As many people in my life will attest, I am horrible at dating. For one, I usually assume a date is just two friends hanging out. And the second I do realize — Oh damn this is a date! — my body instantly starts sweating and I forget how to function as a normal human person. So instead of sitting back to flirt and wow the man across from me with witty jokes and intelligent conversation, I end up trying to remember what to do with my hands. Why are these bear paws of hands so confusing all of a sudden?! Stop pretending to spin a basketball in the air and just execute a normal hand motion … did you just shake his hand?
Not to mention if I have a crush on the person then it’s just a mess. Flirting? What even is that?
For the first time in a long time, I’m single and while there are so many things I enjoy about being my own plus one — not having to apologize for long work hours, being able to focus on yoga, spending Friday nights cuddling with kittens and X-Files reruns — I do sometimes find myself envious of couples brunching on Sundays with their corgis and matching looks of love. So in a city where everyone is moving a thousand miles a minute and to busy even to apologize for stepping on your shoes in the subway, is online dating the only way to date?
I go back and forth about online dating, sorting through my already preconceived notion that an algorithm is an inferior wing man to an actual human. In reality, online dating has so many perks: Getting to know people with your same interests that you would have never met in any other situation, providing great stories of matches that were obviously a programmer playing a joke on humanity, getting to explore the city, and being able to take an active role in pursuing your next relationship. If anything, it can’t be worse than that date I went on with that magician years ago.
But despite having friends who have met their partners on dating sites, I can’t seem to shake that stubborn, old fashion, and potentially unrealistic hope that I’ll meet someone in person and have one of those quintessential moments where sparks are flying and hitting innocent bystanders and he’s offering me the last piece of apple walnut pie and I making a witty jokes and a day melts into a lifetime. Because believe it or not, underneath this chiseled tomboy exterior, I love all that romance stuff; the cards, the heart flutter, the hand holding, the chemistry, the thoughtful moments, the laughing, the honeymoon stage giving way to reality.
New York doesn’t make it any easier either by being the perfect city to fall in love in. Between the romantic restaurants and parks and happy hours and skylines — tone it down city, we get it, you’re a couples paradise!
When this dating funk sets in, I always think of the best advice I ever received from the one and only Joe Van Dorn: Just keep swimming, doing the things you love and living your fullest life, and along the way, another fish will run into you going the same direction.
And in case you’re like What, how are YOU single?! I don’t doubt the image below will clear everything up. Yes, this captures in total the book Dune, a Charlie the Unicorn blanket, an XL YouTube shirt, and two cats.