By Vince L.

It can be difficult to date, maintain a social life, and balance your career in your early-to-mid-thirties, in New York city. For most New Yorkers, besides family, work comes first and everything else falls into line. I had two jobs. I was a certified personal trainer and designer. My time was limited, so I started online dating. It saved me a lot of time. Most of the women I met had great careers and like myself, their time was limited too. Then I met her. A Virginia transplant living in the New York area for the past five years.

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 Our first date was funny. It was the beginning of winter, but it wasn’t cold. We met in the city at a Thai restaurant in Union Square. I positioned myself in the restaurant where I could see her, but she couldn’t see me. This way I could make a smooth getaway if her online pictures didn’t match up. I noticed her as soon as she entered. She looked better than her pictures. She texted me to see where I was and I replied, ‘I’m holding my hat in the air as a marker.”

“Why are you sitting all the way over here?” she asked. I told her I didn’t want to wait at the bar.

She laughed and said, “Nah, you were waiting to see if I was ugly.” We took our seats and had drinks before we ordered our food, and conversed about our personal and professional lives. “What’s your real occupation? Your profile read you put out fires?” I asked.

She said that she’s a corporate finance lawyer. (Hence the fire reference) In short, she takes care of her firm’s client’s legal issues and business details. As I started to tell her what my occupation was, she interrupted, “You’re a designer, I know. I know your history too.” From the look on my face, she explained herself. She did a background check on me. After everything read clean, she agreed to have dinner. I didn’t know whether to be turned on or scared. I never dealt with a woman like her before. A background check, for a date? Who does this?

“What are you looking for then, since you work a lot?” I asked her.
“Someone understanding, who will make time for me,” she answered. That’s code word for friends with benefits, I thought. After finishing our food, I asked for the check then excused myself from the table to use the restroom. Once I returned, she was ready to go. “I need a moment to take care of the check,” I told her. “No worries, I took care of it,“ she said, and grabbed my arm leading me to the exit. “And the tip?” “I said I took care it,” she replied. I felt like she b*tched me.

As we walked towards the train station, she mentioned she had a few meetings in the morning, but she needed this evening out. She’d been working extremely hard lately. Once we got to the station, she asked me for directions to the bus terminal on 42nd street. I was heading in that direction, so I took her there. Her bus wasn’t coming for another thirty minutes. Turned out she lived in West New York, New Jersey, but worked in the city. She asked if I could stay with her until the bus came. I agreed.

In between time she treated me to a few shots at a bar inside the terminal. When her bus was about to arrive, she asked me to come home with her. “Are you serious? I asked her. “Dead serious. I’ll pay for your cab back into the city.” I couldn’t believe what was taking place.

Once at her place, we drank some more. I was completely drunk. Next thing I know, we were rolling around on her cream rug kissing. She was aggressive, as she started to undress me. I told her to slow down. We were in our underwear when I reached for my wallet for protection. She asked me what I was doing. I told her, “I’m drunk, but I’m not stupid.” She snatched the condom from me, placed it on me and went to work. My blackberry alarm woke me up at 7am. I walked out of her bedroom to the smell of coffee. As I picked up my clothes, and got dressed, I looked over at the countertop to a note that read, “I have a 7am meeting. Let yourself out. Here’s the cash for your cab. Help yourself to coffee.”  I felt like Marcus from Boomerang.

‘Marcus’ from ‘Boomerang’

The whole morning at work, she was on my mind. Around noon, I got a call from the front desk. There was a delivery for me. I went to sign for it and a note attached read, “Sorry about this morning. I hope this makes up for it…P.S. Thank you for last night.”

It was lunch from the restaurant last night. This can’t be real, I got myself a beautiful, smart, sexy black woman. A boss! 

Or was I jumping the gun?

As we dated, I noticed she drank a lot, was aggressive and controlling, and rude when she interacted with people. She would snap at me sometimes, then apologize after. She was used to things her way or no way at all. I told her she shouldn’t treat people the way she does, but instead of arguing with her, I’d let it go. Before things became worse, I confronted her about her attitude. She blew me off and told me to stay in my lane, then apologized after, acknowledging that her job was stressful and maybe she was dealing with it the wrong way.

As the relationship grew, I compensated myself to cater to her attitude. After meeting her family, I understood her temperament. Her parents groomed her this way. She was the successful one out of her siblings. Her family depended on her, especially her mother. I thought her behavior was an ego thing, but it wasn’t. She was drained by her job and family. She was tired of always being strong. She didn’t have to express this to me. I knew it. She didn’t need me for financial reasons, what she needed me for was an escape. Once I figured out how to be her escape, her attitude changed. I found ways for her to communicate her feelings. In her previous relationships, she wore the pants. Our relationship was the opposite. She used gifts and money to fix relationship issues. There was no need for that with me. I appreciated her as a person, and not for what she could do for me. She didn’t know how to give, emotionally. With time she changed, and I Iearned how to be the man she needed, not the man she wanted.
           

Can you date a guy who earns less money than you?

 

Renaissance man from The Bronx, NY, Vincent “VJ” Lake creative career
started in fashion, and expand through fitness and the military. Vincent
is also an entrepreneur with his own active-wear lifestyle apparel
brand; “PURESPORT ATHLETIC aka PSA”. Currently, he is finishing up his
first non-fiction book of short stories titled,”I’ve Had My Share”. The
book is scheduled for release in early 2018.

      

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