Tag Archives: Dating

DC Chilling: Dating Myself Part 1

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I have been in DC for about two weeks now and I’ve finally broken out of the watch-Netflix-in-my-room-all-day mode. I’m not much of a homebody, so that lifestyle got very old quickly. I decided I would make a conscious effort to see the city and all it has to offer. Thankfully, this is my third (and also my longest) time in DC so I could skip the typical tourist attractions. Thankfully, I bought the 7-day Unlimited Metro pass so I don’t have to worry about loading my card with train fare all week. My adventurous spirit often leads me down long rides on the metro to unfamiliar territory. I am mostly always by myself. On the 7:30 train to work by myself, venturing through neighborhoods looking for farmers markets by myself, trekking over to the Intro to Pole fitness class by myself, going to the Made in Hong Kong Film Festival by myself.

I am so accustomed to hopping on a train and not checking my plans for the day with anyone that it throws me off a little when I have to coordinate to meet up with people. I will say that it has been nice to occasionally meet up with friends for lunch or to hear a new band, but it’s also nice to just take myself out on cool dates. That’s how I see my adventures— like me taking myself out on the types of adventures I’d enjoy. I believe spending time with yourself teaches you your preferences and tastes. So far, I’d discovered a few things about myself:

1. My favorite spot in the movie theater is smack dab in the middle.

This weekend, I went to the Made In Hong Kong Film Festival and saw a great drama/comedy called “Aberdeen.” When I first got there, I was the only Black woman in the room. As the lights dimmed, everything around me faded away and I focused my eyes on the English subtitles. I laughed and gasped without shame, as did the movie-watchers on either side of me. And as the credits rolled, I clapped in appreciation. Yes, I’m that girl. I go to movies by myself, sit in the middle of the theater, and if the movie is really good, I clap.

2. I like enjoy a good Ethnic rice bowl.

Rice is the answer to world peace. It can bring together so many cultures . I’m a big fan of Chipotle’s rice bowls and I’m always looking to try out cultural equivalents. In DC, I have tried rice  Tom Yum District (Thai), Roti Mediterranean Grill (Mediterranean), TaKorean (Korean)My favorite, hands down, was the TaKorean rice bowl. I tried it at the Union Market and I fell in love instantly. I was feeling especially carnivorous that day so I ordered my bowl (on the left below) with steak, pork, and chicken, cilantro, sriracha (first time trying this and I loved it), and lime cream. My friend/classmate, who I randomly bumped into at the market, ordered one steak, chicken, and a pork taco. It was hilarious watching people drooling and straning their heads to see what we were eating. You can see why:

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 3. If I go to a restaurant and breakfast is still available, I will order breakfast food (regardless of the time of day)

Pancakes, waffles, french toast, eggs…all day, everyday. That is my idea of a meal. My friend recommended I check out Busboys & Poets, which is a cool hangout spot/restaurant/poetry slam location. The service was good and so was the food. I had a classic french toast with eggs and fruit. I also ordered pomegranate lemonade! (Fun fact: I always get good vibes about a restaurant that serves pomegranate lemonade. It shows they’re open-minded and accommodating.)

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Brunch at Busboys & Poets

4. Bikeshare only makes me miss my Schwinn bike

I’m quite envious of DC bikers. One, because I’m nowhere near brave enough to ride on the road in DC traffic. Second, because I left my beautiful Schwinn bike at home and I’m forced to rely on things like Capital Bikeshare to get the feeling of the wind running through my hair. Don’t get me wrong, the Bikeshare is an ingenious idea and it definitely is a great way to see the city. I just don’t like how clunky the bike feels between my legs and underneath me. The membership fee options are not terrible, if you do it right. I like that you can drop off your bike at one of designated bike rack that is closest to you. Also all trips under 30 minutes are free. It makes biking a very convenient option. I like that DC is training people to get into the biking mentality. If you’re interested in biking through the city, check out the Capital BikeShare website here.

5. Lesser known musicians rock my world

I’m the type of girl who enjoys cover bands and thinks YouTube artists are some of the best musicians because they have a type of drive, raw talent, and desperation that makes a beautiful sound. On Saturday night, I heard a new band called Marlee in the Mixx. Their sound is Neo-Soul/Go-Go groove plus a lot of other stuff too. As I was listening, all I wanted to do is tilt my head back, sway, and raise my drink in the air. But being the musical creep that I am, all I could do was bob my head with wide eyes and sip on my water in appreciation. The lead female singer (Marlee) has a crazy mane of curly hair and she sings and raps. The extremely talented 9-member crew jammed together on the crowded platform. They seemed to be enjoying making the music as much as we enjoyed hearing it. The show was great and the atmosphere was grown and chill.

Click the picture to check out music from Marlee in the Mixx
Click the picture to check out music from Marlee in the Mixx

 In addition to the ones above, this week I also took myself out on a date to Trader Joe’s and to Pole Pressure. My stomach is thanking me for introducing it to Cocoa & Cookie Butter and my neck is cursing me for trying that one move at the end of the pole class. I had a good time. Would I go out with me again? I sure would! I can’t wait to see what I come up with next.

#31WriteNow: What’s Your Dating Philosophy?

What do you do when you walk into a restaurant and see an attractive stranger sitting by himself?

Do you give him some space and pick a seat a seat where you can look your fill without interruption? Do you ask “is this seat taken?” and when he says no slide into the seat across from him? Or do you sit far away from him and pretend the attraction does not exist?

Your answer reveals a lot about your dating philosophy. It tells how slow (or fast) you like to take things. It hints at your degree of old fashionness and it is a telltale sign of your boldness with the opposite sex.

If I had been presented with this scenario a few months ago, I would have chosen the first option where I didn’t interact with the gorgeous man but I simply sat hoping that he would somehow sense my interest and approach me. After being single for a bit, I realized the glaring flaw in my approach. Everyone, deep down, is afraid of rejection. A man is unlikely to express interest if he is unsure that it is mutual. For the longest time, I would be mysteriously flirty around my crushes. Sometimes it was blatant and everyone is the room could feel, other times it would be so subtle that you would think you were imagining it. After all, I didn’t want to lay all my cards on the table and make the guy think I was…what, interested in getting to know him? Attracted to him?

As women, we have this fear that our interest will be mistaken for thirstiness so we feign indifference and send mixed signals. We often miss out on potential relationships because we’re afraid of making a move. Making a move seems to be controversial so many women shy away from it. I recommend that women should make A move to show they are interested. It doesn’t have to be THE move that get things moving towards a relationship, but it should give the guy the green light to say “hi, I’m approachable and would not be opposed to having a nice chat with you.” It’s not a big deal. It’s not as though Bruno Mars’ “Hey Baby, I think I wanna Marry You” will start playing overhead when you make a move. It shows that you are a confident woman and that you are willing to take risks to get what you want.

Don’t judge me, but I have been watching Hallmark movies and taking notes on dating. Yes, I know Hallmark isn’t real, but the romantic scenarios and interactions presented are very similar to real life events I have witnessed. I have often watched the romance movie wide-eyed thinking, “whoa, some people sure do move fast in the romance department!” I am Nigerian and for me the courting process is a multi-step endeavor that includes a long string of people, not just the bride and the groom. The timeline for romance that I observed in these movies did not match the ones I had observed growing up. Women saw what they want and hinted (or sometimes they came right out and declared) their attraction. The old-fashioned gal in me clutched my pearls at their forwardness. The other part of me wondered where I could get a dose of their gumption.

The truth about dating is that you get what you put in. Meaning, if you never make a move of interest, you’ll never see any results.