No Love Songs

When I first set out to write songs, I was pretty open. I was willing to experiment with genre and tempo and lyrics and anything really. I very much adopted an “I’ll try anything once” mentality. (This has since become my overall way of life… within reason, of course) Nonetheless, I had only one rule…

NO LOVE SONGS.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, as a young adult listening to music, I felt really excluded and marginalized by love songs. I was smart and cute and funny and expressive kid, but I was also incredibly, incredibly awkward. When I heard love songs, songs about charming, perfect boys falling head over heels for beautiful, effervescent women, I felt like that would never be me. I would always be the girl who got paint on her shirt in art class (then), who spilled wine all over herself at the party (now). As a teenager, I was sure that I would never be the girl that all the boys liked. And this upset me much more than I was willing to let on.

So I vowed not to make romance the primary focus of my life. I vowed to cultivate my independence, my strength, my intelligence, my sense of humor and made the decision to prioritize how I feel about myself above how anyone else (male or female) might feel about me.

I was determined that this would extend to my music. I wanted to write songs about learning to love myself, about getting through my lowest lows, about finding strength in my weaknesses, about the zillion other non romantic journeys I have the privilege of taking every single day.

And I’ve kept that promise I made to Little Shayna. I’ve taught her about filling her life with laughter and love, romantic or otherwise. I’ve showed her how to follow her dreams. I’ve kept my romantic life out of my music and my writing process entirely.

Until now.

Love-Hate-Date

“I hate dating.”

    --- Pretty much everyone ever, right?

 

 

I used to feel this way. Dating can be STRESSful and oftentimes seems like way more trouble than it’s worth.

 

I have done a good bit of personal research on the topic. You see, I’ve spent the better part of the past couple of years going on lots and lots of dates (in New York City no less, debatably the most intense, cutthroat place on earth), and I’ve discovered firsthand a thing or two about the ways I can make it all more fun.

 

Ultimately, I think the difference between loving dating and loathing it boils down to one little piece of advice:

 

You need to stop focusing on how your dates feel about you and instead focus on how you feel about them.

 

Seems simple right? But simple isn’t easy.

 

Here’s how I go about doing it:

 

  1. Before the date, I remind myself how much I love my life, just as it is right now. I consciously remember all the ways my life is full and fulfilling with or without a guy.

  2. When I’m on the date, I put the focus back on the guy I’m out with. I try to ask him questions and really listen to the answers. I try to get a sense of the person I’m sitting across from so I can see if they might be someone I’d want to get to know better.

  3. I try to always be myself. I say what I think and I’m really honest about who I am and what my life is like. This might be the most important part of all.

  4. And finally, I always remind myself that the guy I’m with is also on a date. He might be nervous, so I try to be extra kind. This also serves as a reminder that I’m not in it alone.

 

These days I go on dates with the aim of determining if I might have a connection with the other person, to see if he’s someone I might want to keep in my life for a bit. If the date doesn’t go well or doesn’t seem to lead to anything, I move on. It doesn’t change my life and it doesn’t change me.

 

Every interaction holds the possibility of a spark, of a real, magnetic connection. Because I love that possibility, I now actually really like dating. I’ve realized all I have to do is show up, relax, be myself and see what happens. That’s literally it!

 

There’s really nothing to hate after all ☺