Why I Gave Up Men For A Year.

by Ashleigh James / Sep 06, 2015 / Comments

Over the last year, I have been on a 'Man Ban'. Simply put, it was something I implemented while I figured out my inner world and what I truly wanted in my life.

For this, I needed to put myself first. So I decided to work on my personal development and my self-esteem in hopes of discovering my purpose and self worth.

For me, that meant giving up dating and sex.

Yes, I may now cringe at the name 'Man Ban', and especially the video below, but bloody hell, I am proud of myself for sticking to it.

If I'm honest with myself, it wasn't just my passion I wanted to find. I wanted to escape the pain.

The very thought of breaking someone's heart or them breaking mine again was too much. This fear was enough to make me want to sacrifice touch, connection and even sex for a year.

Now don't get my wrong, there were connections, lots of sexual energy and even love, but every time I let my barriers down, I allowed myself to get hurt.

I wasn't ready. I still didn't love myself enough.

So I built a temporary cage around my fragile heart while I began working within.

Picking up the pieces and carefully gluing them back together.

You see, I'm only just starting to understand myself and my needs on a deeper level. I'm learning what I like, what I don't like, and finally beginning to express my thoughts and feelings through words, regardless of the situation, or the person.

It might sounds silly, even to myself at times; "Of course I know what I like."

But being able to communicate my actual authentic self, has been one of my biggest challenges.

So… I'm practicing.

However, this means if I am going to get close to someone, there are certain things I won't indulge in until I can see a potential future.

The funny thing is, the very mention of any future commitment, marriage or babies, has me running for the hills. Even though deep down, all I want is to fall in love and grow old with one person for the rest of my life.

You can see my dilemma.

So when someone does come into my life, I'd like to get to know them first... No expectations.

You'll be you, and I'll be me.

I want to feel comfortable learning about one another. Sharing not only our beauty, but our brokenness too. The parts of us which we are afraid to show. And see if we complement each other.

I'm not interested in a connection for the sake of it. But eventually, I'd like a partnership. Someone who's core values run along side mine so we can co-create something beautiful together.

By each other's side throughout the good and the bad, the darkness and the light. We'd be each other's stars during the night.

I won't need to steal your light and you won't want to cover up mine. Instead it will be given freely, regardless of the situation.

I'll give you my light to guide you through the darkness if you allow me, as long as you're willing to be there with a torch when I get lost.

Unconditional love.

Yet, it's not going to be all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, it will be bloody hard at times. This growth requires compassion, sacrifice, compromise, communication and trust, as well as an enormous amount of respect for each other as individuals.

And that takes a lot of hard work, patience and forgiveness.

I forgive you. I forgive myself.

If we can forgive each other through each mistake, each trigger, each painful remark, then we have the chance to not only learn and grow together, but individually.

And that's one of the aspects that matters to me most in a relationship. Growing. Together.

Otherwise, what's the point?

If I've learnt anything during this last year, it's that I'd rather be on my own than in a relationship with someone who isn't ready to grow with me.

Hand in hand. Side by side.

If not... I'll continue on my journey, as I am.

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The Contributor

Ashleigh James

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Ashleigh has a strong background in business development, therapies and education within the health and wellness industry. She has been fortunate to work in the UK, Bermuda and Canada.

These fantastic opportunities have helped develop who she is, yet made her question what she wanted in her life. She considers this 'looking within' to be a catalyst for her awakening.

On her journey, she is working on herself by identifying insecurities and issues, particularly around self-worth, and learning to change her response to them.
She believes that this process raises her consciousness as she sheds old programming and belief systems.

Ashleigh feels this continuous personal evolution is part of the global shift in human consciousness.

She'd like to connect with anyone who feels this change and understands the potential we hold to help create a new reality.

Ashleigh is also the Owner/Editor of GEM Magazine.