Welcome Back to…
The Dating Project, the newest segment here at The Inside Voice! We’re talking to sexy, successful and smarty-pants women to find out what they really think and feel about dating. Because being single doesn’t mean you’re ALONE.
Let’s meet Lainey!***
1. How old are you? 27
2. Are you currently in a relationship? No.
3. Place in order of Importance: Work, Friends, Love, Other.
Love, Friends, Work. That’s the order of importance, according to how I feel. But that’s not how I’m spending my time with any dedication or follow-through.
I’m comfortable with protocol in work, but not following protocol with love. Love and family are so important to me. But I don’t get how do it.
I do business meetings really well, and the energy of a business meeting is really different from a date. When I’m “on” in a business meeting, I’m in a specific role. But that role, that “on-ness” makes me a not-so-good date. Being “on” feels good but it’s not connected to an emotionally real place. And that’s the place interactions on a date should come from, a place of real connection. The role is just safer. I totally get off on the work stuff, and being good at what I do. It’s satisfying on a base level but it’s just not that deep.
4. Can you spot any patterns in past relationships?
Yeah. This actually seems pretty shocking to my friends who know me and my past, but I don’t feel like I’ve ever been in a real relationship. I tend to get in to complicated hot/cold passionate and difficult relationships. It just doesn’t feel stable enough to be real. And they’ve never been fully monogamous. No one would say at a party,”this is my girlfriend, Lainey”.
Also, I’m SO giving and loyal. I don’t give up on people. I do this with my friends, and with my boyfriends. I’m not an “out of sight, out of mind person”, I stick with people. But when someone doesn’t reciprocate with that level of generosity, it makes me feel rejected.
5. Rate yourself, on a scale 1-10:
It’s a bad deduction. I’m always thinking “where’s the booger hanging out of my nose” because I feel like it must be something as ridiculous as that. I don’t understand what else it could be.
6. What barriers keep you from meeting a guy you like?
It’s a perfect storm of:
1) Circumstance–there are logistical realities to meeting people, of course.
2) Mounting Fear of Rejection–continuous rejection makes it harder to do it again an again. The momentum builds in the wrong way.
3) Larger Psychological Reasons–like, Why am I picking the people I’m picking? I don’t understand my own functioning. This is the overarching reason, or barrier for me meeting a guy. My love life doesn’t makes sense to me.
7. What does your dating life look like now?
I’m online dating. I’m meeting a lot of first dates. And I have at least two “grey area” friendships.
They’re people I truly love, they’re some of my favorite people in the world. Deep friends. We’ve hooked up before, but I know for sure that I don’t want to be in a relationship with them. But when we’re both single we do “grey area” things, like sleep in the same bed, hang out like a couple, hold hands, maybe sleep together. It’s an intimacy place holder.
Also, there are a couple of people in California that I hook up with.
8. What attributes are most attractive to you in a partner?
1) Intelligence/Wit [ed. note: she actually said "intelligence slash wit"]
2) They’d have a relationship with their own emotions
3) Artistic inclination. It’s more of a world view thing, a sense-based curiosity.
4) Someone that I trust. I trust who they are as a person, and also their advice and opinions.
I don’t want to be dominant in a relationship. I don’t like to feel dominant. I know that might seem weird because I’m successful and powerful in my life and work. But I want the man to be dominant.
9. a) What does your perfect love life look like?
I don’t know how to answer this question. My mind keeps going to scheduling. Like when my guy friends tell me about how their girlfriends are upset that they need a night to themselves, I totally understand that need. I want a night to myself too. We’d be together and have space. We’d have a family. We’d have a shared world view. We’d be in sync with life’s beauties, and simple pleasures. There’d be a certain amount of love too.
b) In a word (or words), what does that scenario feel like?
Synthesis. I don’t know if this is too meta, but it’s like we’d share and create the perfect moments. It would be the inspiration for creating another person, for having kids. And of course, it would fee safe and comfortable.
10. Last question, do you believe in “The One”?
No. But I think it’s REALLY hard to find the right person, your soul mate. We can have a number of great loves.
Inside Voice Wrap Up: Lainey is extraordinary. She is far more articulate than I was able to convey here, from my scribbled notes. She is thoughtful, clear, and honest. What came out most, is not her beauty (she is gorgeous and sexy), but her sincere confusion of what’s going on in her love life. She understands that she doesn’t understand. She’s happy, confident, and self-aware. Yet she has dark feelings surrounding her love life that don’t correlate with the rest of her existence. And so, she doesn’t talk about them. She doesn’t have the language, and she doesn’t have the context.
She mentioned that if there were a roadmap for dating she’d follow it. She likes protocol, and the feeling of progress. She understands hard work. Lainey needs a strategy. She needs to know she’s working toward something. I think the “do-ing” will be internal affirmations so Lainey believes how awesome she is. When someone gives her a compliment, she needs to have a place to put it. There must be a context, or a “container” as Lainey puts it. Let’s get moving on that infrastructure, so the outside world can give her the love and appreciation she wants and needs!
***Some names have been changed, some haven’t. Each woman has the option to use her own name or choose her fantasy pseudonym. I’m not telling which ones are which. Hear these women’s voices. Listen to their stories. They’re just like you!