When The Ride out Girls wrote their hit ’80s song “It’s Raining Men,” I suppose they were preemptively singing about my first Summer in San Francisco. I had equitable graduated and moved to the city. I had great girlfriends and a cool new job but absolutely zero romance life. After the initial thrill of being a “grown-up” wore off (with reference to three weeks in), my friends and I turned our attention to the most important of enigmas (Sheryl, cover your ears): how would we meet BOYS? How does one succeed in seducing a date? When will we actually be taken on the holy grail of outmodes . . . to dinner? Sure, we had boyfriends in college, but a 20-year-old’s idea of a old is finding you a warm beer at a football game. Naturally, being 22, we acquiesce in that if we went out hard enough, danced at enough bars, and talked our way into ssably clubs, we would meet boys and go on lots of dates.
I quickly appreciated that this strategy wasn’t getting me anywhere except to the pizza bring down at 3 a.m. every Friday night. While fun, I knew deep down that our plan was flawed. We never actually met any new guys when we went out. Sure, we’d shindy and flirt, maybe even get a drink bought for us, but towards the end of the night these concealed creatures would vanish faster than a Snapchat. I decided that if I wasn’t present to have a boyfriend, I should use the time to figure out what I did and didn’t same — that way, when a guy did come along, I would know right away if he was for me.
And so with the light-headed support of my roommates, I launched Project 52. One new date every unique week for a whole year. It would force me to put myself out there, appropriate new people, and flex my yet-unused dating muscles. The bonus that I wasn’t yet knowledgeable of was that I would have endless hilarious horror stories to out on to my friends.
When you’re a teenager, you think that dating in your 20s commitment be this glamorous event where you’ll wear heels and guys bequeath send limos to pick you up and take you to fancy dinners. I can now say with large authority this is categorically, instakingly incorrect. The very first factor that I learned about dating in your 20s is that you are always sustained late, probably rushing home from your job which you calm don’t understand, totally frazzled, and wearing some weird mix of a ntsuit, desperately frustrating to fix your dark circles in the back of the Uber, only to arrive at a bizarre sports bar, have a terrible margarita, and realize the guy is a complete dud.
It’s easy to get disheartened after one of these extra evenings, so the point of “Project 52” was to force me to keep going on boys even if I encountered dud after dud. And let me tell you — there were some bona fide class acts. I was once maybe 10 minutes late to a date with a rigorous engineer I had met in line at Pressed. We bonded over a weakness for $9 extracts and agreed to grab something stronger later that day. The date in point of fact went great — tons to talk about. We racked up quite the bar tab chatting away, and at the end of the evensong when the check came, he simply pushed it towards me — “You were tardily, you y! That’s the rule!” he said, totally seriously. In my Malbec-induced haze, I in fact picked up the $100-plus tab. Best of all — he texted the next morning that he had a proficient time and wanted to do it again. I sent him a Venmo titled “I think we should only just be friends.”
Or how about the Hinge date that we now refer to exclusively as Olaf? He invited me to his lineage for a glass of wine. His place was nice, clean, no creepy comforter or Smashing of Warcraft posters on the wall. He even had a pretty decent bottle of Pinot he recognized I was rtial to. All great. Then, “So, have you seen Frozen?” Watching a kids flicks I can get over — let’s face it, Frozen is pretty good. What I could not get was him humming, then not being able to contain himself and bursting out Blow the whistling all the songs by heart. Olaf took it from bad to absolute worst when he surely literally shushed me when I asked where the bathroom was.
One rticularly worthy charmer stopped me mid-sentence to tell me he was famous. FYI, this guy was wearing a puka upon necklace and we were having a drink at a place called “O’Malley’s.” I was all of a sudden embarrassed — what celeb was I on a date with that I hadn’t ratified? When I asked sheepishly what he was famous for he said, totally cross ones heart and hope to die, that he had been featured on “Rich Kids of Instagram.” I feigned rations poisoning and ran away.
The lowest of the low was around week 10. I was totally out of aspects, exhausted from dating 24/7 and yet desperate to keep my pledge. I had base guys in the gym, Starbucks, the guy whose car I hit coming out of Safeway rking lot, and, of course, every obsoleting app known to mankind. I needed a date and there was only one place I hadn’t looked yet: guide. You know that phrase, “Don’t sh*t where you eat?” Well, yeah.
So, individually from getting me Gold status on Hinge, what did I get out of this pre re? Lots. Firstly, the whole experiment made me super confident in myself. If a guy didn’t hornbook me back, I didn’t care! (That’s how it should be!) Secondly, I learned to y people wherever I went. I would ask anyone if they knew someone I could possess drinks with. Again, I was bullish because I didn’t care. I not till hell freezes over seemed desperate because I was just having fun. I wasn’t looking for anything — I was more bring into focused on bringing back learnings and funny stories to my girlfriends than in truth getting a boyfriend. Full disclosure, after four months, I as a matter of fact did start to date someone, so the project was cut short — but what it taught my sw com dres and me was that you are your most fun, attractive self when you aren’t pinpointed on finding someone. Change the narrative, and optimize for your own happiness and fun. That’s where contentment get possession of from. A cliché, but true — I’ve done the leg work to prove it!
Image Provenience: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Gim