Monday, August 25, 2014

My Dating Diet -- A 30-Day Plan to Say "No" to Men and "Yes" to Me

Imagine it’s January 2. You just spent a month eating everything, ever (Christmas cookies! Candy canes! Salty snacks with dippy stuff!). Oh and while you were at it, you drank everything, ever (wine! Champagne! Poinsettia martinis! Winter lager!). Hell, you might even have had a drunk cigarette or two. Gross. Anyway, all this indulgence was super fun… until now. You hit that point where you just feel tired and gross inside and out. It means one thing: time for some dieting and detoxification.

Well, in terms of dating, consider August 25 to be my equivalent January 2.

Since June, I’ve done quite a bit of proper dating plus an assortment of other strange communications with men (such as the 22-year-old texting me for the first time in four months asking if I’d like to fuck him). I’ve had some great first dates that led to second dates… and yet I’m here alone in my (awesome) apartment, reflecting on the letdowns of the past two months. Definitely not unhappy, but definitely still single.

I’m a firm believer that dating should be fun. No, it must be fun. If it’s not, it means it’s time to reassess.

I hate to admit it, but dating is starting to get not fun for me.
That's not okay.

So, effective now, I’m going on a Dating Diet for 30 days. 

I need to take a little time recenter myself. Whether things are going well or poorly in my dating life, it’s quite distracting. So, I need to cut back or eliminate distractions and replace with emotionally nutritious choices.

My Dating Diet

Goal: From August 26 until September 25, I will specifically focus on my personal and professional goals for one month without the distraction of dating. 

I will not pursue dating, so, for example, I will not contact anyone from my past and I will not sign up for online dating. (If a date opportunity presents itself, I can consider going if the fit really seems right.)

I will not booty call either. (But I might accept a bootycall. Sorry, a girl’s got needs.) I will use my toys as needed because there’s no emotional fallout from dancing with myself!

The Plan


Between now and September 25, I will –
  1. Lose five pounds. I currently weigh 136 pounds, which is the most I’ve weighed in over five years. It’s a small gain, but it’s making me self-conscious, so it’s time to change. So, I'll keep up my veggie intake, and I'll need to decrease my booze intake, which leads us to...
  2. Drink alcohol no more than two days per week. I’ll try for just one. I'm not going for sainthood, people.
  3. Deep condition my curly mane hair two times. Minimizing frizz makes me happy.
  4. Apply a deep conditioning face mask three times. Fighting breakouts and wrinkles makes me happy.
  5. Go to six yoga classes. I just got a killer Groupon for a fancy studio! Between not dating and  training for my third half marathon in a year, this is the time to tap into my Zen or something.


Between now and September 25, I will –
  1. Update my resume and cover letter. They say you should always keep your resume current because shit happens. But I also believe it will be good for me to reflect on my accomplishments the past few years (especially through the end of my marriage).
  2. Go to my therapist. Just seems like that should be on my list since I haven't had a session since May.
  3. Donate at least two shopping bags of stuff. I’m not a packrat, but I’m sure there’s crap in my closets I don’t need. Getting rid of unnecessary stuff is good for the soul.
  4. Contact three people to say thank you for his or her love and support. I am constantly in awe of my circle of friends and family and feel so very blessed to have them. This is the time to tell them.
  5. Finish my book for book club on time for our September meeting. I was the loser who didn’t finish the book in time for our last two meetings, and honestly, it was in part because of how much I was doing dating-related stuff.
  6. Stop avoiding my financial planner. I have a mortgage to pay, so shit is real. She has my financial documents. All I have to do is meet with her. No more excuses!
  7. Hire an electrician to install overhead lighting in my living and dining rooms. It’s so freaking dark in here that I can imagine what Laura Ingalls Wilder felt like. Well lit spaces must be good for my mood or something.
  8. Hire a painter to paint my living room, kitchen, and guest bathroom. Everything is white. White is for a boring rental, not for a place I own. Give this girl some color!
So that is my personal version of my Dating Diet! Notice that I have chosen to not think about what’s next for me with dating. If I’m in a good place, good things will (continue to) come.

Over the coming weeks, I'll keep you updated on how my diet progresses!

Related reading: The Dating Detox.

Have you had to go on your own version of a Dating Diet? How did you spend the time? What behaviors did you change?
Our Three Peas


  1. It great to see that you are focusing on you! More people need to do that divorced, married, whatever! Hope you have a great week!

  2. Thanks Sarah! Sometimes we need a kick in the pants to get some shit done.

  3. I love this idea! I think it's great to set personal goals that you can focus on instead of dating.

  4. Thanks! These goals are totally doable if I'm not distracted by the dating game. :) Thanks for reading!

  5. I've never gone on a planned Dating Detox but I'm always on one because I simply refuse to waste my time going on dates with men that aren't good for me. One good conversation is enough to decide yay or nay to a date.

    Your Dating Detox sounds great and necessary for you. Enjoy it! Stopping by from Friendship Fridays.

  6. The Mongolian pic is too funny! Okay, my bet is you don't make it 30 days. I am saying that from following your blog and the fact you have one foot out the door already because of the openness to booty calls/someone asking you out.
    I did go on a diet as dating wasn't much fun to begin with. I think a lot had of the non-fun had to do with being a single Dad in my 40s plus my attitude. So I wasn't on a dating site, I avoided most situations like bars and nightclubs, etc. where there was that meat market vibe. I spent time with my son, my friends and sometimes just sitting at home watching movies. I spent time in counseling and then thinking about how I screwed up my marriage and what I wanted to be different. How I wanted to BE different. I did get hit on in various ways and did spend some time at events with women, but never asked for their number, nor did I share mine.
    The lack of dating distractions help me deal with my anger, get more clarity and start enjoying me time.

  7. The problem for me wasn't so much that I was going out with punks, more that I was going out a lot, then stuff didn't work out or whatever, and I was just getting tired. Sometimes that means you have to bench yourself and regroup!

  8. Oh Mike, have a little faith in me! I'm already on track. The Incredible Sex booty called me and... get this... I SAID NO. I think since my mentality is that I'm not on the prowl, dating opportunities won't present themselves, and that's fine with me.

    I didn't start dating for awhile after my divorce so I'd do some of that work on me first. I agree, you need time to work on your anger/sadness/bitterness. How can you be in a place to date unless you do that first?

    Yup, my guy is out there. I never fear or question that truth.

  9. Great idea. I need a goal list and a detox too. Not dating of course...but in general. And booty calls still required. But otherwise...

  10. I'm a week in and it feels great so far! I like being hyper-focused for a few weeks on changes that are good for my well being.

  11. That's so funny! I have just decided to do it. To be honest it was because I ended up with a broken heart again, but also because during my last relationship I realised how much I have lost myself and forgot about my needs. It is ME time, and I am planning to keep it up for longer than a month. Keep fingers crossed for me :)

  12. Me Time is fantastic. I think it can really help get things back in perspective, especially if the dating has left you disappointed or hurt.

  13. Just broke up with my rebound guy and it was harder than I expected. I'm taking October off and actually really, really looking forward to it.

  14. I had a rebound guy too (Todd -- mostly pre-blog). I fell hard for him. After him, I didn't try to date for real for another 6-7 months.