I Took a Dating Detox,This is What Happened
Like all great stories this one begins in the middle of a drunk emotional break down in a parking lot. With Rachael literally steering me towards her car. How did we get here? Well first of all I was going through a break up and secondly I had just seen my ex with another girl for the first time in my life.in the club, at 1 am so there was no pretending about what that was. I did see him with a different woman every time I saw him after that but hey nothing beats the first time.Was this the time I decided to get it together? No I waited till things got worse and I caused further embarrassment to my ancestors. I decided I was going to move on quickly, I set my sights on a guy I had zero interest in until I heard through the grape vine that he had a crush on me. Even though we had nothing but heart break in common and his personality was as bland as wheat.
Long story short I ended up getting too drunk and hitting on him and he let me know he was not over his ex and I wasn’t gonna cut it. I’m very fuzzy on what happened next but I found myself in the same parking lot looking for a cab and trying not to have another emotional breakdown vis-à-vis rejection plus nobody wants me and I will die alone vibes. I woke up with a terrible hangover and shame so terrible it made my skin do things.
I realized that the girl from night before was not who I was because first of all I don’t even go out like that. I needed to understand why I was behaving like this and how I would make sure that never happened again. Coincidentally I came across this article on Instagram that said I should take a dating detox. So basically “it is a phase where you cut out all forms of dating for 30, 60 or 90 days depending on the length of your last relationship. It is to make necessary changes to your life so your future dating life is different from your past experiences.” and well I decided to try it and this is what happened.
I felt like shit
I realized that that relationship or whatever that was, was a colossal waste of 2 years of my life. I cannot believe I wasted so much of my energy doing emotional labor for nothing, but I guess good dick makes you put up with worse things than you can even admit to your friends. So there I was feeling raw and angry about all of the things I only found out after the fact that I couldn’t confront him about because I had already left. So what did I do with all of that information? Vented to my friends and left him blocked and let time do its thing.
I stopped going out
Because I live in Blantyre and I can’t even breathe without running into people I don’t care to run into. So I went back to being a recluse. My friends were upset because they thought this was about him like I haven’t had social anxiety all my life. But being home made me feel better, I wasn’t distracting myself or feeling anxious around people. I did a lot of introspection and self-forgiveness.
I stopped hanging out with my couple friends
Yeah screw those guys. Even when they were having problems they still managed to make me feel depressed because I didn’t even have anyone to fight with. So I started hanging out with them individually because it was crazy that I am a loner and I was crying about the fact that I didn’t have anyone to go home to after drinks.
I started listening to my friends
Before, conversations with my friends were literally just me talking about my mess, waiting for them to finish talking so that I can go back to talking about my mess and sometimes even interrupting. Yes I was a terrible friend but since deciding to never speak on it again I found myself actually paying attention to the things my friends were saying to me and actually caring about what was going on in their lives.
I stopped caring
I was back in full form before the end of the 30 days. I literally didn’t care that I was alone anymore, I didn’t care about being liked. I enjoyed my new routine of only worrying about money and not where he was or why it wasn’t me. I know for a fact that I am an amazing person, I am in awe of all the things I am capable of, I literally know that I am THAT girl. I can’t believe that one man not loving me right threw me off the rails like that. I started questioning my reflection again like a teenager, I kept thinking if only I was lighter and had not lost weight I would have definitely been his dream woman. But I realized that it was never really about me. He is/was living his best life and I was just collateral damage. I am not mad at that, I simply don’t care anymore about what had happened, it is what it is.
I Started getting it together
Because life is life and things rarely work out how I want them to, I had to go back to work. But for the longest time I was under the impression that I could somehow survive without having to go back to work. I was too distracted by my relationship issues to even do the work that was needed in my life. That’s the thing about being completely alone, you are forced to take on life head on, no distractions. This was tough for me considering I am an escapist and I would rather be sorting out another human beings trivial problems than my own. I also started to do the things I love like binge watching Rick and Morty, reading all Mary Wesley novels, writing, eating out. This list just made me realize how boring my life actually is.
I responded to a DM
I did not mean for my journey to end like Elizabeth Gilbert’s in Eat Pray love but it did. I responded to a DM that wasn’t sent to me ages ago just because I was trying to see something. I ended up meeting the kindest, smartest and funniest guy I have ever met in my life. You know how they say that when the right man comes along you will know because he will do all the right things and more? Well I know now. I literally don’t know how to behave because I have never been in a healthy relationship my whole life. I don’t know how to communicate and I am always trying to pick a fight. But he is so patient with me and he is probably low-key amused at my antics. My point is I don’t deserve him. I know I will become a softer and kinder person because of him and that scares me. Anyway enough about that, let me conclude this post.
I didn’t go on this journey because I wanted to meet prince charming (for lack of better word) I went on it because I was acting out of pocket and I needed to do some serious introspection. Your last relationship might have ended ages ago but if you keep having flings and “talking” to people you will never really know what it means to have a relationship with yourself. Taking time to be alone means you get to recharge and get more in touch those pesky emotions we all pretend not to have.Most importantly you will become more independent and you will take a break from pleasing others.
As I learned for Avatar the Last Air bender “only people who know exactly who they are and what they want can bend lightning” do with that information what you may.
Thanks for reading