Welcome to Real Couples of New York, where we will introduce you to the likes of that mythical creature we’ve glimpsed on the subway: a couple who found love (or something like it) in New York City. These couples prove that dating in NYC is indeed possible, and you never know when or how you might meet the person you’ve been dreaming about splitting Seamless orders with since you moved here.
Maybe we’ll meet some emo boyfriends at Webster Hall tonight, she joked with her friends. Maybe we’ll meet some girls from NYU, he joked with his.
They weren’t right... but they weren’t wrong, either. Though he’s not emo and she’s no longer a college student, he did become her boyfriend and she did graduate from NYU.
What could have been chalked up to a pleasant one night stand turned into a long-term courtship, spanning not just separate boroughs, but an entire ocean—she resides in Brooklyn, he lives in London.
It’s a modern love story... that never would have happened if not for Modern Baseball.
HOW THEY MET
“I strategically positioned myself near this anonymous tall gentleman,” she said. She didn’t know Modern Baseball and had tagged along with a friend. Disposing of any pretense of subtlety, she started dancing closer. “He needed to know I’m after him,” she told me.
“Eventually we were dancing so close, we’re making out.” As they hadn’t spoken yet, she was surprised to discover that when he did use his tongue for talking, he had a British accent.
His British descent was a pro, because they were able to converse about Harry Styles at the bar, and she realized that he was actually a very fun and cool person. “I’m gonna borrow your friend,” she told the friend he was visiting in the city for two weeks.
When they woke up after a night of talking and ~doing whatever~ until 4 a.m. he, the tourist, headed to SantaCon 2015 and she assumed she’d never see him again. But everyone knows SantaCon sucks, so he was back in Brooklyn that night.
After all, he had strategically positioned himself to be near her at the concert, too.
HOW THEY DTR
In the beginning, both were willing to let it go. But the signs were just too much: he wasn’t even supposed to be in the country on the night they met; he extended his stay specifically because his friend wanted to attend the Modern Baseball concert. Then, he met a woman on his flight back to the UK who was in a long distance relationship with someone at America.
So, they kept in touch.
“When he told me he was coming back to visit the same friend two months later, it was clear he was coming to see me,” she told me. He conceded that this was true. “I was very nervous,” she said. “This is basically a stranger staying with me for two weeks and it could be awful.”
The first morning of his visit was nerve wracking: a full day to spend together... what to do?! After a visit to the Met, a trip through Central Park (she waited for him to kiss her at the top of the castle and he didn’t—”I thought, ‘oh, he doesn’t like me that much’” she admitted, in spite of the fact he flew across the Atlantic to see her), and a stop by the Natural History Museum, they got a bit drunk and loosened up.
The visit exceeded expectations. The rest is history.
OUTLOOK ON DATING
“I actually felt really good about dating in NYC,” she told me when I asked about her experiences prior to him. “I’m pretty confident when it comes to dating; I know what I like.” Trust me when I say this is something to be applaud, not envy— all New York ladies could have this attitude.
Neither of them were ever fans of online dating. He tried it in London, but it felt too fake. “It gamifies it as well. It doesn’t feel like a real thing,” he said of Tinder.
Their particular long distance situation provided extenuating circumstances for their relationship. Fortunately both of their jobs— he’s in PR and she’s in fashion media— were flexible with vacation time and working remotely. They saw each other every six weeks to two months, keeping in touch via texting, Facebook Messenger, and FaceTime in the interim.
ADVICE FOR SINGLES
At 29, about half of his friends are settled down and half of them are single. At 25, most of her friends are single (and also live in New York). Both were adamant about two principles of dating: don’t play games, and be yourself.
“If you’re looking for something actually serious and you’re playing games, it only gets you entangled in something that’s not meant to be anyway,” she said, wisely. “If you’re actually looking for something that can last, you have to not play games at all and just be radically yourself.”
Being yourself means being honest, too. In the beginning, he was nervous too, but thought, fuck it. “I’m living in London, you’re living in New York, if it isn’t going to work, it isn’t going to work for a million reasons. But the only thing I can do is be honest about my feelings for you.”
For the naysayers who don’t believe anything can come of a drunken make out on a dance floor, neither thought anything of it.
“It’s a totally reasonable way to meet,” she said matter of factly. Even more importantly, he said, “I don’t think the circumstances of how you meet have any impact on the relationship long term, it’s about the people.”My personal takeaway: go to every concert you’re invited to.
UPDATE: By the time of publishing, this couple has unfortunately parted ways after a year and a half. C'est la vie.