Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Rules Are Made to Be Broken

I’ve never actually taken direct quotes from a real guy’s email and used it here without his permission (the Ex Files was done with M’s permission, which in hindsight was seriously fucked up).  But I just can’t resist.  This is too much, too ridiculous, IMO.

If I meet a guy online and he asks me out and I say yes, he’ll almost always ask me where I live/where would it be convenient for us to meet.  I’ll tell him my neighborhood and then say that I’m open to meeting anywhere.  This is true, I have no issues with traveling all over the city for dates.  Well, last week I had some guy take that info and then ask me to meet him at a bar right downstairs from his apartment.  Right downstairs.  It took me over 45 minutes to get there and it was raining (OK, the rain wasn’t his fault).

And then, today I received an email from a guy I’ve been chatting with.  We’ve already discussed our respective neighborhoods.  He lives in Manhattan, but all the way downtown in Battery Park City.  I do not live downtown.  I haven’t yet agreed to meet him for a drink.  Here is his super-suave ask, “Would you like to meet for a drink sometime? I’m downtown, but happy to meet somewhere in Tribeca, SoHo, East or West Village.”  So, in other words, I’d like to meet you for a drink, but I’m only willing to travel to neighborhoods that are within 15-20 minutes of where I live.

Brilliant.

Now, he could have just said, “I’d love to meet you for a drink, how about…” and then suggest a place that happened to be convenient for him.  And if he did that and it was a cool place I wouldn’t have cared if I had to travel further than him.  But there’s just something about this email that really pisses me off.  Maybe it’s because of the guy last week who couldn’t be bothered to leave his block.

Anyway, it pissed me off and I really don’t think I’m going to accept his offer.  I have a 1st date tomorrow and two dates Saturday (one 1st and one 2nd) and another 1st maybe on Sunday too.  I have some other things I have to do on Sunday so maybe not.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that if this guy’s message is that I should be grateful that he’s asking me out, he’s got the wrong girl.


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15 to “Rules Are Made to Be Broken”


  1. Anonymous says:

    Your getting too picky.

  2. drumdance says:

    I won’t date anyone who’s more than about 20 minutes away from me. I figure that if I really like her I’m probably going to be spending a 2-3 nights per week at her place and/or vice versa, and I don’t want to fuck up my morning routine too much (I work out at 6 am, get to the office around 7:30).

    There are plenty of attractive, interesting girls in that radius, so I just say no thanks when someone from farther away shows up on in my online matches.

  3. TerrySimpson says:

    I suspect if a man wants to get your attention, he would travel without comment or question, and enjoy the date.

  4. MissMollyMoo says:

    Self respect does not equal picky

  5. thefinalgirl says:

    Um yeah, it’s not a self-respect thing. It’s a huge leap from, “I’d like to minimize my travel time for this first date for a wide variety of completely legitimate and non-dickish reasons” to “You’re lucky I’m even asking you out, bend to my whims.” Why would you automatically assume the worst of him?

    The assuming the worst and the pickiness are two of the most consistent themes I get from reading this blog. Is it possible that dating isn’t working out for you because ur doin it rong?

  6. cjw666 says:

    I agree with you, there’s a world of difference between “How about xxxxx? It’s nearer me but I think you might like it,” and “I’m not going to go far. If you want to meet me near my neighbourhood then fine.”

    It’s absolutely fair if a guy doesn’t want get into something that means he’s going to spend hours each day or two travelling, if the relationship goes anywhere, but why not just say so and pass?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have to disagree with you. You are reading way too much of the last person’s mistake into this new man’s suggestions of where to meet.
    Wow. You would be a difficult one to please.
    You need to seriously reconsider your first impressions and cut some of these guys a break.
    Be generous of spirit. Most men find that the most sexy.
    Not judgementalness.

  8. bobmatnyc says:

    Sorry, having lived in Manhattan for the last 20 years, putting a Manhattan neighborhood in after the “happy to meet you” is a clear sign of disrespect. I lived in BPC for 2 years. Its a 30 min. train ride to pretty much any other neighborhood on the west side (within reason). A true Manhattanite doesn’t distinguish between north and south, they care about west/east, or number of train connections.

    It takes longer to go to the East Village from BPC than it does to (say) Columbus Circle. So he’s being pretentious and/or a prick. Good call.

  9. Simone Grant says:

    I’m going to take these out of order because bobmatnyc (and thank you, darling) clarified something that I didn’t do a good job of in my post. There are a certain breed of NYers who say things like, “I never go above 8th St.” Now, I don’t know if this guy is one of them. But seriously, we’re not talking about driving in traffic. He could hop on an express train and be in any number of neighborhoods other than the ones he listed in 20 minutes. He’s just being really fussy, for whatever reason. Or, his email makes a really fussy statement. However you wish to think of it.

    Alright now, anon #1
    You think I’m being too picky. That’s your opinion and you’re welcome to it (please notice the two different forms of of the word your/you’re – if you’re going to leave negative, anonymous comments on my blog then perhaps you should work on your grammar and spelling). And yes that’s a bitchy thing to say, but I’m tired of anonymous people being bitchy to me. Grow a pair.
    -drumdance
    It’s important, IMO, for everyone to know what they want. I won’t date guys who live in the ‘burbs or too far out in the boroughs because transportation is a bitch. But I’ll go anywhere in Manhattan (and I have been skewered on this blog for not being more flexible, btw). However, this guy knows where I live (so that’s not entirely relevant). He’s just stating where he will travel for a date.
    -TerrySimpson
    That would be my suspicion too. And as I’ve said, when I want to meet someone I’ll travel to meet him. I believe it’s important for both parties to be flexible, otherwise there’s no equity.
    -MissMollyMoo
    You’re a doll. I don’t really see this as a self-respect thing (though I can see how it might be). He’s just coming of negative (see above).
    -thefinalgirl
    It’s entirely possible that I’m doing many things wrong. Many. I do not claim to be a dating expert. Just an honest person sharing her real experiences. Considering the wide range of men I date (ages, body types, hairlines, income levels) I don’t see how anyone could consider me picky. A guy is 25 lbs overweight (and lying about it online) and has been recently laid off but he and I might have stuff in common, heck sure I’ll go out with him again. I just want to be treated with consideration and respect. So, if that’s picky. Then yeah, I’m picky.
    -cjw666
    Again, he knows where I live – this is not about traveling hours a day. It’s about taking a different train line and staying on an extra 10 minutes-no transfers. But I don’t live “downtown” and there are some NYers who are snobs and only hang out in certain areas of the city. He comes off as one of those. I think this is one of those things that people who don’t know the city can’t really understand.
    -Anonymous
    No one is attracted to judgmental people. And I’m not going to own that label (whereas many of my readers my might think about wearing it around awhile). I don’t judge anyone for their beliefs, mistakes, desires, station in life or pretty much anything else. I expect men to treat me, always, as they would a friend, family member or colleague – as a valuable person. His email asserts, by saying that he would be willing to travel a lesser distance than me and only into neighborhoods that he preferred, that his time/opinion is more valuable than mine. That he was setting the rules of the relationship and I’d have to play by them. I’m not a big fan of quotes but I do believe, “we teach people how to treat us”. I could play along and say yes and go out with him. But then I would be showing him that he gets to set rules that are in his favor/inconsiderate to me for the entirety of our relationship. Sorry, no. Been there, done that. Never again.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Would it be possible to write back and suggest a place outside of those boroughs (along the lines of – do you travel outside of those five boroughs bc I know this terrific place in XYZ and I can assure you it’s worth the trip!) and see what his response is? He does sound prickly and picky but in all fairness, you don’t know him yet and I’d like to see him given the benefit of the doubt. There might be a reason why he needs to stay close to those areas (or maybe he just wrote a really bad email?). However, to be fair, there’s got to be a real honest willingness to give him a chance. You’re absolutely entitled to screen him out on the basis of this lame response.

  11. iamalejandra says:

    I have to agree with Simone and bobmatnyc … he’s “willing” to go out on a date but only on those 5 neighborhoods? Come on! I think if he had some “legitimate and non-dickish” reason he would have asked the question differently, not just flat out point out where he wants to meet.
    I would have to agree with Anonymous @9:58am, why don’t you email him and tell him that you would love to meet him BUT cannot travel that far because you’re busy with work for the next few weeks, so he NEEDS to come to YOUR neighborhood, and see what he says.

  12. drumdance says:

    I wasn’t commenting on this particular date when I mentioned I stay within 20 minutes, just sharing my personal preference.

    However, saying you’re not judgmental is risible. Go take a Myers Briggs test – I’ll bet you $100 you’re a J.

    There’s nothing wrong with that — I’m a J too — but based on everything I’ve seen you clearly use very little information to form rather strong opinions.

    I think you’re probably right about this guy BTW.

  13. angelbaby2 says:

    you are too picky-no wonder you cant find someone.
    for as much dating as you do, you should have met someone by now.

  14. Simone Grant says:

    -angelbaby2
    Perhaps I am not going to meet someone. I don’t mind being single. I like my life.
    IMO, half the married women I know settled (and I do mean SETTLE) for someone because they feared not “finding someone” (and I pretty much know I’m right as they so many of those marriages crumble). Dating is not a treasure hunt. It’s an exploration. I looking for a mate, not a pair of comfortable shoes.

  15. Simone Grant says:

    Oops sorry didn’t mean to ignore the rest of comments. I’m really tired right now. I was out til past 4am. One of those dreadful things that we single girls sometimes do. And I have 2 dates today – I’m so screwed, gotta get some rest. I promise to catch up later.