Hey y'all! Happy Monday! It's really happy for me because it's spring break!! Wheeee- I'm pretty happy to be home and not on campus (considering the Northeast is about to get smacked with a doozy of a snowstorm).
So, for those of you who may not know me personally, I recently wrote an op-ed for Columbia's newspaper, the Spectator, about online dating and my personal experience with dating in general over the past couple of years. You can find it here if you're particularly interested to read it!
In writing this op-ed, I came to realize, I'm incredibly open about my dating life in person/ in "real life", but on Facebook, or Instagram, or even my blog, I rarely talk about it. It's not that I'm particularly private or that I think I need to shield the people I'm dating from my online presence. To be fully honest, I just assumed people didn't care. But in hearing the praise and laughs and other conversations that my op-ed started with the people around me, I realized, what's there to lose in talking about dating on here too?!
So, without further ado, I've decided to start a little dating column on Molly Em! I don't know how often I'll post in it (I feel like my dating life isn't that exciting to warrant a weekly post), but I already have a ton of ideas, including posts specifically about online dating, and others about dating between regions (tbh, Georgia and New York are MOST different in their approaches to dating). I'm super active in online dating, and I'm not the type to necessarily date the same type of person twice (but I have been known to date the exact same guy twice!) so hopefully it makes for some interesting stories for you and some great topics to talk about! Anyways, I figured I'd kick off this dating section of my blog with....
5 Things I Learned About Myself In Dating Other People
1. Rejection isn't that scary.
One thing I used to hear all the time growing up was: you need to get a thicker skin. I was someone that didn't react well to criticism. Not in a way where I immediately put up a wall, but in a way where it just hurt like hell. Over time, as I lost friends and gained new ones and just generally grew up, I eventually "toughened up" and somehow lost the immediate hurt reaction to criticism. A whole part of dating is worrying about what happens if you get rejected. I've known many a person to avoid an entire possibility of a relationship if it meant avoiding any possibility of hurt, and to be honest, I completely understand. It hurts like hell to have someone you care about or love dearly leave your life or hurt you or insult you. It's also just awkward when you're rejected upfront, even if it's by someone you don't know. And that's a really scary part of dating to some people. It sucks to get stood up, ghosted, or benched. It sucks to have to realize, oh this person didn't like me as much as I liked them. But for me, the thing I learned is that a) there are so many other FANTASTIC people out there that you can't let just one person that seemed fantastic get you down. Okay, they didn't see how great you are- their loss! It's not a question of them rejecting you because x, y, and z is wrong with you. They just didn't see all the fantastic things to you that you (or others) see in you, and that's on them.
2. Not everyone has to like me.
I'm fully aware I'm on many a person's "shit list" and that's a-okay by me! It's impossible to please everyone, something I learned way back in high school, but something that's been even more solidified since coming to college. This goes back to my first point about not being scared of rejection- I don't really care if people dislike me or not. It's a waste of my time to try to convince someone who actively does not like me or dislikes me to like me. There are so many people in my life already who realize the benefit of having me in their life and if this one person doesn't see those benefits, fine, so be it. I think there might be a chance that I survive. It's impossible to please and impress every person you come across and dating is a complicated game, some of the rules of which I refuse to play (The no double texting rule? I can't staaaaand it and if you look at ANY person I text, I guarantee I've double texted them multiple times.) It's simply not.your.job. to please every person you go on a date with! There will be some people you just don't click with and that's fine! There will be fantastic people that you'll have amazing sparks with later on.
3. I'm an extrovert, through and through
Yeah... this one isn't really a surprise to anyone. My biggest extracurricular on campus is spending time with 140+ girls. I'm not exactly quiet or shy. However, in going on dates, I realized just how much I like to simply TALK to other people. I'm not one to go see a movie or a show on a first date. I want to get to know the other person as much as possible (see #5 for more in depth on that), and it's so much fun and gives me so much energy to meet new people and find out why they are the way they are! I always think of extroverts as people who get their energy from being around other people, and I'm someone that's like that to a T. After spending an afternoon with friends or after spending hours with family, I feel super excited about things and super jazzed up about life. Dating is just an extension of this- I'm known to end up chatting on a date for 2-3 hours at a time, and it's something that feels natural to me and it's so. much. fun!
4. I'm an open book.
In the same vein of me being an extrovert, I'm someone that doesn't hide much. On a first date, I believe that pretty much any topic is fair game. I like to hear all about the person I'm with and I have no problem sharing parts of my life with them. I recently went on a date with someone and we spent over an hour talking about what it was like to be from a family of immigrants, especially in the political climate we live in currently. I've had 2-hour political discussions with dates about why I voted for a candidate that they didn't like so much (even if they voted for them). I think it's important for me to set a precedent of the type of person I am, even on the first date, and even if it means possibly "scaring people away". I'm always going to be upfront, honest and open about how I feel about most aspects of my life, and there's no reason to hide that part of me on a first date.
5. It's not that hard for others to open up.
I still think that one of funniest things I've ever seen in my dating life is that on one of my first dates in the city, I ended up convincing my date to switch majors from business to film and to drop out of the business school he was in and transfer to the liberal arts school at his college, all while we were on our first date. Somehow, something I said convinced him that he hadn't been actually following what he wanted to do when he came to college and he ended up emailing the registrar at the end of our date. I think that in part of me being so open about so many parts of my life, it sets a sort of tone for the conversation(s) I want to have with the person I'm with, and people feel way more inclined to open up or be more open about their lives. To me, there's nothing nicer than sitting with someone and talking for hours, and it's even better when you get to see people's true emotions in a conversation. It's so wonderful to be sitting with someone who maybe you don't know all that well, but to be able to see glimmers of parts of their lives that they're passionate about. It gives you a little bit of a chance to see them as more than another human or another one of 9 million people in New York City. For me, as a psych major and someone who just LOVES talking to other people, hearing about people's lives, truly and in a raw way is the most fun/interesting thing I can do.
I hope that you guys liked hearing a little bit about why I like to be involved in the dating scene in NYC/ATL, and why I think dating is so fun! If there's anything in particular that you want to hear about in terms of dating, comment and let me know!