For those of you in England, I want to stress to you just how big America is. It’s huge. To the point where certain states are bigger than some countries. Each state has its own culture, complete with accents, cuisine, laws, and (the hardest thing I am learning) dating styles.
I come from New York City, land of the “Give it to me now and get the hell out of my way.” And that goes for everything. New Yorkers are proud, aggressive, and most of all impatient. Because we don’t have to be patient. We get food delivered to us at 1am, and we never have to worry about having access to anything we want or need. The most patience you’ll ever need to practice is waiting for the subway when it’s running late. When it comes to work, hanging out, and dating, things move at lightning speed.
Taylor knows my pain…
To quote Taylor Swift- “So it’s gonna be forever, or it’s gonna go down in flames.” This is how we handle everything, including dating. More than just handle it, this is what’s expected. Waiting 3 days for a guy to call you? Please, you’ll have that many dates just waiting for this guy to call you back to make plans. And the guys know that too. You’re busy, they’re busy, so if you meet and actually like each other, you take the same approach you would with a business deal and you “move forward”.
Things are not like that here below the Mason-Dixon line. Things move very slowly. Glacial even. More importantly, they can. It almost seems like there are more hours in the day here. There is this luxury where you can go days or even a week without calling someone and it’s not at all unusual to pick it up from there and go on a second date. And then wait another week to see that person, and so on and so forth. From what I have observed of this culture, the courting process can go on for months before deciding whether or not this person is worthy of a monogamous relationship.
What is so confusing about love?
There is a lot of “I’m not sure”, and “I feel confused” when I ask guys how they feel about either me, or how they feel about another woman. In New York, decisions are made quickly. Regardless of how you meet, whether it be a set up from a friend, online dating, or even just casually bumping into someone at a coffee shop (yes things like that actually do happen there), you know almost immediately if you want to go on a second date with this person. More importantly, your second date will usually take place within 3-4 days of your first one (schedules permitting of course). You’ll spend time talking, and really getting to know someone through conversation. Long, conversation style texts have yet to take the place of in person conversation. Meeting at Shake Shack for 45 minutes is still preferred over an hour long back and forth text conversation, where you’ve maybe exchanged five sentences to each other. Half of which were emoji’s. In New York, a guy will call you to make a date. He will most likely present you with two or three options for you to choose from and then you will meet him there at a time that works best for you. And he will always offer to pay. Whether or not you allow him to if of course up to you.
If he likes you, he will tell you. You won’t have to guess. They will mull around Pottery Barn with you to find the perfect trivet for your 150 square foot kitchen after spending an early afternoon brunch downtown with you, just so they can see you again.
It’s different when you date in North Carolina. Now this is not ALL of the guys who live here I have gone on dates here with sweet guys. I also fell pretty hard for one who I had a lot in common with and unfortunately, that ended. But for the most part, here is how my dating life goes.
If a guy finds you attractive, you’ll receive an ambiguous text where it seems like you’re being asked out on a date. However, the lack of certainty in their words will make you question if this person actually even wants to see you at all. He’ll usually put you on the spot and ask you what you want to do. I used to find this sweet, the guy was relinquishing control to allow you to choose a venue you felt comfortable in. After months and months of dating, I now know this is a test. Choose a place, or activity that the guy doesn’t like and he will let it be known. He’ll still go, but you’ll know the entire time he would much rather be doing something else. Choose the right activity, and maybe you’ll get a text a few days later asking you to do something else that he’s picked.
There is also a weird form of chivalry down here. If you live in Chapel Hill, and he lives in Apex, he will pretty much assume that you will be driving over to his town to meet for the first time. The second date, which could be anywhere from a week to three weeks later, he may pick you up from your home. He’ll compliment you, open the car door for you, and drive you both to your destination. He’ll ask you if you’re warm or cold, and adjust the temperature. He’ll drop you off in front of the restaurant you picked if it’s raining. It all seems like the date is going to go well. And it might! He might offer to pay for you, and you might let him. He may walk you up to your door and kiss you goodnight, smile, and ask when he can see you again. But from what I’ve experienced, it’s a hug in the car and a cavalier, “I’ll talk to you soon.” Whatever that means. You literally may never hear from this dude again.
Step away from the electronics!
Don’t even bother checking your phone, or having your friends text you “just to make sure it works.” If he does ask you out again, be prepared to go on dozens of dates before becoming “boyfriend and girlfriend”, because you don’t want to do anything that may be confused with moving too fast. Oh and definitely don’t reach out and ask him to go on another date, or ask him where things are going. That’s just not how things are done here. (Deep breath). You’ll come off as aggressive, and no one wants that. Right ladies? (eye-roll).
So what’s the solution? (Move?) I haven’t found it yet, but I promise a second part of this article once I do! Stay tuned…
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