Michelle 365 Dates
I love stories on dating and of people searching for that special someone. I came across Michelle from Michelle365Dates and found her story quite interesting. She’s a sporty Capricorn on a quest to find love and doing it in a very proactive way – by going on 365 dates in a year! She asks men on dates and has great luck meeting them just about everywhere. She’s tried speed dating since it’s a perfect way to meet many interesting men in one night and is expecting to join more events apart from finding dates elsewhere.
Let me start by painting a picture of Michelle. She works in documentary film and social media/branding for companies. She’s adventurous and a curiosity seeker who loves great food cooked by others or from restaurants. (I love this!) She isn’t restricted by limits and will step outside her comfort zone and seeks answers in order to continue to grow as a person daily.
I asked her a few questions about her journey.
1. What prompted you to make this goal of 365 dates? Was it a bad date experience?
I started 365 dates because I was dating a guy towards the end of 2011 and we broke it off since he was moving to the East Coast for a job; however I don’t feel we were a long-term match anyway, but I never would have known for sure. It wasn’t him specifically that prompted this journey; it was dating and not dating; seeing friends get coupled up in long-term relationships, seeing folks on Facebook with whom I grew up with getting married. While I don’t know if marriage is for me or not, and it is about the process, not the end result, those devilish thoughts of being alone for the rest of my life entered my mind.
So I wanted to be positive and proactive and have fun dating instead of pouting, being sad and frustrated about breaking up and being single. I wanted to go on “documentary” dates where I would ask any man of interest out – if I was interested in their story, in their point of view, in who they were, so anyone ranging from the guy who works at the Glendale Landfill, to a Skype date with a 70 year old to a valet parking attendant.
Then I wanted to ask out potential “attraction” dates – ones who could possibly lead to more dating and seeing what happens organically and then to be in a relationship eventually (even though the guys I liked during this journey did know about the 365 dates and that is an entire other answer in terms of their responses, whether it hindered them from further dating me, intrigued them just for one date or didn’t matter).
I went on a blind date at the restaurant Opaque in Santa Monica, where you dine in pitch black and the wait staff is visually impaired. I had no idea what my date looked like, nor I to him, until the very end of the date outside the restaurant. He was cute and very different from what I thought he was going to look like – he was Jewish with glasses and brown hair. I thought he was going to be bald, larger and a red head because things he said during dinner reminded me of this guy with this physical description whom I dated at the end of 2010. We did not go on a second date, as neither one of us ever asked. He wished me luck on my journey at the end, so he may have just seen it as a project, experiment, etc. I paid for our dinners – each $100. Most of these other dates the guys have paid, although I always offer.
2. What “rules” have you made for yourself during this journey? (Only date this type of man…avoid this type…etc? Only light petting!! hahah)
Your light petting question is hilarious. I didn’t make too many rules other than some of them would be “documentary” dates and others “attraction” dates, as mentioned above. I allowed myself to go on multiple dates with the same guy, as that is another component of what dating is, especially if I want to be in a relationship, of course. I allowed for speed dating on two separate nights. I allowed a Skype date to count. I was committed to going on 365 dates, whether that meant doubling up on some days, once again – a speed date night here and there and as much as possible to go out every night.
3. What have you learned so far from your dating experience?
I have learned to have a backup plan. If a guy doesn’t like me and I like him, I am sad and frustrated, but telling myself I just have another date to go on tomorrow, helps a lot. I have learned that the definition of dating may be not finding a match. Dating should be taken loosely, to have a good time first and foremost. To have fun with one another, according to a high school classmate who recently got engaged. He says he may not know what love is exactly, but he has tons of fun when he is with his fiance.
I have learned to be more emotional and that guys are sensitive too. I haven’t quite learned how to be entirely vulnerable yet again. I have learned about many facts due to all the knowledge each date has based on their world, hobbies or what they do for a living.
I have learned to hold myself at bay – if I like a guy (as I presently do) I need to chill, let him initiate a bit but give a push and pull; not to be too eager in the beginning but just flirt and show him I am interested, but not too interested. Nobody wants that person who asks at the end of the first date – so how do you feel about me – are we just friends or is there possibility for something more? (I had this asked of me, so it provides for an example of being organic and letting time go by is best. One way to do that is by going on 365 dates.
4. What advice can you pass along to other men or women in the dating scene who are looking for love?
My advice is just date as much as you can, even if you don’t think you like the guy – someone you meet online for example, but if you are preoccupied and busy when you like a guy, you will be less eager and needy. Suppressing expectations early on in dating is the hardest thing. The more you can do this, the more you will enjoy the waiting game to see if he will call or if she will respond.
I have no idea what love is – I would never look for it. Good friends of mine – a couple with a two year old – say that guys don’t want to be in a relationship; they just happen to find themselves in them. If they meet the right girl, it just happens – they don’t say from the beginning they want to be in a relationship. (Yes literally some guys do say this from the very first date, but I think it can be a turn off because it is focusing on the end result, rather than the process.) So for 365 yes I want to be in a relationship, but that is in print and in my mind, not in my verbal communication when dating.
5. What feedback have you received from either men or women about your journey? What do you say to them?
Some of my critics say: Well, then you don’t have time to really get to know someone and form a connection. My response is: I do allow for multiple dates with the same guy, as I do want to be in a relationship. Some guys have known about the 365 and some guys have not – I then have told them later, after the first date. Some have responded that it’s cool but we didn’t go out again; some have responded that they are not a lab rat or a monkey; others have said it didn’t affect them asking me to go out again – we did go out again in other words. One or two people said they didn’t just want to be a number, but for the most part every guy I have asked out has been supportive, intrigued or interested in a genuine date to the best of my knowledge.
For the naysayers, I say you are not just a number to me because I like to get to know people’s stories and I see each person as an individual. There is not much else I can honestly say because they know I’m going on 365 dates and inherent in that is the idea that I will just be going on another one to them, but I love each date and each new person, restaurant and / or exploration if we will work chemistry-wise or not (for those non “documentary” dates.)
6. What are you looking for in a mate?
I just realized today that because I think a lot, I explore and try to figure out answers to the way life works and aspects within it and because I may over analyze, it may be ideal to be with someone who does not think as much and someone who is present and reminds me to be. I’d like someone who can teach me to separate life and work – to enjoy and play hard. I do play hard – I wake board and ski and travel, but in daily life, I always push forward, career wise.
I would love someone who is curious about the world around them, who jokes, who does know how to challenge the status quo and who is adventurous – who is not afraid to go to a new place, to do physical, outdoor activities. I recently was granted a surprise date where I knew nothing ahead of time – nothing about what we were going to do. It ended up being an all day kayaking venture in Malibu; he made lunch from his garden, played guitar on the beach. It was so refreshing to be taken out, but also in a way overwhelming. I have asked most of the guys out on dates and planned the dates so this was a nice change. For a first date it was a great story but maybe spending all day with someone is better for a later date. It was with a guy I had already known a bit, but never hung out with him before one on one. He had a huge heart and a lot of insight into planning. He is a very creative and out of the box thinker – all of which I do appreciate in a guy.
Dating is fun and one important lesson we can learn from Michelle is to be open and ready for love. Try new things and be open to dating different types of people you normally may not date. Also, don’t google them prior to your date. Sure, Facebook stalking is the next biggest thing, but don’t. Come into your date without any preconceived notions. Oh, and speed dating and singles mixers
are a great way to meet a whole lot of people at once!
She throws monthly fun parties for singles or couples which are usually themed around dating. She has one event at Busby’s in LA on January 17. Check it out here.
For more information on Michelle check out these sites:
LA Times Article
Work Stew Podcast