A few years ago, I decided to go on a journey of celibacy and not date ANYONE. I thought I had enough on my plate being a full-time single mother for my daughter and didn’t need to add dating to the mix. I was yearning for change deep inside myself. HEALING WAS NEEDED!!! I needed to step up to the plate not only for my daughter but for myself. So, I put myself in the "NO SEX ZONE".
It probably isn't a big deal for most people, and I am sure some have done it easily for many reasons. However, this was a big deal for me. Before this, the longest I have gone without having sex or dating someone was 9 months and that was over 15 years ago. Some would say I used sex like a soft drug. I've been called many names under the sun for my promiscuous ways. I loved sex. I yearned for sex. I needed sex. And all to make me feel better about myself. To feel wanted. To feel adored. To feel loved. Yet, within a few minutes after having sex, I went right back to feeling like shit about myself.
Celibacy was the best decision I made for myself and my daughter. We became the center of my attention. I got to feel how it was to truly be a single parent, an adult, and deeply feel the struggles of loneliness, lack, self-doubt, self-worth. I had to learn to be more present, be in the moment and feel my experiences. Being single and celibate brought me more self-love and taught me the importance of self-nourishment. It brought me more time to spend watching my daughter grow and to care for myself.
It is very easy to feel alone when you have spent most your life in and out of relationships searching for that special someone to come in your life. However, there was a missing link. HEALING WAS NEEDED!!! If I wanted that special someone in my life, I needed to find that special someone within myself first. I had to face my fears and see myself. I had to dig inside myself and see my own darkness, my own demons. I had to spend time with myself.
I had to dig inside myself and see my own darkness, my own demons.
Thankfully, I have my daughter around. It helps me see myself on a whole different level. Children will bring out the best and the worst aspects of yourself. It’s no joke! And you must make the choice to let yourself see both sides. Not ignore the shit that comes up. And shit will come up and does come up often. The hardest part is not taking it out on my daughter, myself and then owning it. Choosing not to let those temper tantrums trigger me yet seeing where my triggers are coming from. Deeply acknowledging the crap that comes up. It doesn’t sound like fun and truly isn’t, but it’s extremely rewarding when you see the results.
I decided to unlock and open the door to dating again after being celibate for 3 years. This time I was not going to have sex right away with anyone. I was going to play the field and see where it takes me. So, I decided to do an experiment and go on a few dating websites to see what was out there. And boy has it been an eye-opening experience. Honestly, there are a lot of lonely people out there desperate for love from something outside of themselves. And they want it to magically appear in front of them on a golden platter but don’t want to put in the effort.
As I was sifting through profile after profile of men of all different walks of the earth, more and more of my own past issues of self-worth and self-love kept popping up. Have you ever had experience filling out a dating profile? Yeah, not very exciting unless you enjoy writing and talking about yourself. I didn't know how much to put myself out there or even what to say. Then, searching for pictures that showed my best qualities. Questioning myself on even if I bother. Finally, deciding the best is to be blunt and show pictures of my everyday self.
Reading each one of the profiles felt like I was interviewing a candidate for a job. It is very similar to reading someone's resume, but at least with a resume, I could check the accuracy of their words. The most interesting thing I found was how many people lie on their profile. Having pictures of themselves from 10+ years ago to even saying they are 5 years younger to get placed into a younger category. Saying they don't smoke when they have just started cutting back. Or saying they don't have kids, yet they do but their kids don't live with them.
Dating seemed a little bit more challenging these days. And I am assuming it might be because the desperation of finding the one is no longer there. After a few months, I decided to take myself off dating websites at this point. I am sure it works for some and it’s a great platform for meeting new people. Nonetheless, I think I am going to let it happen organically.
I am going to let it happen organically
Because of all the work I have been doing on my inner self, I am able to see the dating world differently this time around. Though, it did take me a few weeks to get my feet wet and sift through my self-sabotage. But I learned, the best way is to put myself out there honestly and truthfully. Having no desperation on finding the one and enjoying being picky. Not in a sense of bitchiness but being compassionate yet firm in knowing what works for me. Being able to feel people out and letting people know truthfully if I’m interested or not. Knowing what feels good and knowing what feels shitty. Not feeling rejected if someone doesn’t choose me. And definitely not wasting time on the “buts or coulds” ... “But maybe he could change his dreams and goals in life for me…” NO! NO! NO!
Biggest lesson: They are who they are, and you are who you are. If you are not willing to accept them fully for who they are, then walk away. It truly is about honoring your journey and honoring theirs.
Loving myself first.
- Keirstin Proud