Do I have to date right now?

We chat today at 1.

And here is another one of those podcasts for those who like listening to things.

And last but not least, I'll announce some Love Letters 5th anniversary events tomorrow. Please reserve Jan. 21 and 22nd for me. The 21st if you like talking and drinking and the 22nd if you like sexy things and sitting.

Dear Meredith,

I just turned 27 and have spent the past few years on a dating website. My quest has been unsuccessful, including a long-term relationship that ended this past spring. Since that breakup, I have had little motivation to date and have spent time picking up new hobbies, spending more time with friends, and being happy on my own. I realized that in order to dip back into the dating pool and have a successful relationship, I need to be completely confident and happy with myself, which is something I've been working on this year. I've also reached a point of "dating burnout" after years of unsuccessful relationships, so I feel the need to sit back, reflect, and recoup for a bit.

Nearly all my friends are now engaged, married, or in serious relationships. The issue is that my mom constantly reminds me of this and of how I am approaching the big 3-0, so I NEED to be out dating because by the time I'm in my 30s, all hope will be lost of finding someone. Her comments are constant and sometimes offensive (that I'm a bore, dress too conservatively, am too picky, have commitment issues, etc.)

I point out that I need some time to be on my own and don't want to be with someone for the sake of being with someone; I want to be in a fulfilling relationship with my "match," which unfortunately I have yet to find. My mom thinks this is nonsense, gets angry, and stops talking to me for weeks. I also tried the "I'm not telling you if I'm dating or not" approach which just gets her even more worked up.

I know she wants me to be happy and is trying to help, but the constant pressure from her to be in a relationship really bothers me. How do I react to her when she constantly harasses me about being single? Is she right that I am wasting time and should be putting myself out there as much as possible in order to be in a relationship?

– Pressured, Boston

I'm going to focus on the love stuff (this being Love Letters and all).

There's nothing wrong with being 27 and single. It's great that you're finding yourself and learning to be happy on your own. But ... if you're approaching a year of no dates (that breakup was last spring?), please consider the possibility that you can do two things at once. You can enjoy your friends and single time while having a date here and there. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, and sometimes it's nice to remind yourself what it's like to get some attention from someone new.

As for the mom stuff, and all you can really do is be honest with her and hope for the best. And make sure that she isn't part of your dating burnout. I have to wonder whether her constant prodding is one of the reasons you just want to avoid the whole thing.

Readers? Should she be pushing herself to date? Any thoughts on the mom? How much time off do you take for dating burnout? Is she not dating in response to her mom?

– Meredith