If the 22-year-old me were able to glance into my current life, she'd probably be shocked that the same old repetitive relationships weren't on cycle 20 of never-ending lost hope.
It's been just over two years since I decided to quit wasting my time on meaningless relationships, and take a vow of celibacy until further notice. My definition of celibacy is not just limited to abstaining from sex physically, but mentally, too. I am a woman who can be stimulated in the mind as well. Just the way a man speaks to me can be a turn on. But after doing some reflection, I realized I had spent the last few years allowing myself to let words persuade me past my better judgement to leave a bad relationship alone, and I wouldn't let that happen again. I needed a change, I was ready for a change. So I vowed to myself and the man above that I would not waste my time, effort, and affection on any more dead-end relationships.
Now at 24-years-old I feel confident in saying I've had my fair share of heartache in unrealistic relationships, or better I say "situationships," each one ending with me confused or feeling used and played. Through celibacy I would get a better understanding of myself by establishing what I'm looking for in a man, my needs, and also recognize what I don't want.
I'll be honest, when I first began this was not the original plan, I wanted to just step away from that situation and move on to a new one, freely. The celibate part just kind of happened. After about three months of being fed up with what was presented to me, I realized I had had enough. I wanted to set a new standard for my love life, and celibacy would be the method for me.
Through my journey I feel as if I've accomplished much more than just control over my love life.I have regained the self-awareness I once had, but lost somewhere along the way.
1. I Become in Control Over my Love Life Again
Initially, I was worried about where celibacy would leave me relationship wise, but it actually made things clearer for me. I had spent so much time trying to work with someone else’s idea of what they wanted in a relationship that I basically lost my own. I had to sit down and physically write out some expectations and boundaries for what I wanted in a relationship. That was kind of hard at first, but moving forward it will be easier for to express my needs before jumping into something long-term.
2. I Gained Clarity
Starting fresh was my way of wiping the slate clean and allowing myself the chance to build in a new headspace. The clarity came around the end of year one, when old temptations appeared and I began to see what intentions were and how I previously allowed my feelings about an individual to blur my better judgement. Now I move a little differently; I can see where a situation is going and make the decision to leave it alone or stay.
3. I Strengthened My Relationship With God
I knew by making the vow to not only myself, but God, I would be testing myself. I thought I had a strong faith before, but I always second guessed what I should have left in God’s hands. This time around I wholeheartedly put my faith in him, and my patience would come from that. I always turned to God when needed, but this time it was different. This time I turned to him for reassurance in myself that I can do it.
4. I Feel Light
Sometimes you don’t realize the weight you carry when dealing with toxic relationships. Deciding to start anew was a way to give myself the chance to be free to date who I wanted, but not relying on comfort to decide who that person was. I don’t feel like a bag lady anymore; I'm more aware of the baggage I carry around with me now.
5. I Became Focused
It's crazy to think about how I spent so much time and energy into chasing after the thrill of a relationship, I never realized how much your attention sways when you are worried about keeping up with someone else. After I gave myself some space for me, I began to become the planner I was before--making my lists and setting weekly goals. I was able to focus on personal goals that were subconsciously put on hold and achieved things that I hadn’t realized I placed on the back burner.
I won't lie and say that a lot of what I've built hasn't been a shield from what hurt me in the past, in a way it has. But I won’t allow myself to be that person again. Celibacy may not be for everyone, it may even sound crazy that someone can change so much from just abstaining from sex. But in a world where everything is #relationshipgoals, you can get caught up in the hype and lose yourself a bit.
I want to share my journey with women like me, and I'm proud to say that I am two years and five months celibate. I am dating on my terms and pursuing relationships the way that feels right to me. I think it's important for women, especially young women in the same position I was in, to hear from someone who is right there with them.
[Tweet "It's time for young women to reclaim our power in our sex lives."]
We're allowed to be a part of setting the pace in a relationship. We need that in order for us to truly understand our worth and needs, and so we can stop repeating cycles. As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is someone repeating the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Stop your insanity, and give yourself the chance to be self aware and come full circle in your growth as a person.
Are you or have you been celibate? What did it do for your relationships?