Today’s blog topic is a fun, personal, and rather intimate one….I’m writing all about my summer DATING experience!
My early 20’s dating life posed to be entertaining and often at times hurtful and confusing. Relations were sometimes made after a long night out, followed by waking up to a confusing next morning. My first serious relationship in my adult life sprouted when I was 21 and living in NYC. I went out for a night with my roommate and a club promoter to Brinkley’s in NOLITA. The night started safe and comfortable with a vodka drink called the “Flying Wasp”. One thing lead to another and I woke up the next morning with my phone blown up from a guy I had met that night before. “You really liked him” Alexandra, my roomie and now long time friend said. The relationship happened quickly and clearly. Next thing I knew I moved to Germany a month later with the guy I met at Brinkely’s that blurry summer night..
2 years later the time came to part ways from my now ex. That next year was spent getting to know myself again and really searching for what made me happy. I would date here and there.. but nothing really exciting. I thought I knew what I wanted in someone but I kept tailing the wrong guy and lacked feeling that connection. I was grateful that my first relationship taught me how to communicate my feelings with my partner, regardless of whether the feelings were good or bad. It also taught me the importance of recognizing how you want to feel around someone. Calm? Excited? On edge?
May of this year, I woke up one morning and thought, “Huh, I really don’t know what I want in a guy. Maybe we should try to actively start dating.” and so I did. I hopped on those once dreaded dating apps and gave it a go.
For the dating apps, i’ve used “Bumble” and “The League”. The League is an app that you have to be accepted into with a college degree and a referral code. I don’t have a college degree but I got a referral code from a girlfriend.
The first few weeks were entertaining to flip through. How awkward and exposed it was to see everyone putting on their best photos and profiles spewing about who they are and what they are interested in. Ugh, it reminded my of my love hate for Instagram and how there really isn’t much privacy left in the world….
Any who, the first month I treated it like a job. I was on it a bit in the morning and bit at night swiping left or right, screen shooting profiles and sending them to my girlfriends. The first few rounds of connections never made it past a quick conversation. Some guys seemed to only respond late at night….Hmmmmmmm ironic timing for them 😉
Eventually, I started to go for lunch dates, dinners dates and walks on the beach. It was exciting and nerve racking at the same time to meet someone on a blind date. Dating is like a sport, the better you get at it, the easier it becomes.
I’m happy to share, i’ve met some really great guys. There is a stigma in LA that the dating is terrible, men have peterpan syndrome and everyone just wants to sleep with each other. While those all may be true to some degree, it’s not the case for every last man in LA.
What I have found is you have to set some rules for yourself:
Be mindful of the conversation being had before you meet. Is he aggressive over texting? Boring? Does he talk about himself a lot?
I noticed almost every time, if there were 1 or 2 red flags that came up on the fist date that my gut was alerted by, those were also usually the reasons I stopped seeing the guy after a few dates. One guy was too aggressive with his tone, another only talked about himself, another was just plan boring. I’m an optimistic person and would say to myself, “Ah well, maybe that doesn’t matter to me.. or it will get better…”
Nah, it doesn’t get better. People are who they are and will show you who they are subtly or sometimes right up front.
I’ve also found that not drinking helps when trying to pick up on little red flags.
Crazy idea, I know. Alcohol is the buffer that relaxes people and makes it less awkward. However, in the end a sober date is so much clearer than a drunk and sloppy one. I have found myself less likely to go home with the guy, and I can easily weed out the ones that are not a good match in my life.
Which brings me to…. DONT SLEEP WITH THEM TOO SOON LADIES!!!!!!
This is a case by case one I know, I’m just sharing what has worked for me. Men seem to stay after you the longer you hold out on sleeping with them….it’s a game really. Think about the animal kingdom, once the prey is caught and down- the hunt and chase are over. Men like a good chase. DONT GIVE IT UP too soon! Practice self control and avoiding getting yourself into situation’s where you feel pressured to sleep with them. I mean hey, you might want it too and that’s great, but as a woman we have attachment hormones released when we sleep with a man. That’s where things get murkey and confusing and downright emotional.
If he is texting you at 10:30pm or later at night….”Hey how’s it going?” Sorry boy, nope. Ill chat with you in the am and see if you’re still interested. It feels SO much better when the guy is responsive to you at any point in the day. For example, I had been dating this guy this past summer and after the 3rd date he messaged me at 11ish one night. He knew I was up because he was watching my social media… but I didn’t respond. The next morning at 9am I responded with a “Good Morning” and he immediately called me and said lets get breakfast. That felt so much better than the interpreted “booty call text” at 11pm the night before.
One more example from my summer of actively dating- I was on a 3rd date with a guy and had him back to my place. I was extremely attracted to him. One thing led to the next and he said, “Should I get a condom?” I paused having already known my anwser to the question…. smiled and said, “I am attracted to you, but I am not ready for that.” His reaction is not something I could have ever imagined……… he smiled really big and hugged me and whispered, “Thank you.” The 4th date the same thing happened again. While we never made it to the 5th date for me to ask him what that was all about I assume he must have respected me for not giving it up right away.
A male coworker and I spoke about his opinion on sleeping with someone on the first few days and he said, “A man is always going to want to have sex. We’re just wired that way. If the woman can be the strong one and deny us sex the first few times, it makes our lives so much easier. We also always wonder if she’s giving it up so quickly on a first date with me, who the hell has she been sleeping with the night before me too?”
My last tip:
Would be to make a list of requirements, needs and wants that you are searching for in a partner.
Requirements are non-negotibale qualities you want your partner to have. Has to be a good listener, good sense of humor, intelligent etc.
Needs are more negotiable qualities, things you may really need like a similar love language same religious values etc.
Wants are quite negotiable- these look more like he drives a nice car, well traveled, has a lot of money, owns a donkey. I don’t know. 🙂 Wants do not add or take away to their quality as a person but just may add flavor to the bowl.
I’d share what mine are….. but you’ll have to match me on bumble or the league for them 🙂
Or an organic meet on the street or in the vegan ice cream line in Venice are good too…. hehe 🙂