Two women – as opposite to one another as humanly possible – gathered on a rooftop with their significant others and a small group of friends for a birthday party on a warm, clear Sunday night in New York City. The first, a dark-haired artsy rebel type covered in ink, said hello and then proceeded to ignore my presence completely while nervously watching her sort-of boyfriend suspiciously glare at me in the distance. The other, a busty, bubbly and blond All-American girl, nearly bit off her tongue trying to explain what she and her man were doing there, since they usually reside across the country.
Having spent nights in bed with both of them, it was an uncomfortable scenario to encounter. Yet I couldn’t feign surprise. Somehow, in less than two years of living in New York, I’d managed to hook up with a good portion of my friend (we’ll call her Betsy) Betsy’s social circle. Betsy works in fashion and surrounds herself with cute women. And I’ve been told that I happen to be one of the only straight and ‘normal’ guys that these women encounter in a city full of snobs, slobs and men not interested in the opposite sex.
Circumstantially, I wasn’t set up to date either of the women on the roof when our attractions became physical. In one case, there was the issue of her being in a sort-of relationship (the artsy girl). And in the other, the issue of 2,000 miles (the All-American). These were safe scenarios for knowing that I would have a night’s companion without risking a life’s commitment.
Being single in New York has become a constant analysis of that same risk and reward. Let me be clear – I am not the type of person to endorse cheating, simultaneous sexual partners or sex without emotion. I have had a single one night stand that involved a complete stranger in my life, and it occurred on vacation. Sure, I’ve had plenty of single nights spent in bed, nearly rounding third. But I’m not into counting homeruns or the other macho shit that guys do. I don’t walk around comparing one lay to the last or keeping tally, either.
To be completely honest, I am a hopeless romantic caught up in the mess that is the Manhattan dating scene. Luckily, I’ve learned a few things along the way.
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