It's finally less than hot-as-hell in NYC, which makes me excited for my favorite season - fall! But until then here is the second installment in the summer of "What Are Men Really Thinking?" series (first installment: Interview with a single guy). I had the privilege of talking to a divorced guy who is now a single guy who believes in chivalry and communication . Yes that man actually exists. And yes, I cried a bit at his storytelling show.
We should all be so lucky to meet someone like him. Thank you, Joseph!
Relationship Status: Single
How long have you lived in NYC? 9 years
I saw your one-man storytelling performance that took us on journey from that magical day that you fell in love with your ex-wife to the less-than-magical day she asked you for a divorce. Why did you want to do this show?
There is a short film called Hotel Chevalier at the beginning of The Darjeeling Limited about two former lovers. I found it awkward and hilarious, because I related to it on a number of different levels. And I thought I could write something in that vein, so I did. I wrote the first draft the night after I saw the movie. That was in December of 2009. Then I sat on it until August of 2010, and made some changes. I found it therapeutic to write about my experiences. Earlier this year I was thinking of moving to Israel, but did not want to because I felt that I had written so many things that I hadn't performed, so I promised myself I would, if I stayed in NYC. I kept my promise to myself by performing my one-man show.
How old were you when you got married and how long were you married?
I was 25 years old. Legally I was married for 7.5 years, but the marriage was over at the 6 year mark. The divorce took 1.5 years due to legal matters.
Did you ever have doubts about getting married?
Sure, but I think that's normal to some extent. There were a number of red flags that I was not mature enough or experienced enough to pick up on.
What do you think led to your divorce?
That's a complicated question to answer. In a nutshell, she didn't want to have kids, but there were other major issues. We didn't communicate well with each other and we were not respectful to each other.
Is there something that you could have done differently to salvage the marriage? Is there something she could have done differently?
Marriage takes a great deal of work, but you need two people who want work at it. At one point I was willing to make compromises to make it work, but she was not on the same page. I'm glad that she felt that way because I'm happier now than I've been in years, so If she had compromised I'd still be in an unhappy marriage.
How long did it take you to start dating after you got divorced?
I was legally separated in September of 2009, and went on my first date in October of that year. I didn't date anyone seriously until October of 2010.
You'd been with your wife your entire 20's...what was it like to start dating in your 30s?
Dating was super weird and awkward for me, because it was completely foreign to me. I met my ex-wife when I was 21. Before that I dated a girl for 9 months. I met them both in college. I didn't have a cell phone back then, and I certainly didn't text. And girls were not worried about what I did for a living or how much money I made. They liked me because I was me. We were friends, and then it became more. Plus it's much easier to meet girls when they live on the same floor with you or are in the same study abroad program.
It's often difficult to find the time to date someone. My work schedule and social engagements keep me busy. But ultimately if I really like someone, I'll find the time. The hard part for me is finding a girl I really like and have a connection with.
How do you usually meet women?
I'm much bolder post divorce, because I've already faced the ultimate rejection, so if I'm in the mood, I'm not afraid to flirt with strangers. I have also met girls who are friends of friends.
Have you tried online dating? Which site? What have been your experiences with it?
I have gone on a number of dates through Match.com, and have an account with OkCupid. I find online dating awkward and forced. I feel like I'm on a job interview. I went on a number of dates with a minister I met on Match. It was a strange experience. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that she wanted to keep going on dates with someone who's agnostic (Me). Maybe she was trying to convert me??
How do you feel about texting and dating?
I feel like girls in their early twenties prefer texting, but girls closer to my age prefer a call. The bottom line is that if I really like a girl, I'm going to call her. But maybe that's just me.
Chivalry. Us ladies often throw this word around. What does it mean to you and do you think it has any place in dating today?
Chivalry to me means being polite and respectful. It gives me pleasure to do nice things for someone I care about. Whether that means holding the door, buying flowers, making coffee in the morning, or running an errand for that special someone.
Describe an amazing first date.
I don't like to go overboard on a first date, because it creates too much pressure in my mind for both people. An amazing first date is going to develop organically. It's important to me to make a natural connection with someone. Simply being able to have a nice conversation with someone for a few hours is ideal.
Tell me about your worst date ever.
I went out with a girl who made veiled racist remarks (Thank you, Match.com)!
Who pays on the first date? What about the second date?
I think the guy should pay for the first date, but it's nice for the girl to offer. But you can't let her pay. The second date is up in the air to me.
If you really like a girl after the first date do you initiate contact? How soon after the date?
I don't like to play games, so if I like a girl, I'll call her the next day. I've also been in situations where I've sent girls text messages or emails the same night, but that's rare. In some cases the girls contact me first. It all depends on the situation.
What type of relationship are you looking for right now?
It would be nice to have a girlfriend, but I don't want to be in a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship. I'm very selective and cautious about who I'm serious about. I know what I want in a relationship.
Would you get married again? Why?
I would like to get married again, but it all depends on whether or not I meet the right person. It would be nice start a family, but I don't want it to be with just anyone. I want to find a best friend.
What did you learn from being married?
I learned that you have to be honest with yourself and your spouse. You need to communicate with your spouse in a healthy way when you're upset. I don't feel that either of us did a very good job at that, and it lead to resentment on both sides. I'd also like to truly settle down at some point. My ex-wife and I were married singles. We had different interests and different social circles. By the end, we had very little in common.
If there is one piece of advice that you could give all women about dating, what would it be?
Find someone you can laugh with!