And then, as if someone had given a signal that I clearly didn’t catch, my friends started getting married.
Women I never thought of as codependent, couples I never imagined needing the safety of marriage; because they weren’t, they didn’t. Like all good business school graduates, my friends and I did the math — if you wanted to date someone for a few years before marriage, and then live together for a few years before kids, and then maybe even have another kid, and do it all before 40 — well, yeah, it was time.
I met other women with ambitious goals and strong ideals and we clung to one another, our new friendships built on shared challenges and tools we were just learning to articulate.
We reminded each other not to over-apologize, shared tips on power stances that felt so goofy but worked so well, urged one another to speak up and ask for what we wanted; tools the other 75 percent of the student body, for the most part, didn’t need to think about. With grad school behind us, my friends and I settled into good positions at good jobs, found livable-sized apartments in San Francisco, built lives we were proud of.
It’s a balmy night in Manhattan’s financial district, and at a sports bar called Stout, everyone is Tindering.
You could talk to two or three girls at a bar and pick the best one, or you can swipe a couple hundred people a day—the sample size is so much larger. Crew; senior at Parsons; junior at Pace; works in finance …
Everyone is drinking, peering into their screens and swiping on the faces of strangers they may have sex with later that evening. “Ew, this guy has Dad bod,” a young woman says of a potential match, swiping left.
Her friends smirk, not looking up.“Tinder sucks,” they say. At a booth in the back, three handsome twentysomething guys in button-downs are having beers.
The self-described “bi-coastal but not in a gay way” guy who didn’t come home one night because he’d passed out in a planter underneath the Manhattan Bridge. “He doesn’t deserve you,” they would say, my own Greek chorus.
(We continued to date for at least a month after that.) Their ages have ranged from nearly 15 years younger than me to going on 15 years older. “You’re so much better than him.” Then, inevitably: “Why are New York men such assholes? New York City, to be fair, suffers its share of problems for the female dater.