Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The 2009 Great Date-Cation

There is nothing I love more than a random self-improvement project.

Among my all-time favorites: listening to every CD I own, in alphabetical order. Reading the entire dictionary. Re-memorizing the first eighteen lines of The Canterbury Tales, in the original Middle English. Making sure I take my makeup off before I go to sleep, for 30 days in a row. Emailing one friend per day just to say hello. Paying a minimum of three compliments per day.

I live at the crossroads of Zen methodology and rampant (but highly precise) self-absorption.

So, what with things getting a little dull and all, it felt like time to seek a new project. I hereby declare the launch of the 2009 Great Date-Cation. Because, let’s face it, that’s one area of my life where I’ve made no improvements whatsoever. When your most recent breakup involved changing the locks, it’s time to take a step back and draw some conclusions.

Conclusion One: I am a lousy judge of character. This is my own fault, as I am both impulsive (bad) and have a charitable and optimistic spirit (good).

Conclusion Two: Conclusion One is terribly, terribly important, and I could have figured that one out years ago if I'd just tried a little harder.

So, here we are, hangin’ at the Man Hiatus. Until May 1, when I may consider a 30-day extension.* Depending on whether I’ve grown up a little, or a lot, or I’ve moved on to eating at least one vegetable at every meal.

*I know that doesn’t sound like a terribly long break, but as I don’t really excel at long-term planning or abstract thought, it’ll do.

In the comments, tell me about your most recent dry spell, and whether or not it was self-imposed.

43 comments:

Gilahi said...

So let me see if I understand this: After May 1 you may consider dating again, but only if the man has some sort of temporary extension? I didn't even know those were available.

Shannon said...

Gilahi - Ha! Um, that sounds kinda dirty. What I meant to say is I'll consider taking May as Date-Cation, too, but knowing me that's fairly unlikely.

Dagny Taggart said...

My most recent dry spell, as with my other, less recent dry spells, was not self-imposed except that I failed to open any kind of online dating account.

That dry spell, like my other dry spells, also ended badly. Thus, for me, the dry spell is something to be avoided. Apparently, it's like grocery shopping before dinner, if you're me.

Malnurtured Snay said...

I think the last date I went on was two years ago.

I mean, the last one that actually had a chance of going anywhere.

And then I blew it. Shock.

Shannon said...

Dagny - Willpower via a lack of willpower. I like it!

Snay - So you don't count dead-end dates in the total? And did you ever figure out how you blew it?

Malnurtured Snay said...

Well, no. In that case, I've had maybe a dozen in two years? Being generous. I count last night's dinner with my sister and her boyfriend in that, btw.

Oh, I blew it by being stupid. Like usual.

Lemmonex said...

I have had about a two year run of only finding the worst kinda guys for me. Does that count?

Shannon said...

Snay - that's some growth, right there!

Lemmonex - Then why not join the Date-Cation? The Man Hiatus Resort has some fantastic fruity umbrella drinks.

Brett said...

I have had a number of dead end dates in the past few months. One day I wish to have one that would at least end in a bedroom.

Fiery Nuggets said...

I am currently on a date-cation of my own, brought on by recent events (see blog for more information). My friends keep telling me that "I'm not ready to date." is not a good excuse. They are insisiting that I am, in fact, ready to date, and just gunshy. I believe otherwise. So, I'm in full support of your date-cation and would like to join the party. Particularly if date-cation does not mean sex-cation and I can still have casual sex. (I know, I know, this is also bad, but can also be good. wink wink)

Shannon said...

Brett - Ah, that's the sort of dry spell that can make a dry spell difficult, eh?

Nuggets - So what if you're "just gunshy"? Are they saying you should get out there and date, even if the most likely outcome is that you'll freak out, run away, and possibly hurt someone in the process? And only you can decide if date-cations and sex-cations run concurrently or not. I'm not the casual gal, but I don't judge others for it.

Zipcode said...

Oh hell I am on a total mancation till the end of year I think. Satan really did a number on me, so I am ruined.

I plan to attend fun concerts, make new friends, hang out and just try and love me for a change.

Just A Girl said...

Oddly enough, after me and the bastard split up, I went through no dry spell. Within 2 weeks I was dating someone else. BAD. BAD SELF. I really wish I'd waited - the guy was great but I was too scared and still too hurt to let anything good happen.

Then after him was a guy from high school who notified me (and everyone else) that we were no longer dating by talking about some other girl in a myspace bulletin. Classy. Then came the guy who accused me of "hanging all over him" when I kissed him at the bar after getting back from a 2 week vacation. Oh, and THEN came the extremely brief fling with a boy. Not a man, a boy pretending to be a man.

However, I just count those as pretty boys who filled up my spare time and moved my furniture while I wait for someone worthwhile to come along (or back, as the case may be). If it doesn't work with my friend D, I'm in the hiatus with you. Bring on the fruity drinks.

Shannon said...

Zip - Congratulations! I'm really proud of you and am glad to hear you made such a smart choice.

JAG - Your fruity drink just got a double shot of rum. My theory is that you have no business dating until you know exactly why your last relationship ended, and can see your part in it.

You know, I've never been able to see someone I'm dating as a "placeholder"...I wonder why that is. Hidden romantic streak?

Jamie said...

Two exes ago I took off about three months. Last ex I took off about one month. I did the right thing two exes ago. I think a good rule of thumb is at least one week off for every two you had on.

Unless you really didn't give a crap about the person you were dating, in which case, do whatever you want. But shame on you for staying with someone you didn't give a crap about...

Just A Girl said...

Oh I know my part in it now...I convinced myself that I could be something different because I loved him. I never called him out on things that bugged me and made sacrifice after sacrifice which just made me resentful rather than talking about issues I was having. I only refer to him as the bastard out of habit, but there's no longer any heat in it. That's how I knew I *finally* moved on - not with another guy, just with myself. That and I saw him and asked about the girl he dumped me for and didn't feel like crying or puking.

(And I didn't think of the others as placeholders at the time - I just sort of realized after the fact that's all I was to them.)

Shannon said...

Jamie - My only timeline is, "one day of wallowing per month of relationship." This time, I didn't wallow, but that's cuz I was, y'know, changing the locks and stuff.

JAG - I used to do that, too! I'd just suck it up and make sacrifices and get resentful. What I realized is that if you love somebody, you have to give them the opportunity to meet the "actual you." You know, the one with grievances and flaws. Otherwise the whole thing's a sham.

Fiery Nuggets said...

I think they are saying I should date for the sake of dating to increase the odds of actually meeting someone I like. Also, if fruity rum drinks are involved I am especially excited about date-cation, since, sadly, fruity rum drinks are not typically part of my repetoire.

freckledk said...

I've taken Mancations before, for up to 9 months at a time, and they've worked well for me. However? Right now? Abstinence is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

Jamie said...

Only one day for each month to wallow? If wallowing is synonymous with "replacing one's bloodstream with tequila" then that's not nearly enough.

Shannon said...

Nuggets - But if your head is in the wrong space, you're not going to be able to spot a good guy. Take a break, pull up a seat at the Celibacy Tiki Bar, and enjoy yourself. First round's on me.

Frecks - Well, there's always the uh, mechanical solution.

Jamie - I guess I'm not a wallower. I dust myself off and move on. Though, who's to say I DON'T have a tequila bloodstream?

Zipcode said...

I think we should have datecation party -- Ill bring the vodka and bourbon!

Fiery Nuggets said...

I am of the same mind, and thus am not currently dating. I am, however, currently drinking. Copiously. And am psyched to visit the tiki bar.

Shannon said...

Zip, Fiery - Datecation Happy Hour. I am SOOOO in.

Patty Duke said...

Believe it or not my last dry spell leasted from 1994-1999. My dating experience was horrendous. From married men to stalkers. After my last relationship, before my self imposed dry spell, with an ex drug addict turned alcholic, I decided celibacy was the right road to take. I needed some time to figure out who I was and what I wanted in a relationship. Validating myself with a man just wasn't it. Also, these toxic relationships took pieces of me that That are hard to get back. I now have a husband who is the best thing that's ever happened to me. He's helped to restore some of the pieces lost in those bad relationships.

Brett said...

Datecation happy hour! Tonight? Anyone?

Shannon said...

Patty - Thanks, wow. I'm tempted to be flip and say I need a man to prop up my fragile ego...but, no. Thanks for putting all that out there.

Brett - Tonight I must do laundry (I'm down to uh, my wedding dress and some pjs), but I'm definitely putting something together.

Fiery Nuggets said...

I too am doing laundry tonight! But welcome datecation HH in near future.

JFo said...

Longest hiatus was a self-imposed six months after splitting with a girl I dated for 6+ years. Since then, I've essentially been hiatus free between relationships. I don't think one way is absolutely better than the other - just went with what I needed/wanted.

Good luck with the date-cation and keep us updated.

Patty Duke said...

It had to be put out there. That's nothing, compared to what went in my journal. Thanks for letting me vent a little in public.

Shannon said...

Fiery - I'm thinking Datecation Happy Hour next week - Wednesdayish? Everyone bring your sweet selves and your battered, shriveled hearts.

JFo - Thanks. I'm just imagining a Datecation News Update Service. "Shannon is making Thin Mint/ice cream sandwiches." "Shannon is drunk on her couch. Again." "Shannon makes for a lousy bar skank." "Shannon is getting thee to a nunnery."

Patty - Of course! Venting, emotion-barfs, and silliness are all very welcome here.

Titania said...

I am not sure if I ever had a dry spell that was self-imposed, at least no consciously. My problem with dry spells though is the same as Dagny, when they end is like going grocery shopping when you are really hungry, so I may end up eating that is just not good but available... In general I am more of "celibate, but not fanatic", maybe I should get some sort of a safe booty-call on call for emergency cases. Wonder if such thing may exists

Fiery Nuggets said...

Def. up for Datecation happy hour next weds. Name the time and place and I will be there.

Shannon said...

Titania - I've also heard that described as, "Putting on a tank top and hitting the streets panting."

Fiery, all - Datecation happy hour is in the works - email scannerjockey@gmail.com if you're interested in attending.

Katherine said...

"I live at the crossroads of Zen methodology and rampant (but highly precise) self-absorption."

This is why I adore you.

Shannon said...

Katherine - And I adore you, because I know that if Man Free 'Til May becomes less than voluntary, you'll let me borrow the Bionic Kitty.

KassyK said...

Because I despise dating and I have been with Chef for almost a decade outside two break ups...those break up periods were bizarre. Each were about a year long...and strangely all over the place.

First, I would fall headfirst into an emotional, intense rebound relationship that would last approx 2 months--bug out--refuse to date anyone at all for 2 months...Then bug out and make out with about 3 hot guys for good measure.

So I guess in terms of "dating"--the longest I've gone self-imposed is 2.5 months.

Tina said...

6 months post divorce. I also had a period after that where I deliberately dated ony the most unsuitable men I could fine - to avoid getting attached. Thus I ended up attached to a totally unsuitable man. Fortunately I broke that habit - with another three month mancation.

Shannon said...

Kass - well, at least there's diversity in your bug-outs. I deliberately took about six months off when I got divorced, and was STILL a mess when I started dating again.

Tina - I went through a phase like that! I call it, "high school." Man, my friends still tease me about some of the doozies I went out with.

Zandria said...

When I was in my early-to-mid 20s, I was on a man hiatus for a few YEARS. (Yes, I know it was crazy. But it was what I needed to get my head straight, with figuring out what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be.)

Would I do that again, though? No. At least not for that long. :)

Shannon said...

Zan - I was on a man-hiatus in my early 20s, too, except it was mostly because I worked 60-100 hours a week.

Dana said...

Lessee, I'm currently on a break of six months or so. It was prompted by a lovely night of passion with a guy I had known for five years through a conference we both went to, and this year was the first where the stars seemed to align properly and it was all nice and fun (although no man should ever tell the woman they're in the process of bedding that they don't mind being with a woman that's overweight -- it's not the right time to remind them.) Afterwards, all the grand passion came to a bit of a screeching halt when the words came out of his mouth, "I guess I should've told you before that I have a girlfriend."

After that, at some point in time, I realized that I have somehow never been with a guy (because I never seem to "date" anyone) who would consider themselves to be a monogamist. Hell, my ex-husband is in a triad. And it never goes well if I do meet someone whom I would want to be with. And since I work about 60 a week now and have a chronic illness, I think I have enough on my plate without suffering fools lightly.

[F]oxymoron said...

I'm currently on a Date-Cation too. I don't want my bank account to get too hurt, too soon.