Lessons Learned.

6 comments
Peplum Top, Necklace: Thrifted.
Tuxedo Pants: H&M.
Spiked Heels: TJ Maxx.
Bow Belt: Aeropostale.

Hello

In Ohio I've never really been hit on by men. It's was a foreign concept for men to be interested in me because I feel I've just always been unattractive enough and dress too strangely to pique their interest. When I moved to New York City, it was shocking to me to be hit on by men because it's something that's never happened. Perhaps it's because I come across sheer thousands of more people in one day than I do in a week in Ohio. Or, perhaps I just had a glow to me because I was so happy in New York. I really don't know (it still perplexes me to this day why men were suddenly so interested in me). But with men's sudden interest in me, I dipped my toes into the world of dating this summer.

Between one five year relationship, taking a good year and a half to get over that, and then dating another for a year... I haven't had much time for casually going on dates. It's a concept so foreign to me and if I think about it, actually kind of funny that at 22 years old I'd really never played the dating game. Both my boyfriends had been from my home town and I knew them before we dated. There really wasn't much of a 'courting' process; we just liked each other and started dating. That was it! So it was perplexing and like a whole new world to go out on these dates with these random guys I met throughout the city this summer.

Some I met on tinder; which my fellow interns at Cosmo dared me to get because they thought it would be a hilarious experience for a girl like me. (turns out they were right). Others I met just out and about where they asked for my number. I learned so much from each guy I went on a date (or two, or three) with. Some were jerks; others were honestly the nicest guys I've ever met. Casually dating this summer was a huge stepping stone for me in the big scheme of helping me further develop who I am as a person. Because it's one thing to be yourself by yourself. Another to be yourself with a solid boyfriend. And a whole other level to be yourself with a strange man whom you're trying to impress. 

Some dates I can say I was completely myself, and would let my guard down so the guy could see the real me. Other dates I frustrated myself because I allowed myself to be controlled by the opinions of people who don't matter. I let my insecurities take over. Not necessarily physical insecurities, but personality ones. I've never been confident in my personality because it's not one people naturally gravitate to. It's definitely not a "people person" personality. I don't know how to be funny and I'm incredibly awkward unless I'm engaging in deep, meaningful conversation. When I'm there, I feel comfortable. But if I'm trying to stay afloat in surface level small talk, I find myself quickly drowning in a sea of "they must think I'm boring, odd, unintelligent, and very dull" panic.

 I learned quickly after those dates that if I felt like I couldn't be myself with the guy, then he wasn't worth my time. It was an important lesson I took away to not dim my shine down for any man; no matter how insecure I feel. I now know that the right man will see my light and admire me even more for it

I have a lot of thoughts on my dating experiences this summer. Lots of revelations realized and pieces of advice taken from lessons (sometimes) learned. I feel kinda like Taylor Swift right now if I'm being honest, but I really can't wait to continue sharing the pieces and parts of these moments I had with you all. Dumb as it sounds, dating shaped me so much more as a person because there is no harsher reality of learning about yourself than through boldly making mistakes. Living boldly. Words I never thought would apply to my life. I'm a person who loves routine and safety. By allowing myself to live boldly this summer though, I opened myself to parts I didn't know existed. It felt so incredible to finally reach outside that comfort zone I've trapped myself in.

With much love, Lauren.
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6 lovely little notes:

emmacharlottesometimes said...

I can relate to this post. People are always shocked that I don't get hit on much, even before I was ill I would be out and about london all the time. My friend says I'll have a shock if I ever go to Italy with her! I think British men are very reserved at times.
I find the whole dating thing really alien and it feels so unnatural to me. I'm like you, I knew my ex before we were dating, in fact for years! So it felt natural.
I really do think that we all need to find out who we are before taking on a full on relationship. I'm glad your summer of dating was a positive and freeing thing for you.
Also you look so graceful in these photos.

Emma Xx

www.emmaslookingglass.com

Sarah said...

I know exactly how you feel Lauren! I'm a bit younger- I am about to start college, and so I went to orientation and activities and such. When I was there, there were hundreds of guys that I had never met before so I was a bit overwhelmed and intimidated, and I felt different when I tried to talk to them and make a good impression, hoping I'd spark conversation with someone. I failed miserably. And now, I laugh as I tell my friends this story, but I do know now how to better act- which in my case is not to act. Trying to be myself is a struggle, but it is a goal that I have set myself as I embark on college away from home.

I loved reading this post! xoxo

www.sarahthesecond.blogspot.com

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine Tj said...

Heyyyy,

Totally loved this post! Thank you so much for sharing! I love how you write- the honesty and just the way you structure your sentences has always captured my attention as a reader. I totally found this useful, and actually had a similar experience when I went to Ecuador, three times. To this day I have no idea why that is the only place I am actually hit on... perhaps it's the culture... who knows?! haha. And also congrats on your internship this past summer in NYC- I was totally rooting for ya!

Blessings,
Christine
www.beyoutifulhope.blogspot.com

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