Argentina + Salsa + Frequent Google Maps usage + WhatsApp FaceTime Yoga = my last two weeks of dating.
Some would call the above combo more similar to a college-age study abroad program and others, well, they would instantly think “this dude needs to just move to Europe or something.”
Whiles most rightfully complain about meeting someone here in New York:
· “The apps? Impossible!”
· LES Bars? Can’t hear myself think!
· Football Saturday’s? No way Jose!
My complaint has been less centered on meeting someone, rather, aiming to avoid getting ghosted in hopes of finding true adventure. See every last post I’ve written outlining just how damn neurotic I’ve been about falling for someone, only to see the rug of potential love taken right beneath my feet by way of Sweden trips or DJ’s.
Adventures, if you are single, I believe are the core tenet of remaining happy romantically single (that is, of course, besides having a great group of friends & career). Nobody talks about adventure because they are afraid it only means sex. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m mainly just talking about activities & depth of dialogue more than two tequila cocktails at a Midtown bar talking about your tech job & going to Michigan.
See when you’re in reactive & not proactive mode when it comes to finding someone (see more here), it can be easy to skip past adventure — in this case, seduction, romance, spontaneity, LIFE — in order to stick with what’s comfortable (Sunday night sushi orders with your roommate).
So let’s take my recent, unplanned, semi-romantic Argentina adventure, for instance. Last Weekend. Downtown.
After beginning my grand entrance exchanging pleasantries on each other’s eye color (naturally, an early topic for me and naturally, her blue & my hazel made for a wicked selfie), broken Spanish/English respectively, and comments around dating in Argentina vs. US, I left her personally exhilarated and the good old self-monologue started:
DID YOU NOTICE THAT ENERGY?!
Of course, I forgot to ask her number (classic) and lost her (also classic) in the sea of new faces entering the bar…
It was shockingly just about over in my mind until…
A few hours later, as the fate of Lionel Messi would have it — I was looking for my new gray Uniqlo jacket when…we bumped into each other. On the dance floor. During a Drake song. With me attempting to explain how I was a Bar Mitzvah dancer & will be decent at this “salsa dancing” thing. It was official: our date just started.
After a major ego & reality check on my vibes & moves (apparently, I don’t have “rhythm?!”), it was clear there was some sort of hitting it off going on (or as much as Google Translator would tell me after my “tu eres lindo” led to a witty smile).
The decision was made: I knew I wanted to actually get to know her without my ears buzzing so I went for the “adventure ask” or AA —
“You know what? [shouting]
Let’s go to a wine bar, drink Malbec (sighing: of course) and get out of here.”
She nodded “sound so good.”
We agreed to meet out front in 5 minutes after grabbing our coats. Still without her number, I prayed there would be no mix-up and as I exited the bar, I turned to my right and voila, these fears were quashed when I saw her leaning over the misplaced plants outside the venue.
After a failed Uber could not find us, we took a taxi to at least 5 different stops at other local bars that were either closed (it was 3am) or sketchy (we were crossing midtown).
Finally found an empty spot on the East Side with seats at the bar, space for a little makeout sesh, and (gasp) the AUX cord to plug in Reggaetone. She even, wait for it, gave me her red hoodie to stay warm on the cab to bar walk (of course, I left my jacket in the Taxi).
At this point, we’re clearly VIBINGGGG, and despite the “I did not know Jewish boy before you,” the night ended with a walk to the 6-train subway for her to return to (another gasp) Brooklyn.
Did she come over the first night? No. Did we decide this has “forever” potential? No. But did we have a true adventure full of wine, sensational dialogue, a few passionate kisses, tattoo debates for my first one in 2020 and more? Yes.
Since then, the adventures have continued. We fired off the exceptionally RARE & equally exceptionally effective Sunday evening WhatsApp FaceTime call to each other and spoke, at length, for almost two hours as we cleaned our rooms, lit charcoal candles as I attempted to learn Spanish & make my Sunday evening granola parfait. Yep, adventure.
Finally over my fear of texting someone without an iPhone & seeing the confusing green bubbles (ugh), planning for the following adventure — Salsa — began.
Not only were we going salsa dancing on the (gasp) vaunted West side of Manhattan, we were going on what I reckoned was in between a first and second date — the 1.5 date.
After dropping $40 on the coat check & cover combined (look, when your former Hinge profile said how much I’ve been intrigued by Salsa, you can’t really be counting pennies), we entered the club, the two youngest by about 30 years surrounded by adventurous couples I aspire to be like one day. Luckily, my mind turned to the wide amount of sports I’ve been playing recently (4 hours of yoga every two weeks…ya know, sports) — so I knew I was prepared for just about any challenge that was to come my way.
Low-key this bar was lit: J.Balvin music videos, multiple dance floors with my improving salsa, 15 (FIFTEEN) types of margaritas (even though we only had one drink each because well, if you;’re international it’s less about the booze & more about THAT ENERGYYY).
After Salsa…we continued the night. I was genuinely intrigued & curious to learn more. Date 2.5 has been lined up. To be continued.
Spanish-learning, wine-pouring, Palo Santo-showing, Fajita-cooking and so much more. I learned about her streets / upbringing in Argentina, how American men have sadly failed to get social cues about her interest in them on dates, and who’s more dramatic: Latin women or Jewish men (in our case, it’s a tie).
See, this was NEW adventure. Intimacy. Conversation. A to B in New, foreign parts of the city with New types of people in New types of situation. New was cool. New was sexy. New was addicting.
What I loved about “New” relates directly to pits of emptiness from an almost 2-year single kick. Yes, it’s easy to forget the little, cool moments with someone: making breakfast together, wandering aimlessly into bookstores drinking chai, Googling “Things to Do” in Time Out New York (shameless plug: UpDating came up multiple times) together. It’s easy to forget all of that, but it’s harder to make actual progress to get that back. That is, unless, you focus on the “mini-ships,” the ADVENTURE!
I don’t think I’ll ever really understand what a “mini-shpis” or “weekend-ships” actually is, but what I do know is that it’s the kind of gray areas I’m finding are necessary for my own dating life — you know as the attention-obsessed extrovert I am.