By: Shawn Davis
Anytime when I add a piece under the “Dating” category in this space it’s usually because I’ve been annoyed and prodded into doing so. Where does the prodding come from? My amazing female counterparts; they just want what’s best for me. Is the sarcasm coming through?
(I almost couldn’t type that without dropping my laptop)
Good natured? Eh, I guess but it does irk me a little – and they know this. I get the point of it though. It all boils down to this from them: Why are you still single?
Simple question! Fair enough and I respond with the only answer that makes sense – although they feel I’m being evasive: I’m supposed to be single.
That’s the most honest response because I’ve been dating women by the dozens. I’ve been single for 2 years (after a 4-year relationship) and I’ve traveled to a few countries, meeting exotic women…basically just enjoying being solo and exploring the world. My main focus is on my future and tightening bonds within my inner-circle; just putting the stones in place to build the rest of my life.
With that said, I’ve been on the market for all the single ladies out there. Parties, bars, on the subway, at the supermarket; wherever I meet a beautiful woman – it’s on. I won’t turn away the opportunity to meet a new lady. I’ve even tried some free online dating sites, phone chat, and – the most hilarious avenue to meet singles – speed dating.
Let me just say this again for the sake of not banging my head against the wall: I’m supposed to be single, I enjoy it (at times), and I accept it for what it is. The last thing I’m going to do is get involved when I’m not ready for anything serious, lead a good woman on, then ultimately break her heart. None of that is necessary! I’m a lot of things but I’m not a complete asshole, although there are those who would argue that I am. Now this whole point could be rendered moot if a woman comes along that I just cannot ignore and I would be fine with that, but she hasn’t.
Some of my female friends feel that I’m not giving any of these women I’ve been seeing a fair chance. Untrue. Why? There was this stunning woman I met at a mutual friend’s party a few months back – I knew I had to get her number as soon as she entered. We talked (she was single) and we made plans to go out a few weeks later. Over the span of two weeks, I called and sent two texts and she never responded. What do I do now? Usually, I would delete the number because I made the effort and there’s no response coming back so why hold on to it, right? Out of the blue, she finally got back to me and we went on our overdue date.
How was it? Fun. It had all the elements a good date contains: Great conversation, good food, shared interests, lots of laughter, etc. I mean I was blown away to the point that half the way through dinner, I knew I was going to ask her out again, depending nothing crazy happened. You know what? Nothing did! Well maybe I shouldn’t say nothing.
At the end of the night, I walked her to the train and we both mentioned seeing each other again so I took the opportunity to ask her out for another date and she said “yes.” Hmm, “All right this is cool,” was my prevailing thought. We hugged and she went into the subway after she asked me to call when I got home. Once I got to my place, I did, and we spoke for a bit before she went to bed. We finalized the plans for the next date a day or two later (just days after the first). Cool, right? I’m hyped to see her again, HYPED. Well…she had to cancel because she didn’t feel well so we made plans to reschedule and I haven’t heard from her since. That was a month ago! It’s not me, not at all.
She was the only one that stood out to me in months – and I’m a total flake; I lose interest quickly BUT I was ready to give it a shot and…nothing. There aren’t many things that leave me bewildered but that’s one – and I still contemplate what happened after she had to cancel. I deleted her number.
Dating is a battle zone where only the strong and astute survive. There are landmines everywhere you step and finding someone interesting is just the beginning because weird things can still happen; like the example I mentioned above. Sometimes there are no warnings, things just go awry. Taking all this into account, I wasn’t too pleased with the idea of being single two years ago so I wanted to ease back into the madness. Going to Italy definitely sped up the process, yeah it did! Oh, the memories…but I had to tackle the beast of dating in NYC.
Thing is, dating has to be more than just finding someone; you should have a proper mindset or a clear goal, at the least. You have to know why you want to begin dating again: Whether it’s to find a mate, to have fun but ultimately remain single, just to boost your ego, etc. Only you can decide the reasons to date again. What was mine? To have fun, to boost my ego and jump back into action; when you’re coming out of a long relationship you have to get the dust off. Got me? Good. Take the time you need to mourn the end of the previous relationship and then kick that crap to the curb. It ended for a reason, right? You only live once.
At the time I wasn’t ready to go prowling in clubs – and bars weren’t appealing to me, at all, so I wanted to try something I touched on earlier: Speed dating. Was it an experience? One that makes me laugh every time I ponder it and aren’t those the best memories; the ones that bring laughter? I thought so.
The premise is self-explanatory: You’re herded around like sheep and rotate upwards (for example, if you begin at table 1, you rotate to table 2 when the time is up), you wear nametags, you’re armed with a pen and a booklet to take notes, sometimes you get a free drink (yes, I mean liquor) to help with the embarrassment of putting yourself through such a production or you can buy one because the event is usually held at a bar/club (in the early evening before things get busy).
Men are the only ones that are rotating as the women stay at their same table for the duration of the event – which could mean sitting for an hour or two. I felt so objectified, ugh. Why are men always treated like pieces of meat? Women are so mean. (Sighs)
The time of each date depends on the type of event. If it’s a “marathon” (where you can meet anywhere from 25-50 singles) then you’ll usually have 2-3 minutes per meeting. Whereas the regular events feature dates with 8-10 singles and have a time limit of five minutes each. Time is what you make of it and it’s both a gift and curse. Also, you know when you’re stuck on a date that’s going nowhere? Then you still have to fake through dinner for the next 20 minutes? We’ve all been there!
Well, here you have the comfort of knowing that even if you get a stiff sitting in your face (asking dumb questions) the time will save you. Adversely, there will be instances where you want to spend more time getting to know the stranger sitting across from you – then the bell rings – when things are going well. You have to be efficient with time and not waste it with questions like: “What’s your name?” (They give you tags for that.), “What do you do?” (Which could lead to a long-winded answer and you have to conserve time.), “What’s your age?” (Every event you sign up for will prominently show the age range of singles so you’re meeting people within those parameters.), etc. Ask questions to get thought-provoking (and fun) responses like: “What’s your passion?”, “How would you spend your last day on Earth?” and “Where have you traveled overseas?” Those types of inquiries have been golden for me; you want to see personality and get a smile or two.
It’s about finding common ground, exchanging a few laughs and establishing whether you’d want to go on a full date. The premise is to generate interest, hopefully, with someone who’s there going through the same ordeal you paid for. Ha! There are times where five minutes is too long/short just like three minutes can be long/short depending on the person. This is the reason I prefer the marathon format because meeting a large group of women makes for better odds of getting “matches.”
What’s a match you ask? Do I have to explain everything? Ok, well it’s when you pick someone and they do the same. After the event you take your notepad home and log-on to the website of the company that organized the dating and make your selections. Once you get a match, the person’s email address will be sent to the email you have on file with the company. From there? Contact them. At these event’s, they usually frown on people exchanging numbers while there but I’ve done it anyway because there are times I couldn’t meet everyone so I did want I’m good at….getting numbers.
I have to say this to my male brethren: There are so many hot, single women in this city and we aren’t handling our business. We’re not! As I went from date to date, talking and listening to these women I just came away shocked that they were alone because – as most of them said – they are actively looking. They echoed that the men they continuously encountered weren’t “up to par.” On a basic level I understood what they meant, but it made me think of a brilliant article I read here. Another opinion should be viewed here. As for the truth, if one exists, it’s going to be found somewhere in the middle.
At the end of the three minutes I had with a blonde-bombshell, we went on a date later that night to continue the conversation. Guys just look at it this way: Women want you to present yourself honestly. Whether you’re looking for a serious relationship, having fun or you’re open to anything, just be real. Even though we still catch grief for being “too” honest, just take my word and be straightforward.
There’s a caveat in that ladies: We will tell you anything we feel you want to hear so we can get what we want because we do feel that you ladies can be a bit tough to crack…no pun intended. No matter which way you slice it, dating is a task everywhere, especially in this city.
Going through speed dating is something every single person SHOULD experience. I mean you have to! It would be a disservice to your search if you didn’t give it a try. The best way to sample it would be through the marathon format for the same reason I liked it: More possibilities. You’ll come across people, you’ll learn why they’re single and you’ll be blown away by others because it won’t be clear why they’re alone; remember you only have 2-3 minutes.
I did it three times and went on a few dates because I had good luck getting matches and they were all interesting. One woman explained her issues with abortion, why she had one a few weeks prior to our dinner and her thoughts on the guy who got her pregnant. Another talked – at length – about why men, all men, should be killed or shipped to another planet. Ok. Funny thing is she got upset once I told her I wasn’t interested in pursuing her. Really? Yeah, she was confused…only in New York City!
I didn’t find anyone to pursue because I wasn’t expecting anything. I went into it with an open mind and if someone was so special – that I couldn’t ignore – I would have considered stepping up. I went to dinner with another who showed so much personality during our three-minute introduction, I felt the dinner would be a slam dunk and she was such a dud. Now I chalked it up to anxiety so I made sure to keep her laughing but no matter how hard I tried to bring her personality out…it wasn’t happening.
Chronicling every date is not happening here but they were all experiences I’m glad I had. To all the women who populate my life: I love you all but take it easy. I’m out there and when it’s time to meet her, I’m sure I will.
Lastly, if someone encounters that girl who cancelled on me and fell off the face of the earth, spill something on her dress for me. Cool? Thanks.