Single and the City

I’m sure that as teenagers, we grew up with loved ones stroking our ego with statements like, “Anyone would be lucky to have you,“ or “They will be lining up to take you on a date.”  Somewhere along the line, we get this idea in our heads that it’s all about us finding them. We are the grand prize and we just have to choose the lucky winner. I learned the hard way that life is not like ABC’s The Bachelorette.  I don’t have 25 handsome, successful men pawning for my attention. In fact, I’m lucky if I can just get a response on Bumble.

When I first moved to New York City, I figured with a city so populated, I would be on my way to meeting Mr. Right in no time. I had this vision that I would meet all different types of men and be taken on luxurious dates like Carrie Bradshaw. Who needs to worry about expensive drinks when I have someone to buy them for me, right? Wrong. I found out rather quickly that guys here don’t give a shit about finding Mrs. Right or anything more than a fling for that matter.

I constantly asked girls that I met, “How do you meet guys here?” “Tinder.” Ugh, seriously? But it’s true. I walk past hundreds of people a day and am actually surprised if anyone ever looks up from their cell phone long enough to make eye contact.

I gave the dating apps a try and watched as each date failed more miserably than the next. It was after the 5th date when I made a vow that I wouldn’t go on any more unless it happened organically. Needless to say, I haven’t been on a date in 8 months…

It’s not that I’m not putting myself out there. Hell, it’s New York – I walk EVERYWHERE. I attend work out classes, go grocery shopping, walk around museums and sometimes I’ll eat my breakfast on a park bench near a fountain to appear approachable. Ironically enough, I usually spend my time there observing the couples walking by, wondering how they met, how he asked her out and what I’m not doing right.

Even when I was using the apps (considering it does work for some people), I was unpleasantly surprised with how grotesque the guys could be. Why does the opening line have to be about sex positions, fetishes or Fifty Shades of Grey scenarios? I know, I know. If he sends that message to 100 girls, one is bound to answer. It can just be so disheartening to think that those are my pool of bachelors.

Where are the good guys?  I’ll tell you where.  They are the guys that were ‘too nice’ in high school, even though our moms told us they’d make great husbands. They’re the guys who are married to amazing women, starting families and climbing the success ladder.  But I’m not in high school anymore. I don’t have some weird need to go after the ‘bad boy’ to feed my subconscious fear of not being good enough.

I can’t say I’m totally shocked. Society tells us that it’s “creepy” to approach girls or “desperate” to wear your heart on your sleeve. But my problem, is that it seems any social interaction is masked my technology anymore. If I’m not on Tinder, Bumble, or whatever, I’m not talking. To anyone. Ever.

My friends tells me, “Get off the dating apps, guys are on there for hook-ups.” Ok, so tell me friend (who is most likely not single). Where exactly do I meet someone who’s genuinely interested in getting to know me? (Silence). Yeah, welcome to my world.

I can say for certain that each day is an adventure. The curiosity of what a new day will bring and who I may meet is what keeps me moving forward. Most times when I’m eating Ben & Jerry’s in bed with no makeup on, or I’m settling into the ‘starfish’ position as I fall asleep, I’m happier as ever. Plus, if I’m looking at the bright side, all of these dating woes gives me something to write about.

My Date with a Man Child

Growing up, I was always told that boys are emotionally younger than girls. I guess that’s the reason I always tried to date older, so that we would be on the same maturity level.

That theory was proven wrong after my second date in the city. Let me preface, that people don’t communicate with each other outside of technology in New York City. Manhattanites usually have their own circle of people and don’t really care to extend an invitation to outsiders. With that being said, I learned quickly that my only way to attempt at dating here is through apps.

I thought I hit the jackpot when I had a date set up with a 31 year old from Jersey. Let’s call him, Carl. I figured he’d be settled in life, somewhat accomplished in his career and looking to meet a nice girl for the ultimate trifecta. It’s been said that you can tell a lot from a guy based on the spot he takes you for drinks. That’s the first question my co-workers ask and I’m hopeful as I wait for their nod of approval. Since I don’t know the city well, I take their word for it.

Carl chose El Rio Grande. Red Flag #1.  According to my fellow New Yorkers, this restaurant is known to get people blacked out with their absinthe margaritas. My friends warned me it might not be a great idea but I thought I should at least give the guy a chance. Maybe he just likes Mexican?

It’s always awkward meeting someone for the first time from a dating app. I worry that the chemistry may not be there (in which case, I always have a friend on standby to make the “I’m locked out of our apartment and I need you to bring me keys” call.) I walked in and there was Carl. So far so good. I said hello and gave him a hug.

“Oh my God it’s freezing,” I said. (Please note, it’s January.) “Oh, c’mon, it’s not that bad,” said Carl.

Red Flag #2. You just met a girl that you’re trying to impress and already stirring up a disagreement.

The rest of the night was a blur. No, not because of the margaritas ( I wish it was). Once Carl began talking, he didn’t stop. Imagine sitting across from someone who actually talks themselves in circles.  Ok, now imagine it being 10x worse than that. That was my night. I sat silently, sipping on my straw and nodding my head as Carl told me about the girl he dumped because of the large zit on her forehead and the professor that he had a secret affair with.

As I tuned him out, I thought to myself – this had to be a fluke. How could a  31 year old man be so childish? Why was it so hard for him to talk about family, or goals, or what he wants out of life? He kept using the phrase, “When I was your age…” Maybe that was his way of trying to sound mature. (Eye-roll)

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, Carl brought up the show, Game of Thrones. I knew that this was my only chance to have a two-way conversation, so I went for it. I began to explain that The Walking Dead is one of my favorite TV shows because you never know who’s going to die. Carl started rambling on again. I had enough.

“I’m sorry,” I interrupted. “Were you listening to anything I just said?”

“Yeah,” Carl said nervously.

“What’s my favorite show?”

“Uhh…”

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? This is the ONLY thing I have said all night and he couldn’t even retain it for 30 seconds? Is this guy real life? THIS IS WHY YOU’RE SINGLE.

“The Walking Dead,” I said in my best kindergarten teacher voice. “And why is it my favorite show?”

“Uhh….”

It was time to go. Carl walked with me out to the street and asked how I was getting home. By the miracle of God, a taxi happened to pull up right in front of me to drop someone off. That was my exit.

I said goodbye and went in for a hug but Carl was going in for a kiss. (He obviously has no sense of self-awareness). I dodged the kiss and tried to laugh it off to hide the awkwardness. Only he didn’t find it so funny. Instead, he proceeded to say, “Yo bro, you gotta get your shit together.”

Oh Carl. Good luck in all your future endeavors. You’re going to need it.

I’m Not Single Because Nobody Wants Me

I’m sure we’ve all been there. Maybe it’s at a family reunion, running into an old co-worker at Trader Joes, or a high school classmate at a wedding. It’s the first thing everyone wants to know. It’s the one question that’s answer weighs so heavily on the way the rest of the conversation will go. You know the one I’m talking about. “Are you seeing anyone?”

I never understood why this question merits so much importance. If you’re genuinely trying to gauge how someone’s life is going, how is a yes or no question going to form that assumption? Why don’t  people ask questions like, “Are you close to landing your dream job?” “Have you accomplished anything on your bucket list this year?” Actual questions that, in a short amount of time, can show a lot about someones character.

“Nope, still single!” I say with a smile. Here it comes. I like to call it the pity tilt. Ya know, where the person turns their head to one side, makes sad eyes and says “Awe honey, don’t you worry. You’ll meet him one day.”

Oh THANK GOD you cleared that up because I was over here thinking that at the old age of 25, I’ve lost any chance to ever meet a man and I will of course, die alone.

Exactly one year ago, I did something that to this day, I don’t know how I ever got the courage to go through with. I left the only place I ever called home and moved to New York City. That was never the plan. The plan was to marry my boyfriend of 2 years, live in a house halfway between our hometowns, have babies and live happily ever after. I am fortunate enough to be very self aware and knew that if I continued down that path, I wouldn’t be happy. The plan changed.

Living in New York forced me to be in a relationship with myself. I didn’t have anyone to teach me how to navigate the local vs. express train. I didn’t have anyone to save me when the homeless man on the subway wouldn’t leave me alone. I didn’t have someone to stay in and hang with me when my few friends went to the Hamptons on the weekends.  My point being, I was on my own. It was up to me to find out what made me happy and full of life.

After a few months in the city, I transformed into someone I had always wanted to be. I became a “yes” person and began to see the positive in every situation. I started going on dates, meeting strangers and inviting them for coffee, signing up for fitness classes and even took a stab at the flying trapeze. The independence I felt, and still feel, is life-changing. For the first time in my life, I feel content just being me and exploring the world and what it has to offer.

When I do get the inevitable pity tilt, I know the person behind it feels bad for me because I’m alone. But on the inside I smile to myself because I’m not lonely. I’m happy, confident and simply taking my time figuring out how I want to live my life and who I want to share it with.

Kisses,
G

Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Girlfriend

It’s a best friend right of passage. Whether it’s over a bottle of wine, through tears after a fight or simply because the moment feels right, we’ve all heard it. “You’re going to be in my wedding!” Now the real question is, how many of those weddings were you actually asked to be in? Speaking for myself, I can say that I’ve told ex friends at one point that they would stand by me at the alter. But (un)fortunately for me, I am actually in all of the weddings I was promised.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am truly honored to stand by these girls on the most important day of their lives. All at once though? My bank account and I aren’t too thrilled about it. The upside? I’m only 21 dresses away from being Katherine Heigel.

Although I’ll be dishing out thousands of dollars this year, I have bigger issues weighing heavy on my heart. I’m jealous. Yup, I said it. I’m jealous! But not for the reasons you think.

Almost every girl dreams of her wedding day and I am one of them. I look forward to knowing the man who will meet me at the end of the aisle. Maybe I already do! I think about what my dress will look like, what my colors will be and I continue to pin on my wedding board. But that’s not what I’m jealous of. I’m jealous that my closest friends in this world are all going through this life altering event, together.

I don’t have too much pride to admit I feel left out. When everyone is taking turns to talk about what will take place at their wedding, I chime in with a, “I got a new match on Tinder today” when it gets to me. By the time I get married, my friends will be having their 2nd baby! What if they can’t make my bachelorette party because they can’t get a sitter? Dramatic, I know.

Is it possible to be mentally lonely? Well, I deem that it’s possible. And that’s what I am. I wish I had friends in my place-single, broke living in a NYC apartment the size of my parents’ master bathroom (literally).

Ah yes, single. It’s tough to decline every single “plus one”, as most girls beg to be able to bring dates. I guess maybe it’s better that I am in the bridal party, that way I don’t have to sit at the single table. At (almost) 25, I didn’t think it would be this hard to find a date. I mean, hell. These guys are committing their lives to my friends and I can’t get a guy to commit a Friday night.

I can say with certainty that I am not even close to mastering the art of dating, but I figure New York City is the best place to try and figure it out. Until then…

Kisses, 
G