On Making It Happen

On the surface, it could seem ironic, that I, the host of a successful “dating” event, am single and pregnant, having made the choice to have a baby on my own. (News flash! I'm prego! Thanks to a gay male friend, a turkey baster, and a dance party.) But I don't see it that way. At all

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That perspective could only result from a fundamental misunderstanding of the true nature of The Not-Creepy Gathering. These events are about connection broadly speaking. If you've been to one, you know that I encourage participants to be open to connecting with anyone there, in any way – to be open enough to let themselves be surprised by what appears.

It's way more important to me that people leave my events feeling good about themselves than that they get a date out of the deal. This is not really about dating. That's not what I'm actually interested in. (Sorry. But not really.) I'm interested in human connection and vulnerability – which is required for genuine connection.

Through this lens, I actually think that my decision to become a queer, single-mama-by-choice is a pretty great reflection of the real work I'm doing. 

When I shared this with a friend, she it took it one step further, reminding me that she always leaves my events feeling clearer about what it is that she wants. The events enable her to get more in touch with her own desires.

The only thing I have ever known with 100% certainty that I want to do in my life is have a baby. And I realized that I don't need to wait around for someone else to come along and give me the thing I want. I know what I want, and I can make it happen for myself. I'm making it happen. Landing here has felt good. Like, really really good. 

In a few months, I will meet a person with whom I am pretty much guaranteed to fall crazy in love. And when else in our lives can we ever say that?

On Why I'm Not a Dating Expert (and Don't Want to Be)

Let me be clear. 

I am not a dating expert.

(Like, really not a dating expert.)

And I have no interest in being one.

I actually think that trying to learn something from a so-called “expert” can sometimes end up being a pretty isolating experience. It can sometimes just make people feel inadequate by comparison. It can sometimes turn into a boring lecture by someone pretending to have it all figured out.

Blech. No thanks.

No, I am way more interested in saying... You know what? I get it. Because I've been there. I know that place. I know what it's like to want connection and feel frustrated that I'm not finding it. I know what it's like to feel impossibly awkward. I know what it's like to be devastated over the loss of connection. (Believe me, do I know it.)

Because if I can say that, if I can get up onstage and operate from that place, then connection is made, right then and there. If I can be honest about my own struggles, then people know that they are not alone in theirs. This is how I see my work as an artist. Sharing our personal stories is an act of generosity, because it helps others to feel less alone in their stories, their experiences, their frustrations, their fears. Being honest, being vulnerable, is a gift we can give each other, and it opens us up for connection. Vulnerability is what makes way for connection. That's the best “dating” advice I can give.

And actually, I think it's pretty damn good advice.

The Not-Creepy Gathering is currently on hiatus while Jenna is on maternity leave.

See you this summer!