There is a lot of pressure in society, whether monogamous or polyamorous, to be in a relationship. Sometimes people decide not to be in a relationship regardless of that pressure. They recognize that there are things they need to accomplish or issues within themselves that must be managed before pursuing a relationship. Being intentional about not dating can be difficult if you haven't accepted that maybe you aren't ready for a relationship.
You were a survivor of DV.
It may not be the best idea to move out of a DV situation and go into another relationship soon after, polyamorous or not. You may decide it is best to focus on healing, strengthening boundaries, and vetting skills. Or you may need to rest and pour into yourself. You may need time to gather lost resources, seek therapy, or even find safety. Victims of DV heal at different rates. For some, they can navigate back into other relationships seamlessly; others may need a few months or years to feel comfortable dating again. There is no set time when you should be ready to date again. Take all the time you need to recoup what you've lost and stabilize.
You were an abuser.
You may think the first step to having future healthy relationships and being accountable for your actions is simply acknowledging you were an abuser... Many abusers are aware they are abusive and continue to harm their partners. The first step is stepping away from relationships and seeking out therapy or a mental health specialist. You may not be ready for a relationship if you have not unpacked traumas and compulsive behaviors in how you interact with loved ones. Spending time with yourself, actively participating in therapy, and educating yourself on healthy relationship interaction are necessary.
You're on a journey of self-discovery.
Some people want to focus on spiritual growth. While being in a relationship has its rewards, they find it more rewarding to pour that energy into themselves. Some polyamorous people may choose not to date for years or ever due to this. It does not mean you will never date (which is also fine), but you may want to focus on your self-awareness, spiritual alignment, or resiliency. You may even see self-discovery as a predecessor to entering a relationship.
You are a professional.
Society frowns down on people who choose to focus on their careers instead of building relationships and following the relationship escalator. People get penalized for doing so, especially depending on their gender. You may want to get some major career moves out of the way before seeking out relationships. Actively dating one person is hard enough; multiple people require more resources. You may be focusing on your career to establish a safety net or preparing for early retirement, and that's okay.
You're focused on your health.
Maybe your health has been declining lately, or you're disabled (or newly disabled). Health is not limited to physical health but also mental. You may have been slacking on being proactive with your health or not taking your medication. Taking time away from relationships to focus on preserving and strengthening yourself is okay. Some of us have been victims of ableism while dating and in relationships. It is okay to take a break to seek out a different dating pool, set up stronger vetting procedures, or relax. Some people may find the dating world currently inaccessible to their disabilities. They may need time to figure out how to make dating accessible for them.
You want to make sure.
...that polyamory is for you and that you are ready for it. Even if you identify as polyamorous, it does not necessarily mean you want to start dating that way immediately. Some people may feel like they need some more education or exposure to the community before they start creating relationships. Some may identify with polyamory but also monogamy and want to see if ambiamory is a better fit for them. You may be still building on what you would like out of polyamory and need to set short and long-term goals for how you want your relationships to look.
You don't want to.
You do not have to have any reason at all to not date. You may not want to. Choosing not to be in a relationship is your business and your business alone. You do not owe a reason to family, friends, or polyamorous community members why you are not dating or in a relationship. Be comfortable saying "I don't want to" or "it's none of your business" - whether you have a reason. No one other than yourself should be keeping up with your relationships or lack thereof. Explaining yourself can open up the opportunity for further questions, unsolicited advice, and unnecessary judgment.