Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Guidelines

hi·a·tus  (h-ts) 
n. pl. hi·a·tus·es or hiatus  
1. A gap or interruption in space, time, or continuity; a break

My Personal Guidelines for My 365 Day Hiatus from Dating

From "How To Take a Dating Sabbatical" (

Define the timeline:  My timeline is one full year from the date I made the decision.  Thus, the last day of my dating hiatus will be August 9, 2013.

Create a mission statement"I am taking a break from dating because I recognize that I need to focus on other things in my life.  I have thoroughly examined all my reasons and know that moving through this year will be a healthy and wise thing for me to do.  I intend to finish out the year knowing what I need and want in a relationship, whether it is my relationship with myself, with God, or with a man.  I will be better for the break."

Send mind games packing:  This was so good a reminder that I am just quoting the entire paragraph from the above noted link: Do not entertain thoughts like: "I will never meet anybody" or "Dating is so hard for me; I must be unlovable" or "Why am I still single when all my friends get to be happily married?" Remember, you are taking time off from dating, which includes worrying about dating. When troublesome thoughts arise, ask your mind to give you a break and not return until your dating sabbatical has concluded.

And now, the guidelines I have written for myself: Dating Hiatus Dos and Don'ts:

The "Don't"s:

- No online dating. This means I must remove my profile from Plenty of Fish,,,, and any other website I may have wandered across and signed up for during my bored-and-lonely-by-myself evenings at home.  Truthfully, I don't use these sites (with the exception of an occasional coffee date through PoF), but there are lingering profiles that need to be removed.
- No sex. Pretty sure this is a given. 
- No getting together with an ex.  This might be a difficult one for me, seeing as HB living on the mainland but having family here means he occasionally pops over for a visit.  He still has possession of much of my heart, so not seeing him will be incredibly difficult for me.  I will add the disclaimer that if I have a good friend in my life who is "technically" an ex, but with whom enough time and water under the bridge have passed that we have actually become good friends (and I am able to discern this well), I am allowed to "get together" - meaning hang out with ABSOLUTELY NO romantic intentions. 
- No physical dating.  I am not allowed to go "out on a date" with anyone.  I am, however, allowed to meet a male friend for coffee or go to dinner, as long as I am absolutely 100% sure of their intentions toward me (and mine toward them).
- No booty calls.  Again, a given.  Never really has been an issue.
- No kissing!  This is an edit...I can't believe I forgot to include this in my list of Don'ts, because it does seem like it's a given as well, but if I'm spelling things out so thoroughly I had better include this very obvious point.  No lip service for a year.
- No flirting or second glances.  I was voted Most Outrageous Flirt in high school.  Granted, I've changed a lot and toned it down a TON, but even slight or surreptitious flirting is not allowed.  No prolonged eye contact or "double-takes", no gestures designed to show off any part of my anything, no high-pitched giggles (oh, you have permission to slap me if I've ever done that in your presence - it's revolting) or anything else that would signal interest in the opposite sex.  Just NO.
- DON'T accept dates.  Not that it happens often, but if I am invited out for a date, I am to (politely) decline.  I can offer the reason of my dating hiatus, but it's probably best in most cases not to.  If the person asking is someone who meets my List requirements (as far as I can tell), then I think it's fair to explain about the dating hiatus.  Y'know, in case he wants to come back when the time is up. :-P
- DON'T give out your phone number.  Okay.  I won't.

The "Do"s:

- DO try new places, with friends or on your own - use this as an opportunity to watch for red flags that you usually miss
- DO find a new hobby - try something that you've always wanted to do (Actually, I always try to find time to work on the novel I've been writing for five hundred years...perhaps this is my chance.  Or I could always try ballroom dancing!)
- DO delete numbers of guys that you no longer see.  Now, I want to know why this one is so difficult!  I don`t see them, but I guess in the back of my mind I worry that they might text and I won`t know who they are.  I`ve got to stop stressing that it might appear rude and just recognize that it`s pointless to have numbers in my phone of people who are not important to me.
- DO tell guys who try to slip back into your life that you're not interested.  That will be easy.  IF I`m actually not interested.  If it`s HB, it might be tough.
- DO surround yourself with good friends - and rid your life of enablers.  Fortunately, I am incredibly blessed in this department.  I have great friends who will be there for me no matter what.  "Stoney", in particular, one of my best friends, is incredibly vocal when I've asked her to keep me accountable for something.  She will likely be my staunchest ally and most vocal supporter during this year.  (Love ya, Stoney!)


And, to round out my guidelines, a few more words of wisdom from those who have been there:

"When you do get approached by guys, make a mental note of the situation and surroundings and ask yourself if there is some sort of pattern." -

When out with girlfriends: "Avoid telling stories about all of your dating woes and start talking about more interesting things. Your friends will soon catch on that you really have taken a break from the dating scene." -

"Take the hours and hours you used to spend online at the dating sites and invest them into yourself instead." -

Well, not really hours and hours...but definitely enough wasted time.

From the same reference as above: "Pull in the "singles antenna."  Remember what I said about always being "on" and feeling like I was on the lookout for a boyfriend possibility at all times? Yeah.  That antenna.  Folded and stowed.  Yesterday I was at a red light and two guys (shirtless) were in a pickup truck next to me.  They were smiling and looking at me when I glanced over.  Boy, did it feel good not to give a second look or to wonder how I was looking!

Green light: GO.


1 comment:

  1. Good for you Lisa! I look forward to following your journey :)