It's called being "self partnered"
A few months ago, to assuage the fear of dating, I came up with the idea: #100 Days of Self. My plan was to focus solely on myself for 100 days and completely take myself off the dating scene. After careful consideration and a new perspective, 100 days has turned into a year.
Break ups are hard, dating is hard and let's be honest, when you finally get that relationship you've been so desperately craving, even that's hard. So, why, when we have the opportunity to work on ourselves, to find ourselves, do we end up back in relationships far too quickly? Before we have had the chance to live our lives, totally for ourselves?
Being alone is no easy feat, sure. You fully rely on yourself. Come home from a long day, it's your sole responsibility to cook, clean and take care of you (and children if you have them). There's no one to take the wheel. Feeling poorly, well, you guessed it, you're responsible for that too. There's no one there to make your meals, go to the pharmacy or make you a hot water bottle.
You rely on yourself fully for your physical and emotional needs. Don't forget, you are amazing. What you're doing is not easy.
A few weeks ago, I told a friend I was spending the weekend in Manchester and his immediate response was "has someone got a date?". No. No, I do not have a date and nor do I want one. When I think of dating, a shiver goes down my spine. At the beginning of the year I would have told you that I longed to find the right person. Today, finding someone is dead last in the things I want to achieve over the next 12 months.
Hours.. days.. precious time was wasted worrying that I won't find someone. Worried that it's so difficult to meet people when we get older because we aren't out every weekend, meeting new people. More difficult because everyone is married or trying for kids. More difficult because I was the one and only single person, in every room I walked in to. Anxiety loves to play these cruel jokes on us and make us think the world is a terrifying place, where single people are on display, like a curiosity in a travelling circus. Let me tell you, I have first hand experience that this is not the case.
Every week, I meet new people. Every week, I meet people who, like me, are single. What's more, they are happy being single. I've been in relationships for 21 years of my life, I'm taking a year for me. Each week I'm out trying new activities, going to socials, seeing friends, travelling. The world, as they say, is my oyster.
I want to change the narrative of how you perceive being single. Yes, being single can feel isolating. Bad dates can make you feel despondent about your future. But what if, for a year you focus your energy not on "oh my god, my ex has moved on already, I must find someone" but instead focus on you.
For a year, I am making the conscious decision not to date. Instead, I have a list of "100 Things to Do This Year" that I am ticking off one by one. There are simple things like, cooking for a friend and running a 10K. Or the more delectable activities, like taking a cooking class in Italy. Or the once in lifetime experiences like circumventing the streets of Tokyo.
If you were to take a year for you, what would you do? What would you do with all that time you now have without your no good partner or the relationship that isn't working anymore? What would you do with all the time you don't spend on dating apps? Where would you go? What would you see? What would you learn about the world or yourself?
Emancipate yourself from a culture that tells us we should be in relationships. You're not single, you're self partnered. Focus every day on why this is a fantastic choice and celebrate taking this time for yourself. Grab a notebook and join me in documenting all your amazing experiences. And, if it ever feels lonely, which sometimes it does, look at all the blank pages of your notebook that represent the adventures yet to come.
See you on the other side.
Dear Reader, thank you for taking the time to visit Joy In Blooms today. If you are on your own solo adventure, we would love to hear about it in the comments below.