Hi Siân! So sorry I totally forgot to respond, and thanks for replying!! Things have been crazy on my end and I had to deal with an emergency (unrelated to covid). Let me respond to this in chunks.
Siân wrote: You 100% get to have normal human feelings! I'm glad you're giving yourself some grace, and it sounds like you have some nuanced thinking around all this, which is great.
Thanks! Yeah, it's been hard to cut myself some slack for having normal human emotions, so I appreciate you saying that and validating my feelings.
Siân wrote: Deciding not to [date] for a fixed period of time reframed things for me by putting me back in control. It feels like a decision I am making for myself, to prioritise other things. I looked at all the other things I'm excited about in my life - projects that I am able to put time into as my usual hectic schedule is on pause, friendships that are deeply fulfilling - and decided that that is where I want to put my time and attention. I gave it a reassessment date, and in a few months time I will think again based on what my priorities are and what the world looks like. In the meantime I am free to just put my attention elsewhere and not worry about it.
Wow, I REALLY
like this idea a lot! The idea of assigning this a reassessment date feels kind of empowering to be honest-- because it feels like I have more agency in all this despite the fact that I have zero control over the state of the world, if that makes sense?
Siân wrote: In summary:
- What decisions are you in control of? Try making those choices conscious ones!
Going to therapy (virtually), connecting with friends and not isolating (online), cuddling my newly-adopted sweetheart of a cat (and booping his nose!), going to online recovery meetings, cooking things I like for myself, treating myself to a couple fun items, and getting back in touch with my creativity.
Siân wrote:- What other things are you excited about? Being single gives you more time to focus on these!
I'm planning on taking (virtual) voice lessons again this month, which I'm very excited about!
I want to work on doing more song covers, maybe doing some general writing (whether it's music, poetry, or neither). I also want to get a tarot card deck and practice doing readings with those, and I have oil pastels I can get back into drawing with, and a couple other interesting things too!
Siân wrote: It's also worth bearing in mind that this is not forever - indefinite yes, forever no - so living in the now doesn't mean sacrificing any chances of a romantic partnership in the future. It may not feel like it but there is always time.
Wow yeah, those are very good points! Yeah, my brain automatically goes to the black-and-white thinking of like, "Welp, guess this is gonna last forever and I'll be forever alone! It's too late for me, there's no time left, I've missed the boat, I guess." Instead of the more realistic viewpoint you've pointed out with the distinction between "indefinite" vs. "forever".
Siân wrote: It also sounds like you are healing from some hurts, so giving yourself time and attention to move through that without additional pressures puts you in a good place when dating is back on the cards again.
Yeahhh..... I'm definitely healing from some hurts. I didn't realize I still had issues with fear of abandonment until I got ghosted, so... maybe that's something I should talk about more with my therapist tbh. lol But yeah, I like the idea of being able to have time to work through that so that I'll be in a better place when I'm able to start dating again.
Because honestly, now that I think about it: I'm very much scared to make myself vulnerable again after what happened before quarantine, so that's something I definitely need to work through. It just scares me because I'm not sure how to prevent someone from ghosting me again, you know? Or what signs to look out for when they seemed super interested the whole time... I guess it still hurts more than I'd like to admit, and it makes me scared to open up and trust people I try to date in the future.
Siân wrote: Does any of that help/resonate with you?
Yes, that all helps A LOT! Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful post-- I really appreciate it
I guess I just need to keep reminding myself of these things when those feelings of jealousy inevitably come up from time to time.