Tag Archives: New York

Yup, I’m a dating expert

Yesterday, I was contacted at my job by a student in Michigan. She’s working on a project about human relationships, and wanted my take on female dating habits. For those of you who don’t know, I carved out a reputation for myself last year as a dating expert. Unfortunately, my answers were too long to answer back in my guide, so I decided to repost them here. Hope this helps calligi!

1. What drives men to pursue women?
Biologically speaking, men pursue women because – for hetero dudes – it’s in our nature. We just do it. I can remember being attracted to girls as early as four or five years old. Philosophically speaking, there’s a multitude of reasons that the poets have gotten hyperbolical about for a millennia. Lastly speaking, it’s because women have this weird, innate tendency to deal with our fragile, prom queen egos.

2. What are some questions you get from women a lot?
Hmm. Honestly, when I tell people I’ve done internet dating four or five times, every women wants to know what my experience has been. I guess to compare notes, or to try to see if I’m just as much of an insecure douche as every other guy doing internet dating. When I tell them that the experiences have always been fine, and I’ve learned to have no expectations, eyebrows get raised.

3. What do you think women are doing wrong when it comes to dating?
Easy – they buy into the fantasy too quickly. Even Greg Behrendt, co-author of He’s Just Not That Into You, admits that, when he wanted to get serious about a relationship, it took a while to meet his wife. So many women I know want to meet Prince Charming (and – to be fair – a good amount of us nerds are waiting to meet Mary Jane Watson). Then, I watch them get extremely upset when things don’t work out with a guy they barely know. Stop building high expectations after one date! Or, one e-mail! Or, one quirky conversation on line at Starbucks! People are people. If we all learned to relax and get to know somebody – versus making quick assumptions – things would be a lot easier.

4. What do you think is the best way for women to be successful?
Honestly, just be yourself. Here’s what I like when I meet someone: confidence, a sense of humor, and a conversation starter. I’m a talker, so I’m always looking for a woman to take initiative on the first date – it takes the pressure off of me. If you’re not trying to sound interesting or different, then I know I’m going to at least enjoy getting to know you. If you’re going to sit there and name-drop, or just stare at me, then I’m looking to leave first chance I get.

5. Where did the “dating double standard ” originate?
Which “dating double standard” exactly? There’s a good four or five hundred.

6. Do you think it will change? [see number 5]
Hit me back with a specific example to #5, and I’ll let you know.

7. What are some situations that are red flags?
Ah, red flag situations; fun. Here’re a few things I’ve encountered that’re turn offs:
1. When all she does is talk about how she hates her job, her apartment, her life.
2. When she asks me “to be funny” (doing comedy, I’ve gotten that one a lot).
3. When she feels the need to be confrontational on the first date.
4. When we’re out with a group of people, and she needs to be the center of attention – always.
5. When forty-minutes have gone by, and we haven’t reached a comfortable point in conversation.
6. When she “just decides to say ‘Hi.'” after I haven’t heard from her in weeks.

8. How do you tell if you are going to be the girlfriend or the hook up?
Well, I’ve been single for almost three years, so there’s been way more hook ups than girlfriends. I was with somebody for about a month back in the fall, and we just clicked really nicely. We could talk endlessly about anything, we liked exploring New York, and because of the timing of the World Series and the election (she was also a Phillies/Obama fan), we got to share some cool stuff together. However, we were both busy and we realized we wanted different things from a relationship – so we parted amicably, which was actually very cool. As for hook-ups, it really doesn’t matter. I meet a lot of women who I can instantly tell it’s purely physical; it’s become instinct. It’s not a slight against either one of us, we all do it. Being super-aggressive or super-interested in anything I’m saying is usually a sign – “This is only going to last one night.”

9. Is there even a way to tell?
Ways to tell the difference? Yup, but it depends on context. In college, it’s different because when you’re 19 and can miss your 8:00 a.m. class, hooking up is way easier. In adult life, it’s different – nobody’s going home with you on a Tuesday night (and if they do, that might be a BIG red flag right there). Honestly, I still hook up with a lot of women, but I know – by doing so – that’s pretty much the extent of it. However, when I meet someone and I think “I want to get to know this girl.” (which I’ve noticed is happening a lot to me right now), I take my time. I’ve found it’s always worth it.

10. How long have you been a dating expert?
I’ve been writing about dating in New York for a year. It started with one of the first guides I wrote for Guidespot. I was getting over somebody, and writing it was highly cathartic. The guide got an insane amount of response, so I thought “Why not write more of this stuff?” It led to a lot of attention and my present involvement with a “dating in New York” documentary.

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Help me, Summer ’09, you’re my only hope

370(Note: I originally planned to post a vlog today, however my crappy 3G plug-in modem’s bandwidth sucks. I’m getting wifi next week and can’t wait. Expect a whole bunch of slightly out-of-date – but awesome – YouTube vids to follow.)

This is a picture of Thurston Moore, lead singer and guitarist for Sonic Youth, at SY’s free 4th of July concert in Battery Park last year. I was there. It was awesome. A few weeks later, Sonic Youth played the final concert at McCarren Park Pool over Labor Day Weekend. It was also free. I was also there. It was equally awesome. In fact, my banner pic is Thurston Moore playing guitar at that very concert.

New York is an awesome place to be in during the summer: free concerts, scantily dressed women, and hours upon hours you can spend outside partying.

Yesterday, we got hit with a snowstorm. It’s presently 26 degrees. I haven’t been out in weeks because it’s too damn cold.

In other words, Memorial Day weekend needs to get here. NOW!

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The Night I Met My Wife

I never expected to meet my wife on a downtown N Train. It just happened. I was sitting by myself, reading Jon Friedman’s Rejected when she decided to get onto the train, and into my heart, at 14th Street-Union Square. That my heart is big enough for both the present and subjunctive tense should tell you that I have a lot of love to give. I don’t know what about her got my attention – the long brown hair, the snow white complexion, the nerd glasses, the red lips – but I did know, in that moment, this was the woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with.

Here’re three things you need to consider when meeting your soulmate: personality, sense of style, and eye contact. First thing I ever noticed about her was that, after settling in, she pulled a copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke from her bag. This book (in case you don’t know) is about dueling magicians, set in England. So, clearly, she is very into magic. Or, British people. Or, she finished all of Harry Potter and was just trying to keep the buzz. Second, the sense of style – she wore jeans and Chuck Taylors, a rather distinct coat that says “I’m a grown-up, but only on Mondays.”, and one of those scarves that I see all New York women wearing when they turn 24 and decide “Enough is enough, time to get serious.” So, this meant she was either a librarian, or manager of a medium-staffed advertising firm. Either one works for me. Lastly, she never once made eye contact with me, save for quickly peering at the subway ad above me advertising Dr. Zizmor’s Fruit Peel. This meant she was most likely shy, and I don’t blame her: even with a two day old beard and hat hair, I still looked pretty damn desirable.

Then came the most exciting part: sitting in silence as our train crossed over the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn. You live in Brooklyn, too! Crazy! We should get married at the first mixed faith lesbian vegan synagogue we can find! At that point, I was still trying to pretend as if my book was holding my interest, but it wasn’t (though on a side note, you should pick up Rejected, edited by Jon Friedman, as it is a very entertaining read and Jon, I happen to know, is a very nice, gracious person, and could use the money in these Recessive times). As she sat there thumbing through her book, concerning herself with the things that modern-day city women concern themselves with (which I imagine is paying the rent and Oprah), I thought “Our first child will be named Jack. What if it’s twins, like in Star Wars? Okay, Jack and Eve – one after my favorite painter, the other after my mother.” This thought brought me to my next question: “Hey, what is her name anyway?” There’s an unspoken rule that you’re not supposed to pick up women on the subway. Sure, when Robert Redford does it, it’s romantic. But when anybody else does it (save for my friend Neal, who used to appear on a soap opera as “John Handsomepants, Gorgeous Jackass”), it’s creepy. So, because of my crippling social anxieties and need to always be New York Cool, I am forced to guess my future wife’s name.

Margaret. She looks like a Margaret. No wait – Lisa. I haven’t met or talked to a Lisa in a long time. Lisa and Matt Fried. It’s got a nice ring to it.

Our train pulled into Atlantic-Pacific in Brooklyn, and lo and behold, Lisa is getting off of the train with me! More excitement: Lisa is walking across the platform to catch the R Local. She lives near me! It’s written in the stars! But, like all good love stories, there’s always a complication. That complication came in the form of “Cute Girl In A Hat”. She was already standing on the other side of the platform, reading some self-help book about bears in the woods and purpose. Lisa decided to put some distance between us (this was another sign that she was clearly intimidated by me, and was still too shy to want to engage in conversation) and walked a few feet down the platform. “Cute Girl In A Hat” stood between us. Lisa! Wait, no! I want to talk to you, but I can’t! I fear the gods of New York Cool – Lou Reed and Ryan Adams – will judge me harshly! But I love you! Dearly and deeply. I want to wake up next to you every morning, and I want to help you edit the graduate thesis you’re writing in my head! At that point, “Cute Girl In A Hat” looks up at me and smiles. I can’t lie; the thought of hurting Lisa actually crossed my mind. This new girl was, in fact, a very cute girl in a hat. I hadn’t been this torn since my AP English class, senior year of high school, where both Jessica and Andrea (my own Betty and Veronica, minus any actual romantic relationship) sat in the same class with me, and I tortured my soul daily with their existence. But things are different now, dammit! I had to make a choice, because that’s what a man does. As my new President said “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.”

So, despite a gaze and a smile, I looked past “Cute Girl In A Hat” and still focused on Lisa, who by then was gazing down the tunnel behind me, waiting for the R train to show up. It finally did. We walked into the same car. I walked to the other side, near the door. Lisa sat across from me and waited patiently for her stop. “Wow,” I thought “so this what being in love is like. It feels great.” The R train pulled up to Union Street and I got off. Lisa decided to stay at her place that night. It was totally understandable – I mean we did just meet. But let me, tell you: I knew. I smiled that night as I watched the R train pull away. It carried on it the woman to whom  I would one day make the pledge “‘Til death do us part.”

You never expect to meet “The One”, but you don’t argue with fate when it happens. You just smile politely, say “Hi.”, and then, you wait until fate chooses for you two to meet again, so that you actually can get her phone number. Or, at least find out if her name actually is “Lisa.”

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The Brooklyn Conversation

The following is a fictional recollection of a real conversation I had a few weeks ago. I’m sad to say that there’s more truth than fiction in what you’re about to read.

Friend 1: I don’t get why anyone would want to live in Brooklyn.
Friend 2: Yeah, I know. It’s so isolated.
Me (ears perking up): Uh, I live in Brooklyn.
Friend 1: Yeah, I know.
Me:…
Friend 1: I’m just saying, it seems like so pointless when there’s so much in Manhattan.
Friend 2: Plus it takes forever to get into the city.
Me: It take 15 mins on the local, 10-12 on the express train.
Friend 2: Where do you live again, Matt?
Me: Park Slope.
Friend 2: Wow, you live out there.
Me: Not really, no. It’s one of the most popular neighborhoods in New York City.
Friend 1: It must be so hard to get around in the outer boroughs.
Friend 2: Well, if you have a car, I guess that makes it easier.
Me: I don’t own a car.
Friend 1 (ignoring me): Plus, like, here’s the other thing: what’s the difference? $1,000 a month.
Friend 2: Oh yeah, I know.
Friend 1: You pay $1,000 less a month to live in a place that’s not Manhattan.
Me: That’s kind of the point in moving to Brooklyn.
Friend 1 (still ignoring me): I’d go crazy. I mean, like what about a place like Artichoke Pizza?
Friend 2: Artichoke makes the best pizza in NYC.
Friend 1: Do you think they’re still open?
Friend 2: Oh yeah.
Friend 1: It’s freezing outside, but I would so walk the extra three blocks for Artichoke right now.
Friend 2: I know, where else but in Manhattan can you get great pizza?
Me: Brooklyn’s famous for it’s pizza.
Friend 1 & 2 (now completely ignoring me): PIZ-ZA! PIZ-ZA! Artichoke rules!
Me: There’s Grimaldi’s. Di Fara. La Villa. Two Boots is right up the block from me.
Friend 1: Plus, you know what else I love about Manhattan? The women. I bet there’s no place in all of Brooklyn to meet women.
Friend 2: Yeah, Manhattan girls are so awesome with their baggage, and the fact that I just need to flex my muscles and they’ll have sex with me.
Me:…
Friend 1: Manhattan rules! Only here – in the whole world – can you get a midnight slice of pizza and sleep with girls who have daddy issues!
Friend 2: Plus, you pay $2,000 a month to live in a closet and $3 more on Brooklyn Lager here!
Friend 1: Yeah! And then there’s the Yankees!
Friend 2: Let’s Go Yankees!
(Both of the friends start rhythmic clapping and humping every single parking meter they see.)
Friend 1: I love New York!
Friend 2: New York City rules!
(Matt stares at both of them as they strip naked on 14th Street in the dead of winter and begin to spank each other while singing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”.)
Me: Uh, guys I’m going to grab this cab home. Enjoy your pizza. Get home safe.
(Matt hails a cab and leaves. Friend 2 is over Friend 1’s knee.)
Friend 1 & 2: “Start spreadin’ the news!” spank! “I’m leavin’ toooooo-daaaaaayy!” spank!

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The Obama Conspiracy Begins..

It’s nice to street art that doesn’t DIRECTLY slander a President.

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