I believe there are times in life that should be set apart for specific reasons. I’ve gone through quite a few of these seasons. Whether it was me going without material luxuries in order to purge my life of unnecessary contents or buckling down to become more disciplined as I balanced a full-time (demanding) job and studied to get into grad school. Despite whether it is an involuntary situation (i.e. being laid off and having to downsize) or one that I choose for myself (i.e. a fast of sorts), it has the potential to be extremely fruitful and meaningful.
I shared with someone recently I am fasting from dating for the first three months of 2017 and he was up in arms. He said, “Who fasts from dating? You’re being unreasonable! What if your husband comes along during that time?”
He made a valid point. Yet, this did not sway me. Yes, it is quite possible my husband could come along during the next three months. However, unlike my dear friend, I have faith that if this were to happen, my future husband would completely understand and will make plans to circle back around to me in April. I’m not sure if that’s me being “unreasonable” or if that’s my unswerving confidence that, what’s for ME will be for ME!
I’ve actually fasted from dating a few times, but the year I took off was the longest. The reason I took a year off from dating is because I was undergoing intense therapy to work through my trauma and it was recommended that I consider not entering into a relationship during this time. It made sense. I thought and prayed about it, then commenced a date-less life for 365 days.
The Year of Transformation
It was in that year that I not only got to a much healthier place with regard to my sexual trauma, this is when I truly started to dig into my issues with my mother. It was probably best that I wasn’t dating or in a relationship during this time because my emotions were all over the place (dare I say, volatile). I didn’t have very many highs. I went unpredictably between raging anger, acute pain, and numbness. This was the season I learned to FEEL.
I also learned during this time, I had unrealistic expectations of the role a man was to play in my life. I knew that I had a tendency to establish unhealthy attachments to men but didn’t know why. I desperately wanted a man to save me from my inner hell. Maybe fortunately for me, I didn’t show this–yet it was my earnest desire.
I exited this season fully accepting my sexual trauma and being able to forgive my abuser and with a better understanding of the impact of my mother wound. I also had the proper expectation of the purpose of a man’s role in my life.
Dating for me after this year was actually enjoyable. And it wasn’t because the situations amounted to anything (clearly). It is more because for the first time ever, I felt I was engaging as my authentic self.
So looking back, I still agree that fasting from dating for that year was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It allowed me to be singularly focused on working through my crap. The manner in which I date and even exit dating situations is altogether different now. And, I have that season to thank for this!