“What exactly are you looking for?” my date asked me, as we made small talk on two barstools at a tiny Mexican restaurant in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood last weekend.
I’ve been asked that question about my love life so many times over the last three years that I’ve lost count. But this time, instead of spewing out the same old answer (I want to settle down with someone who’s intelligent, handsome, driven and who cares about me … yada, yada), I spouted off a list of everything I wasn’t looking for:
“I won’t date liars or cheaters or guys without ambition, guys who yell, guys without manners, guys who have been in music videos, guys who only talk about their exes, guys who do Crossfit — it’s a cult, I’m sorry — guys who spend their spare time preparing for the zombie apocalypse…” I went on for bit.
My date looked shell-shocked. The list was long, my friends.
That awkward date brought me here to you as the new “Dater X.” Let me introduce myself. I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey with a supportive, large family before becoming a New York transplant a few years back. I’ve always been a hard worker, graduating at the top of my class in college, plowing a successful career path while scrupulously maintaining a solid group of friends that I’ve known since the sixth grade. For 26 years, I’ve had my shit together … mostly.
My last serious relationship ended in 2010 after I caught the love of my life, a man who I planned to marry, in a web of lies that have left me scarred and, frankly, in need of a lot of therapy. We met just before college graduation and were together for a year and a half when I accidentally stumbled upon a notebook in his apartment that tore my world apart. Keep reading »