What the heck is a dating hiatus? Should I be on one? Am I on one? How long should it last? Is it a cult? Why does it sound like a Tinder flu?
Urban Dictionary defines Hiatus as: A gap or interruption in time, or continuity; a break.
A dating hiatus therefore means no online dating, no physical dating, no booty calls, no getting together with, calls/texts/snapchats/Facebook likes/ego boosts with exes.
Sounds like a healthy and empowering break rather than a punishment or drought right? …Right?
I had heard of a dating hiatus before and despite reading all the good reasons to go on one, I thought I could never mange. I had become so used to a swipe on tinder most evenings, various flirty sessions over whatsapp and knowing I had a virtual little black book was somewhat comforting. Although Tinder has only been available since 2012 and was once described as the “shallowest dating app ever” it has revolutionised how we find a potential mate. Surly this was the to embrace single life?
Well, this year, due to several personal circumstances that I won’t go into, I have found myself on an unintentional dating hiatus and there is something great about it. It’s essentially putting your romantic activities on pause so that you can take time to not only break a pattern but to also get to know you, so that when you do re-open your romantic doors, that you are coming from a healthier place. The hiatus is to take time out for you and hopefully you’ll use it well and give you the opportunity to be and do the things that tend to take a backburner due to the latest relationship.
The first thing I noticed was when I was catching up with my girlfriends recently, “So, what’s your guy chat?” My response, “Nothing. Not a thing.” And then my friends and I could move on to another topic, usually more intellectual and even better; about ourselves-work, family, gym, book we’ve been reading and not about some guy from Tinder or the boomerang guy we always end up with while we are bored. This reminds me of the time in Sex and the City, when Miranda goes nuts about her friends only ever talking about guys and despite spending my teens wanting to be Carrie Bradshaw, I find Miranda much more relatable and inspiring. (Although Carrie will win on a superficial level for clothes).
With it being Easter, the understanding of Lent: Giving up what you think you can’t live without… a chance to prove we can withhold our most hard-to-break vices, and spring is soon approaching with the thoughts of spring cleans and new blossoms, this is without a doubt, the perfect time to embrace this hiatus. Not only delete the apps but delete numbers of exes/hook ups/flirty banter. Before now, I joked I was basically on a dating hiatus but would check Tinder every other day or delete the apps but keep the profiles so I could be back on within moments of a download with a strong wifi. Now I understand the meaning and possibilities of a hiatus, I am fully embracing this! I have now set myself a challenge that will hopefully allow me to release myself from the addiction that can be easily found among some online daters. I have read a few articles on the hiatus and it is recommended it lasts 3-6 months. It’s estimated that the average Tinder user will spend up to 90 minutes on the app each day. I am going to try and take back that lost time by channelling my energy into other pursuits.
I am positively hoping this choice is to take time out and not the equivalent of being put on the naughty step, effectively sulking, stropping, and feeling hard done by. I believe mind-set affects actions and I know I need to be less cynical and recognise patterns in bad dating experiences.
Taylor Swift apparently had a dating hiatus after the Harry Styles thing. Look what happened; she got a bob, a trendy apartment in New York, finished her incredible 1989 album and then met Calvin Harris! Just in time to have a piece of eye candy by her side as she collected her many Grammys. Taking time to clear the head and hopefully stop repeating the same behaviours, mistakes and attitudes as to before can never be a bad idea! Maybe changing these behaviours might stop me being cynical and comparing guys. Maybe I can enter the dating world all bright eyed and bushy tailed. Maybe deleting these apps will make me look up while on a train or in a bar and I will learn the art of old school dating and one day, I might be like; this is crazy but here’s my number, so call me maybe? No more relying on the hope that he swipes left too!