Is the dating scene a little too daunting to face right now? You’re not alone. Whether it’s because of contagious layoffs, social distancing requirements, or generally low morale due to COVID-19, lots of people have been avoiding romantic entanglements in the last few years. So if you’re feeling embarrassed about your decision to step back from dating, or you’re confused why your friends are—we’ve compiled a list of the top things that might make a person take an extra-long break from the world of love.
1. You’ve Had Your Trust Broken
One user shared, “Just ending a 12-year relationship when my wife passed. Found out by looking through her phone that she had a bunch of relationships with men throughout our years together, both online-only relationships and in-person relationships. I had no clue because I trusted her completely. It makes me feel like I can never trust another partner once I get through the healing process.”
One user exclaimed, “Dude. What. The. Fudge.”
Another added, “Dude, just the combo of how angry and betrayed you’d feel, with the guilt over the feelings cause she’s dead.”
One Redditor sympathized, “I am SO sorry.”
The OP answered, “Thanks, it’s been a rough month.”
2. You’re Near Burnout
One Redditor posted, “Broke and tired.”
Another user commented with a pun, “Broken and tired for me.”
“Yeah, I’m gonna go with all three on this one. Broken, broken, and tired. Pill addiction doesn’t help, either. Don’t want to bring another person into my chaos right now; that person deserves better,” one commenter agreed.
Another commenter added, “You deserve better, too.”
3. You Want to Grow First
One commenter added, “Require more self-growth. I don’t know if I can trust myself to not go into people-pleasing mode rather than asserting my needs and boundaries and ending up in another years-long relationship with someone I just am not into.”
Another Redditor responded, “This is so very relatable.”
4. You’re Working Through Things
One user said, “I’m not dating because I’m currently undateable. I have some serious issues that I’m working on.”
Another user commented, “Good for you for working on yourself instead of desperately hunting for someone to distract from the problems.”
“Love this,” one commenter added.
One user asked, “What kind of issues? I know that’s a personal question, but I wonder what people mean when they say that.”
The OP replied, “It’s ok to ask. I’m on chemo, for one. I’m also fairly depressed and anxious.”
Another user shared, “I quit my job to take care of my mom who went into hospice… She passed away from cancer. My elderly father, who was destroyed by the whole thing, caught pneumonia, influenza, and covid a few months after… spent months in the hospital, and I’ve been nursing him back to health since discharge… where my wife divorced me and took our kid away.
“All this in a span of a year. I am unemployed, recently divorced, and taking care of my 90yo father while living in my deceased mother’s basement. I am working through serious issues. I am undateable.”
However, one user commented, “You know, for people who are taking care of their parents and loved ones: Please don’t think just because you may not have the energy and space to be present in a relationship right now means you’re undateable. I think it’s very noble to be caring for your parents (if I do say so myself.)
“If you haven’t already, join our/AgingParents. It’s tough, and reading about others going through the same is helpful. Edit: I forgot a few words.”
4. You’re Tired of Online Dating
One user said, “The fact that I have to endlessly scroll and go through the Tinder/Bumble/Hinge dance to connect with someone. I think we’re all tired of it.”
Another user responded, “I finally deactivated my profile a few months ago, and don’t miss it at all. I had been in the cycle of deleting the apps and redownloading a few days later for a long time because there was always that FOMO of ‘maybe I got a new match,’ but now I’ve taken that away. In the last few years, it’s really started to feel like they purposefully make the apps barely work unless you pay, and even when I have paid for a month here and there, I’ve never had much luck. Just preying on desperate lonely people for our data and money.
“I haven’t really dated anyone I’ve met in real life in a long time, but I’m just gonna keep living my life, and if someone comes along, that’s great. The apps are an emotional and energetic drain for seemingly little payoff.”
Another Redditor added, “I actually had a moment of weakness last month and paid for Tinder, Hinge, and Plenty of Fish all at once. Just one month, but still, it wasn’t cheap. Wanna know what I got from it? Zilch. Waste of damn money. Yes, I can see who liked me. Guess what? Bots. All bots. Once the month is out, I am deleting all of those apps. I’ll keep the Facebook dating thing going since it is free, but I don’t expect much from it.
“It’s so unnatural to try to force a conversation with someone you didn’t meet organically. My plan going forward is going to be to try to meet people through my hobbies and volunteering work. It might work, and it might not. But at least I won’t feel like I am trying to force anything unnaturally.”
5. You Don’t Like the Available Options
One frustrated Redditor said, “The dating pool needs chlorine.”
Another user commented, “Indeed. And I’ve learned to avoid the shallow end.”
“My thoughts exactly,” a third user confirmed.
6. You Have Bad Relationship Habits to Break
“Relationship me is the worst me,” one user commented.
One user replied, “Real talk… I get obsessive, extra moody, and clingy. Single me lets things go a lot more easily & pours my energy into objectively productive & healthy things.”
Another added, “Don’t forget to be anxious when they don’t respond to texts fast enough. I’m so much more at peace on my own.”
One Redditor user joked, “Hi! Don’t call me out like this. Thanks!”
7. You Don’t Think You’re Likeable
“I feel like no one I like will truly like me back,” one user shared.
One user replied, “I used to feel like this. Then I met my ex’s mom. She was so nuts but deeply loved by her husband, and now I always think ‘if she can find it, why not me.'”
Another added, “The first two sentences had me thinking it was going to go in a different direction.”
One user commented, “Yup. This, too. Every person I like isn’t interested.”
8. You Don’t Have the Energy
One Redditor posted, “The dating scene is so demanding. Ugh, I don’t have the energy for anyone like that anymore.”
Another added, “I agree. I don’t have the energy.”
Another user joked, “You two should date.”
9. You Want Commitment
A user commented, “Lack of options for serious monogamy.”
One replied, “Hell yeah. Nowadays, being 25 and looking forward to a serious relationship that hopefully will grow into marriage is almost shunned. Like I’m not damaged goods or inferior because I want a proper relationship instead of being a [f- boy].”
“I feel that… so many are into polygamy these days. While that’s a perfectly valid way to live, that is not my way. I prefer to know every bit about my special person… all their moods and quirks… I feel it gets difficult to appreciate when more than one person is in the mix… even if only casually… but again, that’s just me,” another user responded.
10. You Don’t Like Small Talk
One user posted, “I can’t go from, ‘What’s this thing on my back’ back to ‘What’s your favorite color?'”
Another replied, “Yes. This is it right here. It takes me so damn long to truly let go and say goodbye to that closeness. And when I finally do heal, grieve, and move on, I just can’t fathom starting back at square one again with a whole new person. I honestly don’t know how people cycle so quickly from one relationship to the next. I love pretty deeply and just can’t keep starting over. It feels unnatural.”
One user also commented, “They bottle everything up and tell themselves they are fine. That’s how.”
“This is so relatable; thank you for giving a great example!” replied another commenter.
11. You Lost the One You Loved
“The person I loved died. I doubt I’ll find anyone as wonderful as she was again,” one user commented.
Another user replied, “I’m sorry. I hope you have a delicious meal in the next 48 hours.”
The OP answered, “I’m having one right now, in fact. Thank you for your kind words.”
12. You Keep Finding the Wrong People
One Redditor commented, “Amazing connections with the wrong people, the pain that comes after it doesn’t work out.”
13. You’re Depressed
One Redditor added, “Depression makes me isolate myself.”
Another user replied, “Yep, I have it, and after my last boyfriend and some of the stuff he said… I think I’m better off by myself, so I don’t bother anyone or worry about certain stuff.”
One Redditor added, “Depression can make you believe your only choices are crappy partners or no partner. I was stuck in that place for a decade. Don’t listen to your glitching brain. It lies to you.”
14. You Don’t Feel Like Yourself Around Others
One user shared, “I haven’t met a guy that makes me feel like I can be myself around him.”
Another replied, “I’m always curious when I hear this. What part of yourself do you feel is stifled around guys? This is said a lot by both men and women, so there’s obviously something to it.”
One commenter added, “When it comes to your interests and personality, people who seem to have specific expectations of what you should be like or people who judge you when you express yourself or the things you like. Last year I was dating someone and chose not to share things that made me excited because I worried he’d look down on them or tease me for them.
“But also, more positively, there are just some people that you connect with easily and that make you feel super comfortable. Someone could be a wonderful person, but not right for you because you don’t click in that way and feel like yourself with them.”
15. You Think You’re Too Strange
“I have too many quirks and weirdnesses. I’m sure there is someone out there who would be interested, but the amount of effort it would take to find them is just way too much work for limited gain,” one Redditor posted.
Another commenter seconded, “This! And just being understood in general, especially when you’re ‘weird’ or ‘complex.’ Reaching even a quarter way with someone who seems like they get you, but then THEY do/say something to show you that they actually can’t deal, and having to restart with someone else is too exhausting and can make it all seem pointless.”
One user commented, “This is how I feel sometimes. I used to think that I might be too complicated for therapy, but since I started actually going to therapy, I feel like I’m not as complicated or weird as I thought. Maybe I’ve just been too harsh on myself and forget that a lot of people are just as, if not more, weird and quirky as me. Maybe I’ve been too anxious about meeting people and need to stop overthinking and just get out there.”
Do you agree with this list? Share your thoughts and leave your comments below.
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