Dating in a post dating world

I loved that we could relate on work matters, but I knew all too well about the industry's thinly-veiled secret culture of misogyny. That made me feel a type of comfort I'd never felt before; I felt safe confiding in him about my own assault when I was 19.

I was quite wary that he, too, would be a 'shitty media man.'My litmus test was simple: casually mention scandals in the media and gauge his reaction. While it should've been the bare minimum for him to react how he did, it's become so rare to find a man willing to listen to my story and not ask invasive questions I wasn't ready to answer or offer refutations about what they would've done in that moment.

I stopped short of delving into my own experiences—I wanted him to understand this on an intellectual level, not just out of care for me. I tried not to give him too much credit for simply listening (though in the end it mattered). I'm not so quiet now.""As the sexual harassment scandals expose society’s blind spots, in turn, my man’s blind spots are coming to light. Incrementally, we’re finding deeper respect, mutual vulnerability, and understanding. I wanted the guys I dated to like me—not to see me as a girl carrying around baggage. But, when the Harvey Weinstein news (and the whole slew of men that accusations that followed other men followed suit), things changed for me.

Honestly, if he had responded differently, it would have been hard to continue to date him. It’s been sobering, plus an opportunity for deeper communication. As I speak up about these issues for the first time, my boyfriend, in turn, is seeing things in a new light. I felt really empowered by women approaching the media with their own vulnerable stories, and I felt even more empowered by the women in my life sharing their own stories, particularly with the #Me Too hashtag on social media.

As a Black woman who is open to dating any race or religion, I felt incredibly vulnerable. In response to this dude, I just went silent, too angry to even engage.

I would find myself sitting nearish men in a indistinguishable stream of dimly lit bars. I’m enraged when a new date (so, a stranger) finds unnecessary reasons to touch me. I’ve blocked more guys from more means of communication than I can count over the last 12 months.

While I never saw the actual list myself, as a woman in the media, I knew of men at all levels who were harassers/assaulters/rapists.

Since that moment, our relationship has progressed and I can now say I’m falling in love with this date.

They bonded and obsessed over a fictional story about bad sex (and the reactions to it), and they wrote countless think pieces about one woman’s questionably consensual but deeply upsetting experience going on a date with Aziz Ansari.

These stories have touched the lives of all women, including those far outside media, entertainments and politics, because they're so familiar, because we've been there too. And for women who are currently dating, or trying to date, the endless tales can be a reminder of the dangers that come with opening yourself up to a stranger—and the stark differences between how men and women approach consent, sex and assault. It’s not because I want to leave a cell-tower scatterplot of my Friday night plans, but I fear what might happen if I don’t. When you can’t walk with a group, carry one in your purse.

After I agree to meet up with a guy who I’ve connected with on an app or chatted up while out with friends, I find myself starting a specific, subliminal routine. We know that it doesn’t matter whether we’re in a boardroom or a bar: power is never in our hands equally. I’m hopeful that the stories that women have revealed , and the consequences of those revelations, will help us see real change.

I suggest the date spot, somewhere public and familiar and often in my neighborhood. I give my date’s name a quick Google to make sure nothing weird pops up in the first page or two of hits. But until then, I’ll keep my girlfriends with me in my group chat.""I found myself unexpectedly single at the beginning of 2017.

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If he had responded in condescension or acted as if it didn't matter, that would have been an issue for me. It’s taken intense effort to stay with our conversations rather than bolt in fear, frustration, and sadness over feeling misunderstood. When my boyfriend and I began dating over a year ago, and immediately had the most open, intuitive, authentic communication I’ve ever had with a man, we were thrilled. Something in me clicked one night, and I typed up my own personal story for my blog in hopes that it would help me process and move forward… Well, the guy I was just starting to date happened upon the blog (girls aren’t the only ones to cyberstalk pre-date, I suppose)—and he asked me about it.

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One thought on “dating in a post dating world”

  1. I've worked as a civilian for the army, have friends who have served and have dated someone from almost every branch. But still I'm no expert and only have my experiences.