I’ve only been a self-proclaimed love addict for just-shy of two months now. But as I said at the beginning, I’ve been battling with these constant thoughts and fears of “being single forever” and “not being good enough” and “men just don’t fall in love with me” for a very long time. Basically, my entire adult (ehh…and teen?) life.
I can think back to times in college (and even post-grad in some deeply-obsessive moments) when I would literally force myself not to look at my phone for allotted amounts of time. Because somehow, if I didn’t actually glance at my cell phone for say, 10 minutes, the Mr of the Week would text me back in a more timely fashion (instead of hours later or if at all). And then once he would text, I would make sure to double the amount of time it took him to respond…so I would seem aloof and unavailable. Because men want that, right?
Even if in reality, I was nervously twitching on my couch, eating chocolate pudding, and distracting myself painting my fingernails, and analyzing any possible hidden meaning between the two lines in his latest text. And if it I so desired, forwarding the text to my dearest (and supportive) friends to see if they deciphered something I didn’t.
Now, since this recovery journey started, I haven’t exactly met someone I could actually see myself with (other than Mr. Unavailable, but we all know how that story goes) – so I haven’t tested my reaction to texting conversations. However, a few changes in my habits and perceptions have noticeably changed:
Literally Busy (Not Faking It)
If I was to meet a new Mr and I did happen to swoon over him – I’m not quite sure where I would fit him into my life. And really, those longing romantic notions that I have always had, have tapered away a bit…maybe because I haven’t had the time to nourish them. In between working 40 plus hours a week at the business magazine, managing big dream-promoter, ChickSpeak, writing this blog, running daily, and attempting to have a social life –I find myself thinking sometimes: Now, why was I so obsessed with a boyfriend?
There’s no way I could fit a serious, committed relationship into this schedule – and really, I’m getting to a point where I’m almost (dare I say it?) happy to be single! I still have days when I want to cuddle or sneak a kiss or be paid a compliment – but I really feel like I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. And for once, I’m okay with it.
Being More at Peace
I’ve never been one to think in the here-and-the-now, probably due to what I call “hyper-ambition” – but recently, I’ve noticed a shift in my thought processes. I tend to look at things with more of a practical perspective instead of an emotional one.
For example, last week I was in fact expecting a text message from Mr. Unavailable, and even though he’s not someone I want to date, he was taking longer than usual, and a little voice inside my head pleaded: “But what if you never hear from him again, then what? That would be the most awful thing on the entire planet. What would you do?” In the past, when these pestering worries would come up, I’d play into them and sincerely freak myself out. But this time, I thought, “Well, I’d be fine. I’ll still go to work tomorrow and get to have that fun girl’s night out next week. Oh, and I have that event to look forward to.” I’m learning to throw away the negativity and the obsession and turn it into optimism and reality. And in return, I’m getting out of my head and feeling more at peace with my life and myself.
Freeing from Frustrations
Of all of the things chasing a dream by myself has taught me, the most important one has been to enjoy my own company. While I never feel alone in the city (because it keeps me company just by being so alive and inviting), there are many evenings and days that I spend alone. And honestly, some of those moments are my favorite. Exploring the town is fun with a pal, but you notice more when you’re just with yourself. And instead of wishin’ and hopin’ that my hand was being held by a man, I’ve grown to enjoy it being held by a Macy’s bag or a hot apple cider, instead.
However, not putting pressure on myself to “meet someone” or “flirt with a dude” or “go out for the sake of romantic possibility” has allowed me to just…relax. I’m not afraid to spend an evening just dancing and not have one single dude buy me a drink. I’m learning not to look at a guy in some bar in some area on some (or every) night, lusting at the thought that he could be my Mr. Right. Currently, the best nights I have are spent laughing away, cherishing my youth, and if a man happens to walk in and shake up evening –then be it.
If not, I’m still ridiculously thankful to be right here, right now, just me…and the me I’m becoming. My, oh my, what’s next?