Is it just me or does it seem like society is constantly looking for ways to redefine something? I don't know about y'all but when I was taught about marriage, a part of what came with it was sharing a life — and home — with your partner until life parts you (at least, that's what most vows say). These days, it's like folks are on a constant quest to be married while remaining as close to being single as they possibly can. Yeah, that's not really how marriage works. Anyway, in walks the concept known as a sleep divorce.
If you've never heard of one before and you're curious, that's what we're gonna unpack today. What exactly is a sleep divorce? What are the pros and cons of getting one? And finally, why you should think long and hard about before actually considering signing up for one in the first place.
What Exactly Is a Sleep Divorce?
Although most of us know what a divorce is, have you ever looked up the actual definition of the word before? A divorce is "a judicial declaration dissolving a marriage in whole or in part, especially one that releases the marriage partners from all matrimonial obligations". Honestly, this is probably a really good place to start with the whole sleep divorce term because it's all about making the decision not to sleep (literally sleep) with your partner. The reasons why, I'll get into in the next section. For now, though, I think the first thing that should be explored is if you consider sharing a marriage bed an "obligation" (a binding promise, contract, sense of duty, etc.) or not within your relationship.
I mean, if you look at things from a biblical perspective, it's interesting that Hebrews 13:4 says that the marriage bed is undefiled. I also like a Scripture in Song of Solomon that simply says, "our bed is green" (Song of Solomon 1:6). Seems to me that sharing a bed with your beloved is a part of what comes with being married.
Still, that doesn't change the fact that the phenomenon of a sleep divorce is becoming more and more popular. In fact, some studies say that as much as 25 percent of couples are now opting for a sleep divorce. A survey of 3,000 Americans revealed that even more (31 percent) are down to give it a shot. And why are couples deciding that this is the route to go? Good question.
What Are the Pros of Having a Sleep Divorce?
It probably comes as no secret to you that sleep deprivation is a huge epidemic in this country. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, as much as 70 percent of us have reported having trouble falling or staying asleep at least one night per month. 11 percent say that this is an every evening occurrence. While things like stress, anxiety, eating late, health-related issues, mood swings, kids ('cause, let's be real), addiction to electronic devices and not putting oneself on a sleep schedule can all play a direct role in why we're not getting good quality rest, so can things like a snoring partner, someone wanting a room at a different temperature or one person being a night owl (even in bed) while the other is an early riser. For people who fall into the latter category, when a compromise isn't found, oftentimes it's decided that they should go through a sleep divorce — either they and their partner should sleep in separate beds in the same room or even sleep in different rooms entirely.
And just what are the main benefits of taking this approach? While I'm pretty sure that you can already tell that I'm not the biggest fan of sleep divorces, I do get what would cause someone to get to this point. Matter of fact, I once dated someone who was a pretty loud snorer and it drove me absolutely mad. To tell you the truth, as I was going through the reasons for why I didn't think the relationship wasn't going to work or last, long-term, I'd be lying if I said that his snoring wasn't somewhere on the list. So yeah, considering the fact that sleep deprivation is directly tied into things like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, mental health-related issues, inflammation and even shortened longevity, of course, getting a good night's rest, as much as possible, is paramount.
And that is the main reason why those who are in full support of sleep divorces say that it's such a good idea; especially if it's getting to the point and place where their lack of quality sleep has them so pissed off that they're literally on the verge of going from a potential sleep divorce to an actual divorce because they have trouble concentrating at work, keeping their moods in check or not being hypersensitive due to them being utterly exhausted all of the time. So I get it — if a sleep divorce means getting some zzz's and not standing before a judge, I can see the benefits that come with having one.
Still, I'm not so sure that couples who are down for a sleep divorce are also considering the potential cons that come with making this kind of decision as well. And there are more than a few.
Just What Are the Cons of Getting a Sleep Divorce?
OK, so your spouse has you to the point where if you don't get out of the room with them, you might literally lose your mind. While on the surface it might seem like, "No problem. I'll just sleep in the guest room", there are some things that should be pondered, long and hard, first.
Some couples only get real quality time during pillow talk at night. Between hectic schedules and/or kids, sometimes the only time that couples are able to be alone is when they are in bed together. If you're never sharing/sleeping in the same room, are you sure you're going to be proactive about making (re)connecting a priority?
What will sleeping apart do to your sex life? Lawd. Already where it stands, 15-20 percent of couples are in a sexless marriage (random point, did you know that the best times of year to have sex are fall and winter?). Anyway, although a lot of people are team morning sex, let's not act like sex at night isn't super convenient. Let's also not act like a lot of us tend to fall asleep right after a good session goes down. So yes, while it's feasible that you could have sex and then go into another room afterwards or get up from your slumber to go have sex elsewhere, what actually is the probability that sex will happen much that way? In other words, is your sleep divorce going to cause your sex life to suffer? And if so, can you and your relationship afford for that to happen? Here's a hint: probably not.
Sleeping together reduces stress levels. I've brought up oxytocin up quite a bit in my articles on this platform. That's because, one of its proven benefits is it's a natural hormone that helps you to feel closer to your partner. Wanna know when it elevates? When you're doing things like kissing, cuddling and having sex? As a bona fide bonus, not only does it make you want to be more intimate with them, it also reduces your cortisol (stress hormone) levels too. This is another reason why sharing a bed with your spouse is so important. It is literally good for your health.
Learning how to sleep with your partner teaches compromise. I'm a marriage life coach. I share that often. What I don't say, nearly as much, is my emphasis is on reconciling/restoring divorced couples. There is a line in the movieIt's Complicated (Alec Baldwin, Meryl Streep) where Alec's character says to his ex-wife (paraphrased), "More divorced couples should get back together after 10 years of being apart. They know each other really well and there was time to grow so that they'll be a better fit." You'd be surprised how much truth there is to that. While definitely not in all instances, I have to say that in many, if couples were just open to not quitting so quickly, to finding common ground and to looking for ways to compromise, their relationship could remain intact.
The reality is that a lot of marriages don't work because a lot of people are too selfish for that kind of relationship; it's more about getting what they can from someone else than what they can bring to the union. And if there's one area that compromise presents itself, believe it or not, it's in the marriage bed.
Figuring out how to decorate the bedroom space. Determining if there should be electronic devices in there or not (heads up, there really shouldn't be). Figuring out how much sex should go down (as far as consistency goes). Deciding if you should go to bed at the same time or not (it's healthier when you do, by the way). And yes, working through each other's sleeping patterns as you share such an intimate space.
Yeah Shellie, I hear you. But his snoring is about to make me catch a case. For real, for real.
How to Make Snoring More Tolerable in a Marriage
Let me just say that when it comes to considering a sleep divorce, I make the same recommendation for it that I do for an actual divorce — if nothing is getting better, be open to seeing a reputable therapist/counselor/relationship life coach. They may be able to offer up some tips to keep you and yours in the literal same sleeping and sexing space. As far as being married to a snorer goes, I've got a few hacks that just might help. As soon as tonight, even.
Eat non-inflammatory foods. I know. You've heard that you should have a glass of milk before turning in, all of your life. Here's the thing, though. Dairy often triggers inflammation in our system and when that happens, it can put unnecessary stress on your throat which can lead to snoring (so, at the very least, do a milk alternative like almond or oat milk). So can eating too late at night because sometimes, when that happens and you go to lie down, your chest can feel additional stress during the digestive process which can make it difficult to breathe. So, in the evening, try and avoid consuming a lot of dairy, sugar, gluten or fatty foods. Go with berries, broccoli, grapes, dark chocolate or green tea instead.
Reduce alcohol intake. Did you know that weak tongue and throat muscles can also cause snoring (there are helpful exercises that you can try here)? Well, believe it or not, alcohol actually relaxes your throat muscles. And if you drink it a couple of hours before bedtime, that can trigger you to snore more too. So, if a glass of wine before bedtime is your man's thing and yet he's snoring you out of the bed at night, he might need to swap it out for grape or tart cherry juice (an awesome sleep agent) instead.
Invest in a humidifier. A humidifier is a device that adds moisture into the air. The benefits that come from having one in your bedroom is it can help to reduce virus-related particles that may be in the air (that could give you the flu), keep your hair and skin from drying out and definitely decrease the amount that you or your partner snores. Dry air is what prevents our throats to be as lubricated as they should. When that happens, it tends to make us snore more (or louder). A humidifier can nip a lot of this in the bud.
Keep water by the bed. Did you know that when you're dehydrated, your system creates more mucus and that could also cause you to snore (or snore more often or louder)? That's why remaining hydrated throughout the day and even keeping a bottle of water on your nightstand could prove to be an ultimate non-snoring hack.
Do some spooning. Long story short, sleeping on your back causes your tongue to put pressure on your airways, making it harder to breathe, which definitely ups the chances of a snore-fest. Sleeping on your side can reduce a lot of that — and what better way to get into that position than by spooning, right?
Listen, there's absolutely no way that one article alone can prevent a sleep divorce from happening. All I'm saying is if you're teetering on getting on, try some of these things out first. A perk to being married shouldn't just be to share a life. There is real intimacy that comes from sharing a bed...too.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
In xoNecole's series Dope Abodes, we tour the living spaces of millennial women, where they dwell, how they live, and the things they choose to adorn and share their spaces with.
Annisa LiMara has called this space her home for two years. Her Atlanta sanctuary, which she aimed to give the look and feel of something you'd see in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, embodies her vision of "stunning, yet functional and cozy."
"My home is a reflection of my brand, The Creative Peach Studios, and I am the 'Creative Peach,'" Annisa explains. "It was so easy to reflect who I am and my personal story in my space. When you walk into my home, you know that it is Annisa’s home. I’m so proud of that. So grateful."
On the journey to becoming a homeowner, Annisa looks back on her experience as a "rough one," detailing that she officially started house hunting in March 2020. It had become so expensive to rent, and the 30-something lifestyle influencer decided she would rather invest the money she spent renting into owning a home. However, nine days into house hunting, her search was put on hold for a year. The following year, in 2021, the process of finding the right home and going under contract took a total of four months.
"The resell route didn’t work out, so my realtor suggested a new construction home, which turned out to be the better option," she tells xoNecole of her experience. "Although it requires more patience, it turned out to be a much easier process and a lot easier to maintain since it’s brand new."
As it turns out, the open floor plan three-bedroom two-and-half-bath would prove to be a blank canvas for Annisa to flex her creativity and design skills.
As a new construction, she watched the townhome get built from the ground up, and due to the "cookie-cutter" nature of new builds, Annisa knew immediately that she would change everything about it. The best part about it? All of her updates were cosmetic, so transformation could occur without having to do major renovations to achieve the look and feel she desired.
"The first things I updated were all the lighting, adding built-ins around my fireplace, and installing wallpaper in my bedroom, office, and dining room! I also had board and batten installed in the upstairs loft to make a statement and the kitchen island," Annisa details.
"Lastly, we painted the loft a soft blush pink, the kitchen island is a gorgeous terracotta, and added contrast with black on the doors, fireplace, and stairwell banisters."
In total, she spent $15K in renovations (plus the cost of furniture and decor). And although she says the second level of her home is a "work-in-progress," two years in, she considers the transformation nearly done.
Annisa defines her decor style as "organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho," and with thoughtfully placed touches like plants, warm tones, and organic textures, her perspective can be felt throughout. "I found my point of view as a designer in my work and as I worked on my home, so it all came together organically based on what I was naturally drawn to."
"The organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho' is definitely my signature style. You’ll always see greenery, warm tones, brass, and rattan or wicker in just about every room. My color story is based on my brand [The Creative Peach Studios] colors: blush pink, ivory, olive and sage green, terracotta, and nudes," she adds.
It was her brand colors that would be the jumping-off point for her approach to decorating and styling her space. That, and a picture she had of what would become her sofa from Albany Park. She recalled her decor decisions, "It was their olive Park Sectional Sofa, and I knew instantly I wanted it, and it aligned with my brand colors naturally, so it was a no-brainer."
By drawing inspiration from Pinterest, favorite design brands like CB2, Arhaus, and Souk Bohemian, and through her work, Annisa allowed herself to be guided by her signature style as well as her instincts when making decor and color choices for her own home. "Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason; it just feels right."
Some of the aspects of her home that she regards as her favorites include her bedroom and its little nook where her bed is positioned, the open upstairs loft, and the open concept because "it really allows you to see all of the details I put into the design all at once." Another of her favorite finds is a purchase she copped from the thrift store years ago.
"I have this little brown and gold chair that I picked up for $6 at a thrift store in Jersey six years ago. I couldn’t afford much in my little studio, but the chair was beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen."
In addition to accent walls featuring blush pink and terracotta tones throughout the space, her gallery wall is another element that immediately draws the eye of any guest who enters. Annisa recalled a fond memory of a fine art piece she purchased from a Black woman artist when she first moved to Atlanta that she now prominently features in her living room. "It was a Black villager from her travels in Africa, and I fell in love with it because it felt like an ancestor I never met. I later found out that she was the sister of one of my very first design clients two years later," she shares. "Talk about a full-circle moment!"
Cultivating a space takes time and patience, and that is a sentiment Annisa echoes when advising people who are looking to infuse more of themselves into their own dope abodes through design. "It is not a race, and you’ll spend more money if you rush into designing without really being intentional about the vision for your space," Annisa concludes. "You just need creativity and patience to do it! And most of all, make sure you feel like it’s an oasis for you!"
For more of Annisa, follow her on Instagram @annisalimara.
Tour Interior Designer Annisa LiMara's Modern Meets Midcentury ATL Home | Dope Abodes
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Embarking on a celibacy journey was a plot twist in my life that I never saw coming.
Sex was my comfort zone and that fact was something I didn’t come to terms with until my late twenties when I met a man who in a lot of ways allowed me to embody the fullness of myself fearlessly in ways I might have not realized at the time. I spent many years before that over-identifying with my sexual side because it was the part of me that I met with the least resistance and the part of me the people outside of me welcomed with open arms so I leaned into it. That coupled with my emotional unavailability at the time, made for an ease and a lack of emotional risk that allowed me to connect with others without getting in too deep.
I know now that it was why I felt comfortable talking openly about sex, be it to strangers, be it in situationships and no-strings-attached flings, be it on this very platform. While that’s not to say that my sexuality isn’t mine, it is to say there was an unhealthy element attached to it because of the way I didn’t realize I was using it at the time. In a strange way, I was using it as a shield.
I was masquerading as this evolved, fully healed version of myself with a healthy relationship with sex and my sexuality but in reality, I was lost and scared of being hurt so badly sometimes that I led with sex as a way to avoid true intimacy and being vulnerable. These are all things that I unpacked and discovered about myself last year during my shadow work sessions with my shadow work guide, Jordan Jeppe.
In her course offerings, Jeppe guides you through celibacy as a tool for deeper self-love. With reports of millennials and Gen-Zers engaging in less sex than previous generations, and even articles from our platform like, "More Women Are Taking The 'Girlfriend' Title & Exclusivity Off The Table In Dating — Here's Why," it's clear we are experiencing shifts in the romantic landscape for one reason or another where more focus is being placed on self.
Although my own celibacy journey is more seasonal and sporadic than year-round, I fell in love with unlocking a deeper understanding of myself and being able to start the work of confronting parts of myself that I otherwise may have not been honest about. I was met with the pain of my patterns but also the freedom that comes with allowing myself to be really seen. Celibacy for me was a vessel for healing, for self-love, but also for self-development.
Viewing celibacy as a tool to deepen that journey into self doesn't just point to society's increasing desire to opt out of hookup culture, but the collective desire to opt into choices that reflect wholeness versus lack. For more insight on how to use your season of sexlessness for better self-love, creating rules on your celibacy journey, and tips on how to discuss being celibate, Jordan Jeppe acts as our guide.
Elevating Self-Love on Your Celibacy Journey
The intentional reframing of self-love as a throughline in her celibacy course was a component Jeppe felt was necessary because of her own experiences of attracting partners who ultimately acted as a mirror of her lack of self-love at the time.
She explained, "When you love yourself, you don't settle in relationships that are half-assed, or just meet the bare minimum." Adding that when "You know you are worthy of more, you don't put yourself in situations to be treated poorly, over and over and over again, because you have the confidence and the self-worth to know that you don't deserve that."
A lot of us are led to forget ourselves because we are taught at a young age to believe our worthiness can be found in others. Our tendency to self-sacrifice leads us to prioritize others before ourselves and struggle to feel worthy outside of our doing for others. Jeppe assures that this conditioning takes away our power. "What we start doing is we start looking for people to complete us and we don’t think that we are worthy of being whole on our own."
For her, self-love and celibacy going hand in hand is necessary in order "to step into what we feel worthy of, and what we know that we want and where what we need to feel seen and heard and supported by another person."
Setting Boundaries on Your Celibacy Journey
Jeppe encourages those embarking on a celibacy journey to implement a set of rules to help them stay on track and act in alignment with their goals and intentions for being celibate. Needless to say, the earliest stages of the journey are a person's most vulnerable so cutting communication with temptation is essential. "No communication with exes, flings, or situationships" is the baseline. She adds, "No communication is important because that's a practice of setting a boundary, the practice of showing yourself that you are worthy. And it also cuts out temptation."
Being honest with yourself about your relationship with self-pleasure is also a must. "I think it's important to understand your relationship to self-pleasure, and what you get from it, whether it's serving you as a distraction, or to not feel things on a deeper level," she says. "If your program of pleasing yourself is to escape an uncomfortable emotion or to not think about what’s coming up, because as you know, a lot comes up in your celibacy journey, it’s understanding there might need to be a rule set there."
A rule like this could look like removing self-pleasure from your celibacy journey for at least eight weeks so you're not avoiding the work of addressing shadows or using it as an escape. Self-pleasure can be a very empowering tool on your journey. Ensure you use it wisely.
In line with that is Jeppe's hard no to dating at the beginning stages of being celibate, for at least five weeks. Her course is structured that way, where you spend the first few weeks getting clear on your shadows, honing in on your tendency to people please, be emotionally unavailable, or be codependent. Whether you are enrolled in her course or not, saying no to dating in the early stages of your sexless season allows for intentional time and focus spent on self.
After those suggested five weeks or whatever timeline you feel works best for you, you can open yourself up to what dating while celibate can look like. Jeppe supports dating during celibacy "because that’s how you take what you are learning and you practice it and that is necessary because you cannot have change without having awareness and action."
The beautiful thing about creating rules for your celibacy journey is that it's your journey, so your rules can be molded to adhere to your values, your relationships, or any number of things that factor into your guideline needs. There are different strokes for different folks and her baseline for effective celibacy guidelines might look different from yours. To start your own set of celibacy rules, Jeppe advises looking at past relationships not necessarily at your failures, but the things about the relationship(s) that didn't work well for you.
"If you are someone that really resisted saying no to a past partner, had murky boundaries, or just didn’t feel comfortable communicating what was going on for you, that’s going to be a red flag of your own boundary-setting," she explains.
"Before you begin celibacy, you have to be brutally honest with yourself. What wasn’t working in your past that almost hindered you, from your growth into your success? And looking at those things and making those things your rules. It could also be, you know, poor sexual boundaries. Again, that self-pleasure aspect, the no dating [rule]. [If you] catch yourself on dating apps all the time, swiping to swipe, getting hits of validation, [tell yourself] no dating apps."
Dating with Purpose: When and How to Tell Someone You're Dating You're Celibate
When to tell someone you're dating that you're celibate is a common question for people who choose to date while they're celibate. "I usually recommend doing it [on the] first or second date because you don't want to lead anyone on. You also don't want to lead yourself on. And, if you are committed through the timeline of celibacy, then this is just how you set yourself up for success," Jeppe explains. "Remember those guidelines. That looks like being honest."
Jeppe adds that you should try telling the person you're dating that you're celibate in person. An example of what that looks like can be as simple as:
“Hey, I like where this is going. I am enjoying how I am feeling with you. I want to let you know before things progress that I am celibate and that I am committed to my journey. If this is something that you would like to know more about, I am willing to share that with you. If this is not aligned with you, then that’s okay. I wish you well and it was lovely getting to know you.”
With the script above, Jeppe notes that by approaching the admittance this way, your self-worth is saying, "'I love myself enough to say and express understanding my values of what I want and what I am experiencing and how the other person reacts has nothing to do with me."
You can also opt to explicitly say, "I am celibate." In either instance, Jeppe says to "pay attention to how the other person responds. Do they support you or do they try to gaslight you? Or say, 'Oh, why would you do that?' Or, 'What are you actually getting from that?' Or try to talk you out of it? Red flags."
But, What if You ‘Break’ Your Celibacy and Regret It?
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As with anything, you might make an attempt to try something new, make a misstep, and fall. But falling doesn't mean failure. Breaking your celibacy is no different, and having feelings of regret or shame often come with it. "I broke my celibacy for a one-night stand five months in [my journey]," Jeppe recalls. "I am someone that has been there and I have also [gone] through the shame and the guilt that you put on yourself after doing it, and I have felt those feelings." She adds, "Now how I see breaking your celibacy is an opportunity."
If you have broken your celibacy streak recently and are experiencing those inevitable feelings of guilt, Jeppe wants you to remember how you choose to see breaking your celibacy is up to you. Jeppe believes it is an opportunity to understand what you were attracted to in that person and what that says about you. There was a reason you put yourself in that situation and Jeppe says it is a brave act of courage to take accountability in that way. Ask yourself, "What was I attracted to in that person? How did that person make me feel? When have I been allowing myself to feel that with myself?"
"Oftentimes, the reason why we break our celibacy is because the ego will come up. If you don't do the ego work, the ego's like, 'I deserve it, I was just feeling it, it felt really good.' And you are not paying attention to all that other red flags going on, right? Your ego is saying, 'I deserve it, I just spent 10 weeks celibate.' If you can’t recognize that the ego is showing up in those scenarios, then there’s an opportunity for you to understand, 'Oh, what was my ego actually wanting?' Because it’s usually rooted in some source of validation."
Jeppe says that if you break your celibacy, that’s okay. Allow yourself to release the shame and look for growth. In removing the shame you are owning your decisions even if it's a choice you wish you didn't make. How can you give yourself permission to grow beyond and choose differently in the future versus allowing the moment to define you?
"We are so rooted in shame. Everything we do is the part of shame," Jeppe shares. "Women being in pleasure have already [been] shamed enough. We don’t need to shame ourselves. We just need to understand what it was that we were attracted to, and why we did it." And then, let it go and begin again.
Beware of the Celibacy Crutch
Similar to the way sexual liberation acted as a shield for me to avoid vulnerability, for some, vulnerability can also be avoided underneath the veil of celibacy. "There's a flip side of celibacy, that it's almost as a crutch, that it's like, 'Oh, I am so good in my own energy and my own power that I don't even want to bring anyone in,'" Jeppe starts. While she applauds people standing in their power, she questions whether being so "good" alone is a defense that manifests out of fear.
To truly heal, you must also be able to allow others into the journey and experience of you. Dating can be a self-development tool. In fact, Jeppe often encourages the women she works with to start dating as a form of that practice. "How else are you going to practice your boundary setting? How else are you going to be triggered? Because I am sorry, that’s what’s going to happen," she says. "So, how can you see dating as a continuation of your self-development? And when you see it that way, you are also allowing yourself to go deeper in your own journey."
When to Stop Being Celibate
Your celibacy journey is created by your timeline. It could be years, or it could be six months or less. The ending point is specific to the person and is contingent upon how the person on the journey is feeling with their goals and intentions. When it comes to knowing when to stop being celibate, Jeppe describes it as an innate inner knowing of, "'I have done a lot of work on myself. I am feeling confident. And I am ready to put what I have learned up to the test.'" She also notes signs like no longer having bitterness towards the ex and "receiving and practicing your own form of validation" are how you know that you are ready to end celibacy towards the end.
The way you navigate your world looks like really allowing yourself to be seen "and allowing this new version of you to be appreciated," whether that be in the forms of your relationships, friendships, or your career. In that way, you are no longer seeking outside of yourself to validate yourself, you have already established that for yourself.
In a sense, your celibacy journey might not "stop" as it is intentional time that you spend with self and it occurs that way until it doesn't anymore, to resume when you need to begin again. Dating might indicate you're nearing the end of it, yes, but in another sense, the journey is always evolving. "The work that you are doing on yourself, you will continue evolving and growing when you meet other people, and they are going to reflect back aspects of yourself and you are gonna be like, 'Holy shit, I thought I worked on that through celibacy.' And it’s gonna show up and if it shows up, it’s okay, because now you have the tools compared to when you didn’t."
"I think it’s a lot of perception shifting, not seeing the end of celibacy having to be like the manifestation of your partner, while it can be, that’s also what has happened for me, but I would never sell it like that because I don’t want to give this false hope. What it is, is you continuing that journey of understanding what you need and what you want," Jeppe concludes.
"And so it’s like, 'Wow, what a beautiful next chapter to begin exploring yourself again.'"
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