Why You Procrastinate and Put Off Dating

I took a poll of my mailing list and asked my readers to self-select into one of three categories: Dating, in a Relationship or Taking a Break.

The numbers surprised me:

  • 43.4% were dating.
  • 19% were in relationships.
  • 37.6% were in between, starting over or taking a break.

That’s like 40% of the readers of Golf Digest NOT playing golf. You don’t get better at golf by just reading about it; at a certain point, you have to pick up a club.

It’s an imperfect analogy, of course, because dating is NOT like golf. Sure, the default setting for both is failure but dating is a much more emotional endeavor that is dependent upon opening up and making oneself vulnerable. From that perspective, it’s a little easier to understand why so many women claim to want love but aren’t actively pursuing it.

Ready for Lasting Love?
Ready for Lasting Love?

That brings me to today’s article about why we procrastinate, which I thought was interesting, especially when overlaid onto why we procrastinate when it comes to dating.

“Put simply, procrastination is about being more focused on “the immediate urgency of managing negative moods” than getting on with the task…

The particular nature of our aversion depends on the given task or situation. It may be due to something inherently unpleasant about the task itself — having to clean a dirty bathroom or organizing a long, boring spreadsheet for your boss. But it might also result from deeper feelings related to the task, such as self-doubt, low self-esteem, anxiety or insecurity. Staring at a blank document, you might be thinking, I’m not smart enough to write this. Even if I am, what will people think of it? Writing is so hard. What if I do a bad job?

All of this can lead us to think that putting the document aside and cleaning that spice drawer instead is a pretty good idea.

But, of course, this only compounds the negative associations we have with the task, and those feelings will still be there whenever we come back to it, along with increased stress and anxiety, feelings of low self-esteem and self-blame.

In fact, there’s an entire body of research dedicated to the ruminative, self-blaming thoughts many of us tend to have in the wake of procrastination, which are known as ‘procrastinatory cognitions.’ The thoughts we have about procrastination typically exacerbate our distress and stress, which contribute to further procrastination, Dr. Sirois said.”

My job is to make sure those breaks are shorter, lest your life pass away while you’re avoiding the pain of dating.

Sounds about right.


At any point in time, I have 25 women in Love U group coaching and 15 private clients. Even though all have invested $5000+ for six months, at any point, there are probably 15% of women who are “taking a break” from dating, men and relationships. My job is to make sure those breaks are shorter, lest your life pass away while you’re avoiding the pain of dating.

In writing this, I’m not minimizing the pain of dating. If anyone is acutely aware of it, it would be a guy has listened to women’s complaints for 16 years. The flakes, the pervs, the liars, the losers, the players; let’s face it, the struggle is real!

Alas, “not dating” doesn’t lead to happy, healthy, long-term relationships that leave you feeling safe, heard, and understood for the rest of your life.

Sure, you could avoid the potential pain and turmoil of dating – but you’ll never get the pleasure of the happiest marriages. That’s what you’re here for. 

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.