This is the latest post from our Los Angeles-based Date Reporter Rachel Nina Schwartz. She’ll be documenting her experience dating in LA. Catch up on her story here.
Sitting down to write this post, I realized that it has been a month I’ve been contributing to the Date Reporter column for HowAboutWe. One month! In that time I’ve browsed many, many profiles, exchanged a fairly large quantity of messages, and been out with three different people from HowAboutWe. One of them I like quite a lot!
Which is where things start to get murky. When dating like it’s your job (no, seriously) how do you manage to still enjoy the dates and open up and be in the moment with that other person, when you know you’ve got to write about it? And how do you write about dating without revealing too much (gross!) or compromising the other person’s privacy? I do not have answers to these questions. I think about what the right tack is all the time, and try to balance being a good Date Reporter with actually being good at dating. Readers may want to know about all the different people I go out with and what we do and what the delicious details are, but the people I’m dating most likely do not.
Even as social media has taken the population hostage with constant streams of updates and overshares, the people I’ve been out with still guard their privacy in this arena. No one I’ve dated has been comfortable with for example, having his real name used or anything more than the most vague allusions to a “make-out”. On the one hand, this makes challenging work of writing compelling posts, but on the other hand it gives me greater respect for the relationship and the other person. Not wanting to share everything all over the internet means there is a little something just for the two of us.
When I tell guys I’m going out with that I write this column, I see a flicker of horror in their eyes before they compose themselves and go back to their facade of being cool about it. It’s the sort of thing that always sounds interesting and amusing… but in someone else’s life. I suppose I don’t have to tell people, but that feels like an omission so large as to be very close to lying- so I go with total transparency. It’s also a reminder for myself to be careful, full of care, in writing about dating. While I’m sharing my stories, they involve other people, whom I do not want to hurt or freak out in any way. I struggle with how this date reporting meshes facets of my life, but it also forces me to constantly check in and reflect on how it’s all going.
The good news is that Matt, the one guy I’ve met on HAW that I like quite a lot, is not running away from dating me because stories of our goings on appear here. He likes me enough to want all of it- spontaneous beach dates and the date reports that follow. In fact, we have plans for tomorrow night- weekend upgrade!
Rachel Nina Schwartz is a designer based in New York who is currently in LA for the summer, where she will be writing about her dating experiences. She looks forward to learning how to surf and reveling in a climate conducive to good hair days. Check out her other project, StateofDate.com.