For anyone whose ever dreamt of moving to New York with the hope of fostering a fabulous single girl life reminiscent to that portrayed in sex and the city; think again. In fact, think many times again.
Before I shock you with what I'm about to write, please know that none of this comes from a mean place, it doesn't come from an angry place or a place of negativity, it's comes from a place of discovery as this is what I've found in my travels and above all that- it's just the gosh darn truth. I know that these feelings and observations do NOT represent all guys out there and that I've just had the unfortunate luck of encountering more than my fair share, but that being said, this is my blog and these are my experiences and I promised when I started this to be honest, so I'm going to be.
Fact: Dating in New York is the worst, most frustrating, self-deprecating, exhausting, extracurricular activity I've ever involved myself in. I don't say this to be dramatic or over the top, I say it because it's true. Dating in New York is like slamming your head against a wall five times, getting cut each time but then doing it again and expecting different results. Just stop slamming your head against the wall and you won't get cut. Simple right? One would think. But here's the thing, after each cut heals and the hello kitty band-aid is thrown out with yesterday's overly priced organic produce, I stand up to bat and once again slam my head against the wall thinking this time, I won't get cut. When will I learn? Better be soon cuz I'm running out of band aids.
Now don't get me wrong I've had friends who've had good dating luck in this backwards city I call home. Those who've moved here or broken up with long-time college boyfriends only to relatively quickly stumble upon a great guy and foster a seemingly normal relationship. But trust me- they are the exception. They are the exception, and I'm the rule.
I'm the girl who goes on 1, 2, 3, sometimes even 4, great dates with seemingly normal guys only to have some all-telling conversation or come-to-jesus moment at which point it's revealed that all of this wonderfulness and the assumption of maturity, is in fact false or all in my head because, at the end of the day, I'm a great girl but they just don't know what they want (gee thanks, I wasn't aware I was a great girl, glad I've got your seal of approval). Sometimes it takes longer, case in point my last stroll down dysfunctional lane, where I stood by for 6 months trying to fix what was broken in the hopes that my patience and unyielding understanding would cause a lightbulb to go off in his head. Note to self and other interested parties: it won't matter what you do and if it's broke, you can't fix it. But usually, by date #4 it's pretty clear we're taking a nose dive towards negative town.
Now before you jump on me and call me negative nancy, which if you know me- know I'm not. Let me assure you that I've spent a great deal of time thinking about all of this (probably more than I'd like to admit but likely not more than others reading these ramblings) and analyzing what exactly is at play. And, while I've gone down the "something is wrong with you" road one too many a sangria-glasses, it's finally become clear that this apathy towards progress and the utter refusal to take a chance on anyone, is a widespread problem, and GASP, it's not just me. I've therefore concluded that between the years of 1982 and 1987 there was something in the water that stripped men born in that time of the ability to grow up and make decisions for themselves. Harsh? Potentially. True? Undoubtedly.
Most 20-something men that I've had the pleasure of dating (and some 30 somethings, yikes) have this ever-present fear that every girl they date is just dying to lock them down. Now, let me be clear because I'm only going to say this once- we're not. We, just like you, have no idea what we want and the only way any of us is going to find out, is if we get over our fear and take a chance. Sounds logical right? One would think. Yet, time and time again, this proves impossible. I've repeatedly had experiences and listened to friends recount stories in which perfectly good budding romances have come to a screeching halt because the guys (incorrectly and prematurely) assume we're ready to walk down the aisle- whoa, slow down buddy I just asked if you wanted to get ice cream.
It's as if guys are so afraid of getting locked into a relationship, that they've forgotten that we're all in this together. At the end of the day we're all doing this for the same reason- to find out who we are, what we like, what we want and shocker IF this could go anywhere. What I want to know is, if we're so opposed to the idea of a relationship upfront before we even truly get to know someone, how will we ever fall in love?
I look back at my parents and grandparents generations and I'm envious. There was none of this "What do I want?", "Have I accomplished this yet?" "Who am I" business. You lived your life! You went to school, you got a job, you spent time with family, you had friends, you met someone, you got to know them, if it was right you got married, if it wasn't, you started again. It wasn't a big deal, it's just what happened. People didn't spend time thinking about whether or not they wanted to be in a relationship or if they were ready. People didn't question whether or not they wanted to build a relationship with someone, because that's what you did.
Yet this generation, to which I was so fortunately born (cue sarcasm), has a different take on life. While some see our views as progressive, I see them as unfortunate. Why, you ask? Because I'm old fashioned, an old soul, and to be old fashioned in a new age is pretty much the worst. It means many failed attempts at cutless head slamming, tears, cursing, frustrations, countless why-do-I-even-bothers all the while taking you back to the realization that you are who you are, and that's someone a bit different from others your age. You're someone who knows what they want and isn't afraid to take a leap of faith in pursuit of finding it. You're someone who's had her heart broken, a lot, but gets back out there anyway because maybe, just maybe, next time it won't suck. You're someone who knows what matters to you and what isn't worth worrying about. You're someone with values and who loves to have fun and who has a lot to offer. So then why, after each of these failed wall slammings, do you feel so defeated? I guess that's the nature of the game.
At the end of the day, I'm proud of who I am. I have a strong personality and I have no difficulty making decisions. I'm not one to waver and sometimes that intimidates people. But that's ok. In my last relationship I lost sight of my strength. I compromised who I was for someone else. I changed for fear of losing someone I thought I wanted and in turn, I lost myself. I'm not going down that dirt road again, I just finished cleaning the pebbles out of my shoe. So instead, I'm going down a new road. A road with quite a few hills and maybe less of a view but it's a road i'm proud of. I know that somewhere out there is a guy who will be awed by my ridiculousness. Someone who will see my determination as a positive thing, not negative. Someone who will look at me and see all of the good that I know I have to offer and embrace it. Ok, so it might take me longer than everyone else, but that's ok.
So happy Friday blogobites. Have a great weekend, and please, don't drink the water.