Despite the warmth provided by my loving family and countless friends, I wanted to have some boy in my life. If I didn’t have a boyfriend, I had some back-burner type boy. One in particular I IMed into the wee hours, drinking in the excitement of our flirtation with insatiable gulps. We’d kiss in the dark, with no notion of life beyond that isolated moment. I’d catch his eye as we passed each other between class periods, both drunk on the illusory implications behind our secret smiles.
At times, I wondered what my life would be like if I didn’t have this safety net; how could I live my life without the constant reminder that some individual of the opposite gender finds me desirable?
Old habits die hard.
Last November, at age 26, I found myself sipping wine on a friend’s couch with an odd realisation: I’m never truly alone. I always have a man in the forefront, on the sidelines, or both (with their knowledge, that is). That seemed strange to me. I talked about it with friends from various walks of my life, but they treated my mind-blowing epiphany as a well-established fact. (We’re always the last to understand obvious traits about ourselves, aren’t we?)
That can’t be healthy, I thought. If a friend made a similar realisation, I’d advise her to take a break. And if I’d suggest that to a friend, well…
WATCH: The moment people knew their relationship was over. (Post continues after video.)
And with that, Dateless December was born. Meaning? I pledged not to go on any dates for the rest of that November and all of December.
It’s not a long time, really, but — at first — I may as well have been dropped into a stark tundra. With no man to text, I paced my apartment. My fingers raked my hair. I leapt every time my phone made a noise.
I am so pathetic, I thought. (Hell, I was so on edge at that moment I may have said it out loud.) The thought flew around my mind as I struggled to maintain sanity.
I’ve lived with myself for 26 years. Why am I afraid to be alone?
What am I getting out of these conquests?
Why is it so important for me to have a man’s attention?
Am I the worst feminist ever?
Then the month came and went, and everything made sense.