Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Is a Dating Fast for You?
I've heard of a juice fast and a liquid fast...but a Fast from DATING?? At dinner recently my good friend, the beautiful and wise Claudine Johnson told me that she had chosen to embark on a Dating Fast after a particularly difficult break-up. "It was time for me to come back to God and me," she said.
Inspired and curious, I asked if I could interview her for SEXY SOUL WELLNESS. Here are her answers:
What is a Dating Fast?
A dating fast is a period of time when one will refrain from accepting another date until they can sort out any unresolved past issues. It's a time where one will try to focus more on God and continue to build a relationship with him.
Why did you decide to commit to a dating fast?
Last year around October I just got out of yet another relationship. I was so confused as I felt that the relationship was going well. However, the other party thought otherwise. This was the story of my life. I would meet a "great guy" and I thought that things were going well. Then just a few months later I would find out that he was no longer interested and the relationship would end leaving me devastated. I always felt that something was wrong with me and that I would never have the meaningful relationship that I wanted. What I also realized that is often times before I got into a relationship I would be very devoted to God. I would pray all the time, read my bible and be a good steward to his word. However, as soon as I got into relationship, I would begin to idolize the person I was with. Call them all the time, think of them all the time, everything was about them. They were my ticket to everlasting happiness. I would put God on the back burner but when things didn't go well in the relationship I would run back to God asking for forgiveness and acceptance. It was a vicious cycle that I really wanted to get off of. At the time I had a prayer partner at church. I explain to her my vicious cycle and she recommended me a book: "Lady in Waiting: Becoming God's Best While Waiting for Mr. Right" by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones. In the book it explains what a dating fast is and when to start it.
What have been the challenges, if any, of this endeavor?
I think the hardest part has been dealing with the moments of loneliness that seep into my mind. A good amount of my friends are in serious relationships. So when we talk about them I begin to feel lonely and question once again what is wrong with me. Also one of my exes lives in the city and has been in contact with me. I have been strong in not making my loneliness force me to get involve with him once again just to fill that void. I also have had people laugh at me when they hear that I am on a dating fast. However, these concerns were present more in the beginning I would say and I have been keeping myself pretty busy so that I don't focus on the fact that I am on a dating fast.
What have you learned so far from this commitment?
Doing this dating fast has allowed me to realize that I can only find true joy and happiness through a relationship with God and if I try to find these things with a man that I was always going to be disappointment. It taught me that instead of being sad about being single that I should more celebrate it. Go out and do all the things that I always wanted to do and take my single time as a time to find who I really am. It most importantly taught me to love myself first and that if I didn't, then there is no way I would be able to allow someone to love me. Yes marriage is great and it’s a beautiful covenant between two people. However I also realize that if I wasn't destined to get married that things would be fine. It would be hard but it doesn't mean that I don't have a purpose on this earth or that something is wrong with me. I think this decision to go on a dating fast came at a good time. I found myself moving to a new city, starting a new job and I felt it was like God was telling me "Go out Claudine, start fresh, be courageous!" I realize that I have really had the time to focus on God's love for me. My self-esteem had gotten way better. I don't worry too much about little things like I had before; things just seems to look brighter and brighter ever day, even if it may be gloomy outside. This time has also been teaching me a lot about faith. Life became more about not dating and more about finding me.
When does it end?
I started the fast on January 1st and have committed myself to doing it for a year. I am thinking of actually extending it to a little bit longer but I am going to wait and see.
Would you recommend a dating fast to others? Why?
I would recommend a dating fast to anyone who feels like they have been on a vicious cycle in their life that is only leading to a downward spiral. Are they tired of feeling like they aren't enjoying life as much as you should? Do they feel that they don't have a life of your own? Do they feel that if they are in a relationship then they will finally be complete as a person? Do they fantasize about getting married when they are simply speaking to someone of interest? Then I would recommend a dating fast to that person. I made a decision to take control of not just my life but my mind, my emotions, my body, my soul. The only person at this point I would turn all of those things over to is God. We are each human and are not perfect at all. We will make each other happy but we will also hurt each other as time goes on. I want to be grounded in myself and who I am before I open the door to my heart again. I don’t want to allow just about anyone to come in and take over. I want to love myself, love who I am and the direction I am going in my life. I feel that when I finally get to the point where I am truly comfortable with who I am, then that special someone will see me and will choose me to be his. Until then I plan to live life not feeling sorry for myself that I am single but rejoice that I am.
Do you have an inspiring story about Loving your Body, Owning your Power, or Living your Dreams? Then email Coach Cora at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would LOVE to publish YOUR story!