“I don’t even want a boyfriend. I just want someone who wants to hang out all the time and thinks I’m the best person in the world and wants to have sex with only me.” — Hannah Horvath, Girls
I am a 25-year-old, college-educated, #workingwoman living in Los Angeles, and I have never had a boyfriend. “REALLY?!” is the response I usually receive. Yep, that’s right, World, during my 25 years on Earth, I have zip lined through the rain forests of Costa Rica, ran a half marathon in Central Park, and become a vegan, but I have not yet become a girlfriend.
First, let me respond to a few assumptions:
I am a weird loser with no friends.
False. I have a lot of friends. Actually, I think my friendships may be part of the problem. Nearly all of my girl friends have or have had boyfriends, which has allowed me to witness what I may be missing. Each time they PDA I hear, “Sucks you’ve never had this.” (Side note, what am I supposed to do when my friend and her boyfriend are engaging in PDA? Should I look at the sky? Pretend I got a text? Look at them lovingly? I never know). And I know, Mom, “Don’t compare yourself to others,” but how can I not?
I hate meeting new people (especially boys) and going out on the weekends.
Also false. Meeting new people in any circumstance is arguably my favorite activity. I like meeting new people so much that I become anxious thinking about all of the people I haven’t met. Remember that scene from Gilmore Girls where Rory visits the Harvard University library, which holds 13 million volumes, and she freaks out because she hasn’t read every single one of them? I know, I thought she was an unbearable psycho-nerd too. However, her reaction is consistent with my own when I enter new groups of people. While she has to read every book, I like to meet every person in the group or I feel unsatisfied.
I am a black female or Asian male — the two most statistically romantically undesirable groups.
Ok, that one is true. I am a black female, so I am part of one of the two most statistically romantically undesirable groups. (At least on dating apps). But I am not here today to talk statistics. I am here to talk logistics.
There are five logistical requirements that have to be met in order for me to find a boyfriend:
1.We have to be in the same city.
I moved to LA after two years in New York, where there are a plethora of guys my age. Unfortunately, though I did go on dates, nothing stuck. Now, I’ve moved across the country. There could be a guy, even a friend of a friend (the perfect set-up!), currently living in New York who would be happy to be my boyfriend, but I’ll never know. Frequently, on the street in New York, I’d walk by a guy I could picture myself dating, and I’d want to blurt out, “What bar will you be at on Saturday, and why weren’t you also at The Jane last Saturday night like I was?!” Which brings me to:
2.Within that city, we have to, at least once, end up in the same location at the same time.
Seriously? The odds of that happening are about as unlikely as me ending up sitting between three crying babies on my redeye home to Philadelphia for Thanksgiving. (Logically it should almost never happen but believe me, it can). This logistic is why I struggle with the iconic rom-com Serendipity. Sara had it made. She was in the same department of the same Bloomingdale’s at the same time as Jonathan. But, no! She had to throw it away just to prove a point. And she still gets him in the end? Smh. Luckily, in 2017, we have dating apps to control exactly what Sara was too optimistic to appreciate. We can plan to meet at a specific place. Then we can hope we’re not getting cat-fished. Which brings me to:
3. We have to be physically attracted to each other.
As long as he looks like he did in his photo that made me swipe right, I’ll probably be attracted to him. But am I what he expected? Maybe looks-wise. But did he smell sweat in my armpits when we hugged hello? Did he notice when I accidentally spit, while talking? Is my forehead getting too shiny? (Yes. The answer to that one is always yes, no matter how much cover-up I wear). And let’s say we didn’t meet on a dating app. We lock eyes from across the room at a mutual friends’ party: mutual attraction at first sight. Thank G he and I both happened to be in town and available to come to this party! We start talking but can barely hear each other over the drunkest dude at the party standing next to me yelling along to Calvin Harris. So, we agree to meet in a quieter place at a later date. Which brings me to:
4. Our personalities have to be compatible.
Pinning down this date is a huge accomplishment. I have plenty of attractive friends who have bonded with a cute guy at a party and then never seen him again. Mutual sexual attraction is not enough; emotional compatibility is also critical. As I gulp down my drink that I will act like I’m going to pay for at the end of the date by “reaching for my wallet,” I pray that he realized my latest comment was sarcastic, that I didn’t sound like a complete idiot when he brought up politics, and that I’m exuding the confidence of Beyoncé. Also, that noise was just the sound of my chair moving against the ground, not a fart! Ugh, dates are hard. So hard that I don’t know if either of us will want to do this with each other again. Which brings me to:
5. Both of us have to actually want to be in a relationship.
Timing is everything. If any of the four above logistics are in jeopardy, i.e. he’s moving to another city, he decides he can no longer look at my shiny forehead, or I cannot cope with how slow of a walker he is, then there is a chance we will not want to be in a relationship with each other. Beyond that, some guys just aren’t looking for relationships. Maybe he just got out of a three-year relationship with a girl who cheated on him, maybe he is focused on his career, or maybe he is afraid of settling down. Talk about #FOMO again. Or, even worse, maybe he is already in a relationship! With another man! Who knows!
But whatever the reason, without number 5, we have no hope of a future. I have faced the facts. The chances of me completing logistics #1-5 are as improbable as finding a vegan-friendly restaurant in the middle of Iowa during the cross-country road trip I am dying to take. Thankfully, I have found the alternative solution: all Black females and all Asian males should date each other! All hail Blasians! Kidding. Sort of. I’m waiting (impatiently), Dev Patel. Is the real solution for me to listen to the advice of my friends in relationships: ‘enjoy being single?’
That seems equivalent to telling a girl who’s leaving her childhood home in the suburbs to ‘enjoy having space’ before she moves to her first apartment in New York. She cannot truly appreciate the only thing she’s ever known until she sees exactly how crammed, yet wonderful it is to live in The City.
So the next time your new friend who is happy with her boyfriend reacts as if you told her you’ve never seen a computer before when you tell her you’re still single, just remember: if you had been placed in the same office at the same time in the cubicle next to the guy who loves your curly hair and sense of humor just as much as you love his eyes and sociability and you both were interested in having a relationship, you’d have a boyfriend too. However, not all of us can be so lucky as to defy logistical improbability.