Now Reading
I Left My ‘Lover Girl Era’ and Found Out Dating Can Actually Be Fun

I Left My ‘Lover Girl Era’ and Found Out Dating Can Actually Be Fun

It’s no secret that looking for love in today’s dating pool (especially where I live – in NYC) is no easy feat. It’s a relentless search where many young women find themselves on countless detours – all while rummaging for the cheat code that will get them to the perfect person the fastest. 

And on top of that, even if you wanted to escape the dating discourse, you couldn’t. Shout out to Black Twitter and the TikTok girlies for the constant bombardment of debates like who pays for dates, if women should indulge in 50/50, and a whole other assortment of trivialities that leave us spinning in circles. 

The dialogue fills up our social feeds day by day – with what’s wrong and what’s right, first date horror stories and unrealistic love stories. And how could I forget – the “makings of an alpha male”, the ultimate do’s & don’ts, tips & tricks for attraction, manifestations and spells to cook up the perfect romance….the list has no end. 

But it’s not all for nothing – many women have found community in shared dating experiences and lessons learned from romance mishaps. On the flip side, constantly tuning into the endless echo-chamber of conflicting advice can leave you feeling short on intuition. 

Now if you add in the layer of living in the age where toxicity, detachment, and casual connection is the gold standard, while also defining yourself as a so-called “lover-girl” – you may be in for a wild ride. 

According to Urban Dictionary, a lover-girl is a woman who falls in love wholeheartedly with a man. I would go further to say with no inhibitions and even more so with no hesitation

I’ve been a so-called “lover-girl” since I came out of the womb. Raised in the heart of industrial Americana- I had dreams of white picket fences, wedding rings, marriage, and kids. But it wasn’t just a fantasy, but an expectation branded in my mind.

Ironically, I’ve come to divorce myself from some of these ideals. But it surely didn’t change the fact that in my heart of hearts, I’ve always hoped to meet my match. And if I dared to be more honest, I was looking for that soul shifting connection that could turn my world upside down for the better. But I couldn’t be the only one? 

The Lawrence to My Issa. Tommy to my Pam. Dwayne to my Whitley.  Take those examples as you will. 

As an early 20-something fresh out of the Midwest  and new to New York City, I didn’t know much about dating in the so-called “real world”. While I had my fair share of crushes, flings, and situationships mistaken for real connection, I had no idea what dating as a grown woman should look like, other than the much-to-be desired sitcom romances I so often re-watched on TV. 

All I knew is that the fantastical type of love sold to me in movies, books, TV shows, and all other forms of cultural programming – might be worth the try. Looking back, I also fell victim to the insurmountable amount of pressure put on women to fill up any free minute on their social calendar getting drinks with Hinge dates who certainly weren’t worth the aggravation. 

I mean, if I wasn’t spending my fountain of youth years actively pursuing the love of my life, what was I waiting on?! It’s not like women have forever.

So like a moth to a flame – I went full throttle.

My first year dating in NYC, I experienced the gamut, and quicker than I could realize, the horror stories I watched as cautionary tales online became my reality. How could this be?! 

The lover-girl in me seemed to attract all the wrong people, at just the wrong time. Between falling for men who were inconveniently tangled in other romances while seeing me, to thinking I had deep connections with men with nearly infant-like emotional capacity, I found myself persistently frustrated, disappointed, and yet eager for more. 

Anyone else? 

It was quite humorous. No matter how many “sprinkle, sprinkle” tips I followed, gurus I listened to, or dating commandments I obeyed – I couldn’t seem to shake the dilemma of desire. 

And while being a lover-girl has been demonized online – conflating it with desperation, insecurity, and a knack for neediness – it seems we’ve forgotten just how brutal putting your heart on the line can be. We get a bad rep, but we may be amongst the strongest soldiers. 

I wish I could say that these treacherous experiences forced the lover to die in me and birthed a rage that no hell has ever known – but I would be lying. It actually did quite the opposite. As an ambitious woman coined by her competitive spirit, after so many losses, I was eager for a win. And the more I pursued connection, the more I found myself overcome with obsession. 

Check my Hinge. 

Check my text messages. 

Check my story. 

Should I call? 




F*ck It. 

Rinse. Recycle. Repeat. 

In the everlasting game of love and war – not only have I gained my fair share of battle wounds, but I’ve also become a prisoner in my own mind – unable to even conceive the idea that ticking off romance from my long list of priorities could be good for my mind, and better for my heart beat. 

See Also

To my surprise, one day a flip switched in my mind – with no catastrophic trigger to blame.

Maybe it was my frontal-cortex finally developing. Maybe I was exhausted. Maybe I had found other things to fixate on. Maybe it was the echo-chamber of advice I spent so much listening finally seeping through my subconscious. 

But truthfully, I blame happy hour. 

Over a slew of tequila-sodas, capped off with a Modelo or two – my friend, who was practically the ring-leader of the anti-lover girl club, never finding herself even a smidge attached to a man or the promise of a relationship (so much so I’ve known her over half my life and couldn’t even tell you what any of her “suitors” looked like) – challenged my approach. 

Her: You know dating can be fun? It doesn’t have to be hell. 

Me: What do you mean? 

Her: What’s the point of all the pressure?  

And there it was – the root of all my oh so comedic sorrows was pressure. I had been so dead-set on finding what I imagined to be my “perfect-person”, I was missing out on all the magic that could be found  in the process.

Who would’ve thought?  Dating could exist in my life solely for the experience, for my “plot”, and deepening my understanding of what I want in a partner – instead of being a constant rat race where I was the only one running. 

Before this tequila induced epiphany – I was painted with all black and white thinking. In my mind, I was either a “lover-girl” or some detached shell of a human being incapable of real connection. But that wasn’t true. 

To be open hearted is my nature – that isn’t changing. But I don’t have to wring myself dry in the process. There’s room to meet myself in the middle. Leaving my lover-girl era didn’t have to be loveless – it’s just going to be different. Devoid of all the unnecessary frustration, screen induced anxieties, and the push and pull of lackluster connection. 

And if I had to admit it, I was 10x more interesting than these men I was idealizing after a murmur of conversation anyway. I’m sure other ladies can relate. Over the past few months, I’ve challenged myself to stick to this, and luckily I have. After all, summer-time is upon us. 

I’m calling it my “lover-girl recovery era”. And while I don’t have a 12-step process to share, I implore other young black women to follow suit if they’re anything like myself – dating for ourselves vs. dating for an illusive outcome the patriarchy has pushed on us. 

You might have more fun that way –  and better yet, you might learn something about yourself. 

Scroll To Top