I Did a Post-Mortem Data Analysis of Four Years of Dating
It’s officially been four years since my marriage ended. Four years that consisted of almost 50 first dates. Maybe a dozen of those resulted in second dates. That dozen garnered an unhealthy on-again-off-again relationship, an early pandemic boyfriend, and the relationship that broke the camel’s back.
If you had asked me three months ago to sum up the past four years of dating, I would have thrown you one word: failure. Well, maybe two: epic failure. I would also be horribly wrong. Let me explain.
I am in the midst of what will probably be a good stint in what I would have previously referred to as the clinker of singlehood.
The reality, though, is that singlehood does not equate to prison. It’s not a life sentence. It’s not solitary confinement, and relationships are not some magical warden to let us out so we can start living “normal” lives again.
I have channeled all of my mental resilience into being happily single. The saddest part of that sentence is the amount of energy it takes to get there.
Single people have a mountain to climb in this regard. It is hard self-awareness work that is wholly unrecognized and unrewarded. That does not underscore the importance of doing the work. There is beauty in doing something solely for the sake of personal growth.
A big part of being happily single is releasing myself from the pressure of chasing a relationship. Not a man, but the relationship that results in finding the man. Giving up this endless pursuit has done wonders for me. I have more time. I have zero interest in ever downloading a dating app.
Of course, I still have hope and optimism in my future and know that someday I will find my person. I’ve not given up on dating. I’ve not given up on myself. And I’ve not given up on other people. But, to help ensure my own happiness, I need to get a better understanding of how all of these things converge.
The greatest benefit to giving up the active pursuit is that I have the space to reflect back on the last four years and…