Six results from my six month dating hiatus
At the end of 2020, to soothe a mildly broken heart, to reset my outlook on love, and to face my fear of being single when I turned 32, I decided to take a dating hiatus. The initial plan was to consciously fly solo until at least April 23rd and to refocus my energy and attention solely on me. But when my 32nd birthday rolled around, I was having far too much fun with my newfound freedom, therefore, I decided to extend my hiatus until whenever I felt ready to break it. At the end of June, I was finally ready (and excited) to dip my toes back into the dating world.
After six full months of conscious singlehood, this is how my life changed:
- My friend circle expanded and I have the best crew I could ever ask for. When moving to a new city, it can be tempting to use dating as a crutch. It’s almost easier to hop on apps and distract yourself with situationships than it is to go on friend dates and invest in platonic adult connections. Instead of spending nights with potential suitors, I carved out time to deepen relationships with current friends and get to know new ones. I’m one year into my new life in Denver and I have just as many solid girlfriends as I did from my six years living in Chicago … And life is so much better because of that.
- I fell in love with myself (and my life). I know that sounds horribly cheesy but it’s honest. The heartbreak that sent me into my dating hiatus helped me realize that I was still putting so much of my worth into the hands of other people … And sadly, I think a lot of us do that. I wanted to be happy just being me … So I learned to do that. I spent a lot of time being on my own. I hiked. I ran. I read books. I took solo trips. I jumped out of airplanes. I wrote. I got to know myself again … And I fell in love with her. When I finally went back into the dating world, all of that warmth and enthusiasm and vibrance I felt shined through. And it totally changed the game for me.
- I got even better at offline dating. Even though I wasn’t actively online dating or searching for a partner, I was still open to meeting people in the wild and flirting with strangers … At bars, coffee shops, hiking trails, yoga studios, you name it. And I will say … I got pretty damn good at it :) I think dating apps are great … But only if you use them sparingly. Keep your head up … Look people in the eye … Smile at strangers … And don’t ever be afraid to slip your phone number to that cute boy at the coffee shop. He might end up being 22 years old and far too young… But you never know unless you try! … And ps — I swear he looked older.
- I never looked better naked. Okay real talk… Dating is basically a nonstop hangover. When you’re spending most of your nights getting to know prospective suitors, you’re drinking … A lot. Often times too much. I still had plenty of ratchet nights out with my girlfriends, but for the most part, my routine was structured and I was treating my body as the temple it is. If you treat your body better → You’ll feel better → You’ll look better → You’ll carry yourself out in the world better. It’s really that simple.
- I became a life coach because I wanted to help other people fall in love with their own lives. When you’re not swiping/texting/dating/complaining to your friends about how nothing is working out, you have time to actually live. To do things for yourself. To learn. To create. To dream. To build. I turned my whole life around in a single year … And if I can offer nothing else, I at least want to inspire hope in others so that they believe anything is possible in their own lives. My biggest takeaway from this past year: You’re not too old. It’s not too late. And you’re never stuck. Your whole life can change in the best possible way if you give yourself the time and space to let it unfold. I’m excited to see where this coaching thing goes. And shameless plug, if you’re curious about coaching or want to work with me, DM me on instagram — Arthi.Meena (official/fancy website currently in progress).
- I met someone wonderful. And I can’t wait to see where things go. When I finally stopped trying so hard to make things work with people that didn’t want to make things work with me … And when I actually gave myself the time and space to experience joy fully on my own … That’s when he showed up. And it’s been the smoothest, sweetest, healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in. Maybe things will work out (I hope they do), but maybe they won’t. In any case, no matter what happens, I love who I am now. I know what I bring to the table. I love the life I built for myself. And nobody can take that away from me.
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