For me, it all started when Julia Roberts responded to Richard Gere’s question in my favorite movie, Pretty Woman. He asked her what she wanted from their relationship. Her response has stuck with me for the past twenty-eight years. She said, “I want the fairytale.” She was a modern woman living in a modern world and yet she wanted something classic and traditional. Ever since then, I have been on a quest to find that classic and traditional,“fairytale”.
Over the years, I searched for that specific love. The one where you meet, you fall in love and live happily ever after. Little did I know that while I was living in a fantasy world that the rest of the world had a different approach to finding true love. I resisted for a very long time to jump onboard to online dating. Then when I did, I discovered that there is nothing but freaks out there. Now, granted, I know couples that have met online, have fallen in love and are living their own versions of “happily ever after” but as of today, that has not happened for me. Of course, it’s no longer about Match.com, eHarmony or even OKCupid. Those websites are now outdated and it’s about dating apps. And these dating apps, promote themselves as to help you find your mate but instead it’s more about finding your next hook-up that is hopefully within a certain amount of feet away from your apartment. So, what is one supposed to do when they still believe in “happily ever after” versus a “happy ending”?
Last Monday I had a first date with a new guy that I met on a dating app. We had been talking for over a month and he was very hesitant to meet me and I was rather hesitant to meet him as well. His reasoning for his hesitation was because he had just ended a long-term relationship and wasn’t sure if he was ready to meet someone that is more about “dating” rather than “hooking up”. I was hesitant to meet him because I was over men meeting me and asking me if I will go back to their place after two cocktails. However, over the course of the month of messaging back and forth, we both decided to put our hesitations aside and meet for a few drinks.
I decided to pick a place that was close to the path train since he lives in New Jersey. We met at, Gym Bar, right after work. I told him they have a pretty decent happy hour and that I’d only stay for a few drinks since it was a Monday. Naturally, by the time I got off the subway, there was a message from him that read, “Late”. I was five minutes late but he had told me earlier in the day that he was very nervous about meeting me. I guess after all these years, my “getting nervous” for a first date have all been desensitized.
He’s a rather big guy standing at 6’3 so it wasn’t hard to find him when I entered the bar. He recognized me right away as well. We did a very awkward hug and he said I smelled very nice. For a Monday, I was surprised that there were no seats for us to sit but after our first drink, some seats became available and that is where we ordered our second drink. He had offered to take me out to dinner but again, after a ton of failed first dates, I tend to not agree to dinner on a first date because 99% of the time I don’t want to have dinner with my dates. So, instead, we had a couple of drinks and those couple of drinks led to more than I was anticipating.
We discovered a lot of things about each other and I found myself having a nice time. Was I 100% attracted to him? No. Could I see myself seeing him again? Yes. Will I see him again? Yes. In fact, we are seeing each other tomorrow for dinner and drinks. After several drinks and both of us walking out feeling pretty good about the evening, he walked me to the subway and gave me a hug. He then proceeded to text message me a play by play of how long it was taking him to get back to New Jersey.
The next day I found myself on a fourth date with a different guy that I met also on a dating app. Picture if you will the character, Stanford, from the show, Sex and the City. Each time I went on a date with this guy, he wore a colorful blazer and some sort of pocket square to match and he is bald. Now, why would I go on several dates with someone that looks like this guy? Because I believe in giving everyone a fair shot, we also had nice conversations the last three times and at the end of the day…who am I to judge?
However, each time we have gone on dates they are ridiculously expensive. He works for a luxury brand and likes to make it seem like he’s got money. Which I am sure he does well for himself but I could barely keep up financially when we went on these dates and so when we had our date last Wednesday I made sure to not let him pick an expensive place. Not to mention, on all four dates, he had yet to kiss me. I wasn’t exactly wanting him to kiss me but I wasn’t sure as to why he kept asking me out and not making any sort of romantic move.
We ended up going to this restaurant in Chelsea called, Cookshop. Not expensive, reasonably priced and I enjoy their food. True to form, he was outside waiting for me in a pink sports coat and matching square pocket when I arrived. We sat down and began to update each other since it had been two weeks since we last saw each other. Dinner was nice and seeing that it was still early, it was time for him to make his move. I thought for sure that he was going to invite me back to his place but instead, he wanted to go to a wine bar for another round. I agreed and we were at a quiet wine bar on Tenth Avenue. After we polished off a bottle, I could tell that both of us were feeling buzzed. Not drunk but just “happy”. He walked me a few blocks before he said, “Let me get you a cab.” That was it. I was done. I had hit my limit with “Stanford”. I got in the cab and when I got home he said sent me a text message telling me that he had a nice time and that wanted to do it again.
I replied with telling him that I only had an o.k. time and asked him point blank if he was even interested in me. We must always be careful when we ask a question for we might not always like the response. He fired back rather quickly and said he does find me attractive and is a very sexual person and wasn’t making any moves on me out of respect. However, his final sentence to me is what stung just a little. He told me that I’m not “boyfriend material”. I thanked him for his honesty and he suggested we become “friends” or develop a “friends with benefits” situation. I told him that I have enough “friends” and that I also have enough “friends with benefits” that I don’t need another. The next day, he sent another text message asking me how my day was. I never responded.
Yesterday, I was at the bar, Julius, in the West Village celebrating my friends birthday. I was surrounded by wonderful friends and one friend, in particular, pulled me aside and said that I need to be “adored” and that I deserve this. In all my years of dating and living with boyfriends, I don’t think I’ve ever come across someone that adored me. They loved me in their own ways but never once was I close to achieving the “fairytale” that I had been searching for. As I was talking more with my friend he asked me what I wanted and I said, “Marriage and kids.” He came back and told me that I have been saying that to him for years now and nothing is happening with it. It was there that he said I’m a “modern” person. I wasn’t sure what that meant exactly but while I’ve been looking for this traditional and classic romance that I’m not any of those things. I’m not traditional. I’m not classic and I am modern.
In a world where relationships are more “open” and that everyone is designing very specifically how they want their relationships to work. This is the modern world filled with filters, apps to make you look like bunny rabbits and while none of it makes sense to me, this is the way things are now. While I will still dream of one day having my own “fairytale” come true, I guess there no harm in finding that modern love.
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