Before my big move from California to New York, I was already thinking about all of the delightful company I would have with members of the opposite sex. My friends and I joked about the types of men I would date and how I would soon find my Black, conscious, and sexy future husband in the big apple.
I have not dated anyone seriously, like ever. I have had little summer crushes or the occasional bout of puppy love but I am, “too busy for a relationship”, “getting my racks up,” and “developing myself as a person”. Going to school in the city of Santa Cruz also does nothing to help as the white surfer boys and stoners who want to date me to get their “first Black experience” do not appeal to me. The black men who do go to my school are small in number and are simply guys I would not date. So, of course, my imagination was running wild with all of the possibilities.
I know that a lot of us are in new places- New schools, internships, cities. For many of us this is the furthest we have been from home or it’s just a new place and a new ball game. So I hope this post can help you navigate your tinder dating life. Most of these things you may already know but when it comes to dating sometimes we just need to hear some things more than once.
I consider myself to be beautiful, alluring, and a great conversationalist, therefore, I was pretty confident that I would have an excellent time exploring all the young, single, and attractive men New York had to offer. To my surprise, there aren’t a lot of attractive men on Tinder that I found of interest to me.
My first date was a Hispanic graduate student at Columbia University, and ended being shorter than my 5’10 requirement. After messaging each other for a few days, he took me to my first Mets game and we had a great time. On his way dropping me off at my apartment he began asking me what I was looking for and the possibility of us entering into “friends with benefits” relationship assuring me that he would make take his time in helping me to explore my “sexuality.” I declined. Our texting conversations were fun and engaging, but he simply wasn’t attractive to me.
Tip 1: Vocalize what you want
I realized that here in New York men know what they want and aren’t afraid to let you know (like in the initial conversation). I know for myself when it comes to intimate situations I have problems vocalizing my desires and get angry when my needs or wants are not fulfilled. It’s in your best interest to let them know upfront when they ask. Don’t be afraid that you may be too much for them or that you are being too upfront. Nah forget all of that, be honest and let them know. If they are not what you want keep it pushing. Trust and believe there is someone else out there that is exactly what you are looking for.
My next Tinder date was a handsome Black, college athlete, at NYU . He wore athletic clothes like he just came from a run or something which completely threw me off as I came dressed up. We made our way to a park talked about blackness- somehow we spent 4 hours together! By the end of the night, we were on a bench where he pointed at the starless sky, and we pretended to point out the constellations. He then slowly brushed my hair from my face and gently grabbed my chin in an effort to kiss me, but I declined as I was wearing my driest matte lipstick. He walked me to my train (which ended up being the wrong one) and then I never heard back from him.
My friends told me I was tripping and to hit him up because we were a good fit. So I did, and he responded back. We began texting perhaps once a week for a month and made plans to hook up when I came back in the city. We hooked up a couple of times, and it was refreshing. He was sweet and patient and expressed that he did not want anything serious, and it was cool because I didn’t either. But now school is back in session, and he is busy with his job, athletics, and scholastic endeavors. When we hooked up I was left “unsatisfied” but I was comforted by the fact that he was there with me and held me the way he did. I realized after a while that I was the one texting him and I needed to stop for my pride. It was obvious that he frankly was not checking for me. So even though I know, he would swiftly reply to my late night “what are you doing texts” I do not want to be the one who constantly needs him.
Tip 2: Be honest with yourself
Guy number two told me he wasn’t looking for a relationship and by the sounds of it seemed like he got out of a bad one. I wanted someone I could see once a week but that wasn’t going to happen. Be honest with yourself about who you are talking to and the nature of your relationship- communication is everything.
Tip 3: Be patient with yourself
Don’t beat yourself up for catching feelings for a fuckboi especially if it’s your first time dating in a while or dating period. Take everything as a learning experience you don’t have to front and play things off like you don’t care when you actually do. If it doesn’t work out take the time you need to get back to the person you are and the person you want to be.
In between seeing guy number two, I went out with an Indian guy, who is an international stock trader for Goldman Sachs. For some reason, I was nervous for this date which I never am. Perhaps because I had a date with another guy that night right afterward (I would never recommend it). He suggested an excellent two-tier restaurant the lights were dimmed, and the tables were candle- lit. This Italian restaurant was incredibly romantic as songs like Crush by Usher and Yuna played in the background. He was so calm and charming and just drew me in with his engaging travel stories and inviting demeanor over our wine and pasta. After our date, he asked me back to his place, which I declined, and he expressed his interest in seeing me again. We maintained whatever it was for a month all the while he was a horrible texter. We saw each other a couple of times after many “tragic” excuses for missed dates. When we did meet up it was not anything special like I thought it would be. He claimed he wanted a “relationship” but was still a fuckboy at heart and in practice. He essentially ended up wasting my time, but I appreciated the free food.
Tip 4: DON’T’ stay if you’re NOT feeling it
Don’t stay in it for shallow reasons. I wanted him to be the guy I went on trips with so I stayed for the free food and empty hopes of what it could be. But it didn’t work out and I got over it. Like the guy from NYU, this guy also got out of a relationship, a few months prior and was talking about being “serious”. Time and time again he showed me he was unreliable and just wack yet I gave him multiple chances because I wanted him to be the guy I wanted.
Don’t make excuses for these guys. Don’t put up with bullshit no matter who it is. No matter how much he makes, or how hot he is it’s not worth it when you know what you want.
It may seem hella extra, but make a list of what you want out of your dating experience
- Dates to nice restaurants
- Someone to keep your mind off your ex
List what you won’t tolerate at all
- Excuses for canceled dates
- Pressure to have sex
- Not paying for food
- Any form of abuse
I have yet to meet someone who is everything I said I wanted in my bio, “Someone who knows how to maintain a conversation and knows how to have fun.” I had to evaluate why I was on the app and what I am looking for. Friendship, friends with benefits, companionship, male attention. I have found myself making excuses for stupidity and doing things I would not normally do just because I am lonely, in a new place, and can’t see my friends and family.
Tip 5 : Acknowledge your feelings
Sometimes we want to meet new people who can make us happy or make us forget about someone or something going on in our lives. I had to confront the fact that I was using tinder to fill a void, but that is something I need to do on my own. If you are seeing people to get over your ex, or want someone to get your mind off of something that is depressing you- acknowledge your feelings especially if you are hooking up or dating to get your mind off of it. Most things are best addressed.
New York is a big city, an ocean, and Tinder has been my fishing rod. I have gotten out of my comfort zone with a lot of the guys I have dated and had experiences I would have never had. However, since I am approaching my two-month marker of dating in the city, I think I need to come to the conclusion that I may never actually find what I am looking for on Tinder. Despite my findings, I still feel like I can potentially meet someone who is everything that I need right now but perhaps in a different setting.