Dawn DATES – The Journey Begins.
by Dawn Garcia
Part 1. I Give Up My Right To Choose.
Today begins a very interesting journey. I’m relinquishing my rights to choose my own dates and handing the baton over to my friends. First you better know who I am. My name is Dawn Garcia. I’m the Editor and Founder of this Magazine. I hosted a Radio Show and am hosting a new WebSeries. My entire profession revolves around telling other people’s stories, making sure the world knows about the amazing talent out there, and I even write the occasional screenplay. I work a LOT. And the most important thing … I’m a single mom. Emphasis on single.
This is me.
But this is probably more me.
And this, well, this is the REAL me. (On the Left)
That’s me and my best friend. She’ll hate me for posting this but it’s legit. We’re goofballs.
So this is how I gave up my right to choose.
How it began: On FACEBOOK.
August 18th, 2013 – Out of sheer frustration of the recent dates I’d been on (mind you there haven’t been many) and being privy to hearing about the horror stories from friends – both guys and gals alike – I posted my frustration on Facebook as one these days usually does. Thus began the dating rant. To men everywhere.
MODERN DATING RANT: Not sure when everything became so difficult; when being a “modern, independent” woman translated into “do it yourself” in EVERY way; when dating put more financial stress on women (especially single mother’s); why sex is the 1st thing expected and kindness, chivalry, and respect got moved way down on the list; why “courting” is something that actually requires a definition and detailed explanation; I wonder how girls with no values end up getting gifts, are treated like queens and actually given “allowances” – and – how the men that reward that complain about how today’s women lack class; I wonder when any of the real characteristics of the best parts of times before will find their way back. I’m “old school” no matter how modern and independent I am professionally. I’m still a woman. Take note gents.
And then it hit me: I suck at dating and picking men myself. Perhaps there was a reason I had had no luck up to this point. Sure, it’s a process and sometimes it just isn’t going to work. I’ve loved a few men in my life, I’ve met some truly extraordinary ones, even married one. And turns out we were better friends than life partners. And I became a statistic. Another marriage ended. I hated that. Still do. Not because it wasn’t the right thing because honestly, he and I were and are very different people and we gave each other the most perfect gift two people could – a child. Our divorce was a pleasant one which is to say it wasn’t some horrible ugly battle where we hated each other and used our daughter as a pawn. We both knew it was the best thing and while it inevitably leaves an emotional scar and is a loss, it really was the right decision. And 4 years later, 2 relationships, and a handful of dates – I’m learning that maybe I’ve been attracted to the wrong things. So, I had to take a look at myself. What qualities was I actually looking for and was I maybe choosing ones that, while honorable, weren’t necessarily the right “type” of qualities that complimented my own? That’s not an easy question to ask yourself because well, you already know the answer. YES. Yes I had been choosing impulsively and going against my own gut. It just took recently dating someone I never expected to like – and ended up really liking – only to see it fizzle in a week’s time to really wake me up. So I put myself on a leash. No more choosing. I’m done. Instead, the continual conversations of friends saying, “there’s this great guy I really want you to meet” and me saying, “um, no”, I’m now saying “OK”. I give.
And thus moves us on to THE DECLARATION. Again, on FACEBOOK.
MY DECLARATION: Friends Choose For Me.
August 20th, 2013 – The public forum. Utter accountability.
I’ve decided to give in. Since I am always busy and clearly my choices haven’t worked out so well, I’ve realized maybe I shouldn’t be in charge of my own dating life (a rather bane one) SO at the insistence of friends, I’m allowing friends to set me up over the next few months. In 3 1/2 months we will see who they deem fit. I don’t expect miracles and quite honestly, if nothing else it will be lovely getting to know people and make for good writing material. So – to the guys and girls that have been saying, “there’s this guy you HAVE to meet”- permission granted. Not sure what I’m getting myself into … Ugh! Good thing I only have a couple of free nights a month to pace myself. Oh and “friends”? I’ll still love you … Unless they’re nut jobs. Then we are reevaluating our friendship!
And then I drove my daughter to camp, listened to KIIS FM and steadily found myself agreeing with just about everything Ryan Seacrest was saying about dating in LA. Most people blame the city. Kind of an easy scapegoat but not a valid one. It’s not Los Angeles that’s the problem. It’s the entire attitude of dating in general EVERYWHERE. And so I called into KIISFM to talk to Ryan Seacrest after his talking about dating in LA and how it seems everyone is always searching for “The Grass is Always Greener” scenario. Nelson answers the phone at the station. “KIIS FM, what are you calling about?” And I tell him.
“I’m no longer trusting myself to choose my own dates. I’m making my friends refer me.” I explain that in my industry, while I am asked out a lot, I made a promise not to date anyone I work with or write about. (Sadly, I’ve learned from experience that when it doesn’t work out and I still have to write about them, it’s painful. Actually painful.). I explain that I’m clearly not choosing the right men and might be falling into some secret pattern I’m unaware of. I say that while the men I’ve dated are great guys, it hasn’t been the way I had hoped. (And stating the obvious, my expectations haven’t been too high this time around. I actually decided on just taking it slow, wanting to be taken on a few dinner dates, get to know each other, etc. Somehow it fizzles and I have to take a look at myself.) Look, I’m flawed and imperfect and I’m sure I make countless dating mistakes but I’m open and willing to keep working on myself. That’s all I can do. Ok, I digressed. And the conversation with Nelson ensues. He said they (KIIS FM) would be doing another national show on the topic and would I be interested in talking to Ryan. Obviously I said yes.
And then I write another post. Yes, I think we’ve established it was on Crackbook – I mean FACEBOOK.
The CALL. – Ryan thinks I’m on the right track. We’ll find out tomorrow!
August 21st – BIG NEWS!!! You can listen to me talking to Ryan Seacrest and Ciciny on On Air with Ryan Seacrest 102.7 KIIS FM on the National Show tomorrow!! I’ll have the specific times soon but listen to the whole show anyway! Talking about my new adventure of ONLY going on dates that are based on the friend “Referral System”. Meaning if my friends want me to go out with someone – a guy I just “HAVE” to meet – I’ll go. I’m dedicated to doing this over the next 3 months on through New Year’s Eve. We shall see what happens! Maybe I’ll end up with a spectacular NYE date or maybe I’ll just have a lot of good writing material and a bunch of new friends. As for me going out with anyone that asks me out directly and it isn’t through a friend? Not happening until 2014. The purpose: : I don’t know that it’s a quest for LOVE so much as a journey to find out if perhaps the choices I’ve made on my own were following a pattern. Trusting those that know me best is a wonderful start and regardless, getting to know more people out there is a truly great thing.
Immediately the “LIKES” trickle in with a few spattered, “Love will find you, don’t look for it” statements and a few not-so-friendly offline hater messages. Here’s the thing. I can’t do Match.com or OnlineLookingForLoveInAllTheWrongAvatars.com. (No, that’s not a real site but I’m leaning towards the notion that it should be!) I just realize I have to let go. I have to go out, see what other people see as a match for me because honestly, how others see me will be a very interesting discovery.
I’m going to be journaling this. You can count this as part of the book. I don’t plan on mentioning anyone’s names I’m on a date with and have no intention of exploiting anyone. If it’s not a good date, it’s not a good match and that’s it. Chances are I will meet some good guys and even if we aren’t a fit, hopefully I will make another friend. Besides, I throw great events and I’ll invite them to come. If it’s not me, I’ll play the role I just asked my friends to play for me and see if I can’t return the favor and set those guys up that didn’t work out with me. I’ll vow to help them find the better match. That’s another thing, I’m a good wingwoman. Not sure what that says about me. Well, other than the fact that I can’t do the same thing for myself.
So far I’ve had 3 friends make suggestions. In accordance with my own public statement, I will agree to said suggestions. That sums up my new reluctant adventure – I’m going with bright eyes, an open mind, and an empty stomach. Dating is tough. Being a single parent and dating, while becoming increasingly more normal, is even harder. Whatever and whomever I choose in my life is crucial. Going through the process to be the best example I can be to my daughter is really at the top of my list. There you have it: Part 1. Giving Up My Right to Choose.
Here’s a look at what will come of this:
The BOOK: I should mention the book is not about a specific PERSON. The book will be about the process of dating, the things we learn about ourselves, about others, and see what happens as a result.
The QUEST: I don’t know that it’s a quest for LOVE so much as a journey to find out if perhaps the choices I made on my own were following a pattern. Trusting those that know me best is a wonderful start and regardless, getting to know more people out there is a truly great thing.
The GOAL: To have an unforgettable experience and get to know lovely human beings. I will never embarrass someone or mention their names. That’s not the purpose. Remember the nice person I actually am. Integrity and discretion have gotten me this far …
If you go on Twitter and want to keep tabs, use hashtag #DawnsDating or interact with me on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram, here you go: