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  • Writer's pictureJordan Valdez

The one about dating in New York City

Let’s all say it together shall we.. DATING FUCKING BLOWS. Now try dipping your feet into the smallest dating pool in the biggest city in the country. It’s downright inhumane. Top it all off with a pandemic and finding love these days is a goddamn pipe dream.

“What are you doing to put yourself out there, Jordan?” The better question is what am I not doing. I love meeting people the old fashion way, ya know, through friends or out at bar—things that have basically become obsolete since Covid struck. My friends here are wonderful but we all run in the same circles so at this point if there’s someone they could’ve introduced me to, they would’ve done it. Plus let’s not pretend we’re still in fourth grade—anyone you want to sleep with in these circles, has probably slept with one or more of your friends too. And as for going out to bars.. good joke. Perhaps that will be more realistic as the warmer weather rolls in and hopefully the city lets businesses legally stay open passed 11pm.

So then your options become dating apps which generally suck too but currently it’s that or nothing so I’ve given in, time and time again, to their promising smoke screens of handsome young suitors. Then the smoke clears. And what am I left with you might ask? A crop of decent men who turn out to be too lazy to plan a date, too boring to hold a conversation with or too douchey to ever be worth your time. It’s also exhausting swiping the day away to match with 20 positive potentials, then get only 5 to respond back to you, for then maybe one to make any sort of effort to meet up in person. I know there are so many success stories of people meeting on Tinder or Bumble and finding their person but that is the exception to the rule. And just like we all learned in He’s Just Not That Into You, we are not the exception, we are the rule. Yes, I still have hope that someday I will be someone’s exception. I will be the girl that turns a boy into a man, the person that makes him realize all the mistakes he made before have lead him to become the ultimate partner for the woman he loves. Blah blah blah. I’ll believe it when I see it.

It’s rather sad actually. I have always been a hopeless romantic. I’ve experienced love and commitment, I’ve felt the butterflies and I’ve always believed that my soulmate exists in this world. I still do at my core. But dating in New York City makes a cynic out of the best of ‘em. There’s the monotony and aggravation of playing the same swipe, converse, meet (but probs not), repeat game over and over again. Then there’s exhaustion of getting your hopes up every day a fresh faced cutie comes across your screen. In the off chance we meet someone out, and he’s cute and charming, he probably has a girlfriend, or seven. We meet someone and tell them what we want, they run, we decide we’re ok with casual, they run. But we puke and rally night after night just for the chance to be ghosted for the 86th time (this week). The constant disappointment is enough to break anyone.

So here’s me, sitting alone on my couch, drinking Negroni’s alone at midnight and manic typing my feelings because I got my hopes crushed yet again. And here’s the kicker—I TRULY thought this one would be different. He appeared handsome, successful, 30 years old and an ER doctor. His photos were attractive yet inviting, sporting a sweet smile, a tall build and a handful of sexy tattoos. As soon as we matched, he initiated the conversation and did so for a couple of weeks. We switched from Tinder to Instagram—I know I never use Tinder anymore but I was trying to maximize my reach—and he made an effort to message me daily, ask indulgent questions and shared his personality through anecdotes of his life and the occasional snap photo. He was a dog dad, he loved photography like me and he understood my random, unorthodox work schedule. He was the type of find I showed to all of my friends, wondering how he could possibly still be on the market, and let myself get excited about.

We made multiple plans for dates and our first was to be Easter Sunday, however we both wound up having to work so no harm there. We made a new plan to meet after his shift at the hospital on Thursday night. He confirmed the night before, said he’d be off at 7pm and would meet me in my neighborhood. Now I gave him some leeway considering the medical field is unpredictable and he does work in the ER, but after 7pm rolled around with no answer all day, then 8, then 9, 10…ok, I’m being stood up. SHOCKER. The fact that the first thing that popped into my head was the distinctive base beat of “Another One Bites the Dust” is all you need to know about the state of my mental well-being. I’m just fucking over it.

Am I still checking my DMs hoping he’ll respond eventually with some crazy excuse as to why he didn’t even have the decency to let me know he wasn’t going to make it, of course. Am I hoping he has a perfectly good reason for blowing me off, absolutely. Because I still want to believe the best in guys. I still want to believe the best in this guy. But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. I haven’t gotten ready for an actual date in months. My makeup and hair haven’t looked this good since 2019. I haven’t felt the excitement of meeting someone new and wondering if this was it in so long I can’t even remember that feeling. I want to cry and take shots and be out with friends but also sit alone at home thinking that six hours later he’ll finally text me back and offer the sincerest of apologies. But all I can honestly do is laugh, because it’s just so damn typical of dating in your late 20s in 2021.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fucking pissed. I absolutely deserve better, and I may never know what happened tonight to the good Doctor. But if I live in my sorrows for too long then I’m wasting valuable time getting closer to finding someone who would NEVER leave me sitting by the phone, doubting my worth, changing in and out of my adorable first date outfit, and regretting every hopeful thought I had about this dumb boy. F@%$&%CK. That means I have to start all over, again.

Popular belief tells us that when you stop looking, love finds you—and that’s great. But my problem is I don’t even know that I’m fully ready for my forever love. I’m just trying to freaking go on dates. I’m trying to experience dating in my 20s in New York, figuring out even more of what I do and don’t want in a partner, and honestly just have a good damn time. I’m sure I’ll make some mistakes and cross paths with lots of toads but someday it will all be worth the headache. So now if the dating scene could just get it together so I could do these things that would be awesome sauce. In the meantime, some other things I’ve been doing to put myself out there include manifesting romantic relationships, placing rose quartz around my room and lighting Love candles for god sakes. Flexing my inner juju powers seemed like the right move seeing as nothing realistic/normal was working. BUT EVEN PUTTING MY WHOLE SOUL INTO GOOD VIBES ISN’T WORKING SO I AM LOSING MY FREAKING MIND. So if anyone has any more advice on ways to attract a man who won’t plan a date and then stand you up, let your girl know.

However, if you say you can go away because I am 29 years old and way too much of a catch and we are just not there yet.

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