Being single for the first time in your adult life can be a liberating learning experience. After my break up, I spent time getting to know the person I am, the person I wanted to become, and somehow found time to be a little boy crazy.
One of the many things I learned during my “dating” moment was to not have expectations.
Expectations lead to disappointments
— lil introvert (@LifeWithJRDN) January 30, 2015
While not having expectations kept me from getting nervous or my feelings hurt, I noticed that I’d been putting up a wall with men who were trying to get to know me— which wasn’t fair to them. Some would see me as a challenge thinking I was hard to get, when I really didn’t want to be “gotten” at all. In some instances, having my guard up was completely necessary, but other times it just made me cold.
I noticed that my lack of expectations was actually setting my standards very low. The only thing I would expect from men was the bare minimum and when they would do something simple (like keeping their word) and exceed that, it would make me happy.
DJ, marketing and event coordinator, writer and all around wonder woman, ALTears has found that her breakup has helped her to focus on perfecting her craft. I spoke to the Bronx native about expectations, dating within the industry and more for the sixth installment of Dating in NYC.
Read her experience below!
What expectations do you have going into a first date?
Most of my dates were a result of a present relationship.
I am single for the first time in a long time and I’m just now finding it okay to be by myself. I went on one date and had zero expectations. The chat beforehand seemed really easy-going so I assumed the date would be too. Turns out, it was. When I EXPECT something and don’t receive it, I feel let down or disappointed. I’ve learned it’s best to just go with the flow for dating. Of course I’d like common manners, no phone at the table kinda thing—but I’m not out here with a check list of do’s and dont’s.
Describe your best dating experience or ideal date:
My ideal date is definitely something I don’t have to plan. I spend 90% of my life planning something. Whether it be an event, a mix, an excel sheet, the best way to maximize social media… I literally am relied on to be the organizer of a lot of things in my life. The date can literally be as simple as a dinner and walk around a park.
I also would love to feel as though a man is interested in me enough to plan something vs sending a “wyd” text.
Describe your worst date:
Lol, I’ve never truly been on one I’d consider a date that was outside of a relationship.
Has your dating experience made your more or less inclined to keep trying?
My dating “experience” has made me realize there are not too many options. Since this is the first time of my adult life I have been single, I have also been so focused on me.
I’m definitely interested in someone coming my way, but I’m also not looking. I believe, if something is meant to happen, it will.
What’s your take on women “shooting their shot”?
If you’re confident enough to do it, then DO IT. Shoot the shot if you know exactly what you want. Men have to do that all the time and create a barrier of thick skin to get rejected every time they don’t make their shot.
We should be confident enough in ourselves that we have better game than them. Also, it weeds out all of the guys that cannot handle (or are intimidated by) a girl who knows exactly what she wants and how to get it.
It’s not to say I’m going to go out there and shoot my shot tomorrow, but it’s something I’d love to build up confidence and courage to do. I can be independent, successful, and confident with my career… No reason why that shouldn’t translate to my personal life.
If you’ve dated men not from NY, what differences did you see between them and NY men?
Being from the Bronx, I obviously only dated NY men my whole life . During college, I dated someone from New England and he was much different. More respectful, innocent, sweet, genuine, and understanding. Not to say you can’t find that in NY men, I just have yet to.
While geographical locations affect the way a man is raised, so does the mother. I think my ex from New England had one of the most nurturing, affectionate and tactile mothers out of all of my other exes. Having that type of mom GREATLY affects how a man treats a woman, and that can be anywhere in the world.
Does your profession affect the type of men you date?
It makes it more challenging. I am literally uninterested in any male I meet in the night life industry. I feel, if I meet you at a party or at a gig I might be spinning at, you’re not attractive to me — you’re more of an opportunity to build a work relationship. I think because I’ve already been in a committed relationship with someone I was working with that’s made me seriously focused on business only.
On the other side, the kind of guy I might be interested in would have to understand that I am in a field with a lot of males. I prefer to surround myself by pretty women because, hello.. But, the fact of the matter is: I also have a solid group of male friends. Some men get into their ego and cannot handle that.
So, whoever I “date” has to accept it. I’m sure that won’t be an issue because I’m already a very bold character. So, a man that deals with me is already taking on a large load, lol.
How do you balance work life and dating?
No need to balance, work is my life. Men will always be around the more money I make. I can make more money and find men as I go. I can’t focus so much on finding a man, that I forget to make money.
Do you think that social media has affected the way we date now?
Yes, I used to be able to just talk to someone in person, grab their number and text for hours on hours, days on days. That’s how I got to know someone – and then in person of course. Now, it’s like everyone has to have a profile, a facade, and the best default photo. I’m all about making an impression, you know, getting dolled up for a first date… But, I can’t really get to know YOU from your 140 character bio or a picture of that one time you did something adventurous in a third world country.
On the flip side, the internet has broken so many barriers and allowed me to be more outgoing and fun with people. I’m so shy and awkward in person that it’s almost like the Internet is my home girl I bring with me to a party so I don’t have to be around hella guys alone.
It’s really a double-edged sword.
If their was one thing you could change about the dating scene, what would it be and why?The awkwardness, I am awkward and feel it. But I think if it was normal for NYC people to be friendly, go up to someone, etc.. I wouldn’t be so awkward. I think if we all just had the courage to go up to someone in a respectful manner and test our luck—both men and women— it would make dating much easier.