries to maintain this commitment to myself. Turns out, practicing setting boundaries and saying no has been amazing for my career. As a freelancer, clients sometimes don’t respect my time, communicate respectfully, or pay me what my value is. Learning to communicate my expectations with clients and say no to jobs that don’t really benefit me has saved me so much time and emotional energy.
I have more downtime. When working from home, it’s easy to spend longer than I should writing. But if I don’t take any downtime, I’ll end up burned out, which leads to careless mistakes and a lack of creativity. My love life and the dating app game had begun to contribute so much stress to my life it started to feel like work. The time I spent swiping or going on dates just ending up making me feel more burned out and drained rather than refreshed and excited. After giving up dating when I end my work day, I put the screens away and really tune out, which gives me way more energy to focus on my career.
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