If you’ve suffered through a string of bad relationships, you may feel like giving up on love.
Is it bad to give up on dating and relationships?
It is not bad to give up on dating and relationships. It is a sign of good mental health to take time for self-healing, self-discovery, and self-growth. Romantic relationships are optional for a happy life. Healthy platonic relationships help create a fulfilling life.
In this article, I’ll answer this question in even more detail based on specific circumstances.
7 Reasons It Is Not Bad To Give Up on Dating and Relationships
When someone says “giving up” they might mean a temporary break from romantic relationships.
They might also mean a life-long surrender to being alone.
Either choice is okay and will not prevent you from living a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Here are seven good reasons it’s okay to give up on dating and relationships.
1) You Are Not Ready
Maybe you had a bad experience that traumatized you and made it difficult for you to engage in any kind of romantic relationship.
You can usually heal better from trauma without a romantic partner.
It’s a good idea to at least take a temporary break from dating to heal and find wholeness in your life again.
Until you are ready, there is no shame in maintaining platonic friendships, even if some of those friendships eventually become something more.
Related: Can Dating Be Platonic? (10 Things You Should Know)
2) You Will Be Happier Being Alone Than Being With the Wrong Person
You discover someone who seems perfect for you, but they turn out to be a terrible match.
They might suppress your true self, isolate you from your friends and family, and flood you with endless guilt. People end up in bad romantic relationships for a variety of reasons.
These abusive and toxic relationships sap happiness, hope, and energy from your life.
It’s much better to be alone than in a bad relationship.
3) You Do Not Want a Romantic Partner
Maybe you have decided that you do not want a romantic partner.
You might be satisfied with platonic friendships, close family relationships, and/or the company of animals instead of humans.
You can still live a happy life without a romantic partner (if that is your choice).
So, don’t feel obligated to seek a partner based on pressure from society or other people in your life.
4) Happiness Is Not Dependent on Romantic Relationships
I really want to nail home this point: You can be very happy and fulfilled in life without a romantic partner.
Another way to say that is “romance is optional.”
Relationships, however, are not. Plenty of research suggests that people with close, loving relationships are happy, more satisfied with life, and live longer.
Surround yourself with close friends and family.
5) You Will Have Less Drama and More Money
All relationships come with some level of drama and conflict.
They are also expensive. For men, there is usually the cost of paying for dates, gifts, etc. For women, it can be paying for dates, makeup, clothes, etc. For any gender, dating gets expensive fast.
It’s okay to give up dating and relationships because you’ll save a lot of money.
You’ll also spare yourself the pain of drama and heartache.
6) You Remain True To Yourself
Many people give up on dating because of their values and standards.
You may hold strong religious beliefs that make it important for you to remain abstinent until marriage (or forever).
Then again, perhaps your personal code of conduct is against relationship issues such as cheating, lying, or otherwise being dishonest with others. Maybe part of your identity means being someone who stays single forever by choice.
Whatever the reason, if remaining single is truly what you believe, then it’s worth honoring yourself.
Besides, not dating gives you time to focus on yourself and grow into your full potential.
7) Better Mental Health
One of the major downsides of dating app culture is the destruction of self-esteem.
Unless you are in the top 10% of beautiful people, you get far fewer good matches. For average-looking men, the results are even more dismal.
An average-looking person will often get 1-2 matches per week (if they’re lucky).
And those matches will be with people much less attractive than them. Many men and women give up on dating because it damages their mental health.
In fact, lots of people unconsciously give up on love without even knowing it.
Here is a good video about the signs that you’ve unknowingly given up on love:
Is It Bad To Give Up on Dating and Relationships? (As a Young Person)
It is not bad to give up on dating and relationships as a young person.
You can give up on romantic relationships at any age. Some people mature much faster and realize that they enjoy being by themselves more than being in a dating relationship.
While it’s not bad to give up on dating, you may want to keep an open mind.
As a young person (say, in your 20s), you still have a lot of life ahead of you. You may change your mind later, so there is no need to make a permanent decision.
You can stay single as long as you want (even forever).
But consider giving yourself permission to change your mind if you meet the right person ten years from now.
Is It Bad To Give Up on Dating and Relationships? (As an Older Person)
If you’re an older person (say, in your 50s, 60s, or 70s) and you’ve given up on dating and relationships, it’s normal.
Many people become tired of endless dates and failed relationships by that age.
They’ve had negative experiences with dating apps, bad breakups, and divorces. The love of their life may have passed away.
You may not want to go through the trouble of dating anymore.
Instead, you prefer close friendships and family. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach.
Is It Bad To Give Up on Dating and Relationships After a Divorce?
Many people give up on dating after a turbulent marriage or toxic divorce.
Leaving a bad relationship may be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make. It takes an incredible amount of courage and emotional fortitude to leave someone once they enter your life.
After that, it comes as no surprise that some people simply don’t want to date again anytime soon—maybe even forever.
Therefore, there is nothing wrong with giving up on dating and relationships after a divorce.
After my divorce, I all but gave up on love and marriage for a few years.
While my decision wasn’t permanent, there are no reasons why a divorced man or woman can’t temporarily or permanently stop dating.
Is It Bad To Give Up on Dating and Relationships As a Man?
It is not bad to give up on dating and relationships as a man.
Many men give up on dating because:
- They can’t find a suitable partner
- No one in their attraction range/level wants them
- They want to date outside of their league
- They have been hurt
- They are more focused on their career
- They feel content being alone and single
- The emotional and financial risks are too high
- Painful divorces
- Divorce rates are at their highest point in history
For men who want to avoid these issues, it can make sense to give up on dating/attempting romance altogether.
I certainly have considered giving up on dating more than once in my life.
Is It Bad To Give Up on Dating and Relationships As a Woman?
It is not bad for women to give up on dating and relationships. Just like the men, many women give up on dating for a variety of reasons.
The reasons might include:
- They are too busy with their career, family, and friends
- They can’t find a partner that meets their standards
- They want to date outside of their league (of attraction, age, etc)
- They are older
- They find it hard to date as a single mother
- The love of their life has passed away
- They feel happy and fulfilled without a significant other
Women are often viewed negatively when they do not “settle down” by a certain age. But women don’t need romantic relationships to define them or their value.
At What Age Should You Give Up Dating?
There is no specific age when you should give up on dating—you don’t need to give up at all.
You may want to give up on relationships in your 20s or remain casually dating into your late 70s and 80s.
If dating is not for you, then you don’t need to date.
Don’t let society (or anyone else) pressure you into a social construct that doesn’t align with your personal values and preferences.
Giving Up On Dating at 30+
Many people give up on dating around age 30 after a break-up or long stretch of singleness.
This may occur after they’ve already had several failed relationships in which all their friends are married and settling down.
It doesn’t mean that something is inherently wrong with you if you stop wanting to date in your 30s.
Giving Up On Love at 40+
Other people give up on relationships and dating in their 40s.
It’s a common approach as they achieve success in their career, focus on children, and make new friends.
There is no shame if you feel burned out from the dating scene after going through several break-ups or divorces by age 40.
Giving Up On Love at 50+
Some men and women give up on relationships, dating, and love by age 50.
In fact, it is a very common approach for people who have been single or only casually dating for many years.
It’s also pretty predictable after being divorced or separated from a long-term relationship that failed due to infidelity (or any other reason).
Is Dating Necessary?
Dating is not necessary for a happy, full, and satisfying life. You can be perfectly content and fulfilled without ever going on a date or being in a relationship. Plenty of people lead incredibly fulfilling lives without ever getting married or finding “the one.”
While dating can be enjoyable for some people, it’s not a requirement for happiness. There are many single people who are content and fulfilled without ever having dated someone.
So don’t worry if you’re not currently dating—you’re definitely not alone!
That said, some people do find happiness and fulfillment in dating and relationships.
If you’re one of those people, then by all means go for it. But don’t feel like you have to date or be in a relationship if you don’t want to.
There’s nothing wrong with choosing to be single and enjoying your own company.
Final Thoughts: Is It Bad To Give Up on Dating and Relationships?
You know yourself best. The choice to date or not to date is entirely up to you and you alone.
It is not bad, wrong, sinful, or a failure to give up on dating and relationships. You get to determine your personal preference, lifestyle, and identity.
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American Psychological Association (Research on Relationships)