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Dating in NYC: He says he’s Single. He’s anything but.

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I’ve been single now for about eight years straight since my divorce.  In that time I’ve had a few short-lived relationships but for the most part I’ve flown solo.  I’ve discovered the hard way that the term “single” means a lot of different things to different people.  This city is so large and so densely populated it seems some can’t help but constantly see a never-ending array of choices for potential partners.  I’ve had so many men bold-faced lie to my face regarding this issue that I’m tempted to hand them a survey, and tape the entire exchange so when they say

I never said I was single

I won’t really do that but it’s frustrating that I feel like I have to ask questions like a prosecutor in order to get the truth out of some random dude on a date.

So what does it mean to be “single” in the city that never sleeps?  I’m not including polyamorous or non-monogamous men in this list because they tend to be incredibly upfront and honest about their relationships status.  This is for about the “single” boys who just like to blur the truth.

Single Single: You aren’t having sex with anyone on a regular basis.  You try to date but nothing seems to work out.  You mostly hang out with your friends and maybe watch porn.

Mostly Single: You are casually seeing someone. You’ve hooked up countless times, you socialize together and most of your friends consider you a couple.  Although you’ve both being seeing each other on a regular basis for months neither of you like “labels” and you’re not sure if she’s having sex with other men or not.  You take photos of your friend and post them on social media but never with yourself as a couple.  Even though she’s met your parents and you’ve taken trips together she’s DEFINITELY NOT your girlfriend and as far as you’re concerned you’re 100% single.  You flirt with other women and lead them on, but usually stop short of hooking up with them.

Single on Facebook Single: You’ve been dating someone for months now, you just haven’t bothered to change your relationship status update on Facebook yet.

Friends With Benefits Single: You’ve got a rotation of women that you text on the weekends and late at night for sex.  You like them alright but you’re hoping none of them get too clingy or text you too much. All of these women know they aren’t the only one in your life and you are NOT serious about any of them.  There’s one gal on your list who you tend to text more often and dump all your emotional garbage on them.  For now she puts up with it.  If she starts telling you too much about her life you’re out.  You’re still hoping to find that perfect someone if she exists at all.

Tinder Single: You like to have sex with lots of women, but usually only once. Tinder is your favorite method of hooking up. You sometimes accidentally swipe right on a girl you’ve already banged. Things can get awkward. You’ve also learned it’s better to call women by a pet name since you’ll forget their name seconds after meeting them. They all become honey or babe to you, if you even bother to have a conversation before or after sex.  You’re definitely single but single for life.

We Broke Up I Swear Single: You broke up with your girlfriend months ago but you’re both on a lease and finding a new apartment in tricky in Brooklyn. Neither of you would say you’re dating. You’ve even got a couple of roommates but since this is a three bedroom apartment, that means one of you has to sleep on the couch and there have been plenty of late nights when you’ve ended up hooking up again.  You still fight so it’s a bad situation but it’s only temporary and for the moment you’re looking for love!  Maybe you’ll end up moving in with your next girlfriend.

I’m totally over Her Single: The love of your life just left you. OK she didn’t just leave you it’s been almost two years but you’re TOTALLY over her. Sure you still have every photo you’ve ever taken together on your social media accounts, and yes you still constantly bring her up but you are TOTALLY over her.  You still call her mom from time to time but her mom is a really nice woman.  You’d do the same thing!   Last weekend you helped her move into a new apartment and assembled most of her furniture.  She knows she can call you at any time of the day or night but you are OVER HER.  She’s a great and beautiful person and it just didn’t work out and you wish her nothing but the best.

I’m a Liar I’m not Single: You tell women you’re single because you want to have sex with them.  You’re a married man or you’ve had the same partner for years and have kids with her.  According to the tax code you’re single but by just about every other metric you are very much one half of a couple.

My category – Feral Single – I’ve been single for so long now I don’t know if it’s possible for me to have a relationship anymore.  I LOVE living alone.  I never want to compromise on anything or make any major decisions in my life again that involve another person.  I’ve gone feral.  Like a former house cat who was once fed and cared for I now survive by my wits.  After a long hard day I come home vent on Facebook and talk to my cats.  I’ve become the ultimate loner – self-sufficient, wily, and not likely to be tamed any time soon.

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Dating Online – The man with no photos

So this one is as old as online dating itself, the man with no photos on his profile.  I have a firm warning on my profile that I basically don’t take a profile without photos seriously.  Nor should any woman.  The reason?  Well there are many but the main reason is that most men that are on online dating websites that won’t show their face are either married or involved with someone and looking to cheat.   Why wouldn’t they show their face?  It makes little sense.  So many people are on online dating sites now, that if a married man blatantly had a profile seeking another woman, chances are that friends or co-workers  of his wife or girlfriend might stumble upon his profile.  Openly putting yourself out there on a dating website when married is a very dangerous thing to do.  But take the photos off, change a few details about your occupation, change your age,  where you live and bingo, you have no created a new identity.  Maybe a woman who is naive enough to think that some unseen man has nothing to hide will fall for the ruse.   Most men use their occupation as the reason why they can’t show their face.  All of these are specific examples that I have gotten sometimes multiple times…

  • My job is very high-profile, it would be embarrassing for me to be on here –
  • It could potentially hurt my firm’s reputation if I am seen on a dating website – REALLY?  If they only knew how MANY people are on websites like Match.com at this point, there is hardly any shame in it anymore.  Or that somehow a business deal will go south because a potential client saw you on a dating website and decided you were unstable or something?  Well then what are they doing on the site in the first place?
  • I am a psychologist and it could make my relationship with my patients strained. – Do you think your patients are secretly in love with you or something?  What kind of piece of work writes that?

I have been on dates with people who I met online who have VERY high-profile jobs in their fields.  I won’t comment further, to protect others privacy  but the high-profile job excuse is poppycock.

One man tried to send me photos privately.   And I still have no idea what that was supposed to prove?  OK so I see what he looks like, but again he isn’t willing to expose himself on the site itself, so NO DICE!  I sent him a polite, sorry this doesn’t cut it email and he went off on me in an angry tirade full of venom and vitriol.  I know I can come across as too blunt in written form, but I think I dodged a major bullet with that psycho!  Not only was he probably married, but he had some anger issues!

I am sure that there are women doing the exact same thing on dating websites.  Although since men tend to be more visually orientated than women, I wonder how effective the no photo approach would work.  They probably pull the same tactic, of I will send you photos privately.  It is hard to believe that people would fall for that, but loneliness can really pull a person down into despair, after a while any glimmer of hope starts to look promising.

One no-photo man recently contacted me and because I was in a slightly angrier than usual mood, I sent him a blunt reply basically saying that no woman would take him seriously without photos.  He posted photos within the hour of opening my email!  He wasn’t my type, so I didn’t feel like I missed the boat on that one after scolding him for not showing his mug.

And when in doubt, even if you meet someone online with photos and you buy their story about being single or divorced IMMEDIATELY google their full name when you get home, and if they claim they are divorced google their name and the word wife.  You would be surprised how much information is readily available on the internet at no cost whatsoever.  In one case, I googled a man’s name found his ex-wife’s profile on Facebook and found her listed as single.  That made me feel a million times better, but if it had said married, he would have never heard from me again.  You really can never be too careful, the nature of online dating makes it far too easy for men and women who want to cheat.