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"All the single ladies"...need to follow these rules

Many of my closest girlfriends and myself have recently found ourselves single in the city. We are a potentially awesome cliche. This situation is also potentially dangerous given the impulsiveness of some of my lovely, intelligent friends after a fifth vodka soda, but let’s leave that for another post. We are 22 or 23, plugging away at our first (or second for a few) job, very broke, and trying to pay for as few drinks as possible. We are adjusting to going out in a city like New York after spending four years at a college in the middle of nowhere upstate New York where there were three bars - Risky Business aka “The Bacon”, The Jug aka “The Jug”, and The Hourglass aka “Only if you want to hookup with a townie or have an awkward run-in with your visiting English professor” - and a social scene that was dominated by fratty bros from Greenwich, Rye, New Canaan, Westchester, etc....well unfortunately, I guess that hasn’t really changed. It was pretty slim pickings in the boy department, and we are constantly vocalizing how “down we are to meet new guys”…we are “so down”. But before we can safely go on the hunt, I think a few rules should be established to salvage our friendships and self-respect. Here are couple of ideas I’ve had given recent experiences:

  1. You cannot “dibs” a boy who you hear is single, cute, funny, breathing etc. and expect none of your friends to flirt with him should he choose to flirt with them. He is not the front seat, and you cannot shotty him. Dibsing has become a serious issue with some beloved friends of mine, and hopefully this list of guidelines will prevent me from having to scream “NO DIBS ALLOWED!!!” whenever we hear that so-and-so has cute roommates.
  2. On a similar note: you cannot lay claim to an entire apartment/group of boys. If you have established a connection with one (this does not include you texting him to no response, making eye contact, or blatantly asking him to make out with you), you can expect that your friends would not go after a guy who is into you and with whom you have chemistry. If he’s had every opportunity to be into you, and things haven’t progressed, he is fair game. Love is a battlefield, ladies.
  3. When a friend mentions to you that she thinks a new acquaintance is cute, try your hardest not to make her feelings known to this boy or his friends. You may think you are being a good friend, and nudging the situation along, but you should keep your wing-womaning to a subtle, non-embarrassing limit. Avoid saying things like “Carter likes Pomegranate Chobani?? No way, so does Isabel! You guys should totally date…and eat lots of Chobani together!” This is not subtle, and it makes your friend (and you) look desperate and weird. Also note that most people today are fond of Chobani, and this does not mean that Carter and Isabel share a unique bond.
  4. Let’s begin to breach the issue of self-respect/encouraging one another to maintain our dignity as ladies. If you want to make out with that hot, iBanking douchebag at the bar (the one who couldn’t be bothered to go home and change out of his suit and tie even though it is now 12:15am on a Thursday, and he clearly just wants everyone to know that he had an exhausting day making way too much money as a banker), then, by all means, go for it. When you ask your friends whether they think he will ask you out, you cannot fault them for giving an unconvincing “yeah, totally!”. They love you, and know that you are better than said banker-douche.
  5. When you inform your friends (through bleary, drunk eyes) that you and Matt…or Patrick…yes Patrick are going to take a cab home, and your friend, after giving “Patrick” the once-over, tells you that you promised that you would have a sleepover with them, go ahead and have a sleepover. Give Patrick your number (or maybe don't), get some pizza and Gatorade, and go home and snuggle with your girlfriend. She is attempting to keep you from becoming a character on Law & Order SVU. Perhaps you can watch a few (or ten) episodes of Law & Order as you escape being potentially murdered by Patrick/Matt.

Rules 1-5 are merely the top of the single-ladies cliché iceberg, and this list will clearly need to be adapted as situations arise.

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