This was the year I took charge of my own destiny. 2016 started much differently than it ended for me because I took some huge risks. I always joke about the impossible NYC trifecta of having a boyfriend, a job, and an apartment that you like at the same time.

At the beginning of 2016 I thought I needed the trifecta to be happy. In March, my boyfriend broke with me out of the blue. In August, I quit my cushy corporate job in pursuit of my dreams. And by October, I had moved to the other side of town. As I turns out, I love working for myself, the single life is exactly what I needed in order to create, and the tranquility of my new neighborhood is my own little peace retreat in NYC.

 

What 2016 Taught Me:

 

Your ex can actually help you through the breakup

Make sure that you know exactly why the break up occurred; especially when you’re the breakup-ee (yes, I just made up a word). The worst part of any change is when there are unanswered questions. This may take some digging but make sure you know, not knowing will haunt you. If you don’t get answers, you’ll always be tempted to go back and ask why. Besides giving you closure, this will also reveal things you may have never known about yourself and the way you operate in a relationship. Beware that you may hear things that hurt like hell, but in the end you’ll be glad you know. Your ex’s opinions of you are just opinions, but nonetheless the opinion of someone who has spent so much time with you can give you valuable insight.

 

It’s okay to just date for fun and have no relationship goals 

For the first time in a very long, I’m dating just to date. I have absolutely no expectations; I just interact with another human being for a period of time. I don’t ask about marriage or goals or work or past relationships; none of my usual assessment questions. I am simply trying to enjoy these men and find an interesting connection for the hour or two we spent together. When I shared a connection or had a spark in the past, I became laser focused on what was next. When is he going to ask me out again? Is he seeing anyone else? What did he think of me? What would become of “us”? Now I simply enjoy a moment, a meal, a drink, and a human connection.

 

You don’t owe anyone anything in search of your own happiness

Why is it necessary to adopt a “stick through it” marriage mentality when dating? It’s not! We need to treat dating like dating. The purpose of dating is to get to know different types of people to identify qualities that you like as well as the ones you don’t. In the process, you get know know yourself and you can easily identify which type of people you are happiest with. You are allowed to leave a situation that doesn’t make you happy.

 

Chemistry is key

We sometimes avoid lengthy discussions about chemistry because it can’t be changed. You can’t say, “hey honey I was hoping we could work to improve our chemistry.” A relationship can survive without chemistry, but it will never thrive. Lack of chemistry is probably a catalyst in many affairs. A relationship without chemistry is just plain boring! It’s like getting paid to watch paint dry; you’re still making money, and it probably won’t kill you, but is that really any way to live?

 

It’s okay to be selfish with your time:

Iʼm at a selfish place in life right now. I donʼt have the same “relationship mentality” that I once did. Iʼm highly focused on myself and my business right now and I lack patience for anyone or anything that takes time away from my business. I have no desire to participate on “how are you?” texts or pointless pleasantries that dating requires. My ultimate relationship goal right now is to just grab a drink with a cool person once in a while when I need a break, and then Iʼd like to be left alone until the next break; selfish, I know.

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