I finally have an (albeit small) success story to share with you all!
For background, I joined FDS around a year ago after years of engaging in casual sex, terrible relationships and constantly either dating or talking about dating. I always took the information onboard but I only very recently actually began practicing the advice shared on here and took responsibility for myself in my love life.
Now to my story, I was visiting my hometown the last week and was invited to a small party at a friends which a casual acquaintance was attending. He’s very sweet and well mannered, and we talk occasionally as he lives in the same city as me for work but is from the same hometown and we have cross overs with our friendship groups. We talked a bit throughout the night and he eventually expressed that he was really interested in taking me on a date sometime, if I would want to, said he wanted to plan something nice, pay for it all and would call me the next afternoon with the plan/offer so I should expect it.
I was very flattered and accepted it, and honestly it made me feel really good. I have been abstaining from dating/sex for a while now but it took me a long time to get to a place where I didn’t feel pressured or like I needed to be actively dating/having sex. It took a lot of arguing with friends, pain, tears, relapsing and patience with myself and people around me to unlearn all of the harmful ideals about needing a relationship and constantly searching for a partner, but I’m finally there. It felt so nice to have this man tell me he thought I was so beautiful and special that he wanted to take me out, especially because he said he didn’t meet people he wanted to take on a date often.
I accepted his offer, and was grinning ear to ear the whole taxi ride home when It dawned on me that there was a good chance he would simply not call or follow up ever. Just because he said he would didn’t guarantee anything, so I adjusted my expectations despite being curious to see if he would. This was a realisation based on my many years of online and “real life” dating where men have lied and gone back on their word or even when they have completely disappeared without a trace.
I woke up the next morning and knew my intuition was right because he never did call. The success for me was that I didn’t feel bad, upset, angry, confused, guilty etc. I didn’t feel like something was wrong with me or I said something stupid. My anxiety didn’t convince me that I needed to manifest a text from him or carefully try to think of the scenarios that could have stopped him from messaging. I didn’t search for signs in tarot and astrology that he was going to call. I just accepted it and moved on with my day.
The best part was I didn’t feel angry, which is something I have felt constantly when navigating dating. I can’t explain how much pain and anger I have experienced dating, although I’m sure I don’t need to explain it to this community. The years of emotional abuse, mind games, disregard for my feelings and selfishness I’m sure many of us have experienced in dating, I have finally given it time to heal.
Instead I felt relieved, that I was avoiding wasting my time and energy on him this early, and now I can continue to live my life trying to make myself happy first. I used to suffer from being a huge pick me and that was exuberated by my anxiety and the echo chamber of other women telling me to lower my standards, online and otherwise. I admit I would look at my phone and hope I’d missed his call, I’m not perfect and I’m still working hard to get to a place where I am entirely unbothered by men, but this felt like a good reminder that choosing myself was and will always be the right choice.
I know I’ll see him around and at events in the future but I plan to be friendly, unbothered and otherwise indifferent. He will not get another chance to waste my time but I’m grateful for the reminder that I deserve the world, and I’m willing to wait for something that’s up to my standards, whether it’s 3 days or 3 decades.