I’m a somewhat successful and seemingly attractive late twenty-something who hasn’t been on a real date in four years. My last relationship, with my college sweetheart, lasted seven years. After we broke up, I found myself back in the “real world” without a dating prospect in sight.  Upon adulthood, I began experiencing social anxiety, and as my symptoms increased I blamed them for my inability to land a date—I wasn’t doing my part, I thought. I blamed myself.

I figured with 30 quickly approaching I should at least make a conscious effort to date. Although I’ve never been one of those women with a timeline, my future plans don’t include being a crazy cat lady. I’ve realized a lot trying to live out the “Hot Girl Summer” mantra that Megan Thee Stallion has been preaching. The main thing I’ve realized is that it’s not me…at least not completely.

It’s important to note that although “Hot Girl Summer” started with Meg’s fanbase dubbed “hotties” posting sexy swimsuit shots on social media, it’s blown-up into a versatile movement. The femcee’s definition is more about doing you, and not really about men at all (although Meg makes it clear that men can participate in HGS too). “Being a Hot Girl is about being unapologetically YOU, having fun, being confident, living YOUR truth, being the life of the party etc,” she tweeted. I decided to take the bull by the horns and apply that concept to my love life, taking the initiative to put myself out there and

However, as soon as I opened myself up to the possibility of scoring a date, I wasn’t met with the same energy from the guys I pursued. I encountered either the insecure, self-conscious guy that he couldn’t imagine why I’d possibly want him to date him so he’d dismissed me first, OR the occasional f*ckboy who only wanted that one thing. To say the least, my options were few.

Sometimes, I feel societal pressure saying I should have had 1,372 boyfriends by now. The reality is I’ve only had that one real relationship that lasted a big portion of my early dating years. When people look at me, my career, my life—they demand an explanation as to why my relationship status has been single for this long. “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?,” family and friends ask. Not that I think anyone deserves an answer (because the question itself is rude AF) but after some time I needed an answer for myself.

I was initially apprehensive about sharing my struggle because no one is really breaking out the violins for pretty girl problems, but the pitfalls of being a “hottie” are real. Pretty women go through plenty of dating woes too. Before I even open my mouth, assumptions are made about me, despite my actual experience or character. The kinds of guys I’m interested in don’t think they have a real chance. This is heightened even more so when they’re hit with the glam of my occupation as an entertainment/lifestyle reporter. 

Let’s just say, I’ve gotten a rude awakening this summer and decided I wanted to share with all the other hotties.

Here’s what I did…

Close-up of woman texting sms on phone. She holding smartphone and using Internet. She resting. Modern life concept

In general, I’m what some would call an emotionally guarded person, so I tore some walls down (baby steps) and started taking more of an active approach to potential dates instead of making them do all the work. This meant initiating hangouts more and responding truthfully to guys I wasn’t interested in. They all got a reply, whether it was the one they were hoping for or a polite decline because WWMD (What Would Megan Do)? Answer: Be unapologetic. 

I also practiced being more confident with a “fake it till you make it” method which spilled over into my work and platonic relationships too. This allowed me to open myself up to new opportunities and friends.

Here’s what happened…

First of all, being unapologetically me seemed to be too much for most men to handle. The ones who I politely rejected got big mad. Either they wanted an explanation for my genuine disinterest or thought aggressive persistence would win me over. Nah.

And the guys who I reciprocated interest in, retreated. After continuous flirty convos and an invitation or two for a casual link up (which I previously dodged), I was getting the opposite of what I thought would be a sure thing. Most of those “interested” men that I woman’d up for stopped engaging with me altogether. The reaction I got when asking one of my suitors when he would like to go out on date was (and I can’t make this up), “When it doesn’t seem forced. Lmao.” So yeah…not the most appealing options.

In one desperate attempt to get someone’s attention, I sent my version of a nude—a bare photo of my back fresh out the shower—to no avail. Probably not something Meg would do.

Here’s what I learned…

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BRA-TA-TA-TA #BlackGirlBeachDay 🌊LINK IN BIO🌊

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Again, it’s not just me. Men, especially the “good guys,” need to get it together too and could probably learn a thing or two themselves from HGS. Also, don’t send “nudes” of your back—it’s just sad. More importantly, you can’t adopt a “Hot Girl Summer” mentality for just the summer and expect instant results. You should have a Hot Girl Fall, a Hot Girl Semester, a Hot Girl Holiday Season, etc. It’s a lifestyle. So even though things actually turned out to be way frostier in the dating department than I hoped, it doesn’t discredit my efforts. I had fun and lived my truth. Plus, there’s always next season.

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