Why you're single
Whatever the reason, we're here to help.
Tue Feb 2 2010
Illustrations by Emily Flake
1. Because you’re desperate
That stench of demanding neediness couched in cloying self-pity with top notes of dire urgency? It’s not exactly love’s fragrant musk. In fact, it’s nauseating. Do yourself a favor and quit wanting it so bad. How about working on that hot bod to give yourself something worth strutting around about? If you can’t summon the nerve for a pickup game in the park, try funneling some of your desperation into one of the sports teams organized by Chelsea Piers (Twelfth Ave at 23rd St; 212-336-6666, chelseapiers.com). The spring hockey season starts on February 16, and registration for soccer begins March 1 (varying registration fees apply).
2. Because you’re afraid of commitment
“Commitmentphobia is more often seen in men than women,” says Barbara Bartlik, M.D., a psychiatrist and sex therapist at the Weill Cornell Medical College. “Men hate planning ahead.” Yet a recent study showed that 51 percent of women in America live without a spouse, with many happily expressing “independence” as the reason. Given the stats, it sounds like we all want to be alone. But there is a compromise between cutting yourself off from the world and escaping the ball-and-chain. Casual daters should make plans “one day at a time” with built-in curfews; knowing that there’s an end in sight combats the trapped-animal mentality. Weeknight music shows are generally a safe bet—Cake Shop (152 Ludlow St between Rivington and Stanton Sts, 212-253-0036) hosts sets that often begin at 8pm and end before midnight—and most museums (including the Guggenheim and MoMA) close by 8pm at the latest, giving you plenty of time to kick game at your date and still make it home or meet your friends for a nightcap.
3. Because you love the sound of your voice
Are you one of those people who, like, totally has this great story that involves a dream you had, and this crazy guy who did this weird thing, and then your mom called and it was, like, wow? That story sucks. Also, you talk too much. Practice your listening skills at one of the Moth’s weekly StorySLAMS (Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby St between Houston and Prince Sts; 212-334-3324, housingworksbookstore.org; 7:30pm, $7) to see how a real story should be told. Your crazy deam won’t seem so enthralling after you hear the one about the guy whose dog turned out to be a tiny pony.
Better yet, reacquaint yourself with the concept of total silence. Sign up for a single session or a series of meditation classes through the Chakrasambara Buddhist Center (browse the many options at meditationinnewyork.org) which has multiple locations in all five boroughs. Once you’ve learned to silence the voices in your head, your real voice will follow suit.
4. Because you’re too shy
If you fall into this category, chances are you’re not going to take any of our advice about how to meet people. A cooking class? Too many people. A lecture? Too many people. Meeting potential mates online? That’s for losers, and a loser you are not. So what to do when you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin? Easy: pretend to be someone you’re not. Skip out of your normal 'hood and reinvent yourself at a totally random bar, like the unassuming Broadway Station (3009 Broadway between 31st and 32nd Sts, Astoria, Queens; 718-545-5869). On weeknights, the vibe is somewhere between not-dead and not-happening, with a pool table and rock jukebox. (Hint: talk to people you aren’t attracted to—without the sexual tension, there will be no tension). Or head to Jackson Heights, where Latino gay bar Lucho’s (38-19 69th St at Roosevelt Ave, 718-424-9181) and lesbian party Chueca (69-04 Woodside Ave at 69th St, 718-424-1171) will make you feel like you’re in Colombia. And no one in Colombia knows you’re shy.
5. Because you’re too controlling
If you’ve ever broken up with someone because they wouldn’t let you hold the remote (or pick a restaurant, or choose their clothes), then you may be a tad domineering. Embrace spontaneity at the free improv sessions at the Magnet Mixer (Magnet Theater, 254 W 29th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 212-244-8824; Thu 7pm, free), where the theater’s grads mix it up with the audience.
If the stage isn’t your scene, you can learn to be a team player at zogsports.org, where registration is now open for coed spring sports leagues, from touch football to dodgeball. Although he stresses that it’s not a dating service, CEO and founder Robert Herzog brags that Zogsports has brought together 24 engaged couples. All of them probably team captains.
6. Because you’re cheap
Nothing says “dump me now” like whipping out a calculator and itemizing the check on a dinner date. Learn to pick up the tab graciously at affordable Venezuelan eatery Caracas Arepa Bar (91 E. 7th St between Aves. 1st and A; 212-228-5062, caracasarepabar.com). Start with a chicken, chorizo, and avocado-filled La Surea with chimi-churri sauce ($7.50), and then order up a side of Tajadas (fried sweet plantains with aged cheese) at just $4. You don’t have to ball out like Roman Abramovich to score a date (in fact, please don’t). But the sooner you learn the truth about love—it don’t come cheap—the better.
7. Because you just got dumped and have pledged never to love again
Cheer up, sad eyes. What you’re going through is hell, we know, but it won’t last forever. Go somewhere that’s low-pressure and social—neither an intense hookup scene nor a place packed with happy, gooey couples. What you need is some good dorky fun. Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St between Frost and Richardson Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-302-3770) hosts live trivia on Wednesdays, as well as Scrabble and bingo nights. Session 73 (1359 First Ave. at 73rd St., 212-517-4445), meanwhile, is an Upper East Side bar with live jazz and half-drunk twentysomethings dancing in a circle—it’s cheesy but distracting fun. And Crocodile Lounge (325 E 14th St between First and Second Aves, 212-477-7747) offers an array of activity nights, has two Skee-Ball lanes and even serves a free pizza with every drink. Perfect for you, since if you get drunk too quickly and so much as think of texting your ex, we’re going to have to yell at you.
8. Because you have too many roommates
College students understand getting “sexiled” (locked out because your roommate’s gettin’ some). In the real world, roommates aren’t so amenable, so you might want some alternative options to keep a date going. Fork out $55 for the four-course tasting menu at Egyptian eatery Casa La Femme (140 Charles St between Greenwich and Washington Sts; 212-505-0005, casalafemmeny.com) and you can reserve a near-private pillowed tent to indulge in exotic finger foods with your honey (nudge, nudge). If you need total privacy, you can usually snag a room at The Jane Hotel (113 Jane Street at West St; 212-924-6700, thejanenyc.com) for $99 for a bunk bed cabin, or splurge on the Captain's cabin ($209)—reserve in advance for Valentine’s Day week. And if all else fails, just pick up some earplugs ($2–$8 at Duane Reade) and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s for your roommate on the way home.
9. Because you’re allergic to everything
Join the Park Slope Food Coop (782 Union St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-622-0560, foodcoop.com). With more than 15,000 members, you’ll encounter people of every sexual persuasion, race, age and dietary restriction. This place is a hotbed of hottie diversity, and what’s more, you’ll find nothing but organic whole foods for sale, 20 to 40 percent cheaper than at other supermarkets. The catch? You’ll have to put in a few hours of work each month, but just think of every shift as a chance to meet the next love of your life.
Or loosen up with a loved one at Oasis Day Spa (1 Park Ave at 33rd St; 212-254-7722, oasisdayspanyc.com) by getting the candlelit “Side-by-Side Massage” ($230 for 60 minutes; $300 for 90 minutes). It’s hypoallergenic and deliciously steamy. You can also do the “Couples Instructional Add-On,” ($110 extra) in which the therapist teaches you how to massage each other so you can stroke the stress out at home.
10. Because you’re overweight
If navigating the dance floor of a chubby-chasers’ party is your idea of a nightmare, you’ll find dreamy—and generously proportioned—performers at Le Scandal (Laurie Beechman Theater at the West Bank Caf, 407 W 42nd St between Ninth and Tenth Aves, downstairs; 212-695-6909; Sat 10:30pm, $25 plus $15 minimum). Besides the arty burlesque action, there’s an excellent chance that the audience (men and women alike) will be into your voluptuousness. And fleshy bodies are positively appreciated at Spring Studio’s life drawing classes (64 Spring St at Lafayette St, 212-226-7240; $15, beginners and walk-ins welcome). Experienced teachers lead group classes through the study of the human form using models of all shapes, ages and genders—the only materials you need are charcoal and a pad. If the thought of all that effort just leaves you hungry, there’s always a Single Gourmet of New York dining club event (singlegourmetny.com). It’s not a dating service per se, but its well-attended events just might whet your appetite for a fellow foodie.
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