Happy Hump Day, mes chéries! How are you all doing? I made the mistake of getting a flu shot on Monday when I wasn’t feeling very well. I ended up completely out of commission until 4pm on Tuesday, causing me to have to call into work sick. But thanks to some sort of magical force within my immune system (or maybe sheer willpower), I resurrected and am back today with a new post!

(PS. This outfit will be featured in a separate OOTD post, don’t you worry! For now, I’ve put the details about it at the bottom of the post)

It’s been quite some time since I sat down and chatted with you about love. It’s safe to say that my love life has been so uneventful that if it were a scene in a movie, even tumbleweed would not roll through it. You’d think I am disappointed since I walked into this city thrilled to find that next someone. But lately I’ve noticed that when given the chance to meet someone, I don’t care to take it. So a few days ago, I took some time to think about love, dating, relationships, and all that jazz. I wondered why I was perfectly content with my barren love life at the moment while all my other friends are thirsty for baes the way I used to.

Being a 20-something year old in the city, you’re expected to be in one of three situations:

  1. To “do you” for a little while and have fun dating around and living it up on the dance floor of LES lounges
  2. To be in a semi-serious or serious relationship and trying to figure out if you can spend the rest of your lives together or not
  3. To have some crazy love adventure going on with a ton of drama-dram that could be a soap opera of its own.

But in a city like New York, it’s extremely difficult to meet people for another set of reasons:

  1. Everyone is so busy and focused on themselves that there is little to no time to date unless they’re actually really into someone.
  2. Everyone minds their own business and doesn’t like to be bothered.
  3. Everyone has high expectations and no patience.

I used to be a hopeless romantic deep down inside. I would hope that my Prince Charming would run into me one day and muster up the courage to say hi and we would eventually live happily forever. But now that I understand a little something called reality, I know that I have to be a little more creative and open-minded when it comes to relationships.

Within the first few weeks of living the city, I caved into the peer pressure of my friends who love dating apps. So, I re-downloaded Bumble and The League, since they were the only two apps I was less skeptical of and willing to use. My girl friends were obsessively swiping or just basking in the glory of free drinks and meals. For me, I felt little to no thrill in swiping or getting free drinks, but kept an open mind nonetheless. I met up with a few people offline and eventually found myself with a list of one-date wonders or one-night stands. I would then try to be more open to conversation when I was out with friends on weekend nights, but still found zero interest in texting them back afterwards. Slowly, I noticed that I started getting annoyed when people would reach out. I would view spending time with them, no matter how long or short, as time that I could have spent on myself at the gym or cleaning my apartment or doing something for my blog. That’s insane!! Shouldn’t I be excited about meeting new people? Shouldn’t I love getting attention? But on the contrary, I was curt with my responses and even bitchy to guys in hopes they would get the message to leave me the f*ck alone so I didn’t have to ghost.

The chances of any of my matches finding this post is actually not that unlikely, but I’m going to go out on a limb here anyways and be honest: I truly dislike dating apps. I’m “on” them as in if I’m bored I’ll swipe around or change up my photos, but I’m not active when it comes to actually reaching out or partaking in conversations.

I will momentarily pause the conversation here and say that I am not going into the argument of dating apps being “shallow” since people swipe based on look, mainly because that’s a whole other tornado to deal with and also because let’s be real: it’s not a crime to want to be physically attracted to our significant other.

Part of it is because I dislike meeting someone online, especially since I don’t trust people easily. I’m the type of person where if I don’t have any mutual connection with you meaning I have no idea who you are, your history, or the type of people you hang around, it terrifies me enough to never ever be able to fully open up no matter what transpires between us. The other part of my dislike for dating apps comes from the fact that I operate mostly on intuition. I usually catch a vibe or feeling from someone in the initial meeting. From that vibe, I can usually tell what’s going to happen between us (which is why my friends constantly think I’m some sort of psychic 😂), and I have to say that my first gut judgements have never failed me. Online, it’s hard for me to catch that feeling. Lastly, I have to be intrigued within the first few messages of our conversation to be willing to ever meet offline, ad trust me when I say I’m very critical and get bored easily. Clearly, I am not a star millennial. But for all the people who’ve had success using apps, more the power to you! I applaud you for your faith and courage that I lack 😂.

After much reflection and borderline self-psychoanalysis, I realized the real problem behind it all: I may be ready for a relationship, but I value myself right now more than I value a stranger on the other side of the screen. You can tell me to just “have fun” but I hate feeling like I’m wasting time, whether it’s mine or someone else’s. I don’t get pleasure out of toying with someone just because I’m bored. I’ve been on the other end of it, and I just can’t hurt someone the way I was hurt. Maybe I’m closed off because I’m so scarred from previous relationships. Maybe I can’t just let loose and “have fun” because I have always been the one that got strung along when someone didn’t know what he wanted. Regardless, I am here today, perfectly happy to have my bed all to myself and to be running on my own schedule.

That’s not to say I have given up completely on love or dating apps yet. I’m still trying to go on dates when the opportunity presents itself and have an open mind. I’m also definitely still holding onto the hope that I will ~magically~ meet my man by chance. But for now, I think it’s ok to want to spend time alone with yourself instead of a stranger, especially since the odds of meeting the perfect stranger for you on an app is a lot slimmer than the programmers behind these apps claim.

That being said, there’s a huge difference between being alone and being lonely. When you’re alone, you’re comfortable with yourself in silence and you take the time to get to know yourself better and know what you want and need. When you’re lonely and crave a relationship because you’re lonely, you might not find the right one. That’s where I am: alone, but comfortable and familiar with myself. I know what I want and what I need, and that just isn’t in the people I’m currently meeting at the moment, which is why I rather spend time with friends or by myself.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, there is no right or wrong way to approach love in the Big Apple as a 20-something-year-old. You don’t have to swipe if you don’t want to. You also don’t need to hunt down your special someone in the subway or on the streets. But whether it’s dating apps or meeting someone on the subway, keep an open mind and heart. Then maybe, just maybe, all the Carrie Bradshaws in us will find our Bigs.

Until then, you have my fullest attention and all my love, mes chéries. Bisou, bisou…





Bodysuit: Necessary Clothing
Skirt: Banana Republic
Duster: Boohoo
Kate Spade 

Erica Huang
Erica Huang

Based in New York City, Erica Huang is the creator and voice behind Bouge & Rouge. This blog is a playground of her thoughts where she invites you to join her on her journey through her 20s. Erica shares her lifestyle, fashion and beauty tips, adventures, and personal thoughts with the goal of inspiring others to always persevere and be unapologetically yourself.

Find me on: Web | Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook

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