Ugly, Sick, and Stupid

I’ve been dropping out lately. It could be staring at the monotonous white tile wall while in the shower or my keyboard prior to typing this or a green light at an intersection. Guess you could say I’ve been quite low – and never being one for asking help – so I mustered up the energy to draft this entry. Lord knows I’m not in the mood to change out of the clothes I’ve been wearing for the past four days, shower, or make food.

Depression

About half of my twenties have been filled with sickness, depression, and loneliness. Maybe that’s normal but according to what I see, it doesn’t appear that way.

I’m thoroughly convinced that without a vibrant social life or definitive purpose in life, one’s vitality is essential for well-being. Normally, I’m full of energy; run a few miles in the morning, yoga by lunchtime, work done by dinner, and a good book in the evening. It’s kept me in good shape most of my life and can be done without relying on anyone else, which is the best way to stay consistent, no? In my early twenties, I seldom considered what life would be like if I was no longer able to do any of these things. Which brings me here today.

Who knew that when I grew up I’d be a collector of incurable autoimmune diseases?

Eight months ago, I started flaring up again. It comes out of nowhere and I tend to be extremely reluctant to put my workouts on hold or drastically change my diet. I tell myself, “Who knows how long this one will last? No need to turn your world upside down. That’ll only stress you out and make matters worse!” But everything gets worse anyway.

I know the drill by now.

  • Chronic pain  Image result for check mark box
  • Fatigue  Image result for check mark box
  • Anemia  Image result for check mark box
  • Nausea  Image result for check mark box
  • Fever  Image result for check mark box
  • Depression  Image result for check mark box
  • Foggy head  Image result for check mark box
  • Anxiety  Image result for check mark box
  • Sleep loss  Image result for check mark box
  • Weight loss  Image result for check mark box
  • Mood swings Image result for check mark box

Besides rent, main expenditures switch from weekend events to pricey medical bills. (Gotta pay up for all the poking and prodding. Yay America.) It’s a sensible change since I never feel like going out anymore. Sure, some days are better than others but for the most part, socializing sucks up all my energy. In short, I become a diminutive shadow of my former self.

I feel ugly, sick, and stupid.

These are no easy feats to overcome. And it helps explain why I’ve been single for over 2 years now. And I should clarify what I mean by “single” because many people have adopted this word for other (more upbeat) means.

To me, it doesn’t mean serial dating. It doesn’t mean taking time to “find yourself.” It doesn’t mean that relationship you carry that’s not official or serious. It doesn’t mean a post-break up fling with a recent ex. And it doesn’t always mean a personal choice.

It does mean being in the market for a partner. It does mean crushing rejection. It does mean forgetting what holding someone’s hand feels like (let alone everything else). It does mean getting a look of unease from someone whenever they realize you seek love and intimacy like everyone else. It does mean feeling shame when you’re labelled as a cis white male who has supposedly benefited from the patriarchal subjugation of women. It does mean feeling a failure as a man for not being assertive enough. It does mean cursing yourself for wishing others would approach you for once. It does mean losing a sense of connection with others. It does mean forgetting how to communicate and deliver suave repartee that men are expected to know. And it can mean a lack of choice.

The way you navigate the world on a daily basis morphs as well. Stimuli that bring back memories of intimacy can be uplifting but they tend to be followed by a crippling crash. I don’t expect everyone to understand this but if our experiences were identical, I guarantee you would.

For example, on my morning subway commute, a woman’s scent may traverse the train car and get to me, causing a flood of feelings of how life was like when I had someone to call late at night, or someone to hold when the doctors found a tumor in my mom’s brain. Unintended touches from strangers yield similar effects. Maybe it’s the barista’s hand slightly grazing mine as she hands back my credit card, or someone brushing against my shoulder exiting the train. To be sure, I NEVER seek this out, as that would be a violation of personal space and vastly immoral. Regardless, I’m ashamed of these flooding memories and feelings from strangers, as it has nothing to do with them. Essentially, I’m triggered by these sensations since they are rare.

A note for all you happy-go-lucky extroverts that read this and think dude, you think waayyyyyyy too much. Live a little. 

I fully understand the power of getting out of one’s head. Believe you me. Granted, that’s all I need to do but what I’m expressing is a long-term, formless feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, and dejection stemming from physical ailments and other circumstances that are only partially in my control. Therefore, it’s less about therapy, improv classes, meditation, support groups, etc. and more about riding this shitty wave out, welcoming that bewildering shock that comes from crashing on the shore, dusting myself off, and beginning again.

In the interim, I occasionally write to remind myself I’ve been here before, will be here again (hopefully, not too soon), and survival is most probable. Rinse and repeat; just add water; set it and forget it.

Such is life.

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

Advertisements

The Female Dick Pic and the Fucked Economy of Heterosexuality

“The economy of heterosexuality is fucked. We can’t all find good men. There aren’t that many.”

Soooooo, I got into a little twitter war with a group of misandrists (not an accusation). Which got me thinking, as per usual.

2012-06-21.gif

Dick pics, unsolicited DMs, forceful and crude advances, etc. are all an abomination. It’s the low hanging fruit (more like overgrown weeds) that most women have to deal with as they navigate the minefield of dating. Yet, men, too, get equally as frustrated with the dating process. Which begs the question:  from a guy’s perspective, what’s the female equivalent of a dick pic?

If you read about the psychology of gender communication, you already know men and women communicate differently; crudely speaking, men are more overt yet less emotionally expressive and women are more covert yet more emotionally expressive (lending itself to active and passsive gender roles in society). And so, the female dick pic is much, much more nuanced and backed by emotional convinction.

After my twitter war, I mulled it over with a few other males and here’s what we found…

The Female “Dick Pic”

In short, one’s personal experience, while totally valid in its own right, is just that –> one’s experience. Baggage originating from a small sample size need not apply to the entire population, especially if the makeup of that sample size are strangers.

In terms of attitude, it’s the sense of deserving jadedness towards the opposite sex based upon the worst subset of said sex (e.g., sexual harassers), combined with a lack of self-reproach and a feeling that one may be settling because deep down one believes they can do better. This may take on the form of animosity (dare I say sexism) or excess baggage that gets lobbed over to the next partner; à la mode de “my ex did such and such, therefore, I’m afraid you’ll do the same thing, so I’ll treat you differently because I’m not falling for that shit again.” Instead of flashing a reproductive organ, one flashes a blasé outlook regardless of the here and now. In a utopia, everyone would be fresh and accepting to all strangers. Am I advocating that? Hell no, that’s naive, I’m advocating reasonable maturity so as not to disenfranchise good people who don’t deserve vicarious exploitation stemming from past experience. 

While dick pics and (let’s say) my argument of emotional baggage are clearly not the same thing, what I wanted to bring up was how they share a common categorical root; i.e., unsolicited abuse rarely recognized by the culprit. I selected the “dick pic” instead of violent harassment because dick pics tend to be less of a personal vendetta and more of an indirect and perverted attack. Typically an attack from a stranger.

My comparison aims at measuring this up against personal emotional abuse directed towards an intimate party. Note, both are unsolicited attacks that shape how one gender views the opposite gender. Harking back to the other point —> they’re rarely recognized by the culprit because dick pics are (presumably) sent by careless scum and emotional abuse is an intangible, formidable force that festers for years. The visceral and devious nature of emotional abuse can be extremely difficult for men because (traditionally) they’re less emotionally literate, which may lead to resentment towards women just like dick pics may lead to resentment towards men.

So, my argument is against caustic and fatalistic language as I see no benefit to that form of speech for anyone. While pessimistic, I suppose I’d agree that a good friend (or partner) is hard to find…..and perhaps that’s the overarching issue here.

Let’s say, for example, my ex-girlfriend cheated on me and now I have a jealously complex with my current girlfriend. This is unfair and would put an unnecessary strain on my current relationship. Another example is the belief that most men/women are trash or sexist pigs or, more commonly, that good men are practically non-existent. You may have seen the myriad of news headlines like “Sorry, ladies, there really is a man shortage” or “It’s Not Your Imagination, Single Women: There Literally Aren’t Enough Men Out There” broadcasting somber statistics from Jon Birger’s shocking book, “Date-Onomics“.

Are they really though?

If you’re unfamiliar with the book, here’s the basic breakdown. With males comprising 59% of high school dropouts and women statistically becoming the more educated gender –> if you assume that all women want a monogamous relationship with a male in or above their educational class –> data shows this to be extremely difficult. Further, if you define a “good man” as one that matches or exceeds your educational merits, then there’s a shortage of good men.

As far as the arguments stemming from “Date-Onomics” (which are super interesting), stats are one thing, behavior is another. Not every woman wants this and not every person acts as rationally as a statistician hopes they would. I’m not denying a shortage of educated men on the market — I’m denying how a lack of good persons is uniquely a male phenomenon. In particular, I’ve seen this argument used to express how easy dating must be for men, which is flat out wrong.

Further, if reading history and learning from personal experience has taught me anything, it’s this: good people (male and female) tend to be treated like a pinball in an arcade machine. If inner demons are conquered, there’s something about a rough history that allows one to truly empathize with people and thus, treat them better than others may have.

Therefore, the notion that the rarity of being a “good man” is akin to a collector’s item or that it deeply improves and greatly adds to one’s share in the modern dating marketplace, which is evolving to become more personalized and narrow for every category other than “moral judgment,” sounds like pure casuistry to me.

And so, I present to you, dear reader, Exhibit A. A little twitter war.

The thread is a little lengthy but I promise it demonstrates my argument plus it has a twist ending! (It’s like if the Cohen Bros. and M. Night Shyamalan had a baby.)

While reading, keep in mind that suicide rates are 3-4 times more common among males than females in the western world (source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health). The point of bringing up suicide rates is to once again highlight how men tend to be more overt due to lack of emotional literacy (do > say). If it’s evident to you that men should work to better themselves because it would also benefit other men (and decrease harassment), then clearly derisive language directed toward an entire gender (“men are trash”) is NOT going to help. Nor is the desire for all men to recognize that they’re nothing but abject menaces and society’s trash. This is exactly what’s recommended below by proud misandrists and one prime example of the female dick pic.

Enjoy!

Exhibit A Twitter link

Exhibit A

1234567891011121314

Q.E.D.

Remember, if you hate me and my blog, don’t forget to subscribe and come @ me.  🙂

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

“I Have My Moments”: Being Single, True, and Happy

No one’s ever been interested in me solely for my looks.

I’ll make you laugh and think but ultimately, I’m forgetable; I’m optimistic but will drown you in caveats; I’ll hold the door and pay the bill but I’ll pick the wrong restaurant; I’ll promise to take care of you, as I become extremely ill; I’ll always remember your birthday and our anniversaries but forget to compliment your new dress; I’ll kiss you first but probably wait too long; I’ll start a conversation but never know how to end it, not to mention that I have a million stories, half of which you won’t care for.

Essentially, I’m the lyrics to “One Hand In My Pocket” but without the chorus hook.a.jpg

That’s who I am. No fluff. I’m a guy who’s not ideal for many but I have my moments. Most of my ex-girlfriends said they loved me to the moon and back but, to be honest, I don’t know what that means anymore.

These are my musings as a single guy in New York City, underscored by the fact that I love NYC women more than they love me.

bSo, does this fatalistic attitude damn me to another 800 dateless days and unintended celibacy? Or will it paradoxically lead to a greater sense of belonging and wellness?

Many wise thinkers, such as Aristotle and Maslow, believed the key to optimal wellness was self-actualization. In short, your happiness depends on your ability to take an honest look at yourself — the flaws, wrinkles, downsides, upsides, etc. — in order to fully understand your potential so that you may live a creative, true, and fulfilling life.

Gee, when I put it that way, it sounds sort of simple, don’t it?

Problem is –> we’re not wired that way, both socially and neurologically.

That is, oftentimes our well-being appears to be dependent upon our self-perceptions (particularly false one), pride, self-esteem, social circles, and, in many cases, even our careers and livelihood. (“Dating ______” or “eating _______” or “working for _______” will certainly cheer you up.) Many of these concepts rely on our “ideal self” — you know, the one that orders salad instead of fries, or doesn’t squander money on things your don’t need, or tells the funniest jokes, or deserves that promotion — rather than your “actual self” and it requires one to be tirelessly exigent and truthful.

Reconciling the two “selfs” can be emotionally painful.

Meaning, your ego will be tarred and feathered, flogged, deprived, and pilloried in the public square with its scars flagrantly on display for insatiable assailants to deride.

And yes, many believe this to be the path to happiness, as well as other positive attributes, such as humility. (Which I happen to find sexy AF.)

What else do you get for being an ego-masochist? A truer, more objective, experience of the world. And if you’ve ever been around those with mental disturbances, you’ll know how much of a gift that is.

Harking back to the beginning of the post, what examples of your true self are hard to admit? What are the downsides of being your friend, partner, lover, customer/client, bartender, etc.?

c.png

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

The Woman Who Stabbed Me Got Married Last Month

It’s been a few years since I’ve contributed to this blog, so I should clarify that despite my absence, I’ve remained single, just low on the hustle. What brought me back is a little piece of information: my ex got married last month. She, along with my many rejections, was my muse that inspired this blog; that and strong bouts of depression, anxiety and insufferable lonliness. You know, the usual suspects.  🙂

I loved that woman. She’s the only person I’ve ever been with who had opened new doors of experience for me – expanding my bounds, and solidifing my love of the outdoors. There were growing pains that made both of us irritable at times and only if I had known what she was going through, maybe our relationship wouldn’t have ended the way it did. Shoving love at a problem doesn’t make it go away.

Her mental disturbances, especially the mood swings, lacked any predictable design. Regardless, I wouldn’t believe it and always thought there was something I could do to fix things. After all, when she was up, we would both relish in the euphoria. So, likewise, when she was down, we would both perish in the abyss. Things came to an ugly end when she took a steak knife to my throat on my 23rd birthday. The reason? She had burned a few slices of bacon. At least, that was the trigger – not very hard to find one when your headspace is a latent minefield. If you’re curious, I wrote about her in Girl Fail #21 (Part 1 and Part 2).

And so, we split up and I remained attached, kind of. She consumed my thoughts. Sure, I was heartbroken but never like this. My future had been altered by unseen hands and even though I wanted to move on and find someone else, I couldn’t. New York City is like that sometimes. It didn’t matter how many new faces I met, the ROI was zero. Over time, I realized that she never loved me; instead, needed someone like me in her life at the time. I fulfilled a need. That’s it. Period. It’s good to feel useful, don’t it?

Feeling lonely is a nightmareShe found another man a few weeks after we ended things. I was alone. Following that guy, she quickly found someone else. They started dating, he moved in, and last month, they got married. (It sounds like I kept tabs on her but I swear I did not – just providing a quick summary.)

It’s not the marriage per se that bugs me. It’s how easy everything was for her. To move on; find another job; another apartment; another man; another love. She had all these choices, and through no particular effort of her own. Begrudgingly, I witnessed this and heard about it. It’s clear that the purpose I served was temporary and small, and so, I, too, felt small.

This is a familiar cycle. I no longer remember what it feels like to hold someone’s hand, or to carress a lover’s back, or to run my fingers through their hair. Show me another blogger that knows this despair and laughs when friends bring up their 6-month dry spell – they are my equal. The gap between my ex and I is unbound. Similarly, so is the one between me and serial daters (the most common type of blogs about the single life).

But dear reader, this changes. Like all things in life, this too will come to pass. We must wait. Wait until we find a crooked neighbor to love with our crooked heart, reap the time, and dispel the morning sun and invtie the rain when it’s all done. Only to begin again. We must wait.

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

The Single Life Manifesto

Dear Reader,

If despite your best efforts, how would you feel if it took over a year to get a single date? (You can fit quite a bit of rejection into one year, which is why I started this blog.) Now imagine trying to find that congenial life partner, aka “the one” to rule them all, if you only averaged a measly one date per year. Let’s say you’ve tried all the apps/sites and went to all the hip joints in your area but you came up empty (feel free to read about my failures #GirlFail). In consideration of those odds, would this change the way you live your pilgrimage as a love-laden individual? Ironically, most single-life blogs don’t narrate this story (#SerialDating) but it is mine and many others. While bemoaning myself into an assisted charcoal-burning suicide is a nonstarter, I did want to try and objectively explain my predicament since it’s more common than many think, especially for men.

(And in case you think it’s because I look like a troll or that I’m a slob – let me stop you there. Although I have no problem saying I’m average looking, I have my strong suits; e.g., physically fit, healthy eater, average height, and educated.)

Here’s a conversation I came across that perfectly depicts the disconnect I have set out to write about:

Screen shot 2017-02-11 at 8.43.15 PM.png

Screen shot 2017-02-11 at 8.44.54 PM.png

While both sides are correct, she (@FirstDatePurg) missed his (@DateTechnician) point completely. “Dating is work.” No doubt about this but how much work is being exerted on both sides and, on average, is it equal? And how different is it? (Not trying to single out @FirstDatePurg here, I’m sure she’s a great person and a hell of a catch. Also, @DateTechnician’s reference can be found here.)

why-chase

To better explain myself, I’ll provide you with the exact antithesis of my situation, as I am confident it will be a tale you’re familiar with.

My friend Laura traveled abroad and painted the town red for the price of a venti iced skinny hazelnut macchiato with sugar-free syrup (#Starbucks). How? Well, on her second night, a chic man approached her on the street and asked her out dancing. With caution blowing in the wind, she accepted and journeyed with the stranger to a high-end club, got free entry, free drinks and free food. He was rich and well-connected with the local social elites and so, during her stay, she boogied at exclusive venues, debauched at luxurious homes, and eventually had sex with this attractive man on his stone balcony. And would you believe it? this story doesn’t end there.

After arriving back in NYC, she then captivated her peers with this enriching story, allured a wider audience via social networking sites with dreamlike photos no other tourist took and, in effect, bolstered her social status. Additionally, she’s able to use this sumptuous footage on dating sites/apps to easily attract more affluent and successful men in the city, and punch above her weight. You see, this experience doesn’t happily retire in a scrap book along with other distant memories but invariably gathers interest, allowing for larger investments in the near future.

Here’s my point:  No universe exists where this even remotely resembles my life. In fact, all imaginary universes lack the temerity to grant even a slice of this pie based on – in Conway’s cowardly words – “alternative facts.”

A more impersonal way of conveying this is to say that there are disproportionate social opportunities that present themselves to some people, particularly women, and usually with little effort from the beneficiary. Additionally, when this is cited, one often hears a retort in the form of “you just have to have confidence,” or “you can do better” or “it’s less work for guys.” Jim Jefferies, shown below, provides an equally sleazy retort.

Jim.jpg

To be sure, this is a generalization and a half-truth. My intention is not to be divisive or rude in any way. The tone of my convictions are set to match those that truly believe it’s anyone’s game out there and if it’s easy for them, why not everyone else? Their existence immediately grants merit to this half-truth. (But feel free to argue with me 🙂 )

Why? First, as a society, we’re entering a new realm of romance with online dating spearheading the way – a modern romance, as some have called it. Second, it’s difficult to gauge just how much it’s impacting us. Granted, love will forever be an evolving hot topic and the example of Laura definitely isn’t everyone’s story but something of the sort happens every week, and I’d bet every day. As I’ve stated before, dating apps/sites in densely populated areas encourage two things:

  1. Men to be lazy (which I’m guilty of)
  2. Women to be picky (OKC and Tinder stats support this theory)

And as far as I can tell, both of these subversive traits will hinder everyone’s happiness. Consider the first point for a moment with regards to Tinder, which I can speak for. A guy’s odds of Screen shot 2017-02-19 at 8.50.16 PM.pngwinning the Tinder lottery are absolutely pathetic. Dozens of studies report stats that back up our scanty luck; e.g., out of 250,000 swipes, a male subject was only matched with 532 of them. I’ll rephrase that: after swiping right to a quarter of a MILLION profiles, a guy only received 532 matches. The best part? The majority of the matches the male profile received came from other men. A quick calculation would show that if you’re a straight male, you would have a match rate of under 0.212%. By comparison, an average female had over 8,000 matches compared to just over 500 for men. Yet despite this, I still see men in public swiping on their mobiles instead of striking up conversations with others in public. How can we be so lazy? Has online dating justified shyness and reclusive behavior?

Commit.jpg

Furthermore, we seldom acknowledge why we’re acting the way we are. If you espouse to change or stand against the duplicitous role of Photoshop or the relentless bias towards actors and actresses with impeccable vanity in movie after movie, then I trust that you’d find it apropos to be mindful of how apps and the internet shape your interactions in the real world.

Ah, the real world of modern romance; where 1 out of 15 profiles feature a scandalous selfie of a girl squatting on a toilet (#FuckSocialNorms?). To be fair, men are equally as guilty with their photos and insipid descriptions about cheesy tacos but here’s the difference: the girl on the shitter is getting more dates than most men. Now her gag reflex may be as absent as her father figure but the fact that despite her foul lassitude, her odds of scoring a free meal with a local chap this weekend are vastly superior to mine should be contemptible.

toilet3.jpg   Toilet1.jpg

I’m not saying that Ms. Support-Our-Poops should die alone but what irks me is that there is a Donald Trump level of loyalty towards these people – only instead of standing in the middle of 5th avenue and murdering somebody in cold blood (and not losing votes), it’s taking selfies while pinching off a big mud monkey in their WC. And this is all men’s fault. If photos like these were as readily available in the early 1990’s, Chuck Berry would never have put those video cameras in the ladies bathroom at his restaurant. So, why are men swiping right to this aberration?

Society has assigned passive and active roles for tasks based on gender for thousands of years. For example, men took an active role in providing for the family but a passive role in the actual care of the family (house maintenance, cooking, cleaning, etc.) and visa versa for women. This is something we gingerly internalized and while there are biological origins to these duties, that doesn’t make them intransigent, as you can see with my outdated example. For the most part, what continues to transpire today – what was regarded as the baby in the bathwater – is men actively seeking out and engaging with potential partners while women typically take a more passive approach, although this changes with older age. The main downside to this method is that objectified women are consequently subjected to much more unsolicited behavior; both good and bad, for better or worse, from both the richer and the poorer. Adhering to this, establishments are consistently insecure about their male-to-female ratio and, in an effort to satisfy this insecurity, will host a “ladies night” or ladies-get-in-for-free events. (Free entry and drinks for women every Saturday at Hudson Terrace and Monarch Rooftop. Tell your friends!)

Screen shot 2016-07-11 at 9.15.44 AM.png

These active/passive roles in our society are part of the reason why the superficial importance of appearance remains in the foreground. Getting dolled up is a side effect of assuming the passive role. Personally, I’d rather compliment your personality than your looks but alas, a ringing endorsement for the shoes she picked out is expected sometimes. (Side note, I can’t recall a single pair of shoes from any past relationship – they don’t Screen shot 2017-02-11 at 7.43.50 PM.pngfucking matter.) Truth is, calling someone beautiful isn’t much of an homage if you’re merely pointing out your appreciation for their genes, which they had no control over in the first place. Would you blush if someone complimented what hospital you were born in as well? No, but you recognize that beauty is vital to your passive role in the dating scheme. How many times do you hear “when will I finally find my perfect man?” In general, don’t they mean “when will the perfect man find me?” How many late night hosts introduce a guest in the following way: “We have the beautiful Jennifer Lawrence on the show tonight!” Why not “the talented Jennifer Lawrence”? She is talented as well, no? When asked why you chose your career path or hobby, how many women say they did it to meet men? I’ve lost count how many times the OPPOSITE is said; men becoming poets, actors, architects, musicians, authors, etc. solely to gain a competitive advantage and to hopefully – as Beavis and Butthead often wished – “finally score.”

Screen shot 2017-01-28 at 6.50.01 PM.png

There have been noble movements across the country opposing this but like most inexplicit parades, some look the part but don’t act it. Hipster fashion rejects flashy tight yoga pants for ripped blue wash jean shorts draped over black stockings; prescription contacts for your Dad’s first pair of oversized spectacles; a matching outfit for half a dozen conflicting cultural references you know nothing about. In my mind, the goal of some hipster trends is to appear as impractically unattractive and indolent as possible. If not their bib and tucker (#sarcasm), then overt objection to the generic à la shitter selfies. However, in some respect, this is the broad reply to unwanted, unsolicited behavior (e.g., dick pics and catcalling), which is the sad trade off.

And yes, it is disgusting how many derisive pigs there are. How hawkish their openers can be. How unlettered they are. How they have become tireless parodies of themselves collecting waste while others ignore their bullish tropes. Innumerable twitter accounts, vlogs, blogs, songs, and books are dedicated to these types of scum. This is low-hanging fruit but it’s easy to vent about.

Screen shot 2017-03-21 at 11.49.03 AM.png

As much press as irreverent openers get, this doesn’t add to one’s workload if you can still pull off a date with someone. Everyone should enter the world of dating with the mindset that at least 50% of men/women you’ll encounter will be shit. Tinder just helps to magnify this. Like I said before, men are generally more assertive out of necessity, so pigs flooding your inbox is sure to happen. The big downside to online dating is the ignorance on both sides. Unfortunately, many great guys waste away their chances by throwing around openers like “Hey, how are you?” or “We have a lot in common, want to chat?” because they don’t realize a women’s inbox is being filled up with competing messages and matches that are all subject to a vetting process. Who wouldn’t become desensitized to simplistic greetings or compliments? That is the center of the bull’s eye here. Neglect this at your own peril.

Yet, isn’t this the best time to be single? The ads for Match.com make loneliness out to be as fun as having herpes. I mean, you can find a date using nothing but the internet; a concept most people don’t even understand. Oh, and there’s finding someone in person; speed dating, singles mingles events, and the like. However, online dating has lost its sketchy stigma and the majority of Americans now say it’s a great way to meet someone. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, usage of young adults have nearly tripled since 2013. A few years ago, I wrote about my OkCupid social experiment, which compared my real profile as a man to my fake profile as a woman.

How useful is OkCupid for men? Well, I visited over 600 profiles and sent about 450 messages over the course of six months. Out of those 450 messages, I only received 5 replies. Yup, that is 5 out of 450. That equates to about a 1.1% success rate, where success SOLELY means getting a reply. In order words, I wasted over 112 hours of my life. Here’s a tip: you have to be inured to rejection to continue. And clearly everyone wasn’t having the same rotten luck. It may sound crazy but I consider this to be a success story from a guy’s perspective.

The social repercussions for lazy bios and gag-provoking photos are unmistakably different and don’t favor men in this era of modern romance. Would you swipe right after reading the following bio?

Looking for someone to show me the city
(aka, they know nothing about the area)
I’m great at lying and I will only complicate you
(most likely crazy and selfish)
I don’t even use this stupid app anymore
(probably won’t respond to your message)

From what I gather, women are much more likely to reject this but as unappealing as it sounds, men are swiping right because why not? What difference does it make if you’re already struggling to find a date?

Screen shot 2017-02-11 at 9.36.15 PM.png

This isn’t to say women don’t struggle, but it is different and I’m not alone in saying that I would trade places in a heartbeat. Much like anything else, dating/socializing is a muscle to exercise and for many of us, we’re indulging in this numbers game because we’re reluctant to settle. Averaging 1-3 dates per year doesn’t give you enough practice in repartee, or time to polish your first impression, refine your best stories, or calm your nerves. This is where many of us part ways; I argue that 10 mediocre dates are superior to 1 great date. To put it another way, I’d rather sift through cringe-worthy openers, perverted invitations, poor dinner conversation, and a few free meals than spend another evening alone staring at an empty inbox or being turned down a dozen times in public. Love is hard; sex complicates everything, and it’s supposed to. This is why whenever I hear the type of hogwash that’s in this tweet…

Screen shot 2016-10-08 at 11.44.19 PM.png

…it tells me two things:

  1. Nearly a thousand people agree with this written memento (facepalm)
  2. Those that act this way aren’t putting in the hard work required in a true relationship

Most of us are looking for that someone to fulfill and complete us. And the more relationships, sex, dates, conversations, repartee, etc. the better your chances are at coming across the one who will requite the love you share. But consider this if you still believe I operate on a level playing field: literally every person I’ve ever been with has had at least twice as many lovers and dates (albeit not always relationships) than I have hitherto. The number of dates amassed within a couple of years for many dating blogs hosted by women would take me multiple lifetimes to accrue. And if they’re having trouble finding the one, what does that say for people like me?

Is this news? Not really. But if it is true that I’m intrinsically placed at a disadvantage and the game is slightly rigged against folks like me, then it’s also disadvantageous to act or think like so many of those who don’t share this struggle. As such, I’m proposing a sort of Single Life Manifesto in an effort to steer oneself unperturbed through the tempest of modern romance.

1) Vigorously disdain unctuous platitudes such as:

  • Everything comes to you at the right moment; be patient
  • There’s other fish in the sea
  • It’ll work out in the end, just be yourself

2) View online dating resources as simple means of finding others but not the ONLY means

3) Embrace every opportunity to refine communication skills with exigent effort

4) Insatiably devour failure and rejection; eat it for breakfast, dammit

5) Always be respectful and don’t be a scornful or sleazy asshole. That lot has been amply filled without the likes of you. Ask anyone

6) Better yourself every day for there will be times when you’re just not good enough (ever seen a shirt with “Strong women intimidate boys and excite men” on the front?)

“If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you wont give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy. … Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” – Bob Marley

If you believe this mindset would breed a life of misery, contempt and pessimism, you are  mistaken. On the contrary, it’s stoic and honest, which is useful during formidable times. And if you believe those, too, are overrated traits, here’s another platitude for you: nobody said life would be easy. That’s what true confidence looks like. And who the hell doesn’t want confidence in a lover?

“Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.” – Shari R. Barr

A friend once comforted me by saying, “You know what your problem is SingleGuyInNYC?”

“What?”

“You just got to be yourself and let someone come to you.”

We sat in silence for a few seconds before laughing to tears. It was the best damn joke I’ve heard in a long while.

And that’s my point.

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC