LET ME PREFACE THIS BY MAKING IT CLEAR THAT I AM LAUGHING THE ENTIRE TIME I AM WRITING THIS. THIS IS IN NO WAY AN ATTACK ON MEN, BEING SINGLE, OR ANYTHING OF THE LIKE. THIS IS JUST A SINGLE CHICK, KEEPIN’ IT REAL AND SHARING HER EXPERIENCES THROUGH REAL LIFE LENSES.
“I’m living vicariously through you…”
“Dating is so much fun…”
“Oh to be single again…”
Okay, I get it.
It’s true, dating CAN be fun and since beginning on this journey after 11 years in a relationship, I must say I have embraced it like a mutha effin’ champ!
Let’s keep it real…
When I got back from Bali, I was absolutely, without question READY to begin seriously putting myself out there.
And I have!
I’ve been single a year now and got the casual “fun” flings outta the way early on.
Totally fun. Totally necessary. Totally over it.
Because I don’t do anything half-ass, I went balls to the wall in the online dating app world. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
OKCupid. Check. (downside of this app is that ANYONE can message you – day 1 I woke up with 321 messages, no joke. all of which were deleted – can you say overwhelming?)
No fucking shame either.
The truth is, we live in a completely different world these days where texting = “interested” (maybe, like seriously maybe) and for some reason, people think Penpal status warrants some sort of a gold medal for “chivalrous man of the year.” Um, no.
To have a guy actually pick up the phone is shocking. (And appreciated!)
But it doesn’t happen often enough and I am not about to play “dude” and make the first move. Why? Because I am a woman and despite being independent, intelligent, confident and completely fine on my own, I know my worth and I am not about to settle for less than I want and deserve in my life based on the new-age “manners” that we’ve somehow told the male population is 1) acceptable or 2) charming.
Let me be clear – I am all for taking the initiative when I am with someone. I actually LOVE to! But when you are just getting to know someone, the idea of the guy putting their best foot forward is a total turn-on, assuming it’s genuine. And it goes a long way (listen up, guys!).
Newsflash: Your lack of taking initiative will not land you a respectable woman long-term. It just won’t. Maybe that’s not what you’re looking for though and that’s totally okay too.
Bold statement? Maybe.
I’m not a dick, I just don’t like to pussy foot around the truth. And the truth is, women want to be wined, dined, adored and cared for. Even the ones that tell you they don’t. This is usually their attempt to keep you in their life in hopes they can “change” you; that “one day” you will be their knight in shining armor…
I know because I was that chick in my 20’s. That chick has no idea what she’s missing… or who she is. That chick WILL wake up one day with a big WTF realization and in that moment, she will begin to understand WHY the men she’s chosen aren’t worth investing in. And she will harness her goddess power and stop standing for the childish bullshit any longer. Because she’ll realize she’s worth more than mediocre. And there are plenty of great men in the world – which she will see when she lets herself love herself completely. And this means no longer accepting half-ass anything. Period.
Serial Dating Is Not For Me
Within 4 weeks, I earned the name “serial dater” – and for good reason.
3-4 dates a week, every week… sometimes 2 dates in one night… That’s a lot of dates! And while I met some really nice guys, none of them were for me. With the exception of 1… He was different. He was more my style.
I became really good at declining second date invitations and it wasn’t because these guys didn’t have great qualities; they did.
But I am so certain as to what I want and because of this, I know when it’s not right. This truth has also allowed me to become really good at honoring myself, something I have been working on for years.
The surprising – and refreshing – thing I have found about this method of dating (online) is that most guys I have met, with the exception of one (mentioned also above), have asked upfront what I am looking for.
“Do you want marriage… kids… ?”
Some of my friends call this a red flag. I, however, call it a freaking blessing!
Thank you, yes. Can we get that shit out of the way please? Nobody wants to bring it up, likely for fear of coming off too strong. But I can appreciate it. I don’t want to waste time getting to know someone only to find out that our goals in life are not aligned.
Does that mean I want to marry you and pop out your children? I have no fucking clue. But at least now I know whether or not it’s a possibility IF that time comes that we have gotten to know one another, decide we would like to commit to one another and call this a “relationship” and see where it goes – at least now we know whether or not we are on the same page.
I admit, at first I thought – whoa, back up! But then I thought about the fact that I am not getting any younger and yea, my time is valuable, as is the person that I am dating. So please, ask away. But if you get creepy about it I’m out! There is definitely a way to approach the subject and it’s not, “oh hey girl, you look good… what’s your stance on boning for babies?”
I’ve since taken a break the past few weeks because in all honesty, it’s exhausting and I much prefer dating one person at a time… whether or not it’s exclusive or not. I realize this isn’t exactly “dating” per se, but being the super loyal person that I am, it’s what feels right for me. I guess I may have to adapt my ways to truly stay in the dating world – but I am still trying to figure out how this all works in order to stay true to myself while also honoring the experience completely.
But let’s get to the good stuff.
I am writing this for my fellow single ladies out there (and possibly for those of you single men wondering what the hell is going on in our heads… because really, we aren’t that complicated, I promise).
Like I said, I’ve been fortunate to meet some awesome guys. Some totally opposite of anyone I have ever dated; others far too similar, which clearly didn’t work out in the past so pass.
In the mix though, were some real gems and those experiences are far too good NOT to share.
Let me preface this in that I have a very firm dating rule: approach each “date” as an opportunity to meet a new friend. Because of this, I can honestly say I have not been nervous even once. And I think that’s the hardest part!
What if he doesn’t like my open nature? What if he finds my sense of humor inappropriate (which it is but…)? What if he’s intimidated by my zest for life (because I have been told that more than once, twice…)?
What if… what if… what if…
Well, babe… then he is NOT for you! Easy.
You ready for some dating gold? After reading these, I dare you to say any of the opening statements I began this post with… double dare ya!
Bro #1: I Think I’ll Come Home With You Now
We met in a bar, him 6’4”, me 5’2”. Definitely a mans-man, shy yet intriguing. I carried the conversation while he smiled and chimed in to answer my questions. On occasion, he would muster up the (courage… confidence… I’m not sure) to ask me something. And hung onto my words, although I don’t know he was really listening as much as he seemed to be staring. Was he just nervous? Or was he a creeper? First sign.
Despite the tinge of awkwardness, I went back to my rule. You’re just meeting a new friend. Enjoy his company, leave when you’re ready.
We had a glass of wine and I got a delicious kale salad from one of my fave SD spots and got to know more about eachother. He had a great job, which he loved and had a close relationship with his family, which is important to me.
We had similar interests and he was open to exploring and new adventures, which is something that is also a passion of mine.
But he would not stop drinking…
I admit, I totally kept track… 2.5 hours, 5 whiskey-somethings. And the googly eyes began showing themselves.
Creeper status had officially been reached. Nope. Bye now.
As I got into my car, he proceeded to walk to the passenger side and get in.
“Ummm… what are you doing?”
“I just live around the corner, can you just drop me off?”
You, sir, have a thing or two to learn.
Needless to say, his text that night and again in the morning asking to see me again was politely declined.
Moral: Trust your gut. Stick to a 1-2 drink rule, if any at all, on your first date. And if a guy gets in your car without an invitation, kick his ass out!
Bro #2: I’m Still In-Love With My Ex, Do You Think This Can Work?
Older. Wiser. More baggage?
We met at a tea spot I had never been to. The ambiance was more like a subway station, but I can hang anywhere if the company is good.
Ordering our teas, he attempted to take the lead and decide what I would like.
Apparently he wasn’t used to dating someone like me.
“Hey, I appreciate you taking charge, however, I prefer to make my own decisions.” (smile)
Needless to say, I got the tea I wanted. And it was delicious.
He dominated the conversation. He was well traveled, owned a successful law firm, was looking for a future with someone…
And was totally, without a doubt, bitter beyond bitter towards his ex-wife and clearly still in-love with her.
How do I know?
Well, for starters, he told me he’d been single for 6 months and he didn’t want things to end with her and had tried a few times to get her back.
After an hour of listening to him talk through his relationship like a therapy session, I had to cut him off. In retrospect, sure. I should have done it sooner seeing as I KNEW he was not a potential partner for me, something in me kept reminding myself of my rule – and maybe he needed a friend. But then I remembered that, despite wanting to be a good listener and be supportive, because that’s who I am, this was not the time nor the place to do so.
Walking home, I couldn’t help but giggle.
Was this how dating worked?
Person seeking person to pour their heart out to in hopes they’ll coax them into a sympathy lay? Encouragement and support that they were “doing the right thing”?
I smiled as my heart sent him love and wished him the best… from afar.
Moral: Stop the therapy session immediately. If a person is interested in you, they will ask questions about you and genuinely listen to what you have to say. They won’t put the focus on past relationships on the first date and they certainly won’t tell you they want to get back with their ex (but she didn’t want that). Move on. Quickly.
Bro #3: We Should Probably Make Out First, You Know, To See If There’s Chemistry
This was my first attempt at online dating so I will admit that I made some rookie mistakes. Lesson learned. Never again.
In an attempt to save any of my single ladies reading this the same experience, here are some red flags to watch out for.
So you know by now this all starts through messaging…
When/if you get comfortable, you pass along your # to then move into the “real world” of “text-dating” and if you’re lucky, maybe even a phone call. (I am not kidding, this is how it happens…)
Well, when I started this whole thing, I SUCKED serious ass!
Mistake #1: Sending a picture before meeting
I’ve come to realize that those that ask for a picture to prove that your profile is really you, are effing creepers. Because I am a super honest, upfront person, initially I thought that request might be reasonable.
But that turns into, let’s send pictures over and over again.
And that turns into, let me tell you how sexy you are.
And that turns into, I don’t care if you have a brain in your pretty little head, Senor D is leading this show now.
No time for that shit.
Moral: If a guy asks you to send pics before you meet, when he has clearly already seen your profile, skip. Next. Move on. Trust me.
All others that have attempted this silly game have freaked out when I have said that’s not going to happen. (insert: block them from contact capabilities – you should too)
Mistake #2: Allowing the messaging/texting to serve as a “getting to know you” tool before meeting
I cannot tell you how many times I have messaged with someone who is seemingly an amazing communicator, only to meet them and find out they have nothing to say.
So many people are hiding behind their screens. And while, technology serves us positively in so many ways, there is an element of losing oneself in the process.
For some, they are now free to be the person they want to be – but fail to embrace the person that they are. I don’t know. But I feel like those people would be much happier IF they allowed themselves to BE THEMSELVES and find a person who would love them for exactly who they are. Because I believe that is totally possible. And everyone deserves that.
Moral: Get on a phone call before meeting in person. See how they communicate using real life words. It’s telling.
Mistake #3: Getting too comfortable and allowing them to pick you up before ever meeting them (really fucking stupid)
Don’t for any reason, allow someone to pick you up at your house. Drive yourself. Give yourself an out.
THIS particular “bro” picked me up – then proceeded to grab my face and kiss me as soon as he stepped out of the car. Whaaaaaaa?! No, dude. Not okay. I should’ve walked right back into my house…
Moral: ALWAYS drive yourself and never tell anyone where you live so soon. Seems really silly to even have to say, but it happens… I did it. Fail. His joke about being a murderer later on didn’t help ease my mind. (yes, this is real)
I could go on…
Bottom line: Dating comes with a ton of lessons. And every single person and experience we come into contact with serves a purpose.
Sure, there will be plenty of times you’ll think “oh my gosh, can this be over already?!” But I encourage you to laugh through it all. Because it’s funny and it’s fun and you only live once and when the time is right, you will meet the person you were supposed to and you will both be on the same page and you will be glad you waited (deep breath… sigh… ).
I have learned SO MUCH about myself and the things I knew I wanted have become that much clearer in this process.
Have I found Mr. Right yet? Not sure… But am I optimistic that he’s out there? HELL YEA!
A dear friend reminded me that it’s not about finding someone’s life to fit into, but also if they are willing to fit into your life too.
This is so true.
As women, we tend to be nurturers. In this role, many of us lose ourselves as in what we need to feel loved, respected and appreciated. This causes uneasy feelings to arise and can, if we allow it to, bring up insecurity.
Don’t let it though.
This is your time to come into your own femininity and embrace life and all it has to offer. It’s incredibly powerful to know that you are in charge of what you will and will not accept. Continue to shine. Be the person you are seeking and I promise, they WILL show up. It will probably take some time and you will likely have to meet a few questionable prospects along the way, but it’s worth it. Because the more you understand about who you are and the type of partner you want to dominate life with, the sweeter the reward will be when they show up.
So be patient, babe. Everything unfolds in perfect timing. And you have a ton of amazingness in store – don’t for a second doubt that the Universe has skipped you in answering your prayers. There is a reason the time hasn’t come yet. Give thanks for the NOW and just enjoy doing YOU!