Dating

“You Live… WHERE?!” Dating & NYC Apartments

April 5 2010 | CeCe Olisa

Meeting Adrian last Saturday was like a scene from a corny, yet enjoyable movie.

I was taking the bus across 14th street after a trip to Trader Joes. I didn’t pay much attention to the guy who got on at Union Square and sat in front of me until a few minutes later when he turned around, offered me a stick of gum and introduced himself. Adrian was easy to talk to and when we stood up to get off of the bus at 7th avenue, I was happy to see that he was taller than me. He carried my shopping bags into the train station and by the time we parted I had given him my phone number and we had tentative plans to grab drinks.

Sunday evening I was curled up on the couch recovering from Easter brunch when Adrian called me to “say hello”. The conversation was moving along nicely, he was obviously very smart and although I could hear his room mates in the background watching the game, he kept me engaged in our conversation and there were very few awkward pauses. Somehow our conversation shifted to different neighborhoods in Manhattan and Adrian mentioned where he lived.

That’s when we had our first awkward pause.

“…Actually,” he said. “I’m living in a shelter right now, so that I can save money.”

I didn’t know what to say! So… when I assumed the young, educated, employed man I was on the phone with was sitting watching the game with his “room mates” he was actually sitting with fellow shelter dwellers?!

I couldn’t help but feel like this was some sort of challenge because I had just finished having a Twitter conversation with “@MoxieInTheCity” and “@LoveInTheDumps” about dating and living situations. We were tweeting about Moxie’s recent post asking if dating with room mates cramps your style. My concise opinion was this.

I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to New York living arrangements, because I understand what it takes to “make it” here in the city. On one hand there’s the old adage of “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” but when it comes to the living situations of the people we date, I think we all have a point where we might draw the line….

With my parents living in California, I’ve always had my own apartment but I’ve never thought differently of New York guys who still lived at home. My friend Kenzie had a boyfriend who slept on a loft bed. She was cool with it, but the idea of needing a ladder to get in and out of bed simply does not appeal to me. When I was 19 I lived in room so narrow that any guy over 6 feet could stretch out and touch one wall with his feet and the other with his hands. Now that I’ve entered my 20’s that’s just not acceptable.

When it comes to New York living, how far is too far?

For me, a working man who lives in a Shelter is definitely “too far”.

Its kind of like the guy with the missing teeth. Perhaps Adrian should focus on getting his living situation together before he runs around this city passing out sticks of gum and inviting girls out for drinks.

P.S. Has anyone else dated a guy with a weird living situation? Where do you draw the line?

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17 responses on ““You Live… WHERE?!” Dating & NYC Apartments

  1. MissBrown

    Ha! I can completely relate to this story. When I first moved to LA, I was in IHOP late one night after a concert and there was a handsome guy sitting behind me on his laptop working super hard. We ate then left but I got up the nerve to come back and give him my number and he in return gave me his. We went on a first date it was the best date Ive prob ever been on.

    Then I guess after he was comfortable with me he told me he was homeless and by choice. Because he refused to pay LA rent. I mean really? I dont like paying LA rent but I do pay it. In my house my parents always taught me if you have nothing else you have a place to lay your head. He then got super offended when I told him I wasn't ok with that… like I was a bad person. Judging him … That was a ok by me cause I kept thinkin if this goes any further he's gonna have the expectation of stayin at my place and that was a no go.

    Long story short I can understand where youre coming from, different living situations are cool but some are just too far for me and purposeful homelessness is def one!

  2. Jessica Downey

    For me, it's not necessarily the whole shelter thing though I am not saying I would deifnitely go for a guy that lives in a shelter. This whoe situation just screams drama to me and I think that is what would throw up a red flag and make me want to run in the opposite direction. I believe everyone in the world needs a little love but I think he should worry more about getting a place before he worries about dating.

  3. Bronxgirl1

    Well…My problem with this is that the average person doesn't go into a shelter to save money. They either share a flat with room mates or they rent a room in a rooming house. To get into the shelter means that you are stating that you have no resources whatsoever. You are making use of taxpayer money by living in said shelter and participating in programs such as food stamps, welfare, medicaid, vocational training, section 8, and etc…
    My point is that this is not a normal means of reducing expenses and buiding up some revenue. Clearly his circumstances are more dire than what he implied. I would drop him like a hot potato because he isn't ready to date.

  4. mediavore

    I recently met a sweet, intelligent, romantic man who plays cello on the streets. We hit it off amazingly well right off the bat. When I first met him, he was sharing a house, but shortly after decided it was a bad situation and he was going to go "camping" (homeless, outside the city, no way to shower) for a few months until he got enough cash saved up for his own place. I couldn't decide if he really did like me, or was just good at conning his way into crashing at my place. I figured it was too big of a dealbreaker to get around.

    At least he was honest with you, and you never know when or where you'll meet the right person, but I agree with the other posters in that he's just not ready to date.

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  6. Donda

    Guurrrlll! OK, that said, it could be worse. He could live in his Mom's basement and be all Norman Bates. Don't count him out just yet. He might have a stack of cash banked and be more savvy than any of us…one never knows.

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