“Happy New Year, Beth :)” the text(s) read.
Does that happen to anyone else? As soon as Christmas or NYE hits, your inbox suddenly becomes flooded with messages from men you haven’t spoken to in months? It’s like, ah, I know I fucked up, but it’s the holidays! Happy Holidays! Let’s forget about everything I’ve ever done to you! Wishing you a very merry season!
Code: Wanna maybe meet up and have sex soon?
I can’t say I was surprised, as the holidays bring about a sense of loneliness (and horniness) for singles. Like, wahhhh everyone else is posting cute IG pics in front of the tree and probably having awesome holiday sex and here I am with my egg nog. They’re an easy excuse to reach out to people you otherwise wouldn’t, or typically can’t find any other excuse to.
I wanted to respond and share in this superficial holiday cheer with these guys, although we had not spoken in quite some time. What harm could a simple, “Happy New Year to you, too!” Probably not much.
But that simple text, that simple engagement with someone who had previously disappointed me would only lead me to desire a response saying, “I’m sorry, I fucked up. You’re awesome and I miss you.”
So, I didn’t respond. Because, what’s the point?
Then, suddenly, a light bulb went off.
2016 was an eventful year. I ran a half marathon as a newly diagnosed diabetic when my doctor’s doubted me. I pretended to know how to salsa with a Spanish guy named Josè in Miami. I left my first “real” job for a bartending gig, later leading to a different events opportunity as well as freelance photography and marketing gigs. My sister’s boyfriend got down on one knee…which means now I have to find a plus one come May 2018 (taking applications). I experienced writer’s block, but came back to it with more of a purpose. My mental health took a backseat as the anxiety of “not knowing” what was next took forefront.
Overconsumption of negative thoughts, stress eating, and bad habits exponentially increased. My sleep was interrupted, face breakouts more frequent. I found myself focusing more on the actions of other versus the actions of myself.
This shit got old. Real quick. I began to realize who and what was worth keeping around, and who and what wasn’t. Who and what provided me with positive thoughts versus who and what forced me into a state of anxiety.
I pondered this for about a week and filled a couple of journal pages with my thoughts about it. I teetered around the main sources of most of my anxiety because I didn’t want to admit it. It’s not the singular slice of pizza that makes me feel like shit, or that one stupid text I sent one too many tequila shots deep. Rather the focusing on specific moments or decisions, I knew I needed to generalize it more.
What was forcing me to feel bad about eating a slice of pizza (because we all know pizza isn’t the problem)? What made me question my self-worth and physical attractiveness? What really made me feel like shit?
I narrowed it down to two things: fuckboys and alcohol.
This sounds silly, I know. But I decided to do some serious market research on myself. What would eliminating these two things from my life do for my mental and physical health? Let’s start with my definition(s) of a fuckboy.
- The male equivalent of a disappointment.
- A seemingly nice guy who promises the desire of something more, but never quite gets the balls to make it more serious, despite his feelings. Or maybe he was just lying to you the entire time.
- A guy who only communicates feelings at 3am (sometimes even 5am) early on a Saturday morning but *shockingly* forgets the next day.
- A guy you only hear from on the holidays therefore making you feel insignificant every other day.
I could go on and on, but I will stop there for the sake of time and energy,
I weighed the pros and cons of my potential experiment. Pros included: no more hangovers, drunk texts, regrettable sex, and an overall increase in my physical and mental wellbeing. Cons included: less sex (maybe?), decrease in social life (maybe?), dating life (maybe?), and the possibility of turning into a house/work hermit (maybe?). I wrote question marks next to all of the cons because I wasn’t sure how exactly my life would change. I wasn’t sure if there would be any cons whatsoever, which intrigued me to pursuit it further .
I woke up one morning and said: ok, Beth, today’s the day! No more fuckboys and no more alcohol!! Yah! You got this!
Lol, chill girl, chill.
Those two usually go hand in hand, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. How about just choosing one, and seeing how it goes?
I took the two sources of evil, fuckboys and alcohol, and thought about what would be easier to give up. Even if it was just a short period of time, I wanted to choose one, because going cold turkey on both would probably just set me up for failure (How pathetic do I sound? Whatevs.)
So, to the surprise of no one, I chose alcohol first. If anything, I still needed some solid blog material. Alcohol is something I can control consuming. Fuckboys won’t go away if they don’t want to (or unless I block them, but lol, I’ve tried that before and they still somehow pop up…~slide into your Insta DM lykkkeeeee…). I’ll give up alcohol. Just for 30 days. No more shift drinks, no more tequila shots on Saturday nights, no more Bud Lights on game days.
I wrote about my first 2 weeks here. I’m now on day 23 (alcohol free, fuckboys still present to some degree) and honestly haven’t felt better. I will be honest, some of time was still focused on fuckboys the first couple of weeks. I’d receive drunk texts and have the desire to respond, even if I was sober and sometimes I’d even want to reach out to them too.
As my desire for alcohol decreased, so did my desire for other things (fuckboys included!) It was miraculous.
At first I was worried about my dating life going to shit, but honestly it hasn’t been better. I went on a sober date (discussed in this post too), and it was so fun. Numbers from cute guys on checks has increased significantly, too (even after I tell them about my 30 day experiment) and I feel an increase in my ability to control my feelings.
Shocker: there are still men out there who want to do other things besides take you out for drinks!!!!! I know!! Crazy!!!
There was one outlier. Here’s how the text convo went:
Leaving your number for the bartender? How cliche of you.
You’re cute, I couldn’t resist.
Haha, I’m blushing. *monkey hiding eyes emoji*
So, when are we getting drinks?
Sooo…ummm.. I’m doing a 30 day detox sorta thing with alcohol. Haha… would be happy to hang out still though?
Lol, you’re crazy.
Haha, to some, maybe.
Besides this one fuckboy, most guys I’ve encountered think it’s pretty awesome that I have the “willpower” to go without alcohol for 30 days. However, I’ve come to realize, it’s not about willpower. It’s just about weighing your priorities. For many months, I was putting the priorities of others in front of my own. Therefore, I developed a dependance on bad habits (including alcohol and fuckboys). Again, I will stress, that I was not an alcoholic before this experiment started, but I definitely found myself teetering down a path I wasn’t proud of.
So, 24 days in, and this is what I’ve found:
THERE IS A CORRELATION BETWEEN FUCKBOYS AND ALCOHOL!!!
Beth, you can’t be serious. Are you serious right now?! You’re telling me with the decrease of alcohol comes the decrease of fuckboys? Yes, my friend, that is exactly what I’m telling you. There’s no better way to repel fuckboys other than replying with, “I don’t drink anymore.” (Trust me, I tried it and it work wonders).
I don’t know if this blog post comes out as pretentious or ~all-knowing~ after a mere 3 weeks alcohol free. I hope it doesn’t. I guess I’m just trying to share my insight on what I’ve observed as a sober, frustratedly-single, 23 year old bartender in DC, where bottomless drinks, $1 mimosas, and trendy cocktail bars are a staple for dating life.
You can develop meaningful relationships with the right people, you just have to take the necessary steps to do so. There hasn’t been a day where I said to myself “I’m now going to start giving up fuckboys.” It just kinda happened. So, that leads me to my next point:
Understanding that you have the ability to rid of one unhealthy habit makes it much easier to get rid of other ones, too.
I’ve had a lot of free time on my hands (stressing about fuckboys and recovering from hangovers was more time consuming than I thought), so I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research on physical and metal health. It led me to Melissa Hartwig’s book, It Starts With Food, the basis behind the ever-so-popular Whole30 program.
I thought to myself, if I can rid the two sources of evil from my life, I can do anything!!! Which then inspired me to start the Whole30. I’m on day 4, and although my six pack is STILL not present, it’s getting there (I hope).
I was going to write an entire post dedicated to what the Whole30 was about, focusing mainly on food. However, after reading the book, I’ve come to create my own definition of the Whole30. It’s not just about eating paleo (although that’s a requirement I will follow) and following their strict guidelines, but it’s more about just learning to treat your body with the respect it deserves. However that is.
Whether that means ridding your pantry of Spicy BBQ chips, having sex with better people, getting your ass up at 5am to hit the gym, or ignoring that 3am text, it all comes to full circle.
Treat your body and your mind with respect. Maybe you don’t necessarily have to give up alcohol and fuckboys to do it, but I encourage people to take time out of your day to think about what might be worth giving up. Find your nasty habits and break them. Analyze the sources of your anxiety and find ways to fix them. Because you can. Don’t try and do it all at once, because you’ll probably end up disappointing yourself. Pick one and you’ll be shocked about how much easier breaking other habits will become.
If you’re thinking about giving up alcohol and fuckboys like me read this:
Your dating and social life won’t suffer if you don’t let it. Your sex drive and sleeping habits will increase while your anxiety lessens (yay!). And this is best part: I’ve come to find a new sense of confidence in myself. A new sense of knowing when to say, “I deserve better than this. I deserve better than you.” Whether that “you” is referring to a week old slice of pizza in the fridge or a fuckboy you’ve kept around for a week-too-long. Either way, it’s empowering and pretty freaking cool. And you will find people who think it’s cool, too.
So, since the Whole30 also does not allow room for alcohol…I guess my no-alcohol experiment will be extending. It doesn’t say anything about fuckboys in Hartwig’s book, but I think I’m ready to get rid of those too.
And for Siobhan: I know sometimes it feels like you need alcohol to deal with men, I felt the same way. But, honestly, you just need alcohol to deal with fuckboys and bitches. We have no room for those people in 2017.
New contest: first person to get back to me with the amount of times I said “fuckboy” in this blog gets a trophy. Because, frankly, I’m too embarrassed to count myself.