2017, was a year of single-hood after many years of partnership. Throughout the year and to the present day, I discovered many trinkets that I accumulated over the years that were not in my peripheral vision. A year and two months into it, I now sit here, by myself and my two cats, reflecting on what I’ve learned so far in this single-hood. Here it goes.
Phase #1: Post-Break up
After my romantic relationship ended, I welcomed change. I wanted change. At first, despite my somewhat level of awareness, I blamed, I judged, and I focused on my ex partner’s flaws. Many emotions surfaced: anger, deception, fear, guilt, loneliness, resentment, and sadness. Although, my romantic relationship ended in good terms, I mourned. Whether the relationship ended in good or bad terms, I believe mourning kicks in given all that was shared, expected, and dreamt. Nonetheless, there is also a weird mix of freedom, excitement, uncertainty and yes, happiness. For me, this phase was an emotional rollercoaster where focus shifted back and forth without true direction. Sometimes I felt lost in transition. How was I going to have direction if I really didn’t know where I wanted to take myself?
This stage taught me that I was blinded through my own biases and expectations. Once I stopped focusing on my partner’s so called flaws or weaknesses, I began to pay attention to mine. I began noticing the role I played and how certain patterns kept me from evolving. This stage was really about me and letting myself feel all the emotions so they could teach me and connect me to ME. Coincidentally, by connecting to those negative emotions with the intention of learning my own patterns, I was able to see my ex in a brighter and compassionate light. I was able to admire his patience and kind ways, while realizing he also sacrificed some aspects of himself for the “us” we cared for all those years.
Phase #2: Dating
Ahhhh dating. I have always known that dating after a long term relationship is not the best idea, yet, like many others in the world, I said, “What could go wrong?” Well, it’s not about what could go wrong, but about what I was ready to accept or process. I was vulnerable. I was emotional. I wasn’t grounded. I was distracted. I met a man whom at the time I “felt” resonated with my “soul.” In reality, he was just someone I physically admired. Reality was, (more like I told myself), that we’d be great together. I played the movie in my head were we would live happily ever after with kids and dogs. Yeeeahhhh, Been there? If you don’t know how this ended, I’ll just say he woke me up. Through this “failed” connection, a dormant aspect of myself awakened and brought in clarity about what I was telling myself I wanted v.s. what I was really searching for and allowing. I realized that when you date or choose a mate, that person is a direct mirror of your own patterns. If you pay honest and nonjudgmental attention, your mate’s behavior will reflect aspects of yourself you normally don’t acknowledge or express. Through this phase, I realized and painfully admitted my ex was right about certain behaviors I often denied.
Phase #3: Evolving
Phase one and two have been extremely important in helping me connect to forgotten dreams, values, fears, patterns, hobbies, feelings and even goals. Once you recognize that dating is an opportunity to gauge where you are, what you are attracting and why you are attracting that person/vibe/energy into your life; then what happens next is entirely up to you! Best practice: be you at all times. Don’t be afraid to hide aspects of yourself. Those same aspects can serve as filters/teachers in your present relationships. That is, as long as your intention is to update those patterns that no longer serve you. Nevertheless, don’t bully yourself or others because of your patterns. Someone once said, “Honesty without compassion is cruelty.” Once I started practicing honesty within my own dialogue, clarity knocked on my door. Clarity brings in growth and growth brings change. Therefore, I learned that if I really want change, I have to focus on me; bring clarity to me; and pay attention to my patterns through my interaction with myself and others. I realized change doesn’t come from changing partners. Change comes from within…change comes from ME.
If single-hood is your current experience and you want growth and change in your life, welcome yourself, talk to yourself, listen to yourself, write to yourself, DATE YOURSELF.
Honest inner dialogue fosters compassion, understanding, and true love. Time with yourself allows for great reflections.