I’ve come to learn that being a writer— especially in the hip-hop and media world— can make it especially difficult to date. When you go to a few different concerts or shows in one week, it’s easy to meet new people. But sometimes, it’s difficult finding a person who’s intentions are only to like you for you and not the blog placement or the people you can put them on with. 

As a girl who has fallen for the “I really like your style and taste in music, let’s hang out” plenty of times only to get hit with the “You should listen to my new mixtape,” text the morning after, I’ve officially sworn off rappers. For real this time.

I spoke to Style Editor of The Stashed, Danielle Howe about her experiences dating in NYC:

What expectations do you have going into a first date?

After years of dating, I’ve come to learn that you shouldn’t expect anything from ANYONE. Good or bad. THAT BEING SAID: I do expect that you at least treat me with some respect. Don’t have your phone out during a date with me or continuously cut me off while I’m speaking. I’m getting up and leaving immediately.

Describe your best dating experience or ideal date:

My favorite date ever was actually pretty simple: A guy that I used to date met up with me at a mutual friend’s house party (that he invited me to initially before he knew I was already going lol), and he made that our first date. We left early, and decided to grab a 6-pack and sit on a random stoop for just an hour or two. Turns out, we talked until 4am and didn’t even notice. All of those crazy cliche romantic gestures aren’t for me, so the fact that he understood that about me made it one of the most memorable. Save the fancy restaurant for the fifth date when I know you better.

To be honest, it doesn’t matter where you take a person; Good company is good company. You could take me on a carriage ride around New York City and buy me diamonds on our first date, but if you’re the worst, the date still sucks. You can find adventure anywhere, and that’s the test of a truly good partnership, finding someone who can handle just time with you.

Dinner and movie as a necessary first, second, or third date is so last generation.

Describe your worst date:

I once went out with a guy that cleared his throat like a dying car engine throughout the date. Yes – The.Entire. Date. He also apparently forgot to put on deodorant. Reason number 23498428 why you don’t date guys you meet at the club.

Has your dating experience made your more or less inclined to keep trying?

There have been times where I have taken myself out of the dating game after a few bad dates or experiences to reevaluate. And there have definitely been times where I’ve said “F*CK MEN, I’M DONE.” But I’m trying to be more of an optimist when it comes to my dating life, so I vow to keep pushing.

There are far more assholes in the world than good people, so it’s going to be awhile until you find someone that’s worth your time.

What’s your take on women “shooting their shot”?

You know, this is something that I’ve actually been contemplating with for a few years now! I like the idea of “shooting your shot.” I’m an extremely independent person, and don’t necessarily like to be fussed over by anyone including men. I also believe in going after what you want. However, I do like to be courted by the man I’m interested in. There’s a fine line I guess. I also believe that most men are super awkward and literally don’t know what to do when a woman comes on to them.

If you’ve dated men not from NY, what differences did you see between them and NY men?

There are a few differences, but a man is a man no matter where he’s from. Nobody measures up to a New York man in terms of style and swagger though, so they always win. Then again, I did break up with all of them.

Does your profession affect the type of men you date?

DEFINITELY. My profession is the reason why I don’t date rappers. Or anyone in the media industry for that matter.

How do you balance work life and dating?

I’m spectacularly terrible at it. 🙂

Do you think that social media has affected the way we date now?

Yes. Not because it opens up the floodgates for people to be in your business if you’re not careful – that’s something that’s always been a risk, regardless of social media. But I do think it invites the negative opinions from others into your mental space and that can affect your relationship if you let it. With all of these “rules” for dating, or how women and men should act towards each other from people who have no idea what they’re doing themselves, it can make for a tumultuous mindset. A lot of us that pay attention to our timelines are still in our 20s and like it or not, we’re all still growing and maturing, which means we’re all still pretty impressionable.

You don’t have to tweet about your girlfriend/boyfriend everyday in order to validate their existence. You also don’t need to leave social media altogether once you’re in a relationship. And, you definitely don’t have to “hide” who you’re dating online because you’re afraid of what people might say to, do to, or learn about you.
Live your life and learn to block out everyone else’s noise—and learn to keep your unsolicited (and often, wrong) opinion to yourself—and I think dating will be a lot easier for most of us.

If there was one thing you could change about the dating scene, what would it be and why?

People’s mindsets, to be quite honest. It’s time for us to realize that in order for dating to work, you have to become friends with the person you’re lusting after first. The relationship will not work if you’re not willing to become their friend first.


One of those "I like MF DOOM" type girls trying to figure out life in her 20's.