Guest Post: Finding Yourself During a Pandemic
I recently asked my roommate, who has also been dating during quarantine, if she would like to write something for Date a Week LA. I thought it would be fun for you to read about someone else's perspective on dating right now. I feel grateful that she took the time to reflect and then write down her honest, witty, and enlightening thoughts. So, without further adieu, here is a guest post from my roommate:
If you keep up with this blog, you might know me as the roommate who has now ruined two dates OOPS (Date #27 and Date #31). I would consider myself to be a hopeless romantic who constantly finds herself in a FWB (friends with benefits) situation. I often feel the pressure to not seem pushy or demanding and succumb to being the "chill girl" who is "down with anything" rather than setting clear boundaries and stating what I genuinely want. Whether I was watching a classic Rom-Com for the hundredth time or being obsessed with Couples’ Tumblr, I found myself wanting things that seemed unattainable, especially with the hookup culture of today.
Before moving to Los Angeles, I didn’t date much, or at all for that matter, but when I saw that my new roommate was doing her dating blog it gave me the confidence and motivation to not be so intimidated by dating. She broke all the rules I had in my head and made dating seem more casual and fun; I didn’t have to wait around for someone to ask me out. So, I decided to put myself out there more, even during a pandemic, and maybe just maybe I would be able to find someone worth writing home about.
Dating in this day and age is unpredictable, to say the least. You either get all dolled up and try to find “the one” at a bar, or scour through multiple dating apps. None of these options screamed “meet-cute” to me but I decided to go with the latter route. After cycling through three (YES THREE) dating apps I was finally asked out on a date! The plan was to get ice cream and then stargaze at the Griffith Observatory, which to me is the ideal date since that is my favorite place in LA.
As I was getting ready, I was picturing my La La Land inspired romantic night ahead of me, would he hold my hand? Would we kiss? Would we break out in song and dance? All questions I needed answers to. Soon enough, he picked me up and the date began. During the drive, I was nervous but excited since we had good banter and I felt like we connected well. During both stops though, he seemed to be in a hurry and was walking as if he had somewhere else to be. Looking back, I felt as if I had done something wrong to make him want to hurry the date along. Was it something I said? Did we not connect like I thought we did? Did he truly have somewhere else to be? He had me home within an hour and didn’t even look up from his phone when I said goodbye...
I'm not sure if it was the nerves or if he was uncomfortable being out during a pandemic, but this beautifully planned date was shadowed by his eagerness to get me home. It was a little disappointing that I had spent more time getting ready than the actual date lasted. Still, I won’t let that experience taint my love for the observatory — although it definitely didn’t leave me wanting another date.
A week later I matched with this dude from Santa Barbara. We had a lot in common, so it was really easy to talk to him. Eventually, he asked me out on a date where we would get milkshakes and go to an overlook that further proved Los Angeles is one of the prettiest cities in the world. We talked for hours and ended up kissing that night which left me feeling giddy and excited for what was to come. A few days later we decided to meet up again and this time with just the intention to hookup. Before I go any further, YES I KNOW, you might be thinking “GIRL, we are in a PANDEMIC, why are you hooking up with ANYONE!!!???" and to that, I say: "you are absolutely right, and luckily for you, karma has already come to repay me," but I digress.
With the combination of being lonely during quarantine and still being that "down with anything" type of girl, I have, yet again, put myself in a FWB situation. This choice to be friends with benefits made us fast forward past all the cute stuff that I would want to have happen before the fun awaited sleepover.
I’m realizing it’s not worth answering that late-night booty call or “u up?” text (not that I have any problems with one-night stands, YOU DO YOU, it’s just not for me). By doing so, I’m destroying any chance of having that normal and fun dating experience that I long for. Oh, and that Karma you were wondering about? I woke up with Strep Throat a few days after our "date." After going to the doctor, getting antibiotics, taking a COVID test (which came back negative—whew), and ruining my roommate's date yet again (#31) I’ve definitely learned my lesson. Now, after seven days of antibiotics, I don’t see myself dating any time soon (although I have been asked out on a Zoom Date, woo!).
Recently I was driving around at sunset, (as one does when trying to live out their "coming-of-age in a big city during their twenties” movie fantasy), and "Love Myself" came on the radio. It reassured me that I don’t need to have a plan or be in the same place as anyone else. I just need to love myself, especially before loving anyone else. I tried to be the one who’s "down for anything," I chose to have a casual relationship, I've even listened to the advice to be more chill from the Call Her Daddy podcast and really what has that gotten me? Strep Throat and no Prince Charming. As I listened to this BOP with the windows rolled down, I decided that I need to spend the rest of the pandemic seriously thinking about the things I really, truly want and what I'm looking for in a partner. I think it is possible to be a hopeless romantic in today’s society as long as you have the courage to say what you want. And even if it takes me (or you) the whole pandemic to find that courage — I hope we do.
Olivia O’Brien – “Love Myself” (maybe this song will mean as much to you as it does to me)