It happened again—another failed relationship. Another heartbreak.
More broken promises. More disappointment.
Rather than go into detail about what happened, why it happened, or who was to blame, at the end of the day, he wasn’t the right person for me.
Why do I keep choosing the wrong guys? Or choosing guys for the wrong reasons?
As I sit here seething with frustration, disappointment, and emotional hurt, I realized it’s time to do something different. I have to do some serious soul searching, learning, and focusing on personal and spiritual growth before even considering another relationship.
So, I’m embarking on an individual, year-long quest. I’m making a promise to myself to be single for one year—until May 1st, 2021.
Visualizing “The Perfect Man”
Most people jump from relationship to relationship for various reasons. The most common reasons include:
- Escaping intense emotional hurt and pain
- Lack of self confidence or self esteem
- Fear of being alone
- Fear of losing one’s identity
- Desperate attempt to fill emptiness
Of course, there are other issues that may also play a role, such as challenging childhoods, mental or physical abuse, among others.
For me, personally, I grew up in a good home with both parents who provided my brother and I with a stable and healthy childhood. We were a “normal” family. In the 20 years I lived at home, I never ONCE saw or heard my parents argue.
Today, I run my own business, own a home, pay my own bills, and have a Master’s degree. In my “free” time, I’m an avid aerial gymnast and dancer and an active member in my local church.
I don’t resort to drinking, drugs, or sleeping around.
I’m a completely 100% independent woman, and never needed a man—but I’ve always wanted one.
However, in my desperate attempts to find that person (and with my internal “biological clock” ticking in the background of my subconscious), I keep making the wrong choices, which inevitably leave me disappointed, hurt, angry, and bitter.
Visualizing “My Ideal Self”
Through the years, and after each failed relationship, I slowly add pieces together to build “that perfect man”. Of course, I am fully aware that no one is perfect. In reality, I’m not looking for a perfect character so much as I’m looking for a perfect fit.
However, maybe I’m doing it all wrong… Maybe the one who needs to change is me.
After reading an excerpt from 21 Days of Rightful Relationships by Kemberley Washington, CPA, I felt inspired. The passage was a brief story about how a recent breakup, a woman followed the vision to stay single for one whole year. She planned to use that time to focus on herself, reconnect with her inner witness and intuition, and “heal”.
So, I took some time to visualize the person I want to be—in a relationship and out of one—and she looks a little like this:
- She’s confident in making relationship decisions
- She’s a confident communicator in a relationship
- She trusts her gut and inner witness
- She doesn’t care what other people think of her
- She is strong and doesn’t avoid loneliness, sadness, or uncomfortable emotions
So, what is my plan of attack to stay single for a year? First, I had to spend some time defining the parameters of what is considered a relationship. Personally, I believe a relationship involves the following:
- A mutual commitment
- Emotional dependence
- Shared living situation
- Spending almost all of my time with another person
- Making life decisions based on or that involve another person
- Making large purchases or financial decisions with another person
Month # 1: May 2020
Here we are at month number one. Because my recent breakup is still “fresh”, I’m still in the grieving phases. So here is my plan for the first one to three months:
Cope and Cry
Yes, trying to cope with heartbreak and disappointment sucks. Because pain, grief, guilt, and emotional attachment signals the brain “a loss”, and rather than depend on others or another man to “heal” or “fix” it, I have to learn to deal and cope with it myself. As a person that loves being around people and having fun, this is incredibly difficult for me—and it hurts like hell.
However, the best way to cope is to not be afraid of feeling emotional pain or feeling like a failure, being sad when I feel sad, and just cry it out. Whenever I have these sad, emotional days, I take the day to just lay in bed, watch sad movies, and cry.
And I always feel better the next day.
I am reading a handful of books right now. I once read somewhere that the wise read one book for enjoyment and please, one book to stay on trend and up-to-date in your particular industry, and one book to learn something new.
The few books I’m reading right now are:
Principles by Ray Dalio – to learn how to define your own personal values and principles, and even develop systems on how to improve your emotional intelligence, make difficult decisions, and think and communicate with an open mind.
Leading from Your Best Self by Rob Salafia – to learn how to and focus on becoming a better business leader.
Find Freedom in Forgiveness
Around the same time as the breakup, a person from my past reached out to me. At first, I didn’t know what to make of it. The issues and situation between the two of us did not end on good terms. I could have easily told this person to not speak bother me or speak to me and to go to hell, but I didn’t.
I chose to recognize the courage this person had to reach out, accept the apology, and forgive. No, I might not necessarily be able to forget everything that has happened between us, but I can forgive—that is a choice.
By choosing forgiveness, I am no longer a victim or slave to anger, bitterness, or hurt. Because of this choice, I’m already in a much better frame of mind and a better position for any future relationships.
Support and Spirituality
As I mentioned above, I am an active member in my local church. I have been a member of the production team since June 2019. In the last year, I have met new people and made new friends. It has been an incredible experience.
Right after my most recent breakup, I joined a small women’s group led by my next-door neighbor! In only a few days, I’ve gained so much support, love, compassion, and insight from speaking about my experiences, connecting those experiences with a higher power, and truly beginning and embracing the healing process.
I will admit… I was a little hesitant and a bit of a skeptic to try out this “Single for a Year” plan. After all, what if I promise myself to be single for a year and then the “right” person comes along? What if I’m just wasting time? What if I don’t remarry until after I’m 40?
Although difficult, I’ve had to push these thoughts and fears aside, forget about trying to find my future “dream” husband, and focus on finding myself.
Finally, I am going to use this blog as an outlet for my feelings, experiences, and struggles with this plan; what I’ve learned; how I’ve changed; keep myself accountable; and hopefully help and inspire some of my readers who might be going through the same thing.
If you struggle with relationships, check out this eBook, which provides you with a step-by-step guide through your own “Single for a Year” journey.