New Rule: No Dating Until 25

I have made a deal with my best friend and Facebook brother, Chris, that I would refrain from dating for the next year. (This in turn means more blogging, which is good – for my career and not good for my family and friends who will find themselves the topic of various blog posts).
This decision to not date, and let me be clear here it’s not for a full year, but until I am no longer 24, so almost a year, like 11-ish months, comes hastily and like all good decisions made on the spot, wisely, simply, I need to reconnect with myself.
Almost a year ago I was dumped by my first ever boyfriend. That relationship didn’t end then and there as it should have, instead he moved into my home, beat me, blamed me for all of his problems, did lots of drugs, and finally went to rehab. He ruined my life in some ways. In most ways he saved it (details to how he saved it will come at a different time). Literally, when I was finally done with him, done caring, when my broken heart could take no more, I met my second boyfriend, and like a fast burning flame, that quickly went out.
The reality I noticed in both of these relationships is that I more often than not was willing to sacrifice myself (this included my happiness, health, money, sleep, career, and overall well being) for my partner. This is what I once thought love meant.
But love doesn’t mean that. No, love means knowing when to say no, knowing when to walk away, knowing who you are enough to bring it to the relationship wisely but rationally… never entering anything with your entire heart in your hand ready to hand it over.
 I have fallen in love once more, and that is with myself. I might make mistakes all too often, I might be self-absorbed, but damn-it, I am worth every bit of my self-absorption. So for the next year or so, everyone can come second to me – because ain’t no one else putting my needs, my happiness, my well being at number one…  
No one but me.


  1. Way to go! So proud of you! I'm in love in the way you talked about what love really is… and it does take a lot of soul searchin' to be able to handle that kind of lasting love with another. Go get it, Ray! Yay for Ray! 🙂

  2. That's fantastic! I went through something very similar at your age. It was painful and scary and hard and I didn't date for over two years, but during that time I learned so much about me. I learned how loving myself always has to come first. You will forget time and time again but you will come back to it, all driven by the year you spent with you. ~ Shane

  3. Shane, thank you so much for not only reading but providing honest, real feedback. What I learned not too long ago, is that I am and have always been able to take care of myself. I used to be afraid to be alone. But I have become more comfortable with it, and now crave alone time, so I can reflect, think, and above all else, write. Writing is how I love myself, you know? I have only found one person in my life I can truly be myself with. A girl, go figure… but the truth is, I am so filled with love that I've always wanted to give to other people, and have failed to provide that same overwhelming love to myself. But today, I can say, I am proud of who I am, respect who I am, and am so in love with myself, it's incredible. You're one hell of a writer, and I have been wanting to read more of your work. If you're interested, we can trade some fiction — just shoot me an email, I have an idea to put together something with just young, brilliant gay writers, like you and I, that you might like and I would love your help with, so let me know if you're interested. ❤ -ray

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