Spring is a perfect time for a cleanse! Let’s get all the junk out while we re-center and reflect. Krystal Baugher is here with her version—a man detox.
Several years ago I went through a rather painful breakup.
For the first couple of months all I did was watch really bad television, while I drank vodka and cried. Finally my friend dragged me out of the basement of doom and gloom and into the living room, where she set me down on the couch, put a computer on my lap and insisted that I start an online dating profile. I claimed I wasn’t ready, that I needed more time to grieve, etc. Somehow, (maybe it was the vodka), she convinced me to do it “just to see what else was out there.” I didn’t have to go out with anyone if I didn’t want to.
That’s when the addiction started.
I began using dating as my main source of distraction. Somehow I had convinced myself that by going out with all these different dudes I was learning what I didn’t want in my next future relationship.
For over a year I dated excessively. I was under-employed and going out nearly every night, sometimes because I really wanted to meet the guy, sometimes because I was hungry and sometimes because I really just didn’t want to have to spend time with myself. On weekends I would stack-date. I’d start at like 5 o’clock for drinks. End that date, go out for dinner. End that date, then have drinks with another. I was basically a professional, at least on the first-date level, but honestly not very good at finding anyone I wanted to go out with again.
I was all over the place because I didn’t know who I was anymore. I had been in a relationship for over a quarter of my life; it was a time period when I was youthfully shaping my identity and that identity was heavily intertwined with him—until it wasn’t, that is.
My lack of identity was not being developed much by figuring out who I did not like being around, I was learning that, though rather slowly I might add.
One day I decided that I had to give up dating cold turkey—and thus started my annual Manless May Dating Cleanse.
Now, it doesn’t happen EVERY May. I have been in relationships off and on since it’s invention, but when I’m single and May rolls around, I take a break from men to refocus my priorities and re-identify with myself.
Guidelines for a Smooth Manless May
1. Delete Your Dating Profiles
Okay, you don’t have to “delete-delete,” but at least put them on hold and remove all the phone apps. I personally have a Tinder addiction. Whenever I’m lounging around my apartment or on break at work, I will get on and see who’s around. I believe that if I just swipe one more time my dream man will reveal himself. But, since I’ve swiped nearly every man in a eight-mile radius between the ages of 27-49, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to find him on there. (And taking 30-days off from the hunt will not hurt my chances in any way.)
2. Ask Yourself BIG Questions
I get super burnt out because dates almost always ask the same questions. Sometimes I feel as if I’m on autopilot with my replies—and that’s not fun for me and I’m sure the date can tell too. It’s not necessarily their fault, as we all tend to follow a pretty standard script when meeting someone for the first time, but during the month off–dig deeper.
Look at your profile and re-answer those questions. Who am I? How do I want to represent myself? Who do I want in my life—romantically and otherwise? Write your top 10 traits down. Write the top 10 traits of your future romantic lead. Check out this list of questions from the article, “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This;” yes, you’re supposed to answer it with someone else, but maybe it’s time to fall in love with yourself?
Yeah, that’s a “D,” but feel free to do the one with the “B” there too. This is about taking time for yourself. Go out to dinner, go to a movie, rummage your favorite record store, take a class, read excerpts of your favorite book in the dimly lit corner of your neighborhood bookstore. This is about doing what what you love to do, with your lovely self of course.
4. Call Your Mom
It just seems like a nice thing to do (and I could often use the reminder myself).
5. Have More Girls Nights Out (or In)
One thing that I’ve started to appreciate more and more the older that I’ve gotten is the power and beauty of female friendships. It’s amazing what a group of supportive, caring, thoughtful, creative people can do when they’re together and it’s important to keep in touch so as to continue to grow and prosper, individually, and as a group.
6. Stay Flirty, Friend
Manless May means putting aside dating for awhile—and especially for me—the casual flings, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop interacting with men entirely. If you need to stop entirely because you’re an all-or-nothing kind of gal, by all means, but the overall concept is to recenter yourself, not become someone else entirely.
7. Enjoy the May Flowers
There were a lot of showers this April—and plenty of them were coming from my eyes, not just the sky. But, it’s a new month! Spring is all around, life is in full-bloom, and it’s time to fully embrace the vibrancy and brilliant sparkle that we all have to offer.
This is how I’m spending my month of May, manless, but full of love nonetheless. We’re all doing the best we can, particularly us single gals who are still holding on to hope that romance—and that passionate relationship full of fun, stability and sensuality many of us crave, actually exists.
Personally, I just need a break. I need to reset my intentions and reflect on who I am and what I truly want—and even though I’m much closer to that than I was during my first Manless May I still enjoy the time off and the time with myself, because the truth is, I’m pretty fucking fabulous—and I’m sure you are too.
[Image: via M Yashna on Flickr]