Okay sooooo…if you’re in a relationship…I’m not sure why you’re reading this. You should be with your boo. BUT, if you want to be entertained by my funny, yet sad attempts at dating during the pandemic. I’ll digress. And if you’re single? Well then buckle up, bitches! Because I’m sure some, if not many, of you can relate.
Just as the rest of our social lives, the COVID-19 pandemic has made our dating, romantic, and intimate lives harder, more laborious, and quite fucking exhausting than ever before. While apps are now a popular way to meet people “safely”, if you’re new to dating or haven’t dated in a while (or haven’t gotten any good TLC or “sneaky links” in a while)…apps may be a set-up…for disaster. This is the case especially, if you don’t know what you want, don’t know what you’re looking for, don’t know how to have a conversation, don’t know how to navigate the apps (where my fellow old ladies at?!), or don’t want to attract a serial killer. And if you’re like me, all of the above. If the apps don’t work for you, you might think to hit up an “old flame”, explore friends with benefits, or…..even let back in the Future ass, toxic ass ex, you KNOW you don’t want back.
Don’t do it.
Let’s face it. If you are not fortunate to be “quarantined” with a spouse or partner right now….then….sometimes we’re bored y’all. And most importantly…we’re human. And being human means that we are literally wired for connection. We are filled with desire. We are animalistic with instincts that WANT to hunch…knock some boots…throw it back…and be a throat baby, if you wish. Whatever you want to call it, my point is…it’s natural. And being inside has emphasized our innermost desires for love and connection, fantasies, and heightened our sex drives. And if we’re not careful….it’s a recipe for horrible, reckless, and/or impulsive decisions.
….that we’ll talk about today J
Because what kind of person would I be if I didn’t let you in to my top mistakes and lessons learned over my horrendous attempts at dating this year.
1.Hinge, Bumble, & Other Dating Apps. After no luck with Tinder a few years back, I learned I was not built for the “DTF” culture it seemed the app was offering. I knew I wasn’t downloading it again, and I wanted something more…classy. The pandemic had just begun here in the U.S. and sent me to work from home back in March. I thought “Hey, a man is just not going to fall out the sky…and I’m bored. I think I should date again. Let’s get online.” WRONG MOVE. So, for this reason, I’ll stop here. If you want to explore dating apps, it’s fine. That’s your personal choice. But, as with anything in life, do so with intention...weighing pros and cons….risks and benefits…and not just joining out of boredom (don’t play with people’s feelings). I was telling myself “I just want to meet people”, when in reality I had no intention or capability whatsoever of being serious, meeting them, wanting them,;etc. Like I said…I was bored…and horny. And I thought the solution to both problems was being “with” somebody. Some months later, I’m realizing how easy it is to fall into the lies and pressure placed on being in a serious relationship. And only being able to enjoy “desire” or pleasure” within that box, but we’ll get into that later. As I was meeting people and they wanted to lean in…and I wanted to lean away, I realized I not only still had some things to work on within myself…and that I needed to stop “rushing” my healing and inner work…BUT… that I actually don’t want to be in a relationship. I enjoy being on my own right now. Furthermore, I am learning to appreciate the self-preservation and unraveling of myself that singleness has to offer. Now, back to the apps. I still stayed on them for a long ass time this year y’all…even when I knew I didn’t have “intention” or “awareness” or dare I might even say…availability. After getting ghosted, endless boring ass conversations, and trying to test out some “jungle fever”, I ended up eventually going on ONE date with a guy off Hinge, that was looking at me all crazy like “What do you mean you don’t want a serious relationship?”. My luck ran out, and I went out sad y’all…but my stint taught me a few gems about dating and beyond the apps, that as I reflect on the year…I find beneficial for myself moving forward…and hope the same for you.
a. I should’ve unmatched sooner! Just as in real life (in person), if your “match” does not call or offer to call or agree to call you within a decent amount of time….UNMATCH THAT MF. Everyone’s “decent” may vary. But…if y’all have ONLY been texting and MONTHS have gone by without any effort for a phone call, virtual date, or actual date….UNMATCH. Set safe and healthy boundaries with yourself and your prospect. We bored but we ain’t THAT bored…don’t waste your time.
b. I didn’t have to be so upfront….so soon! You know how I said don’t waste your time? Well yeah, don’t waste a prospect’s time either. So, when is the right time to ask the “What are you looking for?”. Maybe not as SOON as you match with someone (lol wtf Adia?). I found myself having great conversations and then sabotaging them in an instant by asking this, when the flow could’ve happened more organically. If I could get a redo…I would’ve asked more “ballpark” questions that would’ve told me more about the person and their priorities. I either had great conversations prior to this question or conversations that I ended immaturely AFTER this question. I should’ve and could’ve been more “in the moment.” Yes, some people only want sex. Yes, some are only looking for friendship. And yes, some actually only want a long-term relationship. And that’s great. I’m not saying to NOT disclose these things. When you know what you want, you should say so….and I did. But, I also subsequently cut myself off from the possibilities of other worth-while connections.
c. But…I also didn’t need to feel bad for letting people know what it is…and what it ain’t! So boom. I meet a nice guy, right. I tell the nice guy I don’t want a relationship and we can be friends. The nice guy proceeds to be on a “I can change that” vibe. And while that may sound great or romantic to some, it sounds like a trap to me. And manipulative? Maybe narcissistic, too? Just a bit. And….we don’t do that (anymore). So, why was I feeling bad for no longer talking to the person because….I SAID WHAT I SAID? For my fellow people pleasers and if you struggle to set/keep boundaries, it is important to hear me…and hear me clearly…You are NOT obligated to stay, text, or call anyone back if you do not want to. Say what you got to say…..(get that bread, THAT HEAD) THEN LEAVE.
d. I didn’t have to be so AVAILABLE. Once again…we bored y’all…but we not THAT bored. Next to “chasing” someone, the worse thing to do is being too nice or too “available” for someone. We’re inside, well forced inside…so take some time to work on yourself, educate yourself, get a new hobby for yourself. Be booked and busy. Level up. And NEVER…EVER…make someone your world. You’re your own world, planet, universe, galaxy,;etc. Remember that.
e. Be realistic, not idealistic! You know those women who’ve always dreamed of their wedding….the ones who meet a new guy and after a couple weeks or a month time, you can practically hear the damn bells ringing? It’s me, y’all. I’m the women. And while this isn’t cute whatsoever, we’re all built different…and if it’s the cards you’re dealt (as a number of women are)…it’s okay…I see you. It’s just important to keep PERSPECTIVE and to remember you’ve got to actually LOOK at your cards sis and decide your next move BEFORE you play. Never put all your cards on the table. And if you didn’t understand that analogy (or metaphor?). Here it is plain and simple- DON’T DATE FUCKING POTENTIAL.
f. It’s okay…to get ghosted! If you’re going to date online, this is just inevitable really. So, from one person who’s been ghosted multiple times and has done the GHOSTING multiple times…and will block in a heartbeat…just beware…it’s to be expected. Don’t take it personal. It’s everything to do with the other person and absolutely nothing to do with you. And yes…it sucks…it may be disappointing. Hell, it may even hurt…but you know how it goes…dust ya self off and try again (rest in peace, Aaliyah).
g. If you’re going to date online…always meet in a safe (open and WELL LIT) place, and let a trusted person know where you are. Seeeeeeeeeeeeend me the location. Seriously, choose a place…a restaurant or wherever you decide to go that has a lot of people….and it wouldn’t hurt for it to be close to a police station (someone is watching too many crime shows). Then, send your pinned location to a trusted friend and family member and tell them who you’re with. Do NOT ride with your prospect/match during your first time meeting, and if you’re feeling really froggy…you could even invite your close friend or family member to sit at the place (unnoticed, of course) throughout your date to make sure you’re safe.
h. Don’t rush. Last point. I can’t stress this enough, because when I finally deleted Hinge…I realized there’s no dating manual. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to date, and no one can really tell you HOW it’s going to go. We were once teenagers in high school just excited to have boyfriends and now we’re barely functioning adults…trying to just figure it out, trying to set boundaries, trying to figure out what we like, trying to figure out whose compatible, trying to figure out our damn selves. And it takes time. When you see so many of your friends or peers getting married, starting families, and “living their best lives” online…you start falling into this comparison trap…making it so easy to feel rushed or like dating is what you’re “supposed” to be doing right now. When in reality…maybe you’re just supposed to be a sugar baby right now….or maybe you’re just supposed to be in the house living your sex life vicariously through KiKi and Medina on Cocktales….Either way, we’re in a pandemic, and we gotta be safe….and we gotta wear a mask….so we can get up out of here next year. I’m not saying dating is “completely” impossible right now….but y’all. It is like finding a fucking unicorn. So, just don’t rush. Take your time, buy a toy (or an arsenal), continue to get to know yourself and learn about you throughout the dating process, and make dating fun (maybe start with “virtual” dates)…not a part-time job.
2.My friend set me up on a date with someone who wasn’t “my type”. Okay so boom…now that we got the apps out the way. So, I get a text one day that says “I got somebody who wanna talk to you”. And y’all know me (well, not really)…I’m like “About what?” Y’all, I really hate that we use the dating word ‘talking’. So, my girl proceeds to tell me someone wants to take me on a date. This is about five months into the pandemic…I’m bored….I’m isolated….I’m horny….so I’m like “Cool. I deserve to meet new people. Tell him to hit me up on IG”….because y’all know I wasn’t giving him my number yet. So, boom. The man messages me on Instagram, and just guess how he slid in them DM’s…..
So, I “hey”d my ass right OUT of my messages and did not reply. About a few hours or maybe a day goes by (I can’t remember), and I get another message. Finally, a decent greeting. And we start talking. I let him know that I hate when people don’t know how to have a conversation or send a basic ass “hey”. So, we’re talking on Instagram….sending messages back and forth….sending voice messages back and forth….conversation is great.
And then I click his profile.
And now I’m asking my therapist, “So, how much time do I give someone if I’m not physically attracted to them?”
My therapist says something along the lines of “Attraction can grow” and to give the man a decent chance. So, I say to myself “Self, let’s just go out with him….try something different….try to get out of ‘your type’”. And myself said back to me, “Okay Dia, let’s do it.”
I keep the conversation light, let him know my schedule, we book the ice cream date, and then I tell him bluntly “I can only stay for a hour”. He proceeds to joke, like everyone else does, about how “Type A” I am and then asks, “What? Did you double book me with another guy?”. He laughs, until I’m like “Actually, yes I did…I have plans later.” Now, my plans were actually with one of my best friends, but hey….I like to keep people on their feet. So, what he did or didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him. I’m already hesitant…already nervous…already not wanting to do this date anymore because he’s not “my type”. But then, we get to the date….
And I step out the car….
And y’all….I was like “I can’t do this”.
Did I leave the date? No. Ya girl stuck it through and tried to see if something else was there…besides the lack of my physical attraction. Was it? Nope. Just some awkward conversation and me desperately trying NOT to call one of my friends and say “Call me and pretend like it’s an emergency”. So, did I tell him I WASN’T going out with him again a week later? YES.
We’re at the end of 2020 now though, and sometimes I wonder if I should’ve gave the man another chance. There’s some kind of saying that alludes to us holding ourselves back because of “our type”, and that may be partly true. Outside of my superficial attraction, I impulsively cut myself off…YET AGAIN…from the possibility of some other kind of worthwhile connection (that wasn’t romantic), that could have flourished.
But hey, we’re living and learning, right?
3.It’s okay to let the man pay for the date. Just say “Thank you”. So, let’s call the man in the previous story “ice cream date bae”. “Ice cream date bae” gets to the register with our $5 ass ice cream…and here my ass go, pulling out my debit card. Within two minutes, I’m irritated and looking at him disgruntled because he literally is not letting me pay for my scoops. I know y’all. I know. I have been SO USED to taking care of myself and PAYING for my own things that I never considered the differences between feminine and masculine energies….until I learned of said energies thanks to YouTube and Apple Podcasts recently. Masculine energy = giving/providing. Feminine energy = RECEIVING. I always tell men who take me out something like, “I have this thing about paying…I can pay for me.” This is partly due to growing up and receiving the lesson to NEVER let men think they own you. So in a way, I guess this is a way I felt I owned myself…that I could bury any expectations of something in return…and a way I didn’t have to be “open”. So, I never let men pay for me. I still cringe when even my male friends do. But, “Ice cream date bae” was not having it….pulling out his lil $10. I wanted to slap him.
Today, I still stand by the fact that I love that I have my own, just like Ne-Yo said. I love my independence….and my freedom…just as I’m sure a number of women do…but Y’all…..shut up and let that man pay. Be open, humble, and gentle enough to RECEIVE. Just say “Thank you”.
4.I shot my shot! Huff. The wrong shot. A questionable decision in a questionable ass time. If you’re going to shoot your shot…make sure you shoot it at someone that’s NOT in a relationship….and do your “research” before you try to alley-oop your shot…because people be lying out here. And let’s be honest…we be lying to ourselves, too. Sooooo…unless……you’re really cool with that and won’t catch feelings….or think that’s what you deserve….just Bryson Tiller DON’T. I suggest NOT breaking up happy homes…even if you don’t think or don’t care they’re happy. Find you some emotionally available and SINGLE, dick. And work on yourself, too.
5.My heart been broke so many times….I neeeeeeeeeeeed a sneaky link! Last one. And I can guarantee it’s the best one…maybe. Because it’s ALL about the “sneaky link”, a term I didn’t even know until my brother explained it to me. Anyway.
If the pandemic hasn’t been good for anything else…it’s been good for teaching us three things. 1) Life truly is not promised, 2) there are more people willing to give you what you want (even if it’s just good dick) if only you just own it and SAY it, and 3) our desires for pleasure should not be accompanied by guilt and shame. I grew up in a more conservative/traditional/religious black family. Thus, approaches to sex, desire, and pleasure have always been focused in the category of getting pregnant, marriage, or a serious relationship. Nothing more, nothing less. In efforts to unpack the toxicity that comes with this, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting during the pandemic…a lot of reading….a lot of journaling….a lot of masturbating (aren’t we all?). And we landed on the fact that (Alexa, play Rod Wave)….
My heart been broke so many times….I neeeeeeeeeeeed a sneaky link!
Sneaky link: an appointment or “link” between a female and male to meet that NO ONE is supposed to know about. No one. When you’re horny and in the middle of a coronapocalypse, this seems like a grand idea, right? Getting a “f” buddy or exploring “friends with benefits”. Especially, when you’re trying to reclaim your erotic, your sexual power, and get back into the action, right? Maybe. I thought so. I think so. I’m still thinking about it. But, I think the bigger questions are…
Is this really what you desire? And are you ready?
Before you make the appointment…the link….or send your “you up?” or eggplant text…just make sure you unpack, too- what your sneaky link is going to mean to you, what it’s going to do to you (beyond physically), are you going to catch feelings, do you need more time to decide, what are your boundaries, how far can you go, what sex means to you, how is this person’s energy,;etc.
As we go into 2021, I want to see us all win in dating. I want us to learn through our mistakes and embrace them even when we make them again. And again. I want everyone getting orgasms, too. But most importantly, I want everyone to take care of and honor themselves…and our inner children. Because after all….no one is gonna take care of you like YOU take care of you.
I hope I made you laugh as much as I was able to in releasing and embracing my own repeated, yet brief missteps.
From my mistakes to yours…and always growing,