I’ll let you in on a little secret about me: Letting my guard down is one of the hardest things about dating.
I struggle with hiding behind this facade of being a “mean girl”— it’s my defense mechanism. My resting bitch face —which I’ve had since 12— works as a gate that protects me from men I’ve subconsciously weeded out and judged as a “believes.” I’ve convinced myself that my “not with nothing” attitude keeps me from falling for guys with tired and recycled lines. I believed my “mask” kept men on their toes and for a while it did, but it wasn’t me. Pretending to be someone I’m not became draining.
I miss feeling comfortable with someone but it’s so hard.
— bby grl (@LifeWithJRDN) November 16, 2016
The more I romanticized a person I had a crush on, the more comfortable I became. As my walls began to come down, a softer, more sensitive and vulnerable side of me would appear. Though being comfortable with someone is the ultimate goal, a complete change in character is not what anyone willingly signs up for.
It’s a constant struggle knowing that the other person deserves to be aware of what they’re getting into with me from the beginning, but trying to protect my feelings. Though I’m working on putting all my cards out on the table, part of me still believes that someone who may or may not be in my life for long doesn’t deserve to know “the real me” at all.
I spoke to illustrator PSIMDOPE about the struggles of letting your guard down for the latest installment of Dating in NYC.
Read her thoughts below:
What expectations do you have going into a first date?
I’m praying there’s great conversation and that the guy doesn’t do what they all do now: “I’m not really looking for a relationship…” Like…did I ask? Any guy that says that without you giving him a reason to just wants to have sex and no commitment.
Describe your best dating experience or ideal date:
The best dates were with this guy. Our backgrounds, age gap and how we were raised were so different. The best experiences are when you’re so wrapped up in getting to know each other and the conversation isn’t stale.
I love to cook, so letting me cook for you. Or us going record store shopping and teaching me what each record is made of. Just letting me in your space, you know? Anything that involves you forgetting you let your walls down.
Describe your worst date:
I told this one guy about the first date I ever went on— I didn’t go on my first date until I was like 21.We were talking about our past dating experiences. So, he spent our entire date trying to recreate the things I liked about the other guy.
He was fresh from a break-up and so.. submissive— and not in a good way. I don’t know how that girl broke him, but he was so pressed on like… I don’t think he knew who he was. I remember just telling him I like men with initiative and how on my first date, words weren’t necessary. The guy [from the first date] kinda pulled me into a kiss I wasn’t expecting. So, he tried it and fumbled all the way through it.
It was so corny, like be yourself, jerk.
Has your dating experience made your more or less inclined to keep trying?
Honestly in the beginning, it was on a slow decline. I don’t really try, I never have. I consider myself a lil’ ugly duckling. But after the past couple months, if anybody is down I’m open. But guys only care about sex so…
What’s your take on women “shooting their shot”?
Girl, do what you gotta do—cause they ain’t.
When it comes to shooting your shot, how do you go about it? Do you slide into believes or take the initiative face to face?
Neither, I’ve never approached a guy. I don’t have a problem admitting that I’m self-conscious so I don’t even bother having egg on my face.
If you’ve dated men not from NY, what differences did you see between them and NY men? There’s a difference?
Does your profession affect the type of men you date?
100%. Working in entertainment and media, I cringe at any sentence that has any form of the phrase “I am a rapper/producer/make music.”
You mentioned that you cringe when you meet someone who’s a rapper or producer, but would you ever be opposed to dating another artist?
Not at all. If I know that before or that’s how we met, I’ll be open to it. But, I’ll definitely be on edge the entire time.
How do you balance work life and dating?
I work 10 hour days and I’m a hermit so getting me to leave the house is everything. There is no balance really. It’s rare that I’m asked on a date. Ain’t no need to balance, haha.
Do you think that social media has affected the way we date now?
Definitely, my rule is to not connect via social media with someone I didn’t meet through social media.
Why is that? Do you feel like people put up a facade over the internet? If so why?
I don’t want to be that girl that’s so caught up on stalking a guy’s social media, getting in my feelings seeing him with a girl that I don’t know or that they’ve posted when they haven’t text me back, etc. I save myself the wine-drinking and overthinking.
If there was one thing you could change about the dating scene, what would it be and why?
More phone calls. Less text messages.