Is it really taking a break from dating if your head is still in it?
December 7, 2012 5:32 PM   Subscribe

Is it really taking a break from dating if your head is still in it?

I've dated a few people over the past two years but nothing that has turned into a long lasting relationship. After my most recent foray into the dating world, I want to take an indefinite break from dating. For the most part I am relieved, but then I find that I still keep thinking about dating type stuff, like "Ooh, my facebook friend has a cute brother. I wonder if she will introduce us?" or "I love this song, wouldn't it be cute if my cute classmate sang it to me?" It's a bit irritating. I had imagined this hiatus being something like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love (minus the expensive vacation), where I am free to be introspective and independent of the opposite sex. Are there any extra steps I should take to detox from such thoughts, or should I just bear them?
posted by Cybria to Human Relations (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You're conflating action with thought here. You can't control every thought that comes into your head; what you can do is acknowledge the attraction and then remind yourself why you are refraining from action (like actually asking your facebook friend for an introduction). Trying to kill your sex drive altogether is setting yourself up for failure.
posted by oinopaponton at 5:40 PM on December 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

It might be easier to set these thoughts aside if your break from dating isn't indefinite. Give yourself a set period of time.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:43 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Elizabeth Gilbert ended up married at the end of Eat, Pray, Love so I think you're doing comparatively well.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:47 PM on December 7, 2012 [7 favorites]

oinopaponton has it right.

I've been not dating for a few years now, with no intention of starting up again. I'm sure my reasons are different from yours. However, when I catch myself having those thoughts, it's become nearly automatic to remind myself of my reasons. This results in almost never having those thoughts at all. I still have the occasional flight of fancy when I encounter an attractive person, but the flights don't get far off the ground so the return to reality is not as jarring.

I don't think there is any way to completely escape the thoughts. That would be a lot of natural and societal conditioning to overcome.

If I ever need reinforcement for my decision and ongoing resolve, I read the M4F posts in my local craigslist and that fixes it. It's like aversion therapy.

Elizabeth Gilbert had the freedom to not write about her distracting thoughts, so I imagine she just left them out.
posted by caryatid at 7:11 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thank you guys. :) Now that I think of it, in the book she was musing about how she wished her Italian tutor would kiss her...they should have left that part in the movie. :)
posted by Cybria at 9:03 PM on December 7, 2012

You know what ? Deciding you want to stop dating for a *definite* period of time could be sitting still long enough for Cupid to send one of his arrow in your heart's direction.

Take a look at your calendar, decide how long you want to remain on the dating sidelines (until your birthday, until Valentine Day, until the first day of spring...) fill your life with something rewarding (art classes, charity work...) and if a potential partner happen to cross your path before the date you set, do not let him/her miss you because of what the calendar says...
posted by Baud at 6:44 AM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

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