the manbattical: gaining some clarity

This January, I began a manbattical as one of the challenges for the 365 Days to Awesome Series. As follows, a list of the most common questions I receive in response to this decision:

  1. What is a manbattical?
  2. Are you going to become a lesbian?
  3. Why would you do that to yourself?

Well, let me answer some of these questions for you.

  1. From Urban Dictionary: manbattical (n): an extended period of time where a straight woman or a gay man purposely refrains from dating and/or having sex with men; literally, a man sabbatical.
  2. No. I like boys. Why is this always the second question people ask?
  3. That’s a much longer explanation, and what I will now attempt to address.

Here’s the deal: I don’t know what I want when it comes to dating. I have a tendency to enter casual relationships just because a guy is attractive, available, and mildly interested.

I have found that these to be low standards.

I am not saying that I regret any of the relationships in my past – in fact, I believe that all relationships help us grow, and teach us something about ourselves. Additionally, I have had a couple very serious relationships which are still very important to me. However, I do believe I could be more judicious when starting relationships; in the same vein, I feel I could be more astute in judging when a relationship has run its course.

Thus, we see the meaning behind this manbattical: by distancing myself from men, I hope to gain some clarity in my life and determine what I need and want in any given (albeit unique) relationship.

Assuming that every relationship is inherently different, I hope to understand my needs entering individual relationships; similarly, I hope to understand when a relationship has run its course so that I might end relationships which are no longer emotionally or physically satisfying to some extent. Finally, and almost most importantly, I hope to avoid starting relationships casually; instead, I would rather begin a relationship with more purpose – not just because a boy is available and vaguely attractive, but because a boy provides friendship and makes me happy.

For any who are curious, I hope this helps explain my motives a little. I appreciate all questions, comments, rude remarks, and advice. I hope that towards the end of April I will have a follow-up post helping to identify what qualities I have determined to be essential to any productive relationship, if such qualities can be quantified.

For now, I will just wallow in my lack of flirting. Trust me. It’s a challenge.

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