Why I’m giving up women for 30 days

I started a 30-day “woman fast” 7 days ago.

Scoff if you must. “Wow, 30 full days,” you say sarcastically as your eyes roll and your empathy shrivels.

But this is what it means: no dates, no sex, no actual flirting, no making out, no strategic loitering in the yogurt aisle or after yoga class, no offering my phone number or asking for hers, no holding hands, no indulgent hugs or smelling of hair as she walks by, and especially no accepting a woman’s invitation to follow her into her tent to “have a few beers” ……. ok, so I fell off the wagon Saturday night at a little hippie festival in Ojai and followed a lovely woman into her tent to “have a few beers.” No, we didn’t have sex, but I definitely went where I swore 7 days prior I would absolutely not for 30 days go!!

So, gotta reset the clock. I’m committed to 30 days.

Why?

Because I’m single, and I so profoundly crave being wanted, seduced, appreciated, touched, loved … just simply SEEN by women I’m attracted to … that I expend so much precious energy in my daily life seeking it out. 

It’s like being addicted to sugar: in moderation it’s fine, but routine rummaging frantic through the cabinets in desperate hopes that I’ve overlooked a tiny sliver of chocolate bar just becomes exhausting.

Even if days or weeks go by without a satisfying interaction, just the very intense longing for it still has me frittering away precious energy most days. For example, I’ll easily spend an extra 90 seconds in the produce section fumbling with weird vegetables I’d have no idea what to do with in the hopes that attractive woman over there browsing bananas might notice me … … but notice me and do what? Ask if the Okra’s ripe? Smile all friendly-like and thus clear the way for a long life together?

So that’s 90 seconds minimum at the grocery store. Tack on another 5 minutes for the additional leg exercises I do at the gym after pretty little pink “juicy” pants shows up at the thigh squeezer next to me. At least my legs get stronger. And of course, I can’t forget the incessant looking about and radar tracking head-swerve I do throughout the day whenever a potentially attractive woman traverses my air space (and sometime’s it’s even just a long-haired, skinny-legged guy! yikes!). That’s got to account for … well, it’s all just way too much time to account for in a day.

I’m ridiculous. And exhausted.

It’s as if attractive women (attractive to me) have a powerful gravity-beam sweeping out in all directions designed to effortlessly enchant a single man like me, drawing me close into their alluring orbit.

Well, I want my life back!

Now, I’ve always been loyal in relationships. I’ve never cheated on a girlfriend. Once, when I thought I was at risk of doing so, I actually told my girlfriend first before anything happened, which actually dissipated the energy.

So please don’t interpret this as the mere raving confessional of an undersexed horn-dog. I am undersexed, and a horn-dog, but this is more than a mere raving confessional.

It’s just that I’ve been mostly single for the last three years, and since my last serious relationship I haven’t been able to really connect with a woman in that magical way I genuinely long for. I’ve dated a lot, but what I’ve really mostly done is follow women into conversations and relationships that I knew in my heart would not go far. In fact, I’ve consciously watched myself, from a very first encounter, set us both up for that inevitable and hurtful moment of disappointment.

Over and over I’ve been that movie character under a devilish magic spell. Fully aware and disagreeing of what I see myself doing, the spell compels me to raise my arm, aim the gun at my own head, and pull the trigger with my own finger, despite my wild protests.

What is it in me that so craves the attentions of a woman?

Surely, it’s perfectly natural and not something I should be either ashamed or even attempt to be rid of. I’m a heterosexual man! Of course I should want women to want me. That’s the only way humanity can survive! (not by wanting me, specifically, just me … but wanting men, in general … although now that I think about it, part of me definitely wishes humanity’s survival depended on women wanting me exclusively.)

I think what I fear most is that, in my haste to receive the attentions of most any attractive woman, I’m not being patient enough for the attentions of the right attractive woman … the effortlessly right woman for me.

I’ve probably spent a lot of time in relationships because the woman chose me, versus relationships where I authentically chose her, too.

I want to break this pattern, but there’s one crazy belief I’m butting up against as I attempt it: 

“My worth as a man as defined by a woman’s attention: No woman = No worth.”

I know it’s insane. But that thought has haunted my brain synapses and fueled unhealthy decisions for much of my adult life.

So the question is, Can I make the conscious decision to walk away from an attractive woman who would offer me her attention and affection, confident in the knowing that she does not define my value as a man, or even as a human being?

After all, I don’t imagine the woman I’m really calling into my life will be long attracted to a man who derives his value from her attention.

Addicted to Hope?

I also sometimes wonder if I’m actually addicted to the very experience of hope, itself, that today I might meet the long-legged, bright-eyed, vast-hearted woman of my lifelong dreams. Very few days have gone by over the years that I did not harbor some heated desire that today would be that day. What if she shows up during these 30 days, excited to cook me Okra, but instead our paths don’t cross because I bypass fresh produce?

Could I be addicted to hope?

Can I give up indulging in the intoxication of perpetual anticipation for 30 days?

I gave up sugar for 30 days in February – not even a blueberry – and that experience definitely transformed my previous junkie-addict relationship to sugar. I can do it with women, too.

There are so many amazing women in this world, but I genuinely just want one by my side. I know I can explore the entire universe within the embrace of one woman’s arms.

I have a male friend who fasted from women for 2 years! The thought of that just makes my chest hurt. I hope you don’t get the impression that it’s just so easy for me to have a woman that 30 days feels like a lifetime. It’s not like that. I’ve routinely gone thirty, sixty, ninety days and even a lot more more in my adult life without the affections or meaningful attentions of a woman. But life imposed those unwanted droughts on me. This is the first time I’m doing it by choice, and in the midst of LA where delicious women literally run rampant.

But so much of my identity and self-worth as a man seems dependent upon the charms of a woman … and I want my power back.

I do believe the woman I’m truly waiting for will show up when I’m ready. And I realize the way I’ve been going about things for 20 years … well, I’ve certainly taught myself a lot, but I’ve also brought myself to this moment: 39 and still single.

Which definitely ain’t a bad thing. Being single is awesome. Flirting and making out and dating and surreptitious tent visits are a delightful part of living!

It’s just the energy and power I’m consistently squandering away in the pursuit of affection and attention are distracting me way too much from what life is clearly asking of me right now.

In fact, even in just these last 8 days, the clarity and relaxation I’m already experiencing has empowered me to sharply rededicate myself to all the exciting projects before me.

I’ve got a book to finish writing! Mindfulness courses to teach! A Deva Premal concert and Military Vets events to produce! I’ve got lots of blogs to write and speaking engagements to rock! There’s coaching clients to be served and basketball to be played and big, goofy dogs to romp around with! … and I’ve got brief trips to the grocery store to make that don’t need me lolligagging about because some long pair of deliciously smooth legs is strolling all sexy-like down Aisle 8!

What does it look like when you consistently give up your power to sexual attractions? What might happen if you were to rededicate yourself to the things that are genuinely meaningful to you?

Wish me luck on the journey! In the comments below, I welcome your insights and suggestions on how to move through this powerfully. Thanks!

p.s. if you leave your number please note that I’m not calling for the next 30 days ; )

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A former US Air Force Captain, Bryan Reeves has survived multiple dark nights of the soul and done really stupid things with women that he deeply regrets and has learned a great deal from. Bryan is now a Life Coach & Relationship Coach for men, women, and couples, and is the author of the viral blog, "Choose Her Every Day (or Leave Her)," at www.bryanreeves.com.

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Posted in Authenticity, Loneliness, Patience, Self-Discovery, Take Action, Telling The Truth
40 comments on “Why I’m giving up women for 30 days
  1. Allison says:

    Be encouraged. Hope is good thing, so I am hopeful that you will achieve your desired outcome. In fact, maybe it’s the conviction of belief that you need to replace your fleeting, fairytayle hope?

    You are just so cute with this 30 day deal. What a fun read. I wish for you what you wish for yourself.

    • Bryan Reeves says:

      thanks Allison … I know, “30 days” right? Hard not to roll even my own eyes. But doing anything intentionally for 30 days that has never been a conscious practice can be tricky, especially when it goes right down to my identity as a man! Thanks for leaving a comment. I appreciate your presence here. Bryan

  2. Loved your 30 day story, except for the part about wanting someone with “smooth legs”. Maybe your a little too fussy if you don’t like a beautiful woman with “hairy legs” LOL

    • Bryan Reeves says:

      Hi Donna … I was married to a french woman briefly and sometimes couldn’t tell the difference between her legs and the little french bulldog who slept at the bottom of the bed. Perhaps you’re right, I am being fussy. A little hair, ok, but mistaking her for the dog??? Gotta draw the line somewhere 🙂

  3. Maybe when you’ve finished your abstinence experiment you’ll want to try a different approach and go totally into your obsession!

  4. Pily says:

    Omg loooooved this post. I get it 200% cause I am the same way about guys. I am happily married but the attention and validation are needed and always welcome… I might follow your fasting from today until Friday and see how good I feel… I absolutely think that turning that energy towards myself will make me THAT much wanted , desire and in high demand… which at the end gives me more attention, validation and self worth ( yes I missed the point).
    4 days here we go!

    • Bryan Reeves says:

      You’re hilarious. Yeah it’s tempting to “game” the system. Maybe even that’s exactly what I’m doing in some level. But life is just one grand experiment anyway. Let’s play!!

  5. dailyfoto says:

    Hi- This seemed to come at the most auspicious time in my life, as I am myself trying very hard to give up thinking about an ex, who is still a close friend, but for whom I’ve discovered some unsavory news. I know that thinking of him does not open me up to anyone new. I’ve been praying and chanting and new moon ritual-ing my way out of this thought process! lol.
    30 days. Thats like an abyss that looms infront of you, yet what a bliss to get to the other side. I wish you well.

    • Bryan Reeves says:

      hmmmm, be sure to go easy on yourself. You’re dealing with a well-worn thought-pattern that obviously had a lot of pay-offs in the past, and it’s not so easy to overwrite it with something new .. especially when there’s nothing quite as wildly stimulating in your midst as that alluring member of the opposite sex, so to speak. Indeed, wishing you well, knowing you’ll get through it and life will carry you where it most wants you 🙂

  6. Hey Brian!! Well, it’s been a long time for me for relationship and I have gotten to a place where I just moved to truly loving the beauty inside so much, it’s been super shining outwards. Instead of me thinking, how can I meet, or perusing an internet dating site, which has definitely not worked for me, or yearning, I’ve been in this amazingly beautiful state. And what happened? Not only have people been approaching me, giving me things and being so sweet, but also this happened: I had planned a trip to see my mom in the Bay Area (suddenly and I never go this time of year), and the next week, I had a hard time sleeping. A name of a person I hadn’t thought of in over 30 years came to my mind, found him on facebook at 3 in the morning, just in curiosity and sent a message. He happened to live near the particular airport I had already booked a flight, and whether it’s a long relationship or just moments in time, it’s so amazing for the beautiful moments, that were built on years of inner work and somehow years ago, knowing this person, with huge synchronicities in path, that it’s all worth it, for whatever it becomes.. So yes, the person’s name can be dropped in from above!!!

    I love the honesty of this blog. It’s a real read. This book would be really, really, really popular!!!

  7. China Brooks says:

    Bryan, do you mind if I put this article on my blog? I have a category for sexual energy. I feel exactly the same way you do, friend.

  8. kay says:

    Hi Bryan, I can feel your pain! Thank you so much for your honest feelings and thoughts in the meaningful and funny manner. I always enjoy reading your blog. One thing for sure you are not alone in this kind of thinking. We are all need love and to be loved in someway. The more you chase love, love will run away.

    In my love life, I had more than 20 loves from people different ages, status, genders, nationalities, and situations…But now I have been single for nearly 3 years that the longest time without someone to love me.(Oh I forgot, there is one man from 20 yrs ago contacted me and told me he still loved me)…Anyway I absolutely love to be with myself for once!

    Do you believe in love and destiny? Do you accept yourself and connect with your true self? Perhaps surrender and trust that if you do have or don’t have someone to love you, you will be alright.

    My blog “Being Yourself”, you might like to read about Love comes first, Love and Destiny…etc.
    http://kaymoon63dash.blog.com/

    Love without Fear/ kay 🙂

    • Bryan Reeves says:

      Thanks Kay. I’m certainly discovering how universal these experiences are. It seems there are just no original thoughts and feelings in my body! I’ll check out your blog too. Thank you!

      • kay says:

        Glad to know that Bryan, “It seems there are just no original thoughts and feelings in my body!”
        Keep loving, of course after 30 days. Kay 🙂

  9. Trish says:

    I find it interesting that you never mentioned “friendship” with a woman, leading to more… Are you developing a strategy during this time for relating to some ladies in a way that would lead you on a path of a true and authentic RELATIONSHIP, including RELATING rather than just fondling vegetables and admiring stunning images? I know you mentioned you had had that before. Could it have been a fluke, or were there some behaviours that led up to that state of connection. From what you were saying, it sounds like you are trying to bypass states 1,2,3,4,5 … and start out at level 8 or 9 leading to the highest- Level 10! If you don’t have any foundation, you can’t build a love nest. Back to basics, maybe?

    • Bryan Reeves says:

      Hi Trish. Great question. I have 3 sisters and 2 mothers … and have always had lots of girl “friends”. I’m very accustomed to interacting with women in friendly, non-sexual, and still intimate ways (platonically intimate). That’s not at all difficult for me. I have active friendships with women, and even one working relationship with a woman, that I’m attracted to, right now.

      I think what I’m going through is just a symptom of my maturing beyond the desire to indulge my attraction urges whenever they arise. Friendships with women come very easy for me, even if I’m attracted to them. I think I’m working now on learning how NOT to take them beyond friendship until I’m clear that I want to build something meaningful and lasting in that space.

      That make sense?? (I’m still working this all out myself, too …so thanks for your questions. it’s really helpful!)

  10. Bryan, this was such a great post! I found myself laughing out loud multiple times (“strategic loitering in the yogurt aisle” ha!). For those of us who have a strong pull to potential mates, “fasting” for any period of time can be quite trying! I wish you the best of luck in this endeavor and have faith that you’ll see it through.

  11. Bryan Reeves says:

    hmmm I went to yoga today. but went to the very front so I’d be staring at the wall. tried to keep my eyes closed on that downward dog (no use looking out all over the rest of my class mates) … I’d say I was 90% successful. My will to focus did wonders for my balancing poses!! And I got home safely … I deeply appreciate your concern 🙂 🙂

  12. Christine says:

    I am so inspired by this post, I have been making some changes myslef in regards to this blog and they have been fabulous thus far! Your honesty in these matters has really touched me and has encouraged me to do the same for others. I just wanted to check in and see how the fast was going? Judging by the yoga incident you seem to have a hold on things. Go Bryan! Go!

    • Bryan Reeves says:

      Hey Christine … I’m so honored that you are served by this. I’m going to write an update on my journey probably tonight. I got off to a rough start, but I’m getting into the groove … though I do look forward to returning to my dance with women, I’m feeling this experience will help me do so from a much more grounded, centered space. I’ll write more soon. … what is showing up for you?? what are you changing? I’m fascinated to know what this has inspired in you. Love, B

  13. […] now 16 days into my 30-day woman fast (as the original blog explains, it’s not just about sex. I’m not enough […]

  14. AnnaMae says:

    There’s a very popular book out called “30 Day Love Detox,” but the book is supposed to help women weed out men who don’t want commitment. I think your blog would be an apt response from the undersexed male perspective. Your blog is more entertaining than the book though.

  15. […] I completed a 30-day woman fast, of course. Where’ve you […]

  16. Loves love too says:

    I’m going for 30 days “detox” off dating too, great to read this blog. Dating apps, online date sites and a load of energy feeding the same desires.. To find that man to keep by my side!
    It dawned on me recently that I haven’t loved another since my first “real” love. Some may say this is crazy! I’m clever , fun, successful and great company, “are they all insane!?!”
    I’m the common denominator. I’ve come to realise the LOVE ADDICTION is more powerful than my mind.
    I’ve had a lot of relief from treating this process addiction in a 12 step program. It’s changed my life!
    Keep blogging and let us know what happens in ur love life! ; )

    • Bryan Reeves says:

      Hi Love!

      Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I wanted to let you know that I work with inspired people like you who are ready to create a whole new reality for themselves. I’m especially passionate about the masculine-feminine dynamic in relationships that most of us are completely ignorant about, and that sabotages our best intentions and makes a mess out of things. If you’d like to know more about how we could work together to support your own journey into a thriving life, email me at info@bryanreeves.com … we could do some powerful work together. With love, bryan

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