Category: dating in your thirties

Girls Night Out: Upper East Side

December 9th, 2013 — 9:15pm

Saturday, I enjoyed a girls night out with my good friend Bobbi.

We headed over to Bottega, an Italian bistro on the UES that I’ve been meaning to try since it replaced a Greek seafood eatery in the same location.

Bottega Restaurant: A welcome addition to the UES

Bottega Restaurant: A welcome addition to the UES

My neighborhood has been lacking an Italian restaurant with authentic charm since Da Filippo closed a few years ago. Though on the pricey side, Bottega fills the void quite nicely with Mediterranean ambience, welcoming, attentive service and delicious food. I enjoyed a heavenly beet salad and red snapper, both of which were excellent.

Over dinner, we talked about work, plans to celebrate our upcoming 40th birthdays and, of course, our latest dating travails.

One of the things I’m discovering in this final stretch of my thirties is how much harder it becomes to not close yourself off because of past hurts and disappointments. When the opportunity for romance arises, it feels fraught with more emotional risk somehow. But, as more than a few wise women have recently reminded me, failing to take a chance is an even more perilous scenario.

Fellow dating blogger Kelly Seal told me:

“Life is short. Enjoy good relationships, even if they are brief. Pain can come with any relationship, because we make ourselves vulnerable. This is a good thing, not a bad thing. Each person has their own personal romantic trajectory, different from anyone else’s. Who’s to say what will happen next?”

Well said — and words I’m taking to heart.

Comment » | dating bloggers, dating in your thirties, Girls Night Out, turning 40

Girls Night Out With Allure And ESQ Movado

November 24th, 2013 — 11:40am

Thursday night, my good friend Sara and I headed over Lord & Taylor’s flagship store in Midtown for a Girls Night Out with Allure Magazine and ESQ Movado.

The evening featured Champagne, sweet treats and the opportunity to try on a sassy, colorful ESQ One watch. We also got to enjoy mini manicures. Sara chose a festive gold color while I went for my usual pale pink (note to self: be more adventurous with nail color in 2014).

All smiles: Sara enjoying a mini manicure

All smiles: Sara enjoying a mini manicure

One of the evening’s highlights – a Q&A session with dating expert and author Andrea Syrtash. Andrea has long been a favorite of mine when it comes to dispensing practical advice that is based on common sense rather than outdated rules.

“The best thing you can do for your love life is to love your life,” she told the crowd of about 200 women.

Dating expert Andrea Syrtash

Dating expert Andrea Syrtash

Andrea also encouraged taking risks this holiday season, whether it’s approaching someone at a party or exploring a new hobby that answers the question, where do I shine?

As for the right time to broach the subject of where a relationship is going, Andrea maintains there’s no one size fits all answer.

“Some couples know after 3 weeks, some couples take seven years,” she said.

Everything Andrea said truly resonated with me. 2013 has been a very bumpy year when it comes to dating – one that has raised more questions than it has answered. It’s forced me to reexamine long held rules which may be holding me back, and to see how hard it is to check your emotional baggage at the door when you’re getting to know someone new.

With 2014 right around the corner, I’ve already decided on my first New Year’s resolution – to not make any that have to do with my love life. That’s a first for me, so maybe the approaching end of my thirties has made me a little wiser after all.

Hope springs eternal.

Comment » | dating advice, dating in your thirties, Girls Night Out, new year's resolutions

The Best And Worst Part Of Dating In NYC

October 27th, 2013 — 10:02pm

When it comes to being single in New York, the best part is there’s no pressure to settle down. As I’ve discovered time and time again, though, it’s also the worst part.

That double edged sword first sharply came into focus when I went on my Great Dating Blitz three years ago. In many of the cities I visited, the common trajectory was for people to partner up or at least be heading in that direction by the time they hit thirty.

Here, on the other hand, you encounter men who are 45+, never married and boast about the fact that they’re in no hurry to change that. Of course, why should they be?

As New Yorkers, we tend to pride ourselves on living life at a frenetic pace, cramming in as much as possible. This invariably carries over to our dating culture, where quantity seems to trump quality. Romantic chemistry is considered a disposable, easily replaced commodity.

Awhile back, I went out with a guy I met online. The evening was going well — flirty conversation, a post-cocktail smooch. His takeaway?

“You’re great, but I could go home, log on and find someone else great too.”

Indeed. In a city with so many choices, why bother committing to just one?

It’s hard not to let the noncommittal sensibility end up dictating how you approach dating. Except on those all too rare moments when you’re reminded there is a lot to be said for seeking out more than that. Like the fluttering feeling in your stomach that accompanies feeling a genuine spark with someone. Or reminiscing with an old flame about when it really felt like love could conquer all.

For now, never mind love — it’s first date fatigue I need to conquer.

3 comments » | dating in New York, dating in your thirties, The Great Dating Blitz

Five Years Of SGITC

July 17th, 2013 — 9:16pm

cakes-cupcakes-012I recently celebrated a special anniversary – five years of Single Gal In The City. The milestone comes as I’m about to wrap up handwritten journal #99, so I’m feeling more than a little reflective about the journey I’ve taken as a writer.

For as long as I can remember, writing has been one of my greatest passions. Still, I never could have imagined that it would lead to me having my own little corner of the blogosphere – something for which I must once again thank my dear friend Carla, because without her unyielding encouragement, SGITC would never have come to be.

It’s been quite a ride since I penned that first post on July 2, 2008. I’ve done three dating blitzes (in NYC, across the US and in Europe), done speed dating multiple times, tried various dating websites, had ill-fated but illuminating romances and even a few encounters with old flames.

Then, of course, there are the many exciting invitations that have come to me because of this blog — TV show appearances, theater performances and book launch parties to name just a few. For a New Yorker who adores her hometown, I’ve found myself smitten all over again with it during these only-in-the-Big-Apple moments.

Along the way, of course, writing this blog has not been without its surprises. The biggest one — that five years later, I’m still a single gal in the city.

I never expected to still be flying solo at the end of my thirties. An often heard response to that — but isn’t that what my ‘brand’ is all about? And what could I possibly write about if I’m no longer single?

My answer to that – a writer always finds something to write about (as I close in on my 100th journal, it’s fair to say I’m speaking from a healthy amount of experience). As for the notion that the blog is a hindrance to happily ever after, well, I’m not convinced. I know at least a few dating bloggers who have found lasting love while maintaining their relationship-driven corners of cyberspace.

I also know it isn’t any one particular thing which decides your romantic fate. It is ultimately a confluence of factors that leads you to your mate. Not the least of which is staying open to the possibility of finding him.

Thanks to all of the singles, married and somewhere-in-between folks who have shown me that time and again. And for your part in making this journey as a blogger such a rewarding one.


1 comment » | dating bloggers, dating in your thirties, New York, Single Gal In The City

It Really Is All About Luck And Timing

June 23rd, 2013 — 12:40pm

love-o-clockWhen it comes to finding love, you often hear about the dual forces of luck and timing. In navigating the ups and downs of thirtysomething singlehood, you inevitably find yourself questioning whether this duo is working in your favor. Lately, I’ve experienced examples that they are – in very unexpected ways.

Case in point number one – my derailed reunion with D, an out of town bachelor I met during my Great Dating Blitz three years ago. After reconnecting back in April, D and I began communicating almost daily. Soon, we were planning a romantic weekend for him to visit. But the Friday that D was to arrive, his flight ended up getting cancelled because of torrential rains.

Suitcase packed, D headed to the airport anyway, attempting to fly standby. Several hours later, he was informed there would be no availability until the following afternoon. We spoke and texted our mutual disappointment, initially talking about the possibility of rescheduling.

That conversation has slowly tapered off. I can’t help wondering, was Mother Nature’s intervention intended to spare us both from a protracted long distance scenario?

Meanwhile, closer to home, two great dates with a guy I met at speed dating were followed by him cancelling last minute without an explanation. Though my instincts said I should say sayonara because he was clearly not that interested, I opted to give Mr. MIA one more chance. After all, in this post-modern dating world, etiquette about making plans is a more fluid thing, right? We’re supposed to be flexible, etc., etc.

Not so much – as I was just reminded by an old flame. When work forced him to cancel our plans, he called (rather than texted), offered a heartfelt apology and immediately rescheduled. His thoughtfulness confirmed what I already knew about Mr. MIA: he’s not a candidate for anything serious.

Bottom line, it seems that luck and timing have been doing their part to steer me away from men with whom there is no future. All the more reason to be hopeful about stumbling upon the right guy — with their capable help of course.

Comment » | dating dos and don'ts, dating in your thirties, old flames, speed dating, The Great Dating Blitz

A Delightful Girls Night In

June 9th, 2013 — 9:56pm

Wednesday, I enjoyed a long overdue girls night in with my good friend Faith.

Spending time with Faith is always a wonderful reminder that serendipity really is a force you can count on. Faith and I met three years ago, at a happy hour hosted by a guy I went out with once. Though sparks didn’t ignite on the date, the chemistry between me and Faith was immediate.

Faith and me celebrating the holidays (December 2011)

Faith and me celebrating the holidays (December 2011)

Smart, fun and full of heart, Faith exudes an energy you can’t help wanting to be around. She also happens to be a fabulous wing woman, as I’ve discovered on several occasions when she has played matchmaker while we’re out on the town.

The other night, we had plenty to catch up on. Our effortless, soul soothing conversation covered career transitions, the ebb and flow of attraction when a relationship fizzles out, and how unpredictable dating can be.

In just the last week alone, I’ve experienced major post-date miscommunication with one guy and a derailed reunion with an old flame from my Great Dating Blitz. It’s too soon to say what the outcome of either will be — but I am oddly okay with that. Because I am finally embracing that the direction my love life takes isn’t something I can foresee. Better to just embrace the adventure of it all — and remain hopeful about a happy ending.

And of course being thankful for girlfriends like Faith to share it all with.

Comment » | dating, dating in your thirties, girls night in, The Great Dating Blitz

Girls Night Out: East Village

March 31st, 2013 — 8:04pm

Thursday, I headed down to the East Village for a girls night out with my good friend Bobbi.

On my way to meet her, it occurred to me that I need to visit this neighborhood more often, teeming as it is with inviting little bistros and bars. Case in point: Giano, the cozy wine bar and restaurant I stumbled upon online.

Giano (Photo Credit:

Ideal for either a date or girls night out, Giano has rustic charm and an Italy-born host who makes every menu item sound buenissimo.
Over drinks and a delicious dinner, we talked about women who forget themselves once they’re married, our recent respective speed dating experiences, and increasing dating fatigue.

With the big 4-0 looming in 2014, I am definitely feeling a cumulative weariness from decades of dating. People often say love finds you when you’re not looking. That may be true but it has also been my experience that no one will find you if you’re sitting on your couch.

The question then becomes – how do you balance putting yourself out there with not getting worn out from it all? How do you remain hopeful about happily ever after when today’s dating culture (in New York especially) seems more accommodating of right now romance?

As I continue trying to figure that out, I also remain profoundly grateful for wonderful friends who make such heavy contemplation a lot more fun.

Happy Easter all!

Comment » | dating in New York, dating in your thirties, East Village, girl talk, Girls Night Out

Girls Night Out: Midtown

April 20th, 2012 — 2:41pm

Wednesday, I enjoyed a girls night out with galpal and fellow publicist Lauren.

I met up with Lauren at Midtown French bistro Papillon, at the tail end of a cocktail reception sponsored by National Geographic Traveler. We chatted with adorable Australia-born photographer Jeremy about our favorite places in his native Melbourne. As we also dished about the eternal rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne, I was reminded of why Aussie men are so charming – the combination of an accent and a crisp sense of humor is a pretty irresistible one.

Papillon gets a great happy hour crowd & is rapidly becoming a favorite after-work spot

From Papillon, Lauren and I walked over to Wollenski’s Grill, buzzing with a dinner crowd and surprising both of us with steep prices ($40 steaks, etc.). A glass of rose helped the sticker shock go down a little more easily, as did – of course – the pleasure of catching up with a good friend. I first connected with Lauren about eight years ago, when I was making the transition from journalism to PR. We clicked immediately.

Over our pricey but delicious meal — we shared hash browns and I enjoyed a perfectly cooked veal chop – Lauren and I talked about doctors who overstep when it comes to offering advice, real estate shopping in NYC and dating outside of your comfort zone. I admitted that I didn’t think twice about a 16-year age gap when I was in my twenties. Now, though, I find myself drawn more to men who are my chronological contemporaries or only a few years older. The irony, of course, being that guys in their thirties tend to want much younger women, a dynamic I can hardly criticize considering that I was once on the other end of it.

Ultimately, I think age is just a number and a relationship is about meeting each other somewhere in the middle. That gets harder, though, as the male-female divide seems to widen once you reach the second half of your thirties. All the more reason I’m profoundly thankful for the joys of good friends.

Comment » | dating in your thirties, Girls Night Out, Midtown NYC

What I’m Thankful For

November 26th, 2011 — 4:30pm

Thanksgiving may be over but I find myself still thinking about what I’m thankful for – and feeling hopeful that this holiday season will bring a gift that’s been eluding me for awhile now.

Every year, I count my amazing family and friends at the top of my blessings lists and this year is no different. In the absence of my beloved parents – whose loss I continue to feel acutely – I know I am doubly fortunate to have so many wonderful people to count among my nearest and dearest.

I’m just back from spending the holiday in Delaware with my brother and sister-in-law, whose love, warmth and understanding make every occasion together one worthy of celebration. Tonight, I will trim my tree with galpal Faith, the kind of friend who makes good times better and difficult times more bearable. Tomorrow, I will head to New Jersey to visit my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Johnny, two of the most kind and generous souls you could ever know.

Yes, when it comes to loved ones, I can say I have an embarrassment of riches. Their support and encouragement are what make me optimistic that I can give myself a gift as 2011 winds down – getting back in the proverbial saddle again.

Readers of this blog know I’ve spent much of this year on sabbatical from dating (a few half-hearted forays into OkCupid notwithstanding). It was a break that I needed, one that gave me the opportunity to reconnect with myself and concentrate on the many pursuits that fill my life. Now it’s time to take my own advice and get out of my comfort zone – i.e., take dating off the back burner.

With less than two months until my 38th birthday, I can’t deny I’m more than a little weary of this merry go round. But I know that’s no longer a good enough reason to sit on the sidelines anymore. So, I am bidding a not-so-fond farewell to OkCupid and all of its grammatically challenged, disappear act pulling members and saying hello to new adventures of the offline kind. Here’s to a holiday season and 2012 full of them.

Comment » | dating fatigue, dating in your thirties, OKCupid, Thanksgiving

Opening The Vault: Part Eighty Five

November 20th, 2011 — 3:31pm

It’s the dating dilemma almost everyone experiences at some point in their single life – trying to force yourself to feel something that you don’t. That’s the dilemma I faced years ago when I dated Englishman-turned-New Yorker Riley.

After meeting at a speed dating event, Riley and I got serious pretty quickly. Between introducing me to his parents and acknowledging two months together, Riley made it clear he was ready to settle down. Having just turned thirty, I felt like I owed it to myself and him to give our relationship a chance. Still, it became harder to ignore the fact that he loved me in a way I didn’t completely reciprocate. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the spring of 1994..

April 12, 2004
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

A major milestone in my relationship with Riley last night – we said the “L” word to each other. Of course, I already knew how Riley feels – he’s shown me through his words and actions again and again.

“You’re the only girl for me. I’ve never felt closer to anyone,” he said after the big declaration. “There are no obstacles we can’t overcome.”

Part of me DOES love him. I’ve imagined saying it to him many times. But how do I know if what I feel for Riley is enough to build a future on?

* * *
April 14, 2004

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why I can’t completely let go emotionally with Riley. Dad told me the other night that I need to isolate what my doubts are and to realize that nobody is going to have 100% of what I’m looking for in a partner. I guess if I had to boil down my reservations to one thing, it’s that I don’t feel head over heels in love.

Of course, this doesn’t bode well for our relationship. But something is keeping me from walking away. It scares me that we’re nearly halfway toward my self-imposed make-or-break deadline of six months. But I’m going to hang on hope the bond between us continues.

* * *
April 19, 2004

I had hoped that being apart from Riley for a few days [for a trip to Toronto for a friend’s wedding] would make me feel weak in the knees when we reunited. Though it was wonderful to be with him again, that didn’t happen. It didn’t help that the conversation was less than scintillating – and included Riley’s exposition on the history of farting in his family. He also felt the need to share an article about a woman whose boyfriend defecates in the shower, to illustrate that it’s not so bad if Riley is occasionally flatulent himself.

I should’ve walked away from Riley when my doubts persisted after the first month. He’s told me repeatedly that his feelings for me grow stronger the longer we’re together. What in the world will I say to him when our inevitable parting comes?

* * *
April 30, 2004

Riley and I celebrated our three-month ‘anniversary’ the other day. He surprised me with a couples massage at The Plaza Hotel’s swanky spa. Afterward, while we were taking a cab down to Chelsea for dinner, I thanked him again for the pampering surprise.

“Life is too short not to splurge,” he said. “But this wasn’t exactly cheap.”

I could’ve done without that. Anyway, we went to Gascogne, a fabulous French restaurant. I couldn’t help thinking during dinner how our first date – for which we also dined Francais – seemed like a long time ago and feeling wistful for the newness and excitement of that night.

* * *
The emotional imbalance between Riley and me would soon come to a head – though it would take me another two months to confront it once and for all.

2 comments » | dating in your thirties, make or break relationship deadlines, Opening The Vault

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