As much as New York is known for being the city with the tall buildings and the bright lights, the city is just as famous, or infamous, for being one of the worst places for dating. And as much as I try to be an optimist when it comes to dating, the odds never seem to be in my favor — or the favor of my very eligible and very single friends here.
I sit mostly along the sidelines observing their many trials and tribulations during this phase called “eligible singlehood,” and I can’t help but question, when did dating become so complicated? What happened to boy meets girl, boy asks for girl’s number, boy and girl start dating, boy and girl fall in love, and boy and girl live happily ever after? It seems as if dating has become almost as burdensome and impersonal as going to the supermarket on a rainy day in New York City, no one wants to be there, but people need to buy groceries and someone needs to be at the register to check them out. Nowadays, it seems that people are dating out of sheer necessity instead of dating with the genuine purpose of building a friendship and, ultimately, a committed relationship. I think dating has become mostly a game of crapshoots. The object being to date as many people as possible until one person sticks around long enough to “maybe” meet their parents, or go on vacation with, at the very least.
Year after year, my single friends embark on these fly-by-night relationships, or “situationships.” They meet someone, they’re enthralled by them for a number of arbitrary reasons [i.e. they travel in similar circles, have many of the same friends, go to the same church, etc], and they fall in love only to find themselves nursing a broken heart, and/or bank account months later. Unfortunately, they missed all of the critical signs [i.e. the person doesn’t introduce you to their friends, they don’t make attempts to go on regular dates with you, they’re too busy to talk, there’s little to no intimacy in your relationship, etc]. These are important signs that should never be ignored. Dating should never be a chore, and if it seems like it is a chore, then it probably isn’t the right situation for you.
Dating is about building personal and intimate connections with someone. It’s your opportunity to learn about a person whom could potentially become a lifelong partner. Unfortunately, people treat dating as just any other regular activity such as cooking, cleaning, or exercising. And when you treat dating as just any other activity, you eventually become jaded with the process because all of the excitement and interest is gone.
Preferably, you should be finding the person you date, not dating the person [every person] that you find. You should never have to become a “serial dater” in hopes of finding someone willing to stick around long enough to possibly develop a relationship with. I get asked all of the time, why are you still single? You’re smart, funny, handsome, a part-time chef, and have a lovely midtown Manhattan apartment with a rooftop that boasts spectacular views of the city [ just had to mention that as well]. The truth is that I just don’t want to be with someone for the sake of being with someone, or because I feel that I have to conform to some type of societal standard, which says that I need to date in order to satisfy the ultimate goal of getting married and having 2.5 kids. I want to be with someone because I want to be with them. I want to be with someone whom I truly enjoy their company, and I look forward to spending time with on a consistent basis. I want to be with someone whom I am anxious and excited to see every single day of the year and, ultimately, would like to build the foundation for a long-lasting relationship.
Call me picky, but you can never say that you caught me wasting time looking for dimes in a barrel full of pennies [so cliche]. Date with purpose, and the rest will follow.