Category «dating»

Lady Dates

Tonight I am going on a date with a woman. She is lovely and smart. This is not the first lady date I’ve had and certainly won’t be the last.

I haven’t talked about it all on the blog at all. (If you’ve heard me read, I’ve told the story about the first woman I dated briefly.) I never kissed a woman until I was 30 and didn’t really have much interest to until now. When I started the blog 3 years ago, I certainly wasn’t dating women. But I now want to be clear that my writing about my dating life will not only be dudes.

So I suppose the slap a label term on me is bisexual. I don’t really like this term as it implies half and half, and most of my dating and sex life has all involved men with a few exceptions. I’m a big believer in the Kinsey scale and the Idea that sexuality is fluid. I’m not making excuses, but I’m more attracted to men than I am women, but I’m exploring that some more.

I don’t see myself in a long term relationship with a woman, just like I don’t foresee long term relationships with many (well most) of the men I date. But really who knows? Love is pretty blind and I think I will probably fall in love and end up with a man, but I suppose I’m open to it.

Sexuality is an odd thing, ever changing in ones’ life. This all feels pretty new to me. People talk about knowing they’re gay at age 4. I didn’t know I was somewhat attracted to women until I turned 30.

So I asked her out and chose the date, place, and time (I take my own advice!). I’m looking forward to it, but admittedly am a bit nervous. There are all these rules for what the guy does (pays the check, opens the door) and what the girl is supposed to do (offer to pay the check and say thank you when he says no), but there are no rules for girl dates! No rules! My brain and how I think about dating is completely heterosexist.

So I plan on just having nice dinner and conversation with a smart and beautiful lady.

-Melinda

Well you’re like WAY into Black guys

Well you’re like WAY into Black guys

“Well you’re like way into Black guys.”

Wait? What? I mean, sure I have dated mostly Black men in the last, well, 10 years. But this statement, what exactly are you implying?

The gist: “You’re single and haven’t found the one yet, settled down, �?cause you’re into Black men.”

I’ve heard it all.

Black men don’t like women who are overly sexual.
Black men don’t want to commit.
Black men don’t have good jobs.
Black men will date White women but not bring them home to mom.
Black men don’t like women who are more successful.
Etc., etc., etc.

I have written for the last 5 years about dating, sex, relationships (right here of course and before that at the now defunct singledoutinchicago.com). In that time, I have never overtly written about interracial relationships or the fact that most of the stars of my dating stories were Black men. But I’m doing it now, dammit.

The primary reason I’ve been in the closet about interracial dating is because I write about the challenges, the struggle, and usually not so happy endings of dating. And I never wanted my readership to declare these stories only happened because the dudes that usually ask for my number tend to be African American. And while my friends know and have met many of the men I’ve dated, and I’ve certainly implied in many of my stories, I have always strayed away from the topic of interracial dating, because that was never the point. Because we all know when two people of the same race get together there are never issues or problems (eye roll).

I didn’t make a conscious decision, and still don’t, to have a racial preference in dating. All I know is that when I started dating post college, that’s simply who talked, interacted, and did things like say hello and ask for my number. I look at the simple statistics of my OkCupid messages received from men, in which nowhere in my profile is there mention of any sort of history or who I want to be with based on skin color, and Black men are 90% of who sent me messages. (OkCupid shows some data on this.) That’s just simply who has shown interest and I’ve always been cool with that.

Do I think I subconsciously have made this decision? Sure. At a certain point we all get comfortable (probably too comfortable) with a type. Mine happens to be tall, hipstery dudes donning plaid shirts, tortoise shell glasses, and Black. When I walk into a crowded bar or scan profiles of matches, this is who I notice first.

And sure I can tell you I’ve dated all races of men, blah, blah, blah which I certainly have, but I don’t want to pretend that I don’t have a type and tell people “I don’t see color,” because I do. I just saw Taye Diggs on Seth Meyers and contemplated him naked. Idris Elba is the star of my wet dreams and I picture my future biracial children quite often.

So I may be “way into Black guys” as my half-Black ex said to me, but dude, Black men are way into me. Just like people tell me all the statements about why I am approaching 32 and single because I date Black men, they all tell me opinions on why they’re all about me. I am curvy: “You have an ass.” I have a pixie haircut: “Black men like short hair.” I am tall: “Black men like tall women.” Most of the reasons are physical, none ever having to do with the fact that I am bright, intelligent, grounded, successful, polite, caring, and sincere.

And many people imply I’m “way into a Black guys” thanks to a fetishization and over sexualized physical stereotype (in case you’re considering what I mean here— that Black dudes are well endowed). Damn people, if that’s all I was looking for, I’d just go to a sex toy shop. That’s what dildos are for.

Recently there was a Gawker piece about the realities of interracial dating written by a Black dude. Just like any personal opinion piece, there were a variety of reactions to it. One I read stating “Nobody cares that you date White girls.”

But we do. Until 1967, if I fell in love with a Black man in many states we wouldn’t have been able to get married. The story and legacy of Emmett Till is much too fresh and recent to just pretend we’re living in a post racial place where interracial relationships, the biracial children they at many times produce, and the racism, both subtle and inherent, don’t exist. I mean damn, just last year there were so many racist comments on YouTube about that Cheerios commercial that the comments had to be turned off.

It’s okay to talk about culture and our identities and how it affects all aspects of our lives- dating, sex, relationships, and otherwise- as long as we can understand the micro and macro effects and we don’t make sweeping generalizations about a community or race or people.

So yes, my boyfriend is Black. Yes, I am in an interracial relationship. Yes, I’m going to talk about it.

-Melinda

DISAGREED: Anti-Tinder Tries to Solve Online Dating’s Creepiness Problem

You may have seen this article today in the Huffington Post Tech about the new dating app, Hinge. Well, new to Chicago, and that means new to me. Hinge sends you 6 matches a day, based on your larger social media network. So you’re connected to friends of friends who have also signed up for the app.

I’ve been a Hinge user for a few months. I don’t check it all the time, I only have the app on my iPad, and last night I signed on in to look at my daily matches.

So turns out Hinge is actually the creepiest goddamned dating app I’ve ever used.

Because…

It matched me with a kid I used to babysit in 1996.

DISAGREED: Anti-Tinder Tries to Solve Online Dating’s Creepiness Problem

A few notes on that point.

A) I’m not from Chicago. I grew up 3 hours south in a small town. There are maybe 30 people in the city from my hometown. This kid and I grew up a block away from each other. My mother has known his mother since like 1989 when she was pregnant with this kid.

B) My first… serious boyfriend… (first. serious. boyfriend. Get it?) is his cousin. They share the same last name.

So Hinge brings to me the people I know, attempting to be anti-creepy, but actually provides maybe the creepiest match I’ve ever gotten.

AND thus provides the story of my dating life.

[drops mic]

Melinda

The Less Than 36 Hour Relationship

This is how a get together, relationship, and breakup occurred within less than 36 hours.

Sunday, 4:09 PM

Browse through Tinder. Swipe right on a 24 year old, 7 years your junior, because against my better judgement, well, he’s cute. Tada! You match.

4:15 PM

Cute kid sends a message. I insist he’s too young, he disagrees.

4:15 – 8:30 PM

Send witty Tinder messages. Exchange numbers. Send witty text messages.

8:31 PM

“Hey it’s D—. It too late to meet up tonight?” Says he’ll be there to pick me up in 30 minutes. Arrives early, am half naked. Throw on some random outfit and run outside to his car in the rain. Head to neighborhood hotspot.

10:00 PM

2 drinks in. Cuter than ever. Discuss music, politics, school, career. Bat eyes in the booth.

12:05 AM

Drives me home. Kisses me in the car. Invites himself in.

1:21 AM

Departs back to the North side.

Monday, 9:29 AM

Receive text message referring to last night’s conversation.

9:52 AM

Add him on gchat.

10:15 AM

Gchat friend about the kid. Explain how he has his shit together more than last ex, though is only 24 years old. Friend reminds me having his shit together more than your last ex isn’t a difficult feat. Ah yes.

10:15 AM – 5:05 PM

Spend day communicating, exchanging music recommendations, sending witty gchats. Looking at his public photos on Facebook, Googling his name.

7:22 PM

Text messages:

D: I know you’re interested in me.

Me: You do huh?

8:47 – 9:41 PM

Launch texting debate/argument about empathy, social justice, and social issues. Get turned off by young Republican propaganda. Stop texting.

11:02 PM

Text message inviting me over. Consider it, but remember parking in his yuppy neighborhood is impossible.

11:07 PM

Reconsider and inquire about his stock in prophylactics.

11:07-11:31 PM

Have argument about using prophylactics. Get accused of having an STI for insisting on using prophylactics.

11:31 PM

Receive the following text message referring to opinion on safe sex:

“That’s the gayest shit I’ve ever heard in my life.”

11:32 PM

Explain that it’s actually the straightest conversation as there was discussion of heterosexual sex.

12:03 AM

Text: “That frat boy persona you got going on is not cute.” Block from Tinder and Google Voice. Go to sleep.

Note to self: Do not date 24 year olds and/or Republicans. 

-Melinda

P.S. We had the whole “where is this going” chat at about hour 20.

Jump, What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

I read this piece a few weeks back at the fantastic show Serving the Sentence at Tow Bar in Roger’s Park. Check it out every second Sunday at 7 pm.

Jump, what’s the worst thing that can happen? After six years of being single, this is what I tell myself after confessing to an old coworker my copious crushing for him.

Even his name is perfect. Jack Summers**. He sounds like a made up character on Dawson’s Creek. And he has this smile. I can’t even pretend it doesn’t make me want to fall out of my shit. He owns his own condo. Getting his MBA. Has a good job. Works a 2nd one at Jcrew for the discount. He looks like he belongs in that damned catalogue with the skinny models and the Labrador retrievers, tall, dark, handsome and stylish in that way that looks like he isn’t trying too hard.

Damn. I haven’t seen or talked to him in months. It’s a week after my break up with the latest, right before the new year. I am unemployed, depressed, and have spent the last few days on an ambien high sleeping in my flannel scottie dog sheets, eating leftover Christmas fudge, and not showering. I’ve spent my time watching re-runs of The Wire, again, and eating random combinations of whatever I have in my sparse fridge or ordering large pizzas which I consume within a day. Shockingly, since unemployment and this break up, I’ve gained 15 lbs.

And bam! An email from Jack. Out of the goddamned blue. He gives me his number. Tells me to get back to him. SAY WHAT?! I lose my cool and text him back answering his question immediately.

We catch up a bit, and what the hell right?, I jump and confess my long time crush on him. Has god sent me him right now (nevermind I don’t usually believe in god)? Just a week after I dumped the last loser? The timing is honestly heavenly. We send each other photos, since I went redhead now, and because I just wanted to see his face. OMG. I forgot how cute he is. AND HE JUST SENT ME HIS PICTURE.

A few days later I’m still mourning and dealing with the loss of the last ex, and have let Jack’s face disappear from my daydreams. I’m on the delayed train back to Chicago about 5 inches into a 10 inch snowstorm, when my text message sound goes off. “What r u up to?”

OMG my heart flutters like I’m 13 and the boy at school is sort of paying attention to me. Dude is seriously hotter than Idris Elba.

I try to make conversation. I’m clearly the wittier of the two of us, which will work great as I continue to pursue my writing career and he does whatever dudes with MBAs do.

OMG my double chin! OMG my lack of employment! I totally had both of these issues under control when I last saw him. I was at the pinnacle of having my shit together, well, not really, but at the surface I was. Plus we were working at Jcrew together where the dress code made me wear so many accessories and cute shoes and all that shit so he probably gets an idea I like actually care about my appearance, when for the last 3 months I have solely worn leggings as pants.

“If it wasn’t horrible weather, I’d tell you to come into the city,” I say, all slyly.

“Ditto,” he answers. His text messages aren’t long. But all that meaning simply the word, “ditto”, I think to myself.

“Snow check?” I ask. Man I AM SO witty.

“Ha,” he replies. OMG He thinks I am FUNNY. I AM SO FUNNY, GUYS.

“Fo sho,” he says.

Ok, Jack Summers, can you tell me when that ‘fo sho’ is gonna be? Because I’m going to need to dye my roots and buy some fresh Spanx for that day.

OMG our biracial children are so going to be fucking Jcrew models. I can feel it. I’m imaging our photo shoots with Jenna Lyons and our beautiful offspring, and he asks for my email address.

OMG WHAT WILL HE SEND ME!? Oh my god. He is so thoughtful. Sent me an article on job interviewing, as he knows I have one this week. I AM IN LOVE.

Mr. Summers, YOU WILL BE MY FUTURE HUSBAND. Let’s do this.

If you are my husband, I will stop eating Express Grill cheeseburgers at 3 am. I’ll shave my legs regularly. I’ll work out. I’ll finally read War and Peace. I’ll wash all the dishes in my sink. I’ll start sleeping 8 hours a night.

Who am I kidding? I promise, I’ll try.

A few weeks later we go on our first date. He lives in the suburbs, which you know he’s cute if I’m willing to date a dude in the ‘burbs. We meet halfway at a Glenview bar to have a few drinks. I beat him there and sit at the bar, attempting to play it cool. He walks in a few minutes later, wearing a camel overcoat and plaid scarf over a Ludlow suit and Ray Bans black rimmed glasses. We hug hello. I about die.

So here I am jumping. What is the worst that can happen?

Hmm, let me see. Humiliation, heartbreak, crying rivers after he breaks my heart.

Here’s a few examples of the worst things that happened:

“I’m a Christian,” he says, emphasized at least 3 times.

“I am divorced. Just a year ago.”

“We didn’t have sex until we got married.”

“I don’t have any interest in moving back to the city.”

The man I’m infatuated with is a celibate, suburban Christian divorcee.

This may be the worst that can happen.

But what is the best?

That question and possibility is what keeps me going. Maybe this man will or won’t be the love of my life, maybe I’ll convince him to move to the city, maybe I can put off sex for a few months.

I have to keep jumping, right? Because whatever it is that’s the best possibility will always trump what is the worst.

-Melinda

**not his name

Where You Been, Girl?

Hey Melinda, where you been?

Good question. I know you’ve all missed me.

Well the short answer is I started a new job, work a 2nd and third job, been hella sick for like a month, and I’m in love.

Yep, you read correctly. I’m in love. In a relationship, like Facebook official and all that shit. Yep, it’s a true story. So writing about my dating life hasn’t been all that exciting.

But damn it’s fucking hard. We got back together. So I’m learning what’s it’s like to not be solo anymore, again.

Melinda, will you still write for this blog since you got that boyfriend?

Probably. I’ve never written this blog solely for other people. If other people read it, that’s pretty great. I still got things to say. Also, I’m going to be writing for the blog on The Tequila Tales, which is an amazing live show about love and lust, and now a blog too. I’m going to cover my transition to being in a relationship and how that all works. Because, like I said, it’s fucking hard. So Solo in the 2nd City still will be here.

And because this is my blog, I’m giving myself a shameless plug—

I’m coming back from my storytelling hibernation and reading a story tonight at Comedy Sandwich (I’m the sandwich, though my story is funny, I promise) and on Tuesday at The Seven Deadly Sins at Cafe Mustache. Come out!

<3

Melinda