I’m still chewing food, drinking the occasional glass of wine, and consuming far more than the recommended daily amount of coffee. This detox has nothing to do with kale or lemon or cayenne pepper or juice. This detox is one of a different sort– a dating detox.
A few weeks ago, I (metaphorically) woke up. It was a Sunday evening and I was beat. I had a tough week at work, which was only exacerbated by back-to-back nights of poor sleep. My reprieve? A weekend full of late nights out at bars and clubs, and enjoyable-but-not-earth-shattering second/third/fourth dates.
I hadn’t blogged, hadn’t worked out, hadn’t relaxed, hadn’t focused on me, and I felt it. I was disconnected from myself and what I really want. I was spreading myself too thin, seeking to fulfill my perceived obligations to others. I’d spent the last year or so actively dating– some people stuck, most didn’t. There were very few moments that I felt particularly moved by anyone I was seeing. Yet I was still operating under the notion that I wanted a romantic companion– a boyfriend.
And then that Sunday night I had an epiphany that went something like: “OH MY GOD WAIT A SECOND I DON’T ACTUALLY WANT A BOYFRIEND, AND I CERTAINLY DON’T NEED ONE. WHY AM I SPENDING SO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY ON SOMETHING I’M ACTIVELY UNINTERESTED IN ATTAINING?!”
It dawned on me that that everything I was doing was optional; that I could be spending my time doing exactly what I want to do. So, exhausted as I was, I felt this new internal glow– a new commitment to myself that unchained me from anyone else. I went to bed with a serene calm, knowing that I no longer owed anyone anything.
Well, sort of. Out of respect (and to prove myself that I would), I decided to share this newly turned leaf with the relevant parties. Yes, telling someone you’re dating that you don’t want to see them anymore sucks, especially when there’s no pinpoint-able reason for doing so, but most human beings deserve a bit more than the ghost treatment. So I did that and it was ok. Most dudes are cool with girls being straightforward, and I certainly wasn’t doing any real serious breaking up.
Other next steps? I’ve deleted the dating apps from my phone, I’ve gotten back in the gym, I’ve cleaned my apartment, I’ve taken a some baths, done a few face masks, focused on the Houston Food Blogger Collective, planned some fun projects for the blog, said “no” when I didn’t want to put on a skimpy dress and spend my night in a crowded bar/club, said “yes” to quality time with good friends or by myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no intention of turning into a crazy cat lady who lives alone, weighs 6,000 pounds, and gets a TLC show to document the process of being airlifted from my home. Definitely not. I hate cats. I know pretty unequivocally that I’ll get back in the game in the foreseeable future. I just want to be absolutely genuine when I do.
I’m being selfish right now by not giving myself to anyone else, but it’s already done wonders to help me reconnect with the best version of myself, which only allows me to be a better person to those around me.
What about you guys? Where are you at in your romantic endeavors? Ever been in a love rut? If so, how did you extract yourself? Are you currently passionately in love? Well, you can take that SOMEWHERE ELSE. Hehe, just kidding.
Peace and love (but, you know, not love love),