So many times I define my pride
Through somebody else’s eyes (La da da, la da)
Then I looked inside and found my own stride,
I found the lasting love for me
If I’m searching for my spirituality
Passionately I must begin with me
~One is the Magic Number, Jill Scott~
I’m a very solitary person. Sometimes I go to concerts alone, I picked out my wedding gown by my lonesome and it’s not unusual for me to be holed up in my home office for hours at a time. I like to hang out with me! Wasn’t always this way though.
From the time I got my first boyfriend in middle school (we held hands and talked on the phone) and through most of college, I was always “with” someone. I wasn’t a serial monogamist (I didn’t throw the term boyfriend around lightly), but if I didn’t have a boyfriend, I was for sure seeing two or three* guys. I wholeheartedly believe in frequent dating. It helps you become more knowledgable about how human beings operate and it’s a great way to figure out your own likes, dislikes, boundaries and preferences.
I would not change a thing about how I handled myself at that time. I had oodles of fun and came away with experience and laughter. Can’t beat that. But I am also very glad that I went through a self-imposed man-less period for about a year.
I had a bad break-up with this one boyfriend and I was feeling a bit deflated. Instead of diving right back into the dating pool, which I had always done before, I decided to hang back and just focus on my personal interests and goals. I got more into yoga, I read more books, I became more organized and I just generally took better care of myself.
I did the whole no-man thing because I was just kinda sick of guys at the time, but it turned out to be a great self-esteem booster. Raised my standards of men too. If I was spending all that time and energy to take care of myself, any man I was with had to be able to demonstrate his respect for me in ways that were equal to my self-perceived worth. Double-talk, lying by omission or just flat out bold-faced lying just could not be tolerated. A man in my life had to (at the very least) be trust-worthy, honest and respectful. If someone was missing any one of those things, he would simply not be in my life. Now, of course I had my share of not-so-great guys after that period. You live and you learn, but that date-less time was priceless and I really think that more women (more people) should give it a shot.
In no time, you will find yourself going on dates with yourself and loving it! My husband says that one thing he really appreciates about me is that I don’t “need” a man (in that ridiculous clingy way), but rather I carefully choose who I share my life with and that makes him feel admired, respected and special. I’m telling you, this alone time thing is a win-win.
What’s the longest period of time you’ve gone without a boyfriend or a date? How was that experience for you?
*Notice I said seeing two or three guys not sleeping with two or three guys. For some reason, folks think dating means having sex and that is just not the case in my book.