I paid for both cones not knowing she was about to break up with me. I decided after that break up, that I would take a year off from being in a relationship. The amount of time was arbitrary, but it sounded like a solid number. Also, I hadn’t been single for a full year in over a decade and clearly that hadn’t been working. So I worked on setting boundaries between my head and my heart. See, I happen to be a hopeless romantic in the Ted Mosby mold. Not only that, but I’m also wildly optimistic and reckless with my heart. Someone recently told me that when it comes to love, I’m not the kind of guy that dips his toes in the water to see if it’s cold. I shout CANNONBALL! No matter how many times that pool has been ice-cold, my approach never changes. I’ve been one to always ignore the cons and just appreciate the pros. Which is why this single year has been tricky. Over the year I’ve gone on dates with some incredible women, and I caught myself day dreaming a few times and had to remember my boundaries and tell myself to be chill. I was super honest with everyone and made sure they were aware of my “me” year. It wasn’t a year to go out and just have fun. I had every intention of growing as an individual by becoming more self-aware and less insecure.
I had a conversation with a friend recently about things we’ve learned from previous relationships. We shared the relationship habit of assimilating the hobbies and likes of our past girlfriends and realizing we weren’t our authentic selves in those times. That inauthenticity would almost always be the cause of the break up, as we learned we weren’t as compatible as our hearts were masking us to be. This was part of my mission. Work on my personal integrity, and in maintaining that true sense of self. My biggest insecurity is believing that I am a placeholder, and that I’m around until something better comes along. Whether it is relationships, friendships, or even jobs, I overcompensate, and alter who I am. I never thought I would learn so much about myself by taking a break from relationships, but I did. I was able to figure out the things that mattered to me, and the passions that I’d want to share with my partner. This, is the primary reason why most of those dates were last dates. Except for one.
I have a bunch of cheesy stories that I could write about Emily, but I’ll hold off for now. What I will say is that she is awesome, she is weird, and she makes me happy.
Now I’m going to go enjoy a glass of wine as I celebrate my one year anniversary of getting dumped over vegan ice cream. Cheers to everyone that has found themselves on a similar journey, to all of you that may currently be on that path, and to those of you who are heading that way. If you have stories you’d like to share or any questions, please reach out.