It’s been 6 or so months since my break up with my boyfriend of 5 years, and it’s been a roller coaster, but I think I’m finally coming into my own and getting used to this whole thing.
You always hear about the break up and single women cliches but honestly, I think I dabbled in all of them. Lets investigate…
Stage 1: Go out, drink a ridiculous amount and hook up with random dudes.
There were a couple of weeks (or months….?) where I hung out with my new boyfriend – alcohol. And hey, it was fun! Exactly what I needed after feeling stuck in a rut for so long. It was also liberating to be able to hook up with whoever the heck I wanted to after being in a committed relationship for so long. I felt FREEEEEE. I could walk into a bar, see someone who looked a bit alright and just be like ‘Yep, I’ll have you, thank you very much.’ However this got old pretty quickly, leading me onto step 2…
Step 2: Develop a compulsive dating habit.
I set up an online dating profile. Not because I wanted to find the next big relationship straight away, but was interested to see what it was all about and if something came out of it, then bonus! (P.S. Online dating is also a FANTASTIC place to go if you need an ego boost. The amount of action my page got in those first couple of months was just flattering. Even if some of them were on the creepy side…).
Around the same time the ‘Tinder’ phenomenon was just starting to take off in my neighborhood, so I got on board with that too. (I’m assuming everyone knows what Tinder is, unless you have been living under a rock. Google it if in doubt.)
For about two months I some how managed to score at least one date a week from these avenues. Boom! Nailing it! It was great meeting and talking to new people after being in the same social circle for so long. I felt like a successful, independent women tackling the dating scene with ease. But soon discovered this too was not all it was cracked up to be. Date after date had so much hope, but no one seemed quite right…
Step 3: The Rebound.
On one of these dates I met ‘The Rebound’. A very charming young lad with whom there was an instant connection (which I now recognise as mostly sexual). Unfortunately for him I had very, very little (read: none) experience in adult dating and proceeded to make every single dating mistake known to man-kind with him in the firing line. I; 1) expressed feelings too quickly, 2) got too attached, 3) misunderstood his intentions (he just wanted ‘casual’) 4) let the crazy take over, and 5) over-analysed EVERYTHING.
Safe to say it didn’t work out and he is now, coincidentally, dating my neighbor. They’ve been going strong for a couple of months now (I know because he always parks outside my house, lovely), so good for them. At the end of the day he wasn’t right for me at all, I was just in a very weird place and in hindsight, not ready for anything remotely serious with anyone. I did however, come out of the disaster having learnt a lot of valuable lessons, so high five to me!
Step 4: Finding myself.
After the rebound disaster I was in desperate need of some ‘me’ time. I had been putting far too much energy in men in general and, while initially liberating, now I was tired. The dust was finally starting to settle and it had set in that yes, I was alone. So I needed a new distraction, and that new distraction was me. I wanted to use this time to ‘find myself’. (And the cliches just keep coming…)
I got a new haircut. New me! Such a rush popping around to my ex’s to grab some mail then hearing from a friend afterwards that he had commented on how good I was looking. Nailed it again!
I started getting back into my exercising again, eating better, stopped the wild binge spending and drinking (well, mostly..). I had been using my recent breakup as an excuse to do what ever the fuck I wanted, but it was now time to get back to living a semi-sustainable life.
The next liberating thing on my single journey – trying new things by myself. Having always had someone there I was always so ‘safe’, never alone. But now I was always alone, and if I wanted to do things I had to do them by myself. Was scary for a start, but great once I took those first baby steps and realised yes, I am a strong, independent women, and I can do this whole ‘life’ thing by myself. Don’t need no man, sista!
Step 5: Acceptance.
6 months down the track and I can say that I am feeling comfortable with where life is at right now. I’m still on the man hunt, but not obsessively so, and I still have lonely days, but that’s ok. I’ve locked down my crazy bitch and found a more healthy life balance (although I still love going out – always have, always will!). It’s been quite a journey so far, a very cliched journey as it turns out, but it’s been a great learning experience. I feel like I’m now in a much better frame of mind for when I should happen to meet that someone special – that’s the next exciting part I now look forward to.
From one single bitch to another, I hear ya.