What comes to mind when you think about dating? Do you get feelings of excitement and expectation? Or, instead, do you get feelings of dread and disaster? I think it is massively important that we examine our feelings before we begin to approach the dating space. Without a thorough examination of our emotional state, we’re liable to repeat the same mistakes that made us single in the first place.

Please don’t assume that being single is a bad thing. In fact, I would go so far as to say that over half of the people on dating websites right now would benefit from an extended period as a single person. How do I know this? Because I know, from my own personal experience, that being single for at least a few months is incredibly helpful and beneficial.

Most people that I speak with don’t believe that it is important to spend some time by yourself. Unfortunately, these are the same people that tend to jump from a relationship to relationship with very little time in between. When you ask them why they do that, they’re often quick to respond that they don’t see it as a problem. My response to that is usually the fact that it is hard to see the forest from the trees. When use zoom out, you can see just how unhealthy their relationships tend to be.

If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve only been single for a couple of days and you want to jump back into the dating pool, I would urge you to slow things down quite a bit. I know that it seems like the right thing to do, but you would benefit from a nice little break. You would benefit from learning to handle being alone. You would benefit from getting over these immediate feelings of loneliness and helplessness. You would benefit from self development practices. You would benefit from working on your family and your personal relationships that are not in the dating world. You would benefit from actually getting to know yourself and loving yourself before you attempt to love someone else.

Study after study proves that unhealthy people tend to be an unhealthy relationships. No, I am not saying that if you jump from relationship to relationship that you are unhealthy, I’m just saying there’s a strong correlation between people who don’t completely love themselves and low quality intimate relationships. You could be the one that bucks the trend, but the safer bet is to take a little time off from dating and get to know yourself. If you are brave enough to do this, you will find that dating takes on a completely different flavor in the future.

Does it scare you to be single? It certainly did for me! I absolutely could not stand being alone. I hated the loneliness and would get physical anxiety from it on most nights. The thought of dying alone would haunt my mind. For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t hold down a steady romantic relationship. However, it was not that there was something wrong with me, it was just that I did not find the time to fall in love with myself first. Being in the army, I end up moving a lot and that makes it very difficult to start a long term relationship. However, despite that, I have made some amazing friends and have you been fortunate enough to be in a couple of longer term relationships along the way.

My point to all of this is to simply say a high quality relationship is out there waiting for you. However, if you are engaged in the chaos of frequent relationships, you will never find the high quality one out there in the universe. I would strongly urge you to consider popping off the dating websites for a while, staying out of the bar for a while, and instead crack open a book and go to the gym! Make new friends, develop healthy habits, and you might even meet someone when you least expect it. Love is not something you can force, and yet we’re always out here trying to play house with one another.

Great relationships take time and they will never be the product of somebody jumping from place to place. Instead, you have to get quiet, get calm, and find the real you. Once you know who you are, you will be in a far better position to find somebody that matches the real you. Trust me, I know can be done! You have time, and you have so much to offer the world should don’t settle for anything less than absolute amazing!

Small business owner and US Army Veteran with thoughts on business, culture and relationships. Let's connect and learn from each other.

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