The older I get, the more I start thinking about my partner and what companionship really looks like to me. I know that I want to have a partner to journey through life with, but in years prior I have never made the effort really to work towards it--hence I am 28, single and searching. I was the self-proclaimed "busy" girl. You know the one who was too busy to date because of: studying, working, traveling, hanging with friends, reading, having "Me-Time" or just simply being lazy. That however, has done quite the disservice and I've made it my mission to open myself up to dating more. Here are some of the things that I have found are somewhat myths in the dating space.
1. Men should have to pay for EVERYTHING:
In the same way you wouldn't want to be taken advantage of, neither does a man. We are also in a different time where women sometimes earn more than a man. That being said, my parents have always taught me that helping out and treating a man sometimes is actually a pretty sweet gesture. I do, however, have my stipulations for when I will not do this and for the most part that's on a first date.
2. It's taboo to ask hard questions:
Some people say that asking tough questions early on is something that you should shy away from, but I believe differently. I believe that asking the tough questions early weeds out the potential of confusion down the line. For instance, here are some of the questions that I ask early on because they are somewhat deal breakers: Do you want to have kids? Do you want to get married down the line? If you're stuck in your location? Where would you like to see yourself in a few years? Those kind of questions. I know I want to have kids, and I want to get married so if that's not his plan in life that's a deal breaker for me. It’s better that I realize that, before I let my feelings get all attached.
3. Dates need to be expensive and elaborate:
I've had several friends who have dismissed some of my dates, because let's face it, typically I date the struggling artist. I love creatives, it's something that I'm drawn to. With that struggling artist, most of the time comes struggle pockets and a creativity that moves to dates. Some of my favorite dates ever have been in this area--Golden Gate Park, bookstores, coffee and talking, visiting rose gardens and etc.
Dates don't have to be expensive and just to prove that, here are a few cheap and date ideas based in the San Francisco/Bay Area:
Bookstore preferably with a coffee shop inside. If you're a reader, it's very exhilarating to find someone else who does. Why not head to the bookstore, grab a coffee and walk down the aisle discussing books that you each like. That's really a good way to get to know someone.
Chill and stroll either at Temescal Alley or Piedmont
Museums: De Young, SFMoma, MoAD
4. Girls shouldn't ask guys out:
Honestly, I feel like if you want something, go after it. Over are the days for not speaking up if you want something.
5. Lastly, a "meetup" is a date:
Contrary to popular belief, being asked to go on a meet up does NOT equate a date. Say it with me--a meetup is NOT a date. A meetup is NOT a date.
Instead of all the myths associated with dating, here are a few of my should do's with dating:
Be optimistic and open - Not all dates will lead to love, marriage and a baby sitting in a baby carriage, some do, however. Just know that because a date didnt equal love, it could still be a great and solid friendship down the line, if you're open to it.
Leave your baggage at home - We all have baggage whether it's a miniature Ziploc bag size or a full-size garbage bag without the pretty smell. It's unrealistic to think we don't bring some history in any new situation that we enter. With that though, don't let your past influence, dictate your future.
These are just a few of my thoughts on dating. Go out there and kick it girl.
Erin is a Bay Area Native who loves music, reading and exploring coffee shops. You can find her dancing off beat at concerts or parties. Erin’s other loves are (but not limited to) whiskey, bearded men, traveling and cracking jokes. She irregularly tweets at @bellametaphor.