I spent most of my first year in New York City dating: a countless cycle of swiping on apps and matching with guys and saying things like “how long have you been in the city” and meeting for drinks and kissing them goodnight and maybe (but maybe not) waiting until they took me to dinner to go upstairs with them.
But after a year of sleeping around and taking multiple guys to the same wine bar in Hells Kitchen, I found him. He was smart and cute and quiet but loud when he needed to be. And he had a good job but also had aspirations for more. And he liked me and I liked him and we could look into each other’s eyes for hours and not say anything. And he lied about liking things because he knew how much I liked them. And I was happy. And when I had to go to California for work, we said we’d pick up when I got back. And I got back. And we didn’t. He told me he was moving to Florida. He didn’t move to Florida. And on New Year’s Eve, I downed bottles upon bottles of champagne at a house party in Brooklyn and told myself I would take a break from dating.
And I woke up on New Year’s Day in Astoria in the bed of a boy with Harry Potter glasses that I thought were cute. And I hate Harry Potter. And he took me to get coffee and bagels and he liked weird things on his bagels but I thought that was charming. And we talked about liking the same things. And he was smart and cute and quiet but loud when he needed to be. (Do I have a type?) And he took me to art exhibits and kissed me when he dropped me off at the subway. And I taught him how to spell the word “uterine”. And I couldn’t believe that this fell in my lap. And then he told me he just wanted to be friends. After I spent all night at a bar with my hand on his knee, laughing too loudly at his jokes. And in a one-dollar-pizza-place in Chelsea, I ate my feelings and told myself I would take a break from dating.
So I did. I spent a good month and a half telling anyone who would listen that I was actively not dating right now all while secretly waiting for the right guy to lock eyes with me on the subway and tell me he hated Harry Potter and sweep me off my feet. And I got tired of waiting. And I told myself that nothing happens if you just sit around and wait for it. And I told myself that I should be active in looking for what I want. And I hopped on Tinder. And I matched with this guy who was taller than me—and I’m 6’4”. And he was smart (a lawyer!) and kind and had a very sexy speaking voice. And we got drinks once and it was fine. So we got dinner and then it was not fine but he still decided to kiss me outside the restaurant. And as I halfway kissed him back and denied his invitation home with him, I told myself I would take a break from dating.
So I did. Again. But I really tried this time. I tried to not focus on why I wasn’t with someone. I tried to focus on my other relationships and my career and my writing and not drinking too much on a Tuesday. And I took a serious look in the mirror. And I was still 6’4” but I stood a little taller. And I told myself it was okay to be single; it was okay to be almost 25 and never have had a serious relationship. I may not be like those couples on Instagram who spend hours posing in their underwear together, but one day I would find someone… to laugh at them with me.
And one night my friend was releasing her book (how New York!) and I went to the release party. And there was a very cute boy. And we hit it off immediately. And he knew how to talk about comedy. And he was so easy on the eyes that it hurt. And he had a soft speaking voice that I loved listening to. And my friends all winked at me from across the restaurant. And he smiled the sweetest smile. And he laughed at my jokes. And I laughed at his. And I realized that once I had stopped looking for it, I had finally found it. And the night was coming to a close and I asked for his number.
And he told me he was straight.
Good thing I’m not dating.