1) Taking the first step:
If you truly want to partake in a dating hiatus this summer, be mindful and be consistent with your intentions. Be reasonable as well. If you’re used to casually dating every week, then 1-2 months is a good refresher. If you've been in a long-term serious relationship for 3 years, then no 1-month diet no matter how magical is going to shed all the heavy burdens away.
2) Cutting Calories:
The more immediate, the better. The more instantly gratifying, the faster you need to cut it off. On top of this list is the sugary and fast junk food that is the dating app. Goodbye OkCupid, Tinder, and PlentyofFish! You don’t need to delete accounts, but at least disable them. You’ll crave them shortly after, but that’s natural and necessary. You’ll adapt with time. This stage isn’t exclusive to dating apps. Another interpretation is leaving a dating situation in which you know is unsatisfying and short-lived. This could mean the guy you are Way not into or the girl who you’ve been FWB’ing with forever and is also waiting for you to “be ready for a relationship.” That X-large Snickers may taste really, really good but you know it’s going to cost you later.
Side-effects- withdrawal symptoms. Get ready for some lows. Frustration. Impatience. With some bouts of anger and self-deprecation. All’s good though. Pain is weakness leaving the body. Detox the unnecessary clutter.
It’s okay to sneak in some guilty pleasures here and there. Yes, this means a casual hook-up or untimely rendezvous with a charming stranger (Not too strange now). And this can also mean indulging in memories. Here are some hearty recipes for reference-
“Ex” Benedict Recipe (8 strips of salty and sweet flirty text. 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley. 4 eggy memories that have an acquired taste).
“One-who-got-away” Madelines (1 teaspoon of bittersweet, vanilla extract. A pinch of salt on where needs salt. 2 cups of sugary sweet nothings).
“Soulmate” Chop suey (1.5 cups of corn starch for picking things up. 2 spicy garlic gloves. Pound of sweet, baby bok choy. Hearty and cloudy chicken broth).
Memory Lane has its perks. By doing so, you may remember the vast and varied dating history that you have encountered. When you reach this step, you want to be open to new experiences- things that you have never tasted before. For example, these are the health nut foods that either becomes a huge win or loss-
(Try dating someone completely out of your typical physical type. Maybe they’re heavier. They’re shorter. They’re blonde instead of a brunette. Maybe he doesn’t have freckles).
(Date someone that does not fit your typical schemata of someone you date ever. If you usually date “nerds,” date a “jock” for a change. Maybe you usually date machismo figures. So look for someone more feminine. Date outside of your usual age, culture, nationality, or lifestyle. Sapiosexuals, environmentalists, productive potheads, polyamorous enthusiasts, religious zealots, musicians, freegans, philosophers, and daredevils are some of my top picks).
(Try flirting or scoring a date in the most unlikely place to score a date. This will force you to amp up your dating skills. And what is a better way to re-route a dating cycle than to instill daily challenges? See if you can get a number while waiting in a line at Target, “bumping” into a colleague/ co-worker in the street, or striking up rapport at your local Meetup).
Don’t worry about things not working out. That’s bound to happen. You taste foreign things; you’re bound to spit at least one out. But isn’t it better that you tried it? By undertaking these new things, you’re pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and building a great foundation for this new and invigorating diet plan.
It is at this stage, where you’ve successfully managed to cut off the excess that is sugary, high-fructose, easy, and validation-laden (Step #2). It is also at this stage that you’ve also taken out the rigidity and staleness from your system (from Experimenting in Step #5). This is when you will start to remember and awaken to what is really good for you-nourishment wise. Vitamins and nutrients do matter. You’ll remember that the right partner should motivate you, be patient with you, sneak kisses, appreciate your idiosyncrasies, inspire you to want to give to him/her often, make you feel sexy, make you feel giggly, and ultimately, make you a better you.
6) Shedding the Fat:
Steps 1-5 are the harder parts. Step 6 is all about reaping the benefits. Once step 5 has culminated, good things will happen. You'll become fitter, more practical, more endorphin-ridden. You’ll understand that you do not need to be on a date with someone this weekend in order to feel whole. You also understand, right now, you’re just not at a place to date anyone because you’re too busy applying for jobs, moving to a new place, or just honestly, you no longer have the patience to binge on summer flings. Instead, you have become very aligned and committed to the routine of paying attention to that significant other that is you. Aren’t you just sexy?
Eventually, because you are so busy being you and lovely at being you, someone else is bound to notice. It’s okay then to let them in on part of the fabulous fitness routine. Just as long as they’re not egging you on or holding you back. Instead, you both will be side to side, kicking a** (together).
Sarah Suhaimi practices 명음 by day and the art of dark chocolate bar swindling by night. She is currently working closely with a local Pittsburgh non-profit that serves sex-trafficked victims, Living in Liberty, as a volunteer and grant proposal writer. She founded the Southeast Asian Student Alliance (SEASA) at her university, and, as well, the "Offer Islam Campaign." Her works vary from prose to poetry to articles. Her published works include, ‘The Home of an Immigrant’s Daughter’ in the Art Catalogue for the 2012 Dublin Biennial, Dublin, Ireland and ‘Hidden Beauty Reveals Itself (Intellect Vs Instinct)’ in the Art Catalogue for the 2011 Florence Biennale VIII, Florence, Italy.