photo: iStock
It’s been about a month since I started my dating detox. I’ve spent the last few weeks purposely not dating AT ALL and, oddly enough, it feels great! The reason why I decided to do this in the first place, was because I really felt it was important for me to give myself this time of healing. I want to continue to use this time to grow and to love myself more.

Related From Vivala: Why I'm Taking a Dating Sabbatical

January was a really busy month for me. I worked on so many new projects at my job and I moved into an awesome apartment with my college best friend. It’s the second time I move out on my own — only this time it wasn’t with a boyfriend. Living on my own gave me time to think. It allowed me to take the time to address all the limiting beliefs I’ve had about myself and about love.

Previous relationships have instilled this fear in me that, “I’m not enough.” I became convinced that I was damaged goods and needed to “fix” myself. And, while there is always room for improvement, I know deep down inside that I am and have always been enough. I need to really believe that myself, before I expect my next partner to believe that as well.

As I continue on this dating detox, I’ve recognized that I don’t want to date until I’m ready to meet someone who isn’t afraid to love me, receive my love, or commit. But I can’t meet that person until I’m emotionally ready too. I’m still very much afraid of those three things. I want to get there so that when I do meet the right guy and I do go into my next relationship, I don’t go in carrying the same ol’ patterns.

“A dating sabbatical is a great thing not just for you, but for all women,” my mom says. “As Latinas we are wired to believe we always need to have a man in our lives, get married, and have a family. It’s important for us to give ourselves time to grow emotionally and learn how to self love.”

Dating sabbaticals can seem intense at first, but when I allowed myself to experience silence and block out distractions, I was able to dig deeper. That’s when things become clearer. It allowed me to see the areas I still need to work on, I can only imagine to be able to attract the kind of man that I want. I know what kind of love I want and deserve, now it’s just about aligning myself to it.

Related From Vivala: Why Every Guy You Date Is "The One" For You 

"This is one of the best decisions that you’ve made,” my abuela says. “Focus on your independence, travel the world, and fall in love with yourself. I didn’t get to travel until my 80s because I went from one serious relationship and rushed into another. Before I knew it, I was married with four kids but times are different now. There’s no rush, when you’re ready the right man who truly values you will come."

I know I’m enough and believe all that wonderfulness is already inside of me. I just want to be able to become more in touch with it. Once I do, I know that's when the magic will happen.