My dating life is essentially the complete opposite of a fairytale. It's more like a romantic comedy, but without the romance and with most of the comedy coming from sad montages of me eating ice cream after a date gone wrong. It does not end with me on a date with 1995 Paul Rudd.
As a woman navigating her 20s, I've tried just about every means necessary to nab my Prince Charming, but they all seemed to end with me sitting on the floor of my room, scrolling through old text messages with my gal pals and complaining about why nothing I ever did seemed to work.
I'm naturally a very talkative and outgoing person, which often seemed to scare men off, so I tried to change myself. I had been taught three crucial dating rules: lie, lie and lie some more.
After lots of overthinking, it became clear to me. Maybe "faking it until you make it" wasn't cutting it anymore, if it ever was. Maybe honesty really is the best policy. So, with that in mind, I set out to create my own dating method -- an extreme honesty method.
I had five simple rules:
1. Say whatever comes to mind. 2. No lying. 3. Hold nothing back. 4. Be yourself completely. 5. Remain honest.
Luckily, I had the perfect opportunity to try them out.
I had just met a guy earlier that week, and we made plans to go on a date. As I drove to the bowling alley for the date, I repeated the rules over and over in my head, promising to myself I would follow through.
After arriving, I met him in the parking lot, nearly shaking with nerves. I had only met him once, and had no idea what to expect. He was nice and he held the door open for me. I told him I was nervous to meet him and had considered ditching, and he laughed. So far, so good.
After proving to my date how bad I was at bowling, we sat down at a table for casual, awkward, first-date conversation. We talked about our likes, dislikes, our jobs, what we saw ourselves doing in the next 10 years.
I was hesitant, but I showed him my social accounts, scrolling through my Instagram photos, showing off some photography I had done. To my surprise, he was impressed. This was something I had never done before. Some of my best friends had never even seen my work because it was so personal to me.
The conversation flowed naturally, and we talked about everything from my anxiety to my father's cancer several years earlier, the death of a beloved pet to even an ex-boyfriend. And, somehow, he took it all in stride.
The more I opened up to him, the more he seemed to listen to me and open up about his life as well. In my state of vulnerability, we formed a deeper and more meaningful connection. I told him I hated small talk, and instead craved something more, which intrigued him.
I had never before felt so comfortable on a first date. I showed him some of the writing I had done, and even the most personal pieces I had written. He was interested and loved how open I was being with him.
In conclusion, my own form of "extreme honesty"dating was a success. Honesty when dating doesn't mean "Oh, I really have to fart," or "I don't know if you're my type."
Honesty when dating means being real, talking openly about who you are and explaining how you feel. It means letting the other person know what is going on in your world so he or she can also let you in. In my opinion, being as open as possible with a date allows a more personal bond to form.
Saying whatever came to mind allowed him to get to know the real me, with all my quirks and faults. When I wasn't worried about projecting a version of me that wasn't authentic, I didn't have to stress about creating a lie.
He got to know the side of me my closest friends knew -- the happy, funny, smart, weird girl I know. Remaining honest and even talking about taboo subjects such as exes, sexual histories and personal relationships didn't backfire like so many people say it will. It was the opposite.
And, in case you're wondering, yes, he did ask me on a second date.