I’m swearing off pretend boyfriends. What’s a pretend boyfriend? He’s the one you are having a relationship with in your head but not in real life.
This all started when I was pretty young and just getting interested in boys. I was pretty shy then and could barely put two sentences together let alone talk to the male of the species. I would often daydream about being with one of them, just like any young girl, but my daydreaming was at a whole other level. I created entire stories around these boys. As I grew into an adult this didn’t stop and instead became a life long pattern on my part.
I recently had a break up from my last relationship and the letting go process has been long and painful. I would do well for a while and feel as if I had moved through the worst and then I would reach out to him. I did this several times over the past three months with no response on his part. This non-response, instead of helping me move on, just made me feel like a crazy woman for reaching out in the first place. The logical part of me knew that this was The Universe (and him) telling me that this relationship was dead in the water. The other part of me, the part that couldn’t let go, just ended up spiraling down into a needy, emotional mess.
Recently, I asked myself, what it would mean to let him go. The answer: I was afraid of being alone. If he took up space in my head then I wasn’t really alone. I would spend energy thinking he just needs time. Or, that it doesn’t make sense that he could just stop loving me. He just needs to figure things out. You see, I’d rather have a man in my head than not have one in my bed. That was a hard truth for this girl to swallow. It really, really sucked to realize this about myself.
This actually came at quite a surprise. I’ve never experienced aloneness in my life. At least not until now. I never allowed myself. I have a strong connection to my spirit self. I talk to guides, angels, family who’ve passed on, etc. so am never really alone. I didn’t realize until that moment that being alone and feeling alone are two separate things. I am good at spending time alone. In fact, I crave it, but I have distracted myself with pretend boyfriends to avoid feeling it.
I have decided to face my fears around this issue. The first step is to let this former relationship go for realz. No more fantasies about him reaching out to me, coming to his senses, realizing what he’d lost . . . no more reaching out to him.
Step two is to embrace being alone. I mean to do those things that I’m afraid to do alone. For example, yesterday, I went to the MN Irish Fair by myself. I do not like crowds of people so this was a big deal for me. Between figuring out how to get there, how much it cost, what to do once I got there all took a Herculean inner strength on my part. I felt this act was my declaration of independence from my old way of being. And, I loved the fair! I plan on going on more solo adventures in the near future.
Step Three: take the rest of this year off from men. This means no fantasy relationships and no dating either. I want to give myself time to really integrate not being in a relationship before I put myself out there again. You see, I’ve been single a lot but I’ve never not had a pretend boyfriend during those spaces in between my relationships.
Step four is to really be alone with myself. I can distract myself for hours, reading fiction or browsing on the internet or watching movies. I will be limiting those things from my daily life. I want to spend more time writing, walking in nature, practicing yoga and meditation. Even though I already do those things I am often not really present while I am. I can honestly say this scares me. Who wants to feel aloneness, right? Me. That’s who. I want to kick this fears ass!
The goal of this is to accept that I am enough on my own and to never lose myself in a relationship again. In my unconscious fear of feeling alone, when a relationship began to fail, I would change. I would desperately become someone else to try to save the relationship. I would abandon myself to stay with them. This new way of being is a supreme act of self-love. I know that I am up to the task, yet I am afraid. I am afraid that I will never have that great love. I am not there yet but I know this great love that I long for is me.
Find out more about Della here.