Do You Need a Dating Detox?

Online dating, especially with the new dating apps, can be all consuming, bordering on addiction. Our question is if you have fallen into the trap of day and night checking your app and worrying about the next date, do you need a dating detox? This thought came to mind after reading about a writer who gave up dating online for 40 days, as reported by

When I thought about how I was spending my time, I was shocked to realize so much of it was spent dating. And not just going on the actual dates: looking at profiles, responding to messages, all the mental space taken up by thinking about these guys. Maybe I had made finding a partner too much of a priority. Despite having a ton of fun, it still felt sh*tty not having accomplished anything I’d set out to do this year. So I decided to do something I’d never done before: give up online dating for 40 days. Here’s what I learned.

What the writer realized is that she had been using a very hectic approach to dating to avoid confronting uncomfortable parts of her life. When she did her “dating detox” she replaced the habit of constantly checking for more dates on her phone with things like exercise, getting back in touch with her family and quiet reflection. And she came to understand how she was replacing self-love and a self-respect with validation from strangers.

Perspective and Liking Yourself

If your dating life has become too hectic and not especially satisfying perhaps you need a dating detox. The goal might be to regain perspective and remember to be yourself. Years ago we wrote about perspective when we said you need to learn to laugh at yourself in a relationship.

Life generally is easier and more fun if we do not take ourselves too seriously. All too often a nagging and critical voice from our childhood follows us into adult life. The best thing to do when you think that you made a mistake is to remember that you are an adult and not a powerless child. When the mistake is not life threatening and occurs when you are dating learn to laugh at yourself in a relationship.

Another advantage of the detox approach is to find and keep yourself. We wrote to be yourself on the first date and all subsequent outings.

Be truthful about yourself and expect the same from the person with whom you are going out. Pretending to be someone else never leads to dating success in the long run so be yourself on the first date. And, because the real you is a good listener, be yourself on the first date and try to find out more about that special someone who is with you for the evening.

Doing this is easier if you have time to think and are not addicted to your dating app or constantly checking to see if you have more responses to your resume on the online dating site. If addiction is what is going on in your case then you do need a dating detox of at least 40 days.

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