Yesterday I had the delightful opportunity to sit down with a majestic tiny dog named Blanche and her owner Iliza Shlesinger as a guest on Iliza’s podcast, Truth and Iliza.
We talked about many things – how I hate Ariana Grande’s pony tail and Iliza loves it, how I’m not technically Jewish even though Iliza thinks I am, how we both really hate noises that we really hate…
Then somehow the conversation turned the dating and relationship (because I turned it there, I’m sure), and I mentioned that one of the only reasons I am lucky enough to be married to R today is because I wasn’t trying to date him when we met. Iliza agreed, wholeheartedly, and then she told all the lady listeners to turn the podcast up because this was the most important information they were going to hear all day slash life. Here is a paraphrase of what I said (but please still listen to the entire podcast when it comes out because it features much more gold):
When I met R, I was of the mindset that I should not have a boyfriend. I had just moved to Los Angeles from New York. I was about to fully pursue my career as a writer after many years of being too afraid. I was living in a house with two gay man who loved to dance. It was not the time to be locked down. And yet, there was R.
We met before I even moved to L.A. so he was already in the picture when I settled in, and in his version of that picture we were together. That was more than fair. We had kept in touch all summer, and I reciprocated all the romance to that point. Then I freaked and tried to avoid becoming his girlfriend.
And when I did that, things really got good.
To be clear – we did not stop hanging out because he did not stop asking me to do very fun things all the time (which is advice for the daters, not the datees. Don’t give up). But when were together, I didn’t hold back any of the dumb things I wanted to say. I didn’t pretend to want to do things just because R wanted to do them. I didn’t even wear special outfits loosely but tastefully themed to the event of the day. I was myself, fully, 100% of the time.
Maybe in the back of my mind I thought, if this guy likes me like this then we might have something here… Something worth giving up the amazing and exciting L.A. dating scene (if you live here then you know that is a joke). But honestly, there wasn’t much more thought beyond that. This wasn’t some game I was playing to test R’s love. I just turned off the DATE ME PLEASE NOW PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE lights and acted like the version of myself that I would no doubt become after a few months of dating. R followed suit. And so, finally, two people were behaving exactly like the people that they will be after all the pressure and production goes away.
That’s hard to find these days, Iliza and I decided. We don’t go on dates as we are; we go on dates as the people we think we’re supposed to be based on the Facebook profile of the guy we’re dating. But how are you at dinner when you’re not trying to get a guy to put a ring on it? What do you want to dress like if you’re not worried about what he thinks? Do you even want to go to that restaurant at all??
I’m not saying you should play the standoffish mean girl who doesn’t need a boyfriend, thank you very much. I’m saying you should act like whatever woman you want to be so that the right man, woman or person for that version of yourself – the real version – can finally find you.
(This message is approved by Blanche the wonder dog)