The dating spectrum can be more complex than choosing your necessities over your wants. Yet we continue to place ourselves in the dating ring time and time again. So many times we find ourselves dating the same men and receiving the same results. It wasn’t until a recent conversation with a co-worker that I was reminded of how toxic dating without purpose can be. She had explained that she was going on a “dating detox”. The quirky yet catchy phrase had even more meaning than I’m sure she even knew. It had me thinking what if we were disciplined enough to detox our mind from the cluttered past dating experiences we may still harbor. If we could set aside a specific amount of time where we shut ourselves off from dating and allowed ourselves the opportunity to focus on what we really want out of dating.
For a hopeless romantic such as myself I have dated just about any kind of guy that’s out there. From the “mama’s boy” to the “two timing jerk” I was the walking advertisement for dating just to date. Unfortunately all I got from those dating experiences were toxic stereo-types and wasted time that turned into emotional wall blocks. As I listened to my co-worker discuss how draining dating has been I began to think about how I had to revamp my own dating mind. Almost like detoxing your body your dating mind needs a fresh start. If you find yourself only having a dating span of 1-3 months with little advance you too might need a dating detox.
After I was left empty handed from a six year relationship I found myself rebound dating just for revenge. Although I did enjoy my new found single status I was forced into it and I had no idea how to bounce back. After being out of the dating game so long I was clueless and heartbroken. I was dating every prospective man that came my way but I wasn’t emotionally ready to embrace them. There were times I would be on great dates but all I could think about was my ex. The final straw was when I went on a date and excused myself. I went to the restroom to call my ex because I truly missed him, I was emotionally drained. It was in that moment that I realized I wasn’t ready to date. I was dating without the right purpose in mind and because of that I lost out on a few good men.
The silver lining to that realization was that I was able to give myself a break in dating. I devoted 5 months to myself where I didn’t date at all. The reason for this is because belief overflows to behavior. If you don’t handle the hurt or disappointment from your past properly, their sin becomes a catalyst for your own. I took the time out to decide what compromises I was willing to make for a relationship and what things I wanted to accomplish before devoting myself to another man. This helped me to eliminate any feelings of resentment or hurt that I could possibly carry over into something new.
In my moments of solitude I prayed, I talked to close friends with sound advice, and I focused on me. When the five months ended I was ready to start dating again. This time I had a great piece of paper that outlined exactly what I was looking for in a partner. I didn’t waste any time on entertaining anyone that didn’t fit into those categories. While love is about sacrifice it is also about equality. You have to be willing to be a giver and a taker at times.
Dating with purpose is about dating with confidence. The best part about my dating detox was that it allowed me a clear mind to make better decisions. By ridding myself of toxic energy from unqualified men I was able to clear out mental space for the right man that fit into my life. Understand that timing is built to help produce results. To fully understand the purpose of your dating life you must first find purpose in the things you want out of life.
Once you have identified what your purpose is you can begin dating people whose purpose is similar. Thus, making for a more productive dating circle. Just like searching for the perfect job dating requires research, investment of time and major negotiation. While the first couple months on dating detox may not seem worth the work it will pay off majorly in the end. Remember that by changing nothing, nothing changes.
From the heart of Ebony S. Garris