Dating in the Queen City can be tricky waters to navigate. So, what better way than to get right in the middle of what’s happening in these dating streets than to attend an open forum on that very topic? Recently I attended Xklusive Convos Charlotte’s Dating Conversation event, held at Silk Lounge. It was a two-hour conversation titled "Dating Naked.”
OK, I admit, I was hoping for some nekkid men walking around, but that didn’t happen. Clearly the topic was meant to strip down the walls we all have built up and get to the heart of the matter and figure out what is going on in the dating world. The event was hosted by certified life and relationship coach Troy Spry and matchmaker Julie Wadley.
Allow me to paint you a picture of the setup. Everyone had to wear a name-tag, and one of the rules was to meet someone new. Now, ask me how many people actually mingled. As with many events in the Queen City, most of the attendees were women, but lo and behold, there were couples in the building. I just about fainted. People on dates! YES! I love it! There were also a handful of single men who probably just didn’t know what to do with themselves with all of the beautiful women in the room.
Now, I’m just going to hit some of the highlights from the evening. The first topic question was an important one. “Why do people fall back instead of putting on their grown folks panties and boxers and making their way across the room to approach someone who has caught their eye?” OK, the question wasn’t worded JUST like that, but you get the point. Obviously, the No. 1 answer from both men and women was fear of rejection. One guy said, "Sometimes you just don’t feel up to par, so you just don’t approach. Maybe you don’t have some things in order in your life and you know this so you just fall back."
Damn, is everyone in Charlotte Un-par-able? I know that’s not a word but you get what I’m saying. Women and men both agreed that it is all in how you approach someone, because you can’t just roll up to someone asking if you can sniff their drawls. Besides, what kind of first impression is that?
Julie brought up a great point by saying that if you know you aren’t up to par, and then you need to work on yourself before you get outchea in these dating streets trying to find bae/boo. Basically, don’t put your burdens, whether it’s financial issues, baby mama/daddy drama, or just reeling from heartache, onto someone else hoping they can fix you. I don’t know about y’all, but I do not have the time nor patience to be trying to fix a grown-ass man.
The next topic was about catching feelings. How many times have y’all been just hunching someone as a friends-with-benefits type deal, and damn if someone doesn’t munk things up by catching feelings? Again the words "fear of rejection" popped up.
Apparently, rejection is the root of all the evil in the dating world. We cannot prosper until we shake these fears off like Diddy "Harlem Shaking" the hell out of his shoulders. Many enter the dating zone completely emotionally unavailable, walls up, and not one inch of a damn to be given. Sometimes it’s better to be ice cold than let someone slip into your heart and melt away that exterior shell. Some people blame how they were raised for how they learned to love. But at some point, you grow up, get out in the real world, and allow your environment to shape you. Hell, you don’t see me still pouting about having a crush throw sand in my hair at age 7 — that didn’t cause me to think every man is going to throw dirt at me.
For those who go into dating knowing they want a relationship, both Troy and Julie agree you have to be upfront about what you want. Date with a purpose. For some, that purpose is probably just to hunch. As women, we have always heard if a man tells you upfront that he doesn’t want a relationship, listen to him. However, some women during the discussion brought up a good point: What are you to believe when he says that and then his actions say something different? The consensus was words and action must align — don’t do relationship type of ish if that’s not what you want. If it’s just about the booty, then keep it that way.
Here’s where things got a little sticky. Apparently, a woman should repeatedly check in with a man to see if he’s ready for a relationship. My response: Absolutely not. If he said he doesn’t want it, and his actions show it, then why is there a need for discussion. It’s up to me to keep it moving and find someone else I'm compatible with and interested in progressing toward a relationship.
The majority of the discussion seemed to come around to the fact that women need to approach first, women need to look a certain way, need to dress a certain way, need to bend over backwards, twerk and pop it and do it in reverse. But, as usual, things get a little murky when it comes to what the men need to do. Alas, the problem with dating: Men expect women to do all the work these days.
Ultimately, the conversation brought out a lot of opinions. I still think men are from Mars and women are still from Venus. Can we just go back to the old school checklist of "do you like me? Yes, no, maybe?" All these rules and regulations give me a headache.
Want to share your dating story? Good, Bad, Ugly—Go ahead, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll keep your identity a secret — just let us know what dating in the Queen City is really like!