When I was single AF, nothing was more annoying to me than hearing that infamous love cliche time and time again: “You’ll find love when you least expect it!” It almost always followed with me rolling my eyes and taking another swig of my wine. But then, as soon as I swore off dating entirely and decided to take a much-needed break, my dream guy actually walked into my life — go figure. Here’s why I think that happened and why that annoying saying might actually be true:
I stopped obsessing about dating, guys, and love in general. I’d finally reached the point of deflation to a degree that I truly stopped giving a crap about finding someone to share my life with. I started to accept the fact that I might just be one of those women who would boss my life in other ways and that maybe love just wasn’t in the cards for me. I found fulfillment in other areas of my life and stopped caring about whether or not I met anyone… and then I did.
I wasn’t truly taking a break in the past. I’d taken breaks from dating before, but in hindsight, I don’t think I was truly taking a break in the right way. My head wasn’t completely in it. Even when I would disable my dating apps, my eyes were always peeled, and I was ready to meet a guy in the midst of my daily routines. Even if I’d closed off the actual act of dating, it was still in the back of my mind.
I grew as a person. I felt a pretty clear shift when I truly stopped caring about finding someone to love. It was as if my heart and mind had finally had enough and I was done, or so I thought. Instead, I concentrated on deepening my relationship with myself, in turn making me a better, more well-rounded person.
I was caught completely off guard so I was totally myself. Because I truly didn’t give a damn, when my now-boyfriend finally asked me out, it didn’t give me the same anxiety I used to get when embarking on a new dating experience. Hell, I even told him I wasn’t looking for a relationship and we could go out as friends only. That clearly didn’t work out for us, because it turned into so much more.
I didn’t have any expectations and it made things easier. There’s something awesome about genuinely having no expectations when meeting a new guy. I didn’t view it as a date at all. I didn’t have those first date daydreams that he could be my future husband someday, and I didn’t shop the perfect outfit from my closet. Instead, I just went as my true self and didn’t care what he might think because I wasn’t looking for his approval. It felt really f*cking fantastic, actually.
I was okay with being disappointed for a change. I told myself that if things didn’t work out with him, I wasn’t going to allow myself to be disappointed. Because I had no expectations, it also finally felt like I was in complete control of what I would and wouldn’t allow to hurt me. I vowed when shutting myself emotionally off from dating that I wouldn’t let another jerk disappoint me ever again. Thankfully, that didn’t end up happening.
I wasn’t desperate for love. For the first time in a really long time, I wasn’t overly eager and seemingly desperate to have a guy in my life. After years and years of being surrounded by happy couples or other single friends who would guy hop from one boyfriend to another, I was free of the pressure of having someone by my side to define me. Perhaps the reason it finally happened for me was because I was finally okay with the fact that it HADN’T happened for me so far. I was done with dwelling on the negative. I had made peace with my never-ending series of disappointments.
I was done with playing the nonsense dating games. I can’t even count how many times over the years I’d been coached by my girlfriends to not text, do text, ignore his texts, or delete his texts about a guy I was trying to date. It was exhausting AF, and I was done with the chaos and frustration that came with “playing the game.” All I wanted to do was lay on my couch in a blanket nest for several months by myself and not waste any more of my energy on this nonsense dating society — at least not for a while.
I finally felt completely okay and happy by myself. I think the biggest reason that love happened to me when I least expected it to was because it was the first time that I was completely engulfed in and happy in my own life. I had reached a new level of accomplishment, and instead of focusing on all of the ex-boyfriends and failed attempts at love behind me, I was focusing on who I had became and how proud I was of myself for what I’ve survived and conquered, whether I had a boyfriend or not. And then, he finally showed up. I never used to believe in those BS dating cliches, but I’ve been proven wrong.
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