Today we have a post from Stephanie Florence, 40:20 Vision’s contributing / Millennial editor, reflecting on a recent Town Hall-style event in New York City about dating.
My photo may lead to an obvious answer…
Joking aside, I went into this panel interested to hear what experts in the dating field had to say. I mean, since moving to New York, let’s just say dating has not been my forte. Turns out my friends and I found 17 new ways to roll our eyes in the first minutes of the panel. I listened to a 40-something man tell me that the “trick” to meeting a guy is to do what worked on the playground. Innocent me, I thought perhaps he meant smiling? Teasing? Nah, this dude told me to stick out my tongue to grab attention. (No thank you, sir.) Did I mention this expert has never been married?
New York Observer J-Spot Columnist Jasmine Lobe had a different take. Her advice was to “find what’s in your comfort zone;” however, she was first to admit that sticking out her tongue was not in hers. I can appreciate this because while I’m all about breaking out of my comfort zone, when it comes to dating I’d rather do what comes most naturally. Like a recent Forty-Godmother explained, it’s okay to be comfortable in a relationship even when it’s a different dynamic from your past. What Jasmine said about finding a partner really resonated with me. Look for someone who brings you up. Regardless of your job, your past or your present, we all want to live a life that we’re proud of and I certainly want a homeboy who will help me get there.
This is one of those New York encounters that feels so true to my experiences…especially when it ended with conversation over beer and pizza with the girls. I couldn’t agree more with my friend who touched on the topic of ambition when it comes to dating:
“95% of people who come to New York City come to make something of themselves. They want to reach a particular goal before marriage, which means there is a huge population of people under 30. People who are not here to date – they’re here to make something.“
– 20-something marketing professional, NYC
The topic of matchmaking came up when we met a fourth generation matchmaker from the panel – something our group hadn’t even considered. I love how it’s a family business founded on tradition.
“I didn’t need to spend $30 on clothes today. Maybe I should work with a matchmaker.”
– [newly minted] 30-something professional dancer, NYC
And when you’re not sure what to take away from a panel, turn to social media. Advice I’m taking with me from a 40-something I admire tweeted:
“Ignore this undermining crap. Advice I could have used: Look after your money – drop mean guys – freeze your eggs.”
– 40-something writer and social entrepreneur, NYC
The 40-something above asked why I attended the event. Was I looking for serious advice? What was the draw? Part of me was interested in the advice, but the writer in me wanted to attend and share the 20-something perspective with the 40:20 Vision community. We quickly chatted about dating in NYC and I mentioned how basically non-existent it’s been for me, explaining that my focus has been on my career and making friends.
I definitely moved to New York to make something of myself. Call me selfish – I prefer ambitious – but I’ve wanted to hit my own accomplishments first before finding a relationship. And if that means my nights end by enjoying pizza with the girls in New York City (of all places), I look at that as I’m doing something just right.
Stephanie Florence is a 20-something who can talk to a brick wall and dance to a kazoo. She contributes to the 40:20 Vision as the Millennial editor and on every day that ends in “y” you can find Stephanie meeting people, telling exceedingly long stories and taking the approach of a student…always. Find her dancing around New York City in her personalized Chuck Taylors, complete with her Twitter handle: @StephanieFlo.