BY BETHANY FRAZIER
This is one word that’s been unfamiliar in my mind and vocabulary for the past five years. Stumbling into “Singledom” after the dissolution of the relationship with my girlfriend has catapulted this word back into my world, usually the moments when people ask, “Are you starting to date?” For me, this simple word takes on so many different emotions.
You might find yourself in the same boat.
Weeks, months or even years after your breakup, the thoughts of dating, from putting yourself out there, setting up a date and riffing over surface subjects like work, your hometown and hobbies might be overwhelming. For some, it might be exciting. For me, the word itself made me slightly queasy.
More than the standard dating awkwardness, you might not be ready to move on. It’s likely your heart has a hole in it, the size of Texas, where she had been. Not saying you want the relationship back, but imagining bringing another person into your life, when at the same time, frantically managing post-breakup healing might not feel right.
Listen to your heart and head on this one, ladies.
While so many lesbians tend to fall into another relationship (or in bed) at lightning speed after their breakups, some of us take the time to refocus our attention on ourselves. This process isn’t easy (me: hell no!) and can be lonely.
Hopping into another relationship will temporarily alleviate your heartache, making this the ultimate easy route. However, if this is your path, it’ll only put your pain on delay almost a snooze button for harsh reality.
Besides working through the standard post-breakup agony, investing time in building yourself up again will only contribute to making you a better partner for the future.
To be honest, in the past, I’ve found someone else quickly after my heart was broken (incidentally, by the same ex. Whew, I wish I would have learned then!). I think most of us have, right? This time, the thought of being with someone is one of the last things on my mind (besides that pile of dirty clothes on my floor waiting for laundry day). The first thing on my mind? Me. This is how I know my relationship was monumental for my growth and all I’m learning (good and bad) has spun out a person who is healing instead of diverting reality.
Recently, I confided to a friend I thought I was ready to date. Hell, I’d been on the right path, being social, finding some kind of happiness again and healing my wounds. It wasn’t until a recent gathering, where something triggered me back to that shitty pain, that I realized I’m still struggling. I’m still hurt.
Does this mean I’m not ready?
If you’ve gone through a whirlwind in your own breakup and are in this limbo of “Am I ready? Am I not ready?” Give yourself a break. Avoid feeding into what your friends, our community and society are expecting from you. You might not be ready for dating and that is quite OK.
In fact, it’s kind of bad ass.
So, here are my thoughts, if something happens, it happens. If you’re not ready to actively look or put yourself out there, then don’t. Having your heart crushed and reconstructed has likely given you a clearer vision of what you want, what you don’t want and what you deserve (you deserve a whole lot!) in a future partner.
If this serendipitous universe puts someone in your path now, even during your process of recovery, acknowledge it.
I’m discovering in life, connections with people (friendships, relationships, business, etc.) occur at random moments, which might not make much sense in the beginning, but will give you that a-ha moment later on. Maybe this will happen with someone who will enter your fragile world, maybe it won’t.
Give yourself the time you need before entering the dating scene. This great big world has a plan for you bigger than you can imagine.
Born a true Texas girl, Bethany U-Hauled to the beautiful, history-drenched city of Richmond, Virginia, for long distance love that eventually ended. In addition to obsessing and writing about Richmond’s food scene (restaurants, festivals, and trends), she’s a connoisseur of painting, aromatherapy, indie music and English accents. Find her stuff at Grub Like A Girl and One Check Or Two.