Have you ever wondered why dating in NY is so difficult? Why do people always say it is the city to be single and stay single. Why does everyone seem to be perpetually drifting in and out of brief relationships? Why are all those couples you thought would stay together forever suddenly divorcing? Is it simply because we just have too many options in this city? When I walk into a store simply searching for a bottle of salad dressing, I find not three selections but half an aisle dedicated to salad dressing alone in every imaginable flavor. It is the same with relationships. We might one day meet someone we like and enjoy spending time with but for some reason that we do not even understand ourselves decide not to go out again with that person or we keep that person on the shelf while we are still looking. We do not want to go to the cashier until we have searched out and tested all of the available products in the store. We also are tempted by the ones that say already reserved because that must mean they are somehow. someway more special than what is left out there in on the cold shelves. Since we cannot decide on one thing confronted with all these different options we soon get overwhelmed and sometimes leave the store entirely without any purchase in hand.
We are programed to think that if we just hold out a little longer something better is sure to come our way. So we do not even give the people we encounter a chance or a relationship an opportunity to fully develop. We do not dig beneath the surface of the person we are dating. The problem only worsens with all of the new innovative ways we now have thanks to technology to widen our social options even further with the use of online dating sites as well as social network sites such as facebook, twitter, and meetup.com. Did you ever have an online date that you thought went awesome only to go home and find that the person you were on the date with is already online scoping for someone new? It happens to us all. We thought we were special only to find out we were just one out of many on someone else’s rotating dating list.
We are all guilty of this, men and women alike. The grass is always greener. There is always a shinier version of what you already have now. I am not suggesting that we all just settle but if we continue down this slippery slope we will all end up only having real history with our friends and not with a partner. We will not have a companion whom we can grow old with, share our life stories and children with.
If we are continually seeking more and find ourselves never being satisfied maybe it is in the mirror we need to start looking. The truth is that no partner however perfect will be able to satisfy you if you are not already content in your own life and comfortable in your own skin. Maybe we are not really seeing the people who are right in front of us because we are so blinded by visions of the glamorous person who we think we should be with. As we get older we realize that we should be with the person who makes us laugh, the person who cares enough to ask about how our day was and actually really listen. Not that superficial person who is just there for the thrill of the chase or for casual sex. Not the guy who would rather watch football or go out with his friends rather than spend quality time with you. Not that girl who wants what is in your bank account and who cares only about what materialistic things and lifestyle you can offer her. If we do not stop and really look at the quantity and quality of the people we are dating then we are in jeopardy of waking up one morning and finding ourselves getting older, alone and with no one to care.
I met up recently with a guy friend from San Francisco and he said in amazement, “wow, I cannot believe how many gorgeous intelligent women there are in this city.” He who has a devoted, beautiful girlfriend of 10 years whom he lives with. “It is really hard not to stray in this city because the temptation is just to great.” He continued his rant as I rolled my eyes, “it is like there are women everywhere taunting me. There are tall leggy blondes, adorable short brunettes, fiery red heads, and exotic women just about on every which corner I turn. “What is a guy to do?” He asks in real frustration. I said in all seriousness, “you stay with the girl who listens to your long winded stories, laughs at your not so funny jokes and gives you soup in bed when you are sick. That is what you do. You should also be damn grateful that you found her.”
Then at a later brunch my girlfriends started complaining about how the men they dated a year ago seem to now be returning to the surface after going MIA. These men are contacting them out of the blue as if nothing had happened and wanting to date them again as if no time had passed. A male friend overhead this discussion and said,”well it is because they spent the year testing out the other merchandise and then they realized that you faired out better in the overall comparison.” “Gee how romantic,” us girls sighed.
I met another one of my guy friend’s for drinks and when I inquired about his dating life he said that he met someone nice and very attractive recently who seemed really interested in him but he did not pursue it. When I asked why not since he is free and single. He said that he has a strict policy of not dating a woman who does not have a master’s degree. This sounded absurd coming from a man who is currently working at a minimum wage job until he gets his business of the ground. What he fails to understand is that those women with the higher education that he puts on a pedestal and only wants to date might just judge him in return for not having a lucrative career at his age. They might very well decide he is not deserving of their time either. This is just another example of how people like to put the ones they date in a narrow little box at the same time placing roadblocks into the lane of their own happiness. My friend could be dating a wonderful woman who thinks he is great and who does not have a problem with his lack of money but instead he would rather stay in and play fantasy football on a Friday night waiting for his dream girl with the masters to come knocking on his door.
I cannot just say it is the men that have this problem because I have heard my fair share of stories of women leaving their good loyal husbands because they wanted to go off and live the single carefree life in Manhattan. I guess this searching for the holy grail in the dating world is a New York epidemic which can lead to dating disaster if you fall under it’s spell. Soon we will be all be getting pets because they will be the only loyal companions we will be able to find in this city of millions of singles.