Being Intentional With Your Dating Break

Being Intentional With Your Dating Break
Photo by Drop the Label Movement / Unsplash

I’m officially dating again. I had my first date on the 9th of October and another with someone else a week later.

My date on the 9th was with Derrick, which isn’t his real name. I just finished watching Save The Last Dance, and Derrick was the first name that came to mind. Derrick is a 30-something-year-old software engineer who moved to Manchester for university a few years ago and never left.

One thing I liked about him was that he wasted no time asking me out. Decisive is on my list of qualities I want in a partner. We got into a bit of small talk after we matched. He asked me what I was doing, and I told him I was about to watch an episode of Game of Thrones. We talked about Game of Thrones and House of The Dragon for about 20 minutes straight. I asked him why he didn’t want to have kids; he had that listed on his Hinge profile. He briefly told me why and then asked me why I wasn’t sure about having kids; that was something listed on my profile. After telling him I liked my life without them, we agreed it was better to have that conversation in person. He asked me if I wanted to get together over the weekend.

I let him know I was free Sunday and asked what he had in mind. He suggested that we do an activity and said if we make it to a second date, we can do dinner. I agreed and told him to confirm a time with me Sunday morning. That was my way of letting him know if I didn’t hear from him on Sunday morning, I wouldn’t be going. 8 am Sunday morning, he messaged me asking if he would still see me.

The date itself was fun. We had a drink which gave us a chance to talk. During that drink, I asked if he wanted a relationship. The answer he gave me was vague and went something like, “obviously, if the right person comes along, I’d jump at the chance, but how can I say I want a relationship with someone?"

From there, I knew I had no interest in seeing him again. The way I see it is if you aren’t able or willing to say that you want a relationship, why should I expect one from you? I wasn’t expecting him to know whether he wanted to be with me. But I was expecting him to know, with certainty, that he wanted a relationship with someone.

After our drink, we played mini golf. There were lots of jokes and laughter and a bit of flirting. Derrick was easy to be with, that’s for sure, but as we were talking, there were more things he said that suggested he wasn’t seriously looking to meet anyone. Like the fact that he indirectly and subtly mentioned sex at least three times. It didn’t make me uncomfortable, but it was clear that we were on different pages.

After mini golf, we stopped for another drink and talked more. Marriage came up, and if it wasn’t clear before, it was glaringly obvious that we wanted different things. We didn’t get food because he said he wasn’t hungry. I said I’d grab food on the way home. There was a WingStop near the taxi stand I was headed towards. He walked with me, paid for my food, and got himself food because he’d never had WingStop. I got into my taxi. The next evening I unmatched him on Hinge; I didn't bother explaining why because I knew he had no interest in seeing me again either.

Then came my date on the 16th. This guy asked me out quickly too. We matched on the 6th, he asked me out on the 8th, and we made plans to go to dinner on the 16th. He lives about 2 hours away, so a few days after confirming our plans, he asked if we could have lunch instead of dinner. We met for a late lunch at a cosy Italian restaurant in the city. Following that, we walked to a nearby bar with an outdoor patio, where we sat and talked. He was so sweet, kind and attentive. Our conversations were a good mix of surface-level stuff and deeper stuff. A few days ago, we decided to delete our dating app profiles and exclusively date each other. Our second date is this Sunday.

Last August, I decided to take at least a one-year break from dating. You can read about why here. At the time, it was the best decision for me. And now that it’s over, I can confirm it was one of the best things I could’ve done for myself. Here’s how I spent my dating break and how to make the most of your dating break.

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