Most of us agree that choice in relationships is important. But what does it really mean to choose to be in a relationship? If we feel we can’t exist without the other person, or we are desperate to not be alone, this is not a choice. Convincing ourselves we don’t need a partner when we secretly want one, or being unable to be with the part of ourselves that longs for love and a relationship is also not a choice. For both of these issues, there’s incredible power in making a decision to take a break for three months to get crystal clear on what you’re contributing to these dynamics before you add in the layer of another person.
When You Can’t Not Be In A Relationship
So many women are terrified of being alone. Some women are conscious of this & will even tell you, “Oh, I could never (be alone, spend the holidays alone, live alone, go without sex for _____ amount of time, etc).” More often, though, women will say they’re ‘fine’ alone but are never (and I mean NEVER) not partnered. Another version of this is women who aren’t in a relationship but spend all their time, energy & attention on seeking a partner. These women use the act of seeking a partner to fill the void of not being partnered (in the way they think they want to be).
If you don’t have the capacity to truly be alone, then being in a relationship is not a true choice – and any relationship you are in will suffer because of it.
I see so many women stay in unsatisfying (to straight-up abusive) relationships out of fear of being alone; I see women get into relationships with people they’re not that into, out of fear of being alone. And, time & time again, when women go through The No Man Diet, they realize their fear of being alone was far worse than actually being with themselves. The No Man Diet is a chance to be alone & be with yourself, while also being held in a container & connected to a supportive community of women.
When You Truly Long for a Partner But Convince Yourself You Don’t Need Someone
On the other end of the spectrum are women who ‘don’t need a man’. Now, of course, there is real truth to this. Women can live full & rewarding live, full of love & fun & success, without a partner. The sticky part comes when there is a push-back behind ‘not needing’ a man or a partner that is actually covering up a deep, deep yearning to be in partnership. This is not true sovereignty; this is denying a real & deep part of yourself.
In The No Man Diet we work with tools & practices that will allow you to honor the wholeness of who you are – yearning heart & all!
When You’re in An On-Again-Off-Again Relationship
Even if you’re in an on-again-off-again relationship, The No-Man Diet might be a container for you. If you can’t seem to leave but you’re not sure you want to stay, and you feel like it’s a dynamic you’re stuck in, there can be great power in choosing to be fully out for three months.
Especially if you’re a woman who is desperate for a relationship, it’s easy to point to all the ways your partner is keeping you at a distance or pushing you away (and keep settling for the scaps it seems like all they are offering). In The No Man Diet, we work with connecting with what you truly desire in your partnership in such a way that your desire evokes exactly that. The other thing many women see when they do the No-Man Diet is all the ways they actually keep their partners out of their lives that they weren’t aware of because his ways of doing it are obvious, but all the ways women do it are subtle. On The No-Man Diet, you get to see all the ways you limit the depth of a relationship by preemptively guarding yourself, walking on eggshells, withholding your true desires, and assuming that ‘they’ are the ones who don’t want the deeper intimacy you long for.
It’s also worth noting that it’s ok to want them and be without them. You can be wide enough and big enough to hold both. Both our independence and interdependence hold true at the same time and we can’t have one without the other.
When You Struggle With Being “You” In Relationships
When we get in the realm of intimacy, it can quickly become about what our partner wants, we modulate and adjust ourselves until one day we wake up and we’re so contorted we don’t recognize ourselves anymore and we have no idea how we got here. This comes from a beautiful and pure intention because a relationship takes generosity and there’s give and take. But it needs to be done consciously and we turn around that we don’t even recognize ourselves.
The No-Man Diet Container
The No-Man Diet is not one size fits all process. You have to do the deep inner work to come to the set of agreements your going to make with yourself. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, this is a time to create a loving relationship with all parts of yourself that will eventually invite somebody to love you in the way you want to be loved. It clears the space so you can see what’s actually happening in a way you couldn’t before because there were too many factors at once.
It is not for the faint of heart, it’s a journey into your soul, and it’ll point you back to your relationship to yourself, to your own wants, needs, feelings, desires, experiences, and grief because this is directly related to your capacity to be in relationship and the kind of person you can be in relationship with. We need to model the partnership with ourselves so another person even knows what to step into in that realm.