The best place to be SINGLE in America

What is it about dating these days? I just don’t understand standing someone up. Is it so difficult to pick up your celly or blackberry and give me a call or at the bare minimum–send a text…”Sorry babe, I’m not going to make it.” I mean, everyone has some form of communication technology strapped to their body like a stylish tracking device.

Denver has been voted the “Best Place in America to be Single” by Forbes magazine off and on for ten years. I often have to translate that title for my single girlfriends. It means: “Denver is the best place to be SINGLE.” This is man-speak. It is utterly clear and without hidden meaning. We ladies often misconstrue the actual meaning by over analyzing it, but it is blatantly clear.

We ladies hear, “Denver is the best place for DATING or for landing a relationship,” but it’s not. It’s the best place to be single. Look around, all you will see are groups of single people hanging out together in bars, cafés, the park, or just about anywhere. Right now, at my favorite café there are two tables of single girls chatting loudly about men while at a table a few feet away there is a table of single guys talking about Guitar Hero.

My Barista friend, Scott, agrees. Denver is the worst place for dating because no one ever makes a connection. No one has to. It’s built in to the culture here to remain single for as long as possible. There is just so much you can do alone or with your friends.

Denver has fantastic weather. It’s sunny, warm, and everyone wants to be outside rollerblading, cycling, rock climbing, or kayaking in the summer and skiing or snow boarding in the winter. These are all solitary activities even when done en masse. Just how much connection do you establish by dangling a rope down a cliff to someone?

When a possible connection is made and I accept an invitation for a real date I often find myself swirling my cappuccino and making small talk as he checks his text messages. That is, if he even shows up.

On this particular evening, I was planning on having a little drink with this sexy guy I work with. I’ve always had a strict “no dating at work” rule, but it has been forever and we have been flirting like crazy for months. He asked me out for a drink thing and I agreed to meet him. He is a great kisser. Every now and then he will grab me unexpectedly and kiss me with such passion that it takes my breath away. Always in some empty room or in the downstairs storage area…where we could be caught at any moment. Very sexy.

Well, I waited for twenty minutes sipping on a cool glass of rosé. He never showed up, and he never called. He blew it. The next night at work he gave me the big “I’m sorry” eyes but he didn’t have a valid reason. He “got scared…I’m too sexy…and blah, blah, blah.” Then he said, “Let’s go out next weekend.” I just shrugged my shoulders and walked away. It’s too bad; he is a really great kisser.

I learned a long time ago after years of dating, that the behavior on and around the first date is a pretty good indicator of the entire relationship. If someone doesn’t respect my time or me, they don’t get a second chance. But, that is just dating in Denver. Is romance worth it?

My cappuccino is drained and I am sipping a glass of wine, sitting in the window of my favorite café watching the world go by. I am looking at one of Denver’s trendiest streets watching the pairings of people scurrying here and there all dressed up but looking stressed and annoyed. I wonder why I want to jump back into the dating game. They don’t look happy or in love, they look bored and obligated. And then they walk by. That perfect couple. They are effortlessly in love and it shows. Neither one is over or under dressed. They are not trying too hard. They are not all over each other as if to prove something or for attention. When they do touch, how ever lightly, I can almost see the sparks their contact with each other creates. When they look at one another, it is like witnessing rapture and a passion that burns not only within them but flows into the entire room over all of us. The temperature of the room seems to rise slightly. I can feel a slight fever within me as I sit on the edge of my seat in anticipation of their next move. It is difficult not to stare at them. It makes me remember a time when I was swept up into my lover’s arms and kissed so deeply that it made me tremble…and then I remember why I want to date again.

I will continue to date, and be stood up, or disappointed, or left wondering why he never called because the passion in my soul is like a wildfire. I am sure most men are unsure if they want to risk being burned or consumed by that fire. I pour the rest of my wine into a paper coffee cup and I walk to the train. I just want to crawl into my warm bed with my dog on one side and my cat on the other and dream about passion.

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