Being single was the scariest thing I’d ever done. In the beginning, it felt like falling off of a cliff without confirmation that someone was waiting to catch me. I thought, I could either be caught and live or go “splat” on the rocky road of life and die alone. Over time, being single became less frightening. It started to feel empowering as it evolved from a jump off of a cliff to a conscious decision. I went from falling clumsily to gracefully drifting through the air, confident that I would be caught. Suddenly I felt like a queen floating down the cliff on a cloud, empowered and strong, shielding off f*ck n*ggas with the flick of the wrist. I said, “Boy bye,” in a British accent to every ill-intentioned man that waited to catch me with his arms outstretched, expecting to grab my squat constructed ass.
Taking the leap of faith into singlehood is scary.
To leave the security of a relationship, no matter how toxic, is frightening with the uncertainty of what’s to come next. My journey off of the cliff required a break from falling. I made a conscious decision not to date anyone for a year. I had to heal. I spent nights in tears, reflecting, journaling, and talking to myself.
Even after a year of intentional healing, entering the falling world of dating presented a multitude of triggers for me. For example, a guy not texting back triggered my insecurities. Anxiety overcame my chest as I waited for messages to appear across my phone screen. I spent hours scrolling through my phone, wondering if I had said the wrong thing.
I went back into my healing space. I prayed, asking God to reveal the source of my anxiety. I was afraid of dating and tormented by the possibility of rejection. One night, while laying on my bedroom floor I realized that my fear was rooted in my need for validation. In every relationship I had been in since high school, I was cheated on. There was always another girl. To the men that I loved, I was never enough. In those relationships, I overextended myself to fill in the gaps I thought were missing. I gave more. I loved harder. I begged for attention. I asked to be validated. I felt so stupid. I fell into a depression and was completely alone, having lost all my friends to this toxic relationship.
Leaving that relationship was difficult. I felt broken. I was wrapped up in all of the emotional, physical, and spiritual ties I shared with my ex. Although I am still working to undo those ties, recognizing the root of my dating anxiety gave me the courage to face my fears directly. I stopped telling myself I wasn’t good enough. I realized that no man had the authority to judge my worthiness.
I am worthy. I am beautiful.
I deserve to be loved.
I am still growing from my insecurities. Back then, I looked at men as the decision makers of my love life. I thought, if he says I’m beautiful then I’m beautiful. If he decides he wants to date me, then he will date me. I didn’t recognize my power. Over time, I told myself that I was beautiful because I said so. I was the boss of my love life. I could be selective and demand what I wanted. I didn’t have to wait for a man to catch me.
Jumping off that cliff was scary at first. Falling into the unknown world of singlehood and dating was filled with an overwhelming amount of uncertainty. However, it has proved to be one of the most liberating things I have ever done.
Being single has taught me so much about myself. It has taken my confidence to greater heights.
I am no longer hoping to be caught, I am expecting it. I am expecting a man to catch me, to love me, and cherish me when the time is right. Until then, I will continue to fall gracefully into a world of endless possibilities as a confident, empowered single woman, undoing ties and accomplishing goals.
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