The Seasons Of Dating

by Melanie Owens

A new season does not just mean to switch up your wardrobe. For twenty-something year-olds, it signifies a shift in the dating scene. It might be unique to NYC, but when it comes to experimenting on the dating front we all have a bit of chemist in us – even those of us who only passed Chemistry in high school by looking at the kid's answers on our left (Melvin Smith, I formally thank you).


Can you say the word without smiling? The turtlenecks have been Spacebagged and replaced by sheer tanks and bandeaus. Everyone looks better tan so sexual endorphins are up. The sun is shining, day drinking ensues, music festivals are jamming and Chuck Taylor's are laced up. This generates an overall feeling of carefree spontaneity. Suddenly everyone is heir to P. Diddy’s fortune as the 20 year-olds are spending money like it’s going out of style.

In summer, a serious relationship can end your social life. That is, you will have a ball and chain the rest of your life. Therefore, summertime is best executed single. When "Call Me Maybe" comes on, do you really want to leave the dance floor to answer the 12th text from your boyfriend asking, “What are you doing?” “Where are you?” “Who are you with?" “Why won’t you answer your phone?"

The unfortunate truth is that when you’re in a serious relationship, the spontaneity factor is taken away because at the end of the night you’re going to your ball and chain, leaving your friends to continue the fun with their drunken escapades – this may or may not consist of a 3AM jet ski ride while listening to Who Let the Dogs Out. Don’t worry though, it will be like you were there because you’ll hear the story of this epic night for rest of your life, and will perennially be asked, "WHY did you have to go home?"

While sleeping with the town is on the list for some, the emphasis is on time with your friends. There is going to come a point in time when it’s your crew and you are their plus one. Your friendship will just not be the same.

Cherish the nights spent drinking till sunrise without someone nagging you to come home and go to sleep. Talk to any old timer about their 20's they will automatically recall that it is the best time of yours and everyone's life. They’ll claim they love driving their mini-van full of kids to soccer practice. “This time is great too," they will say. "But your 20s are your prime.”

I’ll drink to that.

Summer for guys

What is summer like for a guy? Two words: Summer Interns. (Sorry girls, they do not rack up bragging rights for waking up next to plus sized women their age). What could be a more ideal summer hook up than a girl who is in a big city for the first time “on her own”? She is fresh meat: she needs someone to follow and show her around. You can basically pull almost any line and she will likely go home with you because you're her first big city mogul.

These babes are still intrigued by the phrase, “I work in finance.” While you're still an entry level analyst, she thinks all men in finance are Lloyd Blankfein. Bring her to any $2 beer spot in the East Village and she will act like she just saw a unicorn.

It is an easy swoop, fiscal and – the best part of it all – is she has already agreed to leave the city when that sun sets on Labor Day. And hey, she might even swipe you in at the Stern School's dining hall. Just make sure she is in fact 18 – you do not want to pull an R-Kelly.

Summer for girls

For a girl, the fun is in knowing the difference between having fun and being a slut. Everyone’s moral compass is different, know yours and align it properly. Odds are if you feel like you are being a slut, you probably are – Google search your local testing clinic pronto.

Some girls may mack two guys within 10 minutes at the club and laugh. Others will think any physicality between a boy and a girl prior to marriage is whore like behavior – the likes of which deserves a good ol' biblical stoning.

A good rule of thumb: stay away from anyone who has hardware on their left finger, or anyone in cargo shorts. Oh right, and always have him come back to your place because his walk of shame is far less painful than yours. For him it's more like a morning stroll. Have you ever said to a guy in the morning, “Your outfit was so slutty last night”? No, but your outfit probably had something to do with your a.m. situation.

You do not want to walk across Houston street on Sunday morning, 9 a.m., in 4 inch heels, a sheer top and high waisted skirt, while you pass families on their way to Church and brunch.

Not classy.


Autumn brings crisp air, and, obviously, apple picking. Due to the fact that you partied your face off all summer – and remember your nights about as well as Ray Charles remembers seeing – it is time to fall back and recuperate.

Here is where we take a step back from the scene and re-evaluate our hookups, deciding who we actually want to be sober and serious around. And maybe, just maybe, go to the Farmer’s Market with on a Saturday afternoon to pick up local produce to cook dinner together. I will give you a minute to let that marinate. Are you good yet?

It is a sad time of year. You obviously need to end the one-night stands. It is time to organize the closet, dye the hair darker, pick up some fall scented Yankee candles and take life a bit more seriously. Maybe there was someone over summer that you actually gave a shit about. Enough to the point were you listened to what they majored in during college, or where they were from. If not, no big deal because:

A. It is likely that you still have more important shit to get together at 23 - how’s your job? Now is a great time to run that marathon you’ve been thinking about. You came to New York for a reason; do you remember what it was after your charcoal haze of a summer?

B. Remember that time you spent with your crew in the summer? Making memories no one remembers? Hey, they are still there - now those activities just involve more clothing. So go out and try and remember what you guys will do for these next three months. Your brain will thank you later on.

C. Sunday Fundays are forgotten during the summer. I can honestly say that I have never been more thankful for football – it creates reasons to drink almost every fall Sunday. Girls: read one fact about some fucking team that is popular in your area (e.g. the New York Giants) and just learn to say it in a couple different ways, "I think Eli is better than Patton," and, "Patton will never surpass Eli now" – you'll be good until the next game.

D. Pintrest and Facebook allow you to see what others are productively doing. Guys you have your fantasy leagues or whatever the fuck they are that you take weirdly seriously – holding draft parties where you all sit around in team jerseys, or whatever it is you do.


Anybody who likes Winter after the first couple snow falls is fucking nuts. If you are one of them, move to Aspen or Canada and let the rest of us be miserable. Sure the first snow is fun and somewhat magical, but who enjoys putting on 7 layers just to go out and endure shoveling cold, wet snow?

But it is a perfect time for the Fireside Fun phase of the dating cycle. As in, it is so fucking cold outside, why not designate someone you can count on to drink, hang out and snuggle up with while there is a blizzard outside?

If your fall search for a girlfriend worked out in your favor you will have a new relationship – someone to take to the holiday parties, someone to send a text to on Valentine's Day and you’ll have a NYE date. But hey, guess what, if that relationship search did not pan out, then you get to bring your "friend" with you to a company party –what’s more fun than taking shots of Patron with your boss and getting laid at the end of the night? It is certainly worthy of a MasterCard "Priceless" commercial.

Blizzard Party anyone? Round up all of your friends for a good ol' fashioned Fuck February party. NYE provides you with a justified opportunity to hook up with a rando. Guys, no girl wants to be alone when that clock strikes 12, so swoop right on in there.

Girls, just make sure you’re positioned around some decent looking bachelors. You don't want some disgusting photo of you necking a 60 year-old up on Facebook the next day.


There is a faint tease of summer – you can even see the light at the end of the tunnel. We see blue skies and skirts getting shorter by the minute. Here is where relationships start to get that spring time itch.

Memorial Day is approaching and memories of summer’s past are looming – a summer during which caution was thrown to the wind and the mistakes were too good to not be made again.

It is time for Separation Spring.

This one is self-explanatory, and almost goes without saying: you want to get back to your summer form. So unfortunately you’re going to have to conjure up the old, “It’s not you, it’s me” speech to be ready for your next Single Summer.

Since all of my dating knowledge is based upon hits from the 90s, I feel it’s appropriate to quote Christina Aguilera, “They say if you love something let it go, if it comes back it shows that’s how ya know.” If you’re still thinking about the relationship you acquired last fall, slash drunk texting her and you'll be good. Once, you pass the summer season again, it’s time to re-kindle that fire, head upstate to go apple picking, and get yourself a new girlfriend.

Melanie Owens | Elite. Want to hear more from Melanie Owens? Follow her on Twitter @melowens or visit her Tumblr.