Then I practically fell asleep at the wheel coming home.The next night, we had another terrific date wandering around New Bern and going on a ghost tour (half the town is haunted, apparently).I settled on saying I was “considering moving” to each city; a white lie, but one that seemed to elicit much more respectful and normal interactions.I’ve changed all the guys' names.)The bar scene, on the other hand, was a blast, at least as the new girl in town. That’s the feeling that rises up in my throat whenever anyone asks me the totally non-condescending question of why I’m still single, which I’ve answered so many times in so many tones (“Just haven't met the right guy, I guess! There was the guy who kept taking calls from a number he’d labeled “Happy Happy Fun Time,” which turned out to be his drug dealer. 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.
Things move so fast in New York that I only recently stopped to ask myself how I’d wound up here, over 35 and still single, but not always wanting to be. I’d already crossed the fuck-it-something's-got-to-give threshold of my New York dating life. 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.
“I definitely assume everyone is a Republican,” Becky, a 26-year-old elementary school teacher and Democrat who dates all political persuasions, told me.
“I can’t limit my options here; I don’t have so many.” She’s not kidding.
New Bern was named by Market Watch as one of the top coastal towns in the country to retire to, so that leaves young, single people dating in the equivalent of a recycling bin.
You will inevitably run into an ex, or many, at one of the town’s three main bars. ’ He ignores me.”New women on the scene tend to be in town for weddings; new guys tend to be Marines, though they’re strictly nonmonogamous, due to a pervasive fear that — I shit you not — any woman who wants a relationship is angling for what’s known among locals as a “contract marriage,” an emotionless ploy to snare access to his good military salary and benefits.