Welcome Back to…
The Dating Project, the newest segment here at The Inside Voice! We’re talking to sexy, successful and smarty-pants women to find out what they really think and feel about dating. Because being single doesn’t mean you’re ALONE.
Let’s meet Rita!***
1. Age and Occupation? 23. Yoga Studio Manager, Continuous Student.
2. Are you currently in a relationship? Yes.
Ooooh, tell me more!
We started dating last June, and it was casual until September. Then I ended it because it got too serious. He continued to pursue me and I gave in. I wasn’t ready for a relationship until I was, I guess. We got back together in early November. It’s been good ever since.
Interesting! We’ll go deeper into your current relationship in a little bit. But for now…
3. Place in Order of Importance: Work, Friends, Love, Other.
Other, Friends, Love, Work.
What’s “Other” for you? Everyday happiness. Yoga. Good food. Self-Work–that’s definitely my number 1.
4. Can you spot any patterns in past relationships?
My friends call me a “Manizer.” I don’t make the men a priority. I tend to not take the dating relationship seriously. And I’m finding that that behavior can hurt people. I need to be up front about my expectations, right from the start. I usually don’t want to be in a serious relationship, and men often expect that I do.
Also, I have communication issues. I’m such a girl’s girl, I’m used to just talking and relating to women. Men have the capacity to listen and be there for you, but it’s not automatic for them. Men often interject, try to help, or solve a problem. They don’t know when I just want to vent. And I never think to ask for that, specifically.
5. Rate yourself, on a scale 1-10:
Self Confidence-It depends on the arena. Person to person, I’m a 9. In front of the camera, I’m a 1. It’s easy for me to just talk to people, one on one. But, my boyfriend is a photographer. And I realize how NOT confident I am when I get my picture taken. I used to be a model when I came to New York. I developed some unhealthy habits and ideas. I went through this period of not letting myself enjoy food. Yoga totally changed things for me, and I’m in a good place now with my body. I can enjoy the experience of being me, without all the restrictions. But still, that residual stuff with the camera is there. The camera makes me feel like I’m under examination.
Attractiveness-8. I’m not necessarily at my peak. I’m waiting for my 30’s.
6. What barriers keep you from meeting a guy you like?
If their lifestyle doesn’t compliment mine, I don’t give them a chance.
7. What does your dating life look like now?
Now I’m in a relationship. I have to stop questioning it, and accept that I’m here in this relationship. We do lots of activities. We have movie night, cooking night, going-out-with-friends night. We both love theater, plays and dance. And he’ll just go out and get a couple of tickets to music concerts. It’s nice. I’d been developing resistance to New York City lately, and this relationship makes me enjoy New York much more.
8. What attributes are most attractive to you in a partner?
Sense of humor. Open mind. Genuinely nice–It’s a deal breaker if a guy is rude to waiters, or anyone else for that matter. Creative. Cute.
9. a) What does your perfect love life look like?
Pretty domestic. I’m such a homebody. We have an intertwined spiritual practice. We may not go to all the same yoga classes, but it’s part of our daily lives. We have quiet meditative time around the house. We’ll both create. Maybe he’ll paint, and I’ll sit and sew something, and we’ll come over and look at each other’s work every now and then.
b) In a word (or words), what does that scenario feel like?
Like one of those internal smiles that can’t go away. It feels like something I’d never want to leave.
10. Last question, do you believe in “The One”?
No. But I believe you can create The One. You choose The One. If you make him your One, he’s The One. But if it doesn’t work out with that One, you can make another One.
Inside Voice Wrap Up: Rita knows herself well. (She knows herself far better than I knew myself at 23. Just sayin’.) Rita is interested in self exploration. She’s a perfect example what it looks like to use dating as a medium for self growth. She’s finding her place in the world. Without defining herself by her career–because really, at this point she hasn’t truly committed to one–Rita is free to define herself any way she chooses. She is soulful, artistic, and enjoys flirting with men in every which way. She also keeps things light. She has a knee-jerk flight response when relationships get too serious. With her current boyfriend, Rita can enjoy the freedom of being single, yet enjoy the companionship of a partner when she wants it. This is perfect for Rita. Because Rita is, at heart, a single woman. She’s figuring out to make herself as happy as possible. And when she does, a partner will only add to that joy. But until then, Rita is rocking out on her dating path of self-love and self discovery.
***Some names have been changed, some haven’t. Each woman has the option to use her own name or choose her fantasy pseudonym. I’m not telling which ones are which. Hear these women’s voices. Listen to their stories. They’re just like you!