Purging Your Little Black Book by @SingleDC

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I’ve always rotated the men in my life.

Consider this exhibit A:[quote align="right" color="#999999"]If you are looking to change the course of your dating life, do it.[/quote]

My Cellphone.

Aka, my little black book.

With my little black book at my side, I’ve spent the better part of my 20s establishing that I can do whatever the hell I want to when it comes to men. I struggled for a long time with treating men like men always seem to treat us women.

Circling one back on the other so that I never really have to be alone, even when I’m single. Someone once called it my harem, which I suppose, while all the men are not chilling around in one big room, that’s probably the most apt description.

But a couple months ago, I got tired of it. The excitement of texting explicit banter, no longer interested me. I really, truly honestly got completely tired of trying to keep track of them all and what they’re doing and why I should care, because truthfully I started to realize that they simply just didn’t care about me in any sense of the word.

You might be sitting there thinking, “but you didn’t care about them.”

That’s a falsehood – in every sense of the word.

I was reading an article that a friend sent over to me today and it really hit this point home. I cared deeply about each one of them because through continuous interaction I had “pair-bonded” through the release of oxytocin in my system. Whether I wanted to love them or not, I felt an intense pull to hang out with them to perpetuate this negative circle of love, and for a while, I’m going to admit – I was happy.

But I realized when I saw one of them giving flowers to another girl that I wasn’t as happy as I previously thought I was, because for the longest time I liked the transient state that this lifestyle afforded. I liked the singleness of it, but those flowers were a wake up call.

I wanted flowers.

I wanted more.

So I took a deep and proceeded to go through my cellphone and block/delete every man I’ve [quote align="right" color="#999999"]I deleted the one-night stands[/quote] ever hooked up with in the past 2 years. (Essentially everyone since I’ve been single, post the last break-up).

I deleted the one-night stands, the week long flings, the monthers, the long term FWBs, etc…

GONE.

Every last fucking one. I purged my little black book down to the bare bones of mandom.

Then I blocked the fellows I knew would contact me again. Blocked their skypes, their phone numbers, their facebooks, their myspaces, and their twitters. Every form of communication was ceased.

The immediate relief was palpable.

The panic was too.

I took the following weekend off from partying and drinking and carousing.

For the first time in my life I didn’t have a back-up.

I sat in my apartment catching up on TV shows and a self-pedicure and meditated to good ole songs of Toto, while I danced and ate ice cream.

Hello, LoRo, Party of One.

I’m not going to say I didn’t cry wondering if they were trying to text me and winding up with “undeliverable” messages, as I pondered whether or not I did the right thing.

But I did.

I know I did.

First, see – I’m a freelance worker. I pick up jobs when and where I can, and immediately after dumping all the emotional baggage weighing me down, I picked up a longer-term contract and had someone knocking on my door asking me to work full time after that contract is up.

I put all that energy that I had been devoting to rotating people into rotating my career. It seriously needed a facelift, and you have no idea how excited I am it got one.

Second, I wasn’t concerned about who I was trying to please anymore. I didn’t have to worry who liked what aspect about me and who disliked my general quirkiness, instead I was free to be me. And you might be wondering, “why couldn’t you do that before?”

I don’t know. I just felt this need to please these guys in my life who didn’t feel the need to please me.

It was a necessity. I don’t know why.

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]So past two months have been a long journey of a mini-self discovery of sorts.[/quote]

It Takes Time

Month One was heart-wrenching. I’m not going to lie. I listened to sad songs and watched bad sappy romances where the guy dies in the end, and I cried my ever loving eyes out.

Month Two has been so much better. For the first time in over a year I actually woke up with a smile on my face the other day. I’ve woken up with a general sense of happiness and productivity that before seemed unreachable.

I get to be me again, and truthfully that’s the best gift I could ever give myself.

So what I’m trying to say, and the point of this post is this – You’re in charge of your own love-life. 

You’re in charge with whether you’re truly happy or not.

If what you’re doing isn’t making you feel complete, change it.

If who you’re seeing isn’t making you happy, dump them.

If you are looking to change the course of your dating life, do it.

Clear out your little black book

Clear out your little black book and move on, because if you’re constantly dating in the past, your depriving yourself of the happiness that’s just around the corner, whether you realize it or not. Because once you clear out those negative nancy’s and neds in your life you can move on to finding someone with whom you are truly compatible.

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SingleDC is a dating aficionado with a penchant for finding romance and laughter in the most random places of Washington, DC and beyond. Sometimes single and sometimes not, she offers up stories, embarrassing and non, to let others learn from her mistakes, failures, and triumphs.

8 Comments

  • April 17, 2012

    La Petite Provocateur

    LOVE this post. I did a 2 month dating detox to do the exact same thing and, in doing so, found my sense of self again…and have since been able to open my heart up to true adult love. Yes, the first month was hard. But I had the same experience of suddenly waking up (alone) and smiling for no good reason. It was lovely and liberating. So glad to hear that the process was positive for you, too!

    xoxo
    La Petite Provocateur

    • April 17, 2012

      SingleDC

      Thank you! It really is so freeing to be in control of one’s love life again. I’m glad it worked for you too!!

  • April 17, 2012

    Marrie

    Funny how our cell phones are now the windows to our souls. The pictures, archived texts, and contact lists reveal everything about us…minus our emotions. I found that freeing the space on my sim card generated enough time and space to reevaluate who I was now and what I wanted in the future. Even if the only tough question of the night was pink or red nail polish, I knew the choice I made was my own. There were times I was a little scared and felt lonely but I’m hopeful that you’ll see it as a positive experience…I know I did! Lovely post! Thank you for sharing your story with us :)

  • April 17, 2012

    Bellas Dating Woes

    Such a brilliant idea! Great post. I’ve started to do this. My head is getting clearer already!

    • April 20, 2012

      SingleDC

      Good luck and no matter how hard it gets, stick with it!!! It’s life changing!

  • April 18, 2012

    SingleInMy30s

    I can SO relate to this post. Loved it! I totally agree that freeing yourself from the baggage of your past is the best way to make room for the someone in your present who can last well into your future. Like you, I had the rebounders. The people I never quite got over or let go completely of. One of them actually helped to destroy a relationship that had the best potential in a long time…and he had the exact same problem. So glad you shared your experience and insight here. Can help so many others set themselves free as well.

  • May 2, 2012

    Seven Dates a Week

    It’s taken me a long time to comment on this, but I wanted to say: this post inspired me to do just what you did – purge my phone of all those old hookups and hangers-on. I deleted 112 contacts, and it feels terrific. Thanks for this fabulous post – the best I’ve read yet on SW.

    • May 3, 2012

      SingleDC

      Thank you, you’re really too kind, and I’m glad you took the chance and made the cut. It takes a lot of nerve to actually sit there and wipe the slate clean, but as you’ve discovered, it’s incredibly freeing. And it makes you more open for a true connection when it comes along down the road!