Dating, breaking up and the six words

Dating is rough, man.

The woes of being single—I clearly remember.  The last time I had a date was in the nineties, but still I can recall the unmarried ups and downs of yesteryear. With millions of eligible men living in New York City, why is it so difficult for a girl to find a boy?
 
At this moment, I have two female friends who are accepting applications. They are young, attractive, bright, and successful, yet they are dating men who live in other cities. Why can’t they meet their ultimate catch in the Big Apple? There may be a shortage of good guys in Manhattan, or they’re hiding in an outer borough.
 
I tried the long-distance thing, and it didn’t work for me. I admit it. I am too needy and controlling to be in a relationship with a different time zone, but obviously, I’m the minority. Statistics prove that more than one million couples are making it work between cities. Call it the power of the internet and social media taking over in 2012 if you like. Whatever it is, correspondence between states or countries is easier than ever before. When I was dating, email had just been born, cell phones were analog, and I paged my boyfriend who is now my husband. God I’m old.
 
There’s another factor these two lasses have in common. Neither is mad about their new beau. When I ask the questions, I get little enthusiasm. Instead, the answers are more like, “He’s okay for now” or, “I’m not super hooked yet.” Contrary to popular belief, many single women have a game plan not too different from their male counterparts. They are keeping the rental until they have test-driven enough models to find their dream car, or until the vehicle with the upgrades is in stock.
 
I suspect men with a substantial bank account are doing the same. Budget dating in New York is nearly impossible, but I would hope that chivalry is alive and well, with guys still picking up the tabs. Put away your wallets ladies. Even dinner and a movie doesn’t come cheap, especially at the price of $13.00 per ticket, so test-driving multiple models seems like a less viable option for most gentlemen. But keeping a temp gal within grasp until Ms. 34-24-34 with blond tresses enters the picture is likely.
 
Life in Gotham can be lonely, and everyone needs a plus one on occasion. Is it better to have a date with someone who isn’t your Prince Charming, than no date at all? Is it acceptable to spend time with a person who you’ll dump after a few more dates?  
 
I was the worst breaker-upper in history. If I didn’t like a boy from the get-go, I didn’t waste my time. I knew in the beginning, or so I thought. I avoided the inevitable by not dating them–the breakup. Instead, I only dated those who I was mad about, and eventually they canned me. I was an ongoing victim of broken-heart syndrome.
 
I did the big blow-off a few times. Had a date and wasn’t into the guy at all. When he called, I didn’t return it. It’s bad behavior, I know. But is it better to say it? What’s the best way to tell a boy, “I’m just not that into you?”
 
The average woman with a conscience can’t pull it off. One of my girls took the blame in a recent breakup, emailing her ex, “I have a lot going on and I can’t be a good girlfriend right now. It isn’t fair to you.” This tactic could backfire when he gives her the space he thinks she needs, leaving my friend back at square one.  
 
No one wants to hurt or be hurt. Stringing the other half along is just wrong–leaving them hope for a long-term relationship that will never happen.
 
In a city of eight million plus, breakups may be easier. With less chance of a re-encounter after a tearful goodbye, and most communication through email and text messaging, telling the truth seems less complicated.
 
Easier or not, being out there with the millions of others searching for a soul mate can’t be easy. Saying, emailing, or texting those six words,  “I’m just not that into you,” can’t be either.
 
For more city stories, follow me on Twitter, or on Tracy’s New York Life.
 


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