Why You Should Try the Love Detox
By Vanessa Palencia
It feels like a lifetime ago that I maintained a blog called Paris and Chocolate Chips. It was where I wrote most of my humorous pieces, shared heartfelt lyrical poetry, and reflected on my love life. But one of the most profound articles I shared, that I still stand by today, is called “Love Free for 3 Years and Counting.”
In that piece, I shared my experience of going on a Love Detox and how I benefited from that process. While I did go through some quirky side effects of feeling anxious around guys and the idea of entering a relationship of any kind, I did come out of it with a newfound identity. Through the Love Detox, I grew from being a naive girl wanting the attention and company of a man to make her feel worthy and loved to a fierce young woman comfortable with her own company and not needing the attention of any man at all. I became extremely confident in who I was and knew exactly what I was looking for in a potential partner; a skill that benefitted me very well, hence my current, successful relationship. Because of this amazing self-growth, I wanted to share the Love Detox with you in hopes that you can gain amazing insight about your own person and learn to value your independency.
So...what is a Love Detox?
A Love Detox is essentially a cleanse of your dating life for a certain period of time, generally six months and up. It means you forego any and all romantic or potentially romantic ties for the sole purpose of building yourself up and creating a separate identity from your potential partner. The Love Detox focuses on understanding that your worth is defined by how you see yourself and how well you can do things independently without the company of a man. It re-instigates the idea that true love is something that happens to you naturally and is not something that you chase after. With that notion, you learn to become more comfortable with yourself and learn to direct all of your energy into more important things, like pursuing your dreams and goals. The Love Detox challenges you to unearth the deep love and respect you have for yourself. It also elicits a deeper sense of awareness when it comes to the dating world at the end of the detox, which makes it easier to recognize more suitable love interests.
With that said, you’re probably wanting to know what the guidelines are for the Love Detox to ensure maximum effectiveness. But before I dive in, I want to emphasize that this detox was designed for singletons and is not meant for those already in deep, meaningful relationships. If you’re unhappy with the relationship you’re in, you may want to seek other resources and solutions.
Love Detox Rules:
1. Drop all love interests
Of course, don’t drop them without an explanation. Let them know what you’re doing so they have a better understanding of why you’re letting them go. If they understand, then they might have potential after your detox is over. But if they don’t, then good riddance! However, I’m not judging if you decide to drop them like a hot potato. Whatever it takes to get you to stick to this Love Detox!
2. Any communication with the opposite sex must strictly be on a friendly basis
You’ve dropped all love interests, now to avoid gaining any new love interests that will deter you from focusing on yourself, you need to make sure that any communication between you and the opposite sex remain on a friendly or work-related basis. If you start to notice a deeper connection forming, return to Rule #1.
3. NO DATES. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Not even friendly dates to “catch-up.” I’ve been there before and trust me when I say that if there were any kind of romantic feelings on either part before, this “friendly date” will become detrimental to you progress.
4. No intentional flirting of any kind
This includes posting up a sexy snap of you onto your story hoping that they’ll see it! That’s you wanting their attention, but the purpose of this detox is to not want their attention and find comfort in being alone! By intentionally flirting, you defeat the purpose of the Love Detox.
5. Observe what you like in a partner from afar
Whether you’re in a coffee shop and see the way a man offers an elderly couple some assistance or witness a special kind of love from another couple, make sure to take note so you can have a better understanding of what you’re looking for in a partner when the detox ends.
6. Find yourself!
Although last on this list, this is one of the most important aspects of this detox. The reason you embarked on this journey was to form an identity apart from your love life. We all tend to get so caught up with finding The One or become so obsessed with not wanting to be alone that we forget to live life in the present and enjoy who we are as a person without a partner. If you spend every day wishing you were in a relationship or wondering why you can’t find a good partner, you waste time that could’ve been spent growing yourself, preparing yourself for your future, and essentially enjoying all that life has to offer. Love is beautiful, but until you form an abundance of self-love and self-respect for who you are, any relationship that comes your way will be difficult to manage.
So there you have it! These were the rules I lived by for 3 years in an effort to strengthen my independency and womanhood. And I know, given that you follow these rules to a tee and follow it with the right mindset and intention, you too will learn to place your value and worth in yourself and not in the hands of a man. I wish you the best of luck on this journey and can't wait to hear all about it when you complete it!