First and foremost, I completely and totally dislike the act of dating. It's complicated, it's stressful, it's full of games and puzzles and misinterpreted texts and over-thought headaches, and I want it to die in a firey car crash. Moving on.
I somehow see it necessary to date in order to try out a variety of different people and experiences. How do you know what you want or what you like if you don't try a little bit of everything? You don't just eat a piece of Swiss cheese without ever eating a piece of any other kind of cheese and think "Swiss cheese is my favorite cheese in the world" - because you couldn't possibly know that without trying all the other cheeses that are out there. What a silly assumption, guy. Also, while Swiss is delicious, it is not the best. Keep that in mind next time you're at the cheese counter.
This all seems an odd conundrum to me, because I love meeting new people. I love exploring new things, and finding new connections with people I maybe have everything in common with, and maybe have nothing in common with. Perfect example: my roommate. She and I could not be more different, and yet, I find her completely inspiring and intriguing (another topic all together, but you get the point). She's incredible, and I may never have gotten to know her had I restricted myself to my little comfort bubble. I pride myself on being able to be thrown into a situation or setting where I know no one, and walk out with at least one new acquaintance. I grew up as a shy kid, but have since learned (and I think maybe even mastered) the art of socializing. I have a big personality which can sometimes come off as intimidating, but I know who I am and am damn proud of it. This confidence is supposed to come in handy, but seems to be slightly aggressive to those I end up on dates with. What the hell, OK Cupid? Get your computer statistical algorithms correct already and stop showing me the same 40 people. I don't listen to top 40 radio stations, I don't want top 40 dating bros.
See, I thought that by moving to New York City (side bar: meeting a dude was in no way a motivational spark in that decision, as I moved here while dating someone), I would meet a million new, different, and exciting people. I thought friends would just ooze out of the woodwork and I wouldn't know what to do with myself. This? Is a big, giant lie. New York City is, by far, one of the toughest places to live - for a variety of reasons - one main factor being how insanely hard it is to meet people here, and I have a few theories as to why. One, people move to the city to live this incredible life they dreamed of, and to focus on one thing: themselves. People here can be really selfish into just themselves. Now don't get me wrong, I get it - it's important to learn about yourself and "do you", as they say. But at some point? Let go of you, and move on to something else. Like signing up for a social co-ed sport (best thing I've ever done, ps), go on a scavenger hunt, or try finding the best pizza joint in your hood. Two, everyone here has some sort of guard up. People are so worried about letting other people in that they tend to put up brick walls, only broken down by dynamite - and excuse me for not carrying around a match. Three, there are over 8 million people in this city, and I always tend to run into the handful I already know. The world is just not as big as it seems. At this point, I'm rambling.
My point here? I'm not sure anyone would classify "dating" as an extra curricular activity, or even an activity they enjoy spending time doing. It's work. It's like searching for a job while working a job. It's time consuming, it's nauseating, it's filled with ups and downs, ins and outs, awkward goodbye hugs with the occasional fist bump (and in some instances, the "Hey, thanks for the great conversation...". Really?), and at the end of a date (or a day filled with job searching)? You sometimes want to kill yourself. But you don't. You go home, you go online, and you sift through the piles of online dating profiles that take up so much space on the internet, it would blow your mind grapes. And you hope that one magical little profile will pop itself out of the millions (parallel: resumes) and be exactly what you want: tall, dark, handsome, and maybe even has a quality credit score and a decent one-bedroom somewhere in Manhattan. Location is key. Side bit of sound advice? Date outside your zip code.
Do I wish we still lived in the world of hand written love letters, courtship, and long-distance-never-met-you-but-I-can't-live-my-life-without-you romances? Who wouldn't. Do I have the hopes for an organic meeting? Absolutely. Things tend to find you when you least expect them, and I fully intend on believing in that and the universe not screwing me over too badly. So maybe it will magically happen. And maybe it won't. And maybe I'll grow a third arm. It's a numbers game. It's love in the time of algorithms, and it's a damn battlefield. Somehow? I'm still incredibly optimistic. I'm still hoping for that magical little spark I really haven't felt since I was 19. So as pessimistic and sardonic this post may seem? I am oddly hopeful and not yet entirely jaded. Somewhat jaded, but not completely.
Coming up next: adventures in dating, the files of Hilary. Stay tuned, loyal readers. Every day is a new adventure here!