The word ‘celibacy’ probably doesn’t inspire a great deal of joy in you unless you have plans on joining a nunnery sometime soon. Hear me out though—a year of self-determined celibacy could be the reboot you’re looking for in more ways than one. Here’s why I think every woman should try it.
- You’re taking control of your life. In a world that seems obsessed with love, sex and relationships, remaining single on purpose is a big statement. It’s an empowering thing to say no to the chase and stick by that for a whole year. Practicing self-control in any context builds character. All the better if you can focus on yourself at the same time.
- It’s a gift you’re giving yourself. It might not seem that way at first, but committing to spending a whole year in celibacy is actually a whole year that you get to dedicate to yourself! Think of it as you might think of the first year of a relationship—an opportunity to invest, learn and sweep yourself off your feet. One year of enforced benevolent selfishness!
- It’s so easy to get caught up in relationships. I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s easy to get involved with some guy even if I don’t intend to. I’ve gotten into way too many relationships without really thinking about if that’s what I wanted. This is how serial monogamy happens, people! The remedy to that might be a pendulum swing in the other direction. When you tell yourself that relationships just aren’t an option, that cute but mediocre dude giving you the eye just isn’t such a draw.
- Many women experience losing their identities in men. This is a big one for me, and I’m yet to meet a woman who hasn’t experienced that slow but sure decline into giving up their personalities for the sake of their relationships. Do you end up becoming a clone of whichever guy you’re dating at the time? A year of celibacy could be just the thing to snap you out of that pattern and help you regain connection to your own identity.
- It’s important to realign sometime. Dating, relationships, sex, flirting—these are great and there’s nothing wrong with wanting them. The point is that they don’t need to be the center of your life. If you find yourself constantly thinking about catching the attention of whichever hottie you have your eye on that day, it might be time to take a breather. Cut out the pressure, let go of expectation and step out for a while to realign with what’s important to you.
- It’s a great way to find yourself. That might sound cliched, but cliches exist for a reason. How much time and energy would you put into sex and relationships over the course of a year? If you’re in a relationship, it’s got to be a lot. Even if you’re single but looking, you’re probably spending a bunch of time on dating apps, meeting up with your FWB, having dates with people you find out you’re not even into, scanning every party for potentials. Now imagine spending all that time on you instead. Take up that hobby you never had time for. Read all the books on your must-read list. Discover what your ultimate goals are and work towards them. Figure out what you want to do, and then do it!
- You can cleanse your life of past relationship hang-ups. We’ve all had rebounds and hopefully we’ve all learned that they don’t work out for anyone in the long run. Healing from a broken heart and from the hang-ups of old relationships takes time. If you’re filling that time with the distraction of a new fling, not only are you liable to delay the healing process, you’re probably going to be dragging all your old baggage into your new relationship. A year of celibacy gives you the breathing space you need to work through old wounds and find your own strength again.
- Rediscover sexuality on your own. Celibacy doesn’t mean the end of sexuality! There is so much to discover with your own body and I’d be willing to bet that a break from partner sex will open up a whole new appreciation for the art of masturbation. Take this year as an opportunity to learn your body on your own, without the distraction of a partner. Make love to yourself with the same care, attention, and affection that you would make love to a partner, and see how much your sex life changes.
- You’ll be a better partner for it. After a year of self-love, self-reflection, and self-pleasure, there’s no way you can’t come out as an all-around better human. Finding the confidence that comes from a self-determined life will transfer into any future relationships. You’ll have learned to embrace your independence and you’ll know your body in a way you never did before. Anyone who’s lucky enough to meet you at the end of that year will be all the more fortunate for this new version of you!