I opened the door of my rehearsal studio to be greeted by an extremely handsome man that was cleverly dressed and all smiles. What was supposed to be just drinks, turned out to be the longest coffee date of my life. On our way to the rooftop bar he had carefully picked out, we stopped at a coffee shop for a cup of joe. Getting lost in conversation, four hours later we no longer had time for drinks and I left giddy with the hope of another date on my mind. That second date happened and then a third and fourth and so on and when it got pretty regular, I started thinking about the future. Could he be the one?
Truthfully, I didn't really know. How could I? I had only known him for a couple of weeks but there was a definitely a great connection and I could tell he was a hard worker and adventurous, two traits I've always looked for in a partner. When the time came that it was time to ask him what he wanted from the relationship, it took me all of dinner and halfway through dessert to spit it out. I texted him earlier that week asking if we could talk. After ghosting a few of my texts from that weekend, he responded immediately. He took me to an incredible restaurant overlooking the Hudson River and took me to dessert at a spot near his apartment. It was a perfect date, but then we found ourselves sitting on his patio with the elephant in the room pressuring me to start that conversation. Eased by the romantic evening he had planned and confident he’d want to be exclusive I opened that can of worms and to my surprise, a serious relationship was not on his mind now or in any foreseeable future.
Maybe I’m a serial monogamist who has it twisted, but in my opinion, you date to find out who you might want to spend the rest of your life with. For me, though I never set it as a priority, marriage was always something that was on the table and thus everyone I dated, I looked at as a potential candidate for that. Anything that looked like a no go, I promptly ended anything that seemed promising, I explored further until it was a no go. Although in the South where I’m from that seems to be a common perspective, NYC is a whole different animal. I’ve done some dating both organically and online since breaking up with my last long term boyfriend and I’ve noticed a trend of dating as a hobby for most of my suitors. No, not a hobby- more aggressive- a sport. If dating in NYC is a sport, it’s definitely not a team sport like soccer or hockey, but a solo sport like golf or figure skating. Expensive, sometimes lonely, and you never really know what your competition is.
Of course like any sport, you need your equipment. For daters, it’s a stunning Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, and (if you’re rich or famous) Raya profile, an Uber app, your best I’m-not trying-to-impress-you-but-please-think-I’m-attractive outfit, and the credit card with the highest credit limit in your wallet. That guy and I, let’s call him Jeff, continued to see each other on and off for a number of months each date just as elaborate and lovely and I started to become more puzzled. Did he budget for spending a lot of money on someone he didn’t ultimately want to be with on a biweekly basis because it was a hobby for him? That had to be it! See, I’m convinced that dating is the way it is in NYC because we’re lonely.
We’re lonely and we’re busy and there are SO many options that it’s hard to tie yourself down to one person when you are so overstimulated, so we get stuck in this sport-like practice of dating and providing one another with witty banter and arguing over the check and someone wins and you’re left either wondering who’s on the agenda tomorrow or who’s on their agenda tomorrow and after doing that in repetition, it’s hard not to join the masses out there in the cynical practice that is NYC dating. We spend money weekly on it just like you would an extra curricular activity in high school not with the hope to eventually pursue it as a career, but to become, well rounded? I’m still trying to figure it out. What are your thoughts on modern day dating? Tweet them to me @anie_delgado.