Hunt Ethridge Dating Advice

Valentine’s Day 2010

Originally published in The Hudson Reporter

Hello readers and welcome to my new column. I’ll be exploring the ins and outs of the dating life here in Hoboken and Hudson county and the greater NYC scene. Well first off, the good news. CNN Money has ranked Hoboken (for the second straight year) as the best place for singles over 30 and Forbes ranks NYC as the top city for singles in 2009. So, we got that goin’ for us… We all know that dating can be difficult and downright intimidating but at least we are in a location where the numbers are working for us. I once extrapolated how many dateable people there were in the NYC metro area using nothing more than some rough estimates and the numbers are STILL about one million! Here’s the breakdown: approximately 18 million people live in the metro/tristate area. Let’s cut that in half, for people that live too far. 9 million, now cut that in half for the opposite sex. 4.5 million of each sex. Now cut that in half for married people (2.25) and then cut that population in half again for ages above and below what you find desirable. That leaves over 1 million dateable people here! So we’ve got the numbers, the opportunities, and we’ve definitely got some amazing people here.

However, in my life and work I am always amazed at how many people share their horror stories or trepidations with me. To a lot of people the act of dating is as scary and daunting as running a gauntlet. Well, hopefully I can help you all out a bit. Since Valentine’s Day or “Singles Awareness Day” is coming up, I figured I’d give some tips and advice to make that day fun. If you are single, have no fear. I have always found the Valentine’s Day is a great time to meet someone. If you go out, chances are, every other person out is single and in the same boat. It’s kind of like New Year’s Eve, everyone wants someone to kiss at midnight. There is usually a good vibe out on V-day so don’t sit home eating ice cream or playing Xbox. Use this as a good time to go out and meet people! And since this year it is on a Sunday of a long weekend, it gives you extra time to stay up late! If you enjoy the bar scene and want to hang out in a bar reminiscent of a northern ski lodge, check out McSwiggan’s Pub on 1st and Bloomfield. They always get a good crowd there and on the 14th they are having a special “Traffic Light Bash.” Singles wear a green sticker, if you’re taken, you have a red one and yellow’s for that tricky in-between thingy. There’ll be a live DJ and shot specials. Paddy and Jess are also very wise as they’ve seen thousands of us on dates. Paddy says, “The bartender is your best friend. If you come here on lots of first dates, let us know, we’ll help you out. Also, if you’re on a date, don’t bring your friends. It’s either a “date” or “hanging out,” not both. And when the bartender approaches you, ask the lady what she’s having first before you order.” Jess adds, “No texting! If you’re on a date BE on a date! And don’t be a miserly tipper, girls notice that sort of thing.” And if you actually are interested in a bartender and would like to ask them out? First off, you’re (usually) not going to get her number or a date the first time you come in. Come repeatedly and if you can, come when it’s not very busy so you can talk. DON’T bring in dates or hit on others in the same bar. Tacky! Leave a good tip and be honest. “Why don’t you let me take you out for a drink sometime” is a good thing to ask. Just be sincere and not sleazy. If you’re more into the lounge scene, check out Nine at 333 Washington Street. Due to the long weekend, they are going to be open ’till 3am on Sunday with a live DJ. There’s never a dearth of well-dressed, fun and attractive people there. The lovely barmaid, let’s call her Suzy, also offers up a few tips. “Don’t be too drunk when you approach someone and be careful about initiating physical contact too soon.” If you’re a guy, avoid the standard jeans-and-button-down-shirt uniform. “Try a sweater vest or something different. It will automatically let you stand out.”

If you are already dating someone, congrats! Flowers are always good but they can be the go-to item and don’t involve a lot of planning. If you want to get something great for your lady that takes at least a day of planning, go for the Chocolate Gift Box at Carlos bakery. Not only is it filled with chocolate cover strawberries and other delectibles, but the box itself is made out of chocolate and it’s only $35! Just give them a day’s notice.

So ladies, dust off that red dress and guys, shine those shoes! Make this long weekend one to remember! Hopefully, the 14th will be “Sunday Funday” for everyone!

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