I read about the concept of “dating fasts” in a recent NY Times Wedding announcement and was immediately intrigued. Basically, you take 6 months or longer and you abstain from dating and romance to focus on yourself and your personal growth. One might decide to participate in a dating fast if she/he finds herself/himself in a holding pattern in relationships, dating the same types of people over and over again.
Pastor Craig Holliday, a minister of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church in Brooklyn, who suggested a dating fast to the groom (pre meeting his now wife) in the above article, said this about why someone might want to take a dating fast:
It’s important because unless you begin to identify the areas in your own life that you need help in, by God’s grace, then all you will do is jump from one bad relationship to the next because you have brought these problems with you.
So, when I deep some research into this concept of abstaining from dating, it seemed very strongly linked to religion. However, I think it’s a useful idea for secular folks as well. I recently read a quote I loved and it applies to dating and this idea of taking a sabbatical to re-assess:
We can’t always be ‘on’ and looking for love. It just doesn’t work that way. Sometimes our minds aren’t in a romantic place – we have to accept that romance isn’t an everyday thing. During our downtimes from dating, we can discover a great deal about ourselves – who we are as individuals; what excites us and motivates us, and ultimately, what we want in a relationship and what we can give.
I love the idea of a dating fast. But at nearly 33, I’m not sure I want to take a 6 month one. Seems a bit long when I’m hoping for children and a family. But I do love the idea, and maybe a month wouldn’t be too bad an idea.
Would you ever take a dating sabbatical?