I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, go cold turkey if you feel that you have a consistent bad habit in dating. I recommend a minimum of a month but ideally at least 3 months where you don’t go on any dates and say bye bye to sex. You can only see the impact of engaging with emotionally unavailable men when you are able to view things objectively, which means you should do it from a distance.

A dating hiatus means no online dating, no physical dating, no booty calls, no getting together with exes, and certainly no sex. It’s a detox and the aim of the game is to change your habits and heighten your awareness about what is creating your patterns and to also learn how to be less interesting to Mr Unavailables. Mr Unavailables get a lot of air time with women who are missing something else in their lives, aren’t too keen on being on their own, or have a fear of commitment.

If you can’t see why you’re doing things and get of sense of clarity or at least numbness to men that aren’t available to you, you’re never going to break the pattern.

The objective of having a dating hiatus is to give you the ability to return to the dating fold with a different attitude and a renewed vigour for only wanting to engage in relationships with men who are available.

Try new places, decline invitations, but also use this as an opportunity to watch the red flags that you normally miss. If alcohol has influenced your choices, stop drinking for this period. If you’re normally driven by horniness, familiarise yourself with a very good sex toy. When men do approach, decline dates. Change your habits. It will feel bad initially, but that passes.

If you find it difficult to be alone, this is the time to learn how to enjoy your own company. Spend some time with friends, channel your energy into work, find a new hobby, take a vacation, but ultimately do things that take the focus of being in non-relationships. It will be hard at first but when you have got used to your own company and focused your energy elsewhere, you’ll find that you not only place a higher value on yourself, but you view unavailable men with clear eyes.

When you do get approached by guys, make a mental note of the situation and surroundings and ask yourself if there is some sort of pattern. If you have a series of exes, whether they’re ex boyfriends or conquests that are still in touch with you, pushing for booty calls, ask yourself: why me?

Delete numbers of guys that you no longer see and tell guys that try to slip back into your life that you’re not interested. If there is a bar that you’ve picked up guys in, stop going and find a new haunt that doesn’t tempt you. Put yourself on a curfew if you turn into a werewolf after midnight! Avoid enabler’s that are like partners in crime and encourage you to slip back into old patterns. If you’re keen to get some in-depth understanding, see a counsellor or shrink for some independent advice. Reconnect with yourself.

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