If you are interested in banning romantic prospects from your life for two months, this is the right place to be. Note: take precautions when applying this advice. I am not a licensed Man Banner, love guru, or clinical psychologist. This is geared toward heterosexual relationships because that is my area of expertise. But individuals of all sexualities are welcome to cater the advice to their own needs. Participant discretion is advised.
Without further ado, here are the tips:
- Commit to the cause. Ask yourself – why the Man Ban? Are you opening up space for a personal project? Recovering from a breakup? At an important time in your life, where emotional investment and vulnerability creates unneeded chaos? Everyone’s situation is different. Understand thyself.
- Isolation. Isolation. Isolation. This is key a concept to the endeavor. Imagine your heart as a sponge. The more you interact with a man, the higher probability the sponge soaks unwanted emotion. With every “platonic” friendship, swapping of stories, mixing of lives, your sponge absorbs and weighs down your soul. Halter that absorption. Stop it. You are a strong independent woman.
- Stay in on Friday and Saturday nights. If you need to release pent-up energy, go out with the girls and form an impenetrable circle. Dance amongst each other, and stop eyeing the cute boy ten feet away.
- Delete those apps on your phone (you know what I’m talking about).
- Find your inner buddha through meditation. Realize the power of simplicity and discipline. Tune to your body’s emotional contours, rhythmic inhalation, quiet strength. Be content with being.
- Seek joy in novels that leave a familiar craving on the tongue. Inhale the wisdom of words pieced across grainy paper. Immerse yourself in plot, feeling the world around you broaden.
- Take solo strolls in the night, where the warm nostalgic air fills the gaps of your longing. Observe the way soil sinks into the ground from pressure, yet never fails to support your weight, as it quietly feeds the roots of tall oaks that have stood through history and time. Observe how night amplifies the voices around you, soft symphony of strangers whose stories unfold at this very moment, each harboring their own chaos, vulnerability, and tenderness.
- Feel your knotted lonely, pitted deep inside the stomach. Let tears salt your face, stinging your eyes like a foreign substance. You are only human after all. An entanglement of thoughts, feelings, and desires. You can break. You can glue the broken back together. You can rise again, like a modern-day phoenix, kindling a new flame.
- Look at yourself in the mirror, and say I am more than just beautiful. Because you are more than eye-candy for his taste buds, a set of womanly hips and curved waist and endowed chest, flirtatious laughter and sweet smile. And you are more than the sparks when your eyes meet, his emotional distance, your shared humor and inside jokes. You will realize that the “Man Ban” is more than protecting yourself from hurt. It is realizing that you deserve more than just hurt. That life need not start and begin at romantic love, and its gravitational force can be greater, more expansive, more enriching. And when the right one comes along, you will pull him into your sphere with openness, embracing the rainbow of emotions that he brings. And when he says, You are beautiful, look at him in the eye and say, Yes, but I am more.
This one is a bit different from my usual pieces. Really enjoyed writing it, and as I started, did not know where it would end up, but rode with the words. Let me know what you guys think. Would love any feedback and thoughts