Anyone that knows me knows I love to watch the Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo. Patti Stanger and her dating rules keep me entertained from week to week. So a couple of years ago when I saw she had written a book, I decided to pick up a copy. Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate is most definitely an interesting read. Although I don't agree with everything she writes about, including her thoughts on the "universe", I found it to be almost as entertaining as the show. I especially like the first chapter "Dating Detox" which is the reason for this blog post.
According to Ms. Patti, when a relationship ends, you should spend some time in Dating Detox. The length of time you should remain in Dating Detox depends on how long your last relationship lasted. Since mine was 2 years, I should detox for at least 60 days; one month for each year. Dating detox means taking time out for yourself. No dates, no flirting...nothing. Instead, the time should be spent figuring out and doing the things that make me happy rather than depending on a man to put a smile on my face.
I have never been the type of girl to be single for very long - that is just the way it has always worked out for me. But bouncing from one relationship to the next, which I have been guilty of in the past, is not healthy. I don't want to be dependent on a man to make me happy, or to validate my worth. I don't want to feel lonely and rejected just because I don't have a boyfriend. I don't want to be the kind of girl that doesn't feel attractive if I'm not in a relationship. Unfortunately, I have been that girl in the past. But not anymore!
For once in my life I'm content with being single. I understand and accept that being alone does not necessarily mean I have to feel lonely. I realized that hanging out with my kids or my friends on a Saturday night is even more fun than going on a date! This is freaking me out a little because feeling this way voluntarily without having someone tell me this is the way I should feel is brand new to me. But it also makes me happy. And isn't that the goal, according to Ms. Patti??
Don't get it twisted now, dating detox is not easy. You know how it is. As soon as you decide to take a dating break, a bunch of eligible bachelors come out of the woodwork! And I'd be lying if I told you I haven't taken a couple of them up on the offer of a date (sorry Ms. Patti). I have even considered the possibility of a relationship with one of them who is probably reading this post right now (you know who you are lol). However, I am nowhere near ready for a relationship, no matter how eligible of a bachelor he may be. Although my relationship with JI ended almost 3 months ago, the thought of beginning a relationship with someone new is actually pretty terrifying. Not because I still have feelings for JI and am secretly hoping we'll reunite and pick up the relationship where we left off. As great as JI is and as much fun as we had together, he and I both know it just wasn't meant to be. I'll always have love for him and wish him the best in every aspect of his life. He'll make someone a wonderful husband one day. Just not me.
So what have I been doing to keep myself happy while single? Here are just a few examples:
- Writing this blog. Blogging equals therapy for me. It's cheaper too ;-)
- Girls' nights out with friends when my kids are with their dad.
- Having friends over to my house. Several weeks ago my friends and I hosted a Conversation Party. So much fun!
- Reading. When the kids are in bed and the house is silent, I'll pull out my book and read. Sometimes I read other blogs written by single mothers. Anything to keep my mind occupied while allowing me to wind down from a busy day at work.
Whether you are single and satisfied or happily married, I challenge you to think about the things you can do for yourself that make you happy. Try to do at least one of those things each day, just to remind yourself of how special you are. Love on yourself! You deserve it :)