December 15th, 2018

The first 365: living the single life.

Happy Friday loves!

I always get a little nervous to share personal posts, but also know that there are so many people out there in the world that can relate, so these ultimately become my favorite ones:)..Enjoy:

When I ended a 5 year relationship last December, I embarked on a new journey I had never tried before..being single! I went into it open minded, and hoping I would find something that would work out for the long term, but knew in the back of my head that life might be wanting me to use 2018 as an “unattached year.”

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been in a relationship. And not just any relationship, the multi year, lovey dovey, let’s-really-do-this type. What can I say? I grew up in a super loving family, and love love. I adore being a significant other, a #1 fan, writing cards, making memories, having a 24/7 adventure partner, etc. …I mean who doesn’t right?

I came to a point however, that I noticed my selection of men had remained the same, and I was never truly happy with any of them. So, I welcomed 2018, and kept all my options open. And the variety sure came:)

I dated younger men, older men, foreign men, intelligent, immature, caring, interesting men, men that just became friends….you name it, I probably encountered it!

I learned a little something new about myself, and what I would like out of a future partner with every new person that I spent time with..which is what I think is such an exciting thing about this process.

It really began when I downloaded dating apps, even though I was SUPER hesitant at first! It helped that one night on a girls trip in the mountains, I had multiple opinions flying at me… all leading to do it…so naturally I did it. (That silly peer pressure:)  Out of all the options out there, I ended up going with Bumble and Hinge! Each presents its own category of men and approach, and I will say I still to this day do not think one is better than the other. I matched with someone that very night that I even ended up traveling to see, and is still one of my friends to this day.

After that, I tried seeing someone quite a bit younger,  that was so very sweet, but so very not for me. This does not apply to every situation obviously, but I would say for the most part, dating in such different life stages presents its own issues, when there doesn’t need to be any. There then came only foreign men for a reason (Couldn’t tell you why) and an attempt at an actual relationship (turned out I was SO not ready for that), and finally a frustration point. I remember coming home to tell my roommates, UGH, THIS IS EXHAUSTING. I CAN’T DO THIS RIGHT NOW. So, I took a break.

Probably about 2 months into the break, I was sitting at my kitchen table finishing up work feeling very accomplished with the day, and I had a match come through. That match and I ended up not saying much but agreeing to meet right away that night. The whole relationship went fast and intense…which was amazing. And then it ended almost just as fast as it started.

This was the first time in my (almost) 30 years of life that I experienced rejection, and (luckily) ended up appreciating the experience so much! I say this because I now know what everyone on the other side was feeling all these years when I was doing the ending. Definitely does not rank as something I enjoyed.. Someone telling you they don’t want you for this & that reason….eek. But, after the initial shock fades, I think it is so important to be grateful because (1) They let you off the hook. You don’t want to waste time with the wrong person and (2) Thank them for their honesty. It is hard to hurt someones feelings, but if it’s just not working, you need to speak up.

So, now here we are in the present..I am still single but SO happy. I have had these wonderful, magical moments happen this last month that life has thrown my way to really make me grateful for being right here, right now, in this moment. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As always, life closes a door so that another one can open. (and has proven itself to me already)

 

If I can sum up this years lessons into any kind of advice, it would be the following:

DO:

*Be genuine right from the start. This lets the other person get to know the REAL you. Which leads to figuring out if you’re right for each other or not sooner.

*Try a dating app. It is such a wonderful extension of introduction that you wouldn’t have had prior.

*Communicate. Communicate. Communicate always.

*Be present. Listen.

*Embrace someone for all their flaws.

*Use this opportunity with a new person to learn from your past mistakes, and practice not making them again.

*Have fun! Use this as an excuse to explore your city, stay out a little later than normal, buy new clothes, etc.

*Make sure they have a social life if you are a social person.

*Have deep conversations. Everyone is a teacher in their own right. Let them teach you something new.

BE OPEN. You are an amazing individual that anyone would be lucky to spend time with. Let people get to know you and have the opportunity to be around you. Don’t keep all of your goodness to yourself!

 

DON’T:

-Think about dating someone further if they tell you they are an asshole on the first date.  This means they are!.

-Rush into travel together. I know the idea seems romantic, but traveling with someone right off the bat presents a lot of decision making that you two might not be ready to do together yet.

-Be the only one putting in effort. It’s a two person deal, and if you are not seeing anything from the other side, say buh-bye!

-Ignore your gut feeling. If you feel something is off, talk about it. It probably is.

-Pay attention red flags. You have acquired some by this point in your life, so don’t let them fly just because it’s a new person doing them.

-Give up hope. The right one is out there for you. Just because this one didn’t work, doesn’t mean another one won’t.

At the end of the day, appreciate every person that doesn’t work out until you meet the one that does…..

Thank you, NEXT.

XO,

Natasha

 


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