If you read my latest pieces on How I’m Healing from a Break-up … Sober (part I and part II), you know that the last few months have been turbulent and transformative to say the least. In a nutshell, my life was abruptly flipped on its head when my long-term partner decided to leave our relationship. This is the first significant life change I’ve endured while sober so I decided to write about it for a variety of reasons but mainly because writing is incredibly therapeutic for me and because if someone else can benefit from my experiences and lessons, then I’m more than happy to share them.
I am so pleased to report that after 3 months of hard, painful, and necessary work, I’m finally at a place where I can say that I’m excited about my life and my future and the fact that I get to design it entirely on my own terms. I am also excited to share that I am in a committed, loving relationship with the most important person in my life: me. I first heard about the concept of dating myself while listening to Melissa Urban’s podcast ‘Do the Thing’, during which she discussed, in raw detail, her experiences of divorce from her life and business partner (episode entitled “The Truth about Divorce”). I LOVED this idea and now, here we are.
It’s been a looooooong time since I have been single. Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 12-14 years in fact. Who I was the last time I was single is worlds apart from the womxn I am today. So instead of jumping back into the game (aka distracting myself by starting to date immediately), I am being intentional with myself, my time and my choice to remain focused on returning home to the most authentic, engaged, honest, loving version of me.
It’s been pretty magical to see what I can accomplish now that I’m channeling all my energy and focus into myself, my growth, my people and my coaching practice. I have had some of the most successful, low-stress, and remarkable months since the break-up, despite the fact that I was also mending my broken heart along the way. I actually ruminated on this seemingly counterintuitive development for weeks because I couldn’t understand why, as a huge segment of my personal life was crumbling, my professional life and personal growth were soaring. In a conversation with a wise friend of mine, she pointed out that long-term partnerships require a lot of time, energy and attention and now that I was no longer in one, I was able to redirect all that time, energy and attention into myself, my healing and my growing coaching practice. PS - if you’re going through a break-up or any other major life upheaval, be sure to check out part II of my article as it provides the actual tools I used to support myself and my healing. Through the break-up, I am learning what I'm truly capable of when I have the opportunity to harness my passion, creativity, work ethic and energy in an undivided way.
While I’ve been a self-care and self-love advocate for years, in my adult life, I have always gone above and beyond when it comes to investing in the happiness and wellness of my partners. I would easily put myself and my needs aside if it meant I was doing something to bolster the happiness, contentedness or elevation of my partner. And while I stand behind the decisions that I made in the relationships I was in, I am over-the-moon ecstatic to be in a place of choice, where I am putting me first in all areas of my life for the foreseeable future. I am intentionally choosing me. I am coming home to myself.
So what does this actually look like? Well, outside of being in a monogamous relationship with myself, I am diving deep into learning, knowing and loving every part of me. I am getting crystal clear on what I want my life to look like and taking action to make it happen. I am designing my life without compromise or abandon, taking full advantage of the fact that I am unencumbered and entirely free. Plus, date days/nights, delicious, solo meals out at fantastic restaurants and creating and scheming FUN future adventures for myself. Dating myself also includes celebrating and basking in my independence, enjoying every second of exploring myself, starfishing in bed and living by my own damn rules.
And importantly (though not immediately because courting myself is a full-time job and I have my hands full), I am deciding what an ideal partner will look like for me in the future and am fully committed to being unwavering on the qualities this future person will possess. One of the many amazing things about relationships with other people are the lessons you learn along the way, particularly about what you’re willing to accept, where your limits lie and what becomes non-negotiable. In my relationship with myself, I am currently working on cementing an ironclad sense of self, heightened integrity and unshakeable self-love, qualities that will be even more deeply ingrained in me before I will even consider introducing another person into my life.
I am choosing me. I am falling in love with me. I am becoming me. Unabashedly, unapologetically me.