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And the bassist who insisted I listen to 10 minutes of his music while he watched me react to it.And the winner who showed up in sweatpants and couldn’t buy me a drink because he’d spent his last on a beer and wings special for himself. And there’ve been wonderful guys in the mix too, most of whom fizzled out because in this city, it’s just really hard to fit two people, and their ambitions, into one relationship. ”) Maybe a change of location — to New Bern, North Carolina; Miami, Florida; Austin, Texas; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Detroit, Michigan; and Los Angeles, California — was the answer. If this trip had been a blind date, I would’ve walked out of the bar the second I saw New Bern’s offerings, via a terrifying night of Tindering.Becky told me about a Marine she stopped dating after he told her he was “using a penis pump to get bigger for girls.” Now she sees him out and about all the time. “Unfortunately, New Bern does have that reputation,” says Natasha, a bartender, 29, “that most chicks in this town are trying to get pregnant to trap a guy.” Almost no one I met dates online, which makes sense: If you live in a small town, chances are you like a tight community where everyone knows your name, rather than internet strangers.From what I could glean, the local servers, bartenders, and chefs in town just sleep with one another.Brittany, a 26-year-old waitress, tells me that when she joined Tinder, all her friends called her “Tinderella” because it was so weird to be on it. People love to blame Tinder for hookup culture, but Becky joined because she was looking for the opposite.Her dad even paid for her to try with her location set to Raleigh because he doesn’t like the guys where she lives — but no one wants to drive two hours for a date.And the also-very-young hero who swooped in to rescue me when a woman was rude to me and held my hand as we ran through the streets to the next stop.And then there was Peter, who I met that night in a bar set in the basement of a haunted mansion.
“I can’t limit my options here; I don’t have so many.” She’s not kidding. I've met guys in bars, at parties, while snowboarding, through friends, and online via Ok Cupid, Match, Tinder, Hinge, Happn, Bumble, The League, How About We, Coffee Meets Bagel, and even Nerve.com, a site for “literary smut” that hosted online personals in that early-aughts dark age before smartphones. Now imagine that feeling multiplied times a tsunami and you’ll know what washed over me when called up to see if I would travel around the country going on dates to find out if location really matters when you’re looking for love.Still, I both got annoyed waiting for him to come to me, and felt guilty over his two-hour commute.Jason seemed eager for a committed relationship, but I ultimately didn’t see it going anywhere.
I also couldn’t believe the plethora of good-looking, gentlemanly guys who bought me drinks.