Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: Brooklyn, NY

Pin it

Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

Ross, 26

What do you do?
I'm a musician. I play guitar and people hire me to do session work for live shows and recording.

Do you meet a lot of people doing that?
Definitely. I met the girl who I'm seeing right now through music. She was playing in a different band that we were playing with, and then we ended up seeing each other at a different gig.

What do you like about her?
She's super-sweet, very smart, and a very reasonable person. So far I'm not sensing any weird irrational traits, which are a huge turn-off for me. The first time I see someone is making irrational decisions, I'm usually done with it.

Did you date a crazy person that made you wary?
Yup. She was super-irrational. She had no reasoning for why she'd be upset, so you couldn't empathize with her. She'd get upset, and if I asked her what was wrong, she'd say that I "wouldn't understand." Odds are a lot of times with people like that, they don't know why they're mad themselves, and that's why they can't express it to you. That's why I like people who can rationalize and think about why they're angry or upset. Someone who doesn't do that is just too hard to reason with. They just want to be angry.

What's the best date you've been on recently?
I like full-day hangs. So we started off with brunch, walking around shopping and going to see music. There's a Moroccan place that I love to go to. It's really low-key and has a good vibe. It's an awesome place to bring people.

What's your craziest hookup story?
Usually it's just meet a girl at a show, dance, go to a bar, and then hook up. I try to stay away from having sex in a public place or anything crazy like that.

Not even any groupies?
Not really actually. Pretty much just standard getting drunk and hooking up. I haven't had any girls rushing backstage or doing any Led Zeppelin stuff.

Do you notice a lot of girls trying to catch your eye while you're playing?
Yeah, I definitely notice some. Sometimes I don't know if they're looking at me or just into the music, though, since I play mostly dance and electronic music. I definitely see some girls trying to make eye contact though.

What's the best way to impress you?
I like girls who are really forthright. I like girls who just approach you. It doesn't take much to impress me if you're just really funny, down to earth, and chill. And hot.

What do you see happening with the girl you're seeing now?
I don't really know yet. I haven't had a long-term relationship in a really long time, because I've been focusing on the music thing, but I really like her.

Does it make you nervous that you guys will individually be on the road touring a lot?
Nope, not really. If we were serious and she cheated on me, I'd just move on. It's like letting the problem solve itself. If they're a bad person, then I can just move on, and I'd rather it happen sooner than later.

Iman, 27

What do you do?
I'm a personal shopper.

Have you ever gone out with someone you've met through work?
Yes. I actually went out with someone recently who I'd met at an event we did with Chelsea Gallery. There was this entire art scene there and we had a party and dinner and I met these two guys and ended up partying with them the whole night. One of the guys and I really connected and started dating. I'm not sure that he's totally the one for me, but I like spending time with him and I think he's interesting.

Why don't you think that he's the one?
He's like twenty years older than me. We engage, but I don't know if he's physically attractive to me. He doesn't really get me going and excite me.

Is it different being intimate with someone who's that much older?
I actually haven't been that intimate with him yet. We've kissed, but that part is pretty much the same. We've only been seeing each other for about six weeks. I just don't go home with him ever. The one time I did, we just went to sleep because it was late. He wasn't trying to force it on me.

What's your usual type?
I like people who are very introspective. I like people who like to philosophize about life, and who are adventurous and realize that the world is a big place even though sometimes it sometimes feels small. I usually like intellectuals and people who appreciate the environment and nature.

What about physically?
I really like tall guys. I'm a very equal opportunity dater — racial lines don't really bother me. I've dated all kinds of guys. I like guys who are good-looking too, of course, but I like rugged good looks, not pretty boys. I don't like it when guys require a lot of maintenance, but obviously I still like a sensitivity to hygiene and skin care.

So is that guy the only one you're seeing right now?
Nope. I'm seeing another guy who's very enterprising and very smart and a very well-developed individual. I'm more into him.  What he's doing in life excites me, and he's very attractive to me. He's an entrepreneur and he's starting his first venture. So it's an exciting time for him, and it's very intense. It's such a great way to live life, to meet so many people and to engage purposefully. I also want to be an entrepreneur, so talking to him about all of it is inspiring to me.

Victoria, 28

What do you do?
I'm a server at a restaurant in Williamsburg.

Have you ever gone out with anyone from work?
I actually used to be notorious about it. My boyfriend now is actually someone I used to work with at my last job.

How long have you guys been dating?
We've been dating on and off for two years.

What is he like?
He's in AA, so he doesn't drink. Essentially what happened was I met him in a restaurant in the West Village and after four months of dating he had the opportunity to move to the Virgin Islands, and I ended up packing up and moving to the Islands with him. It was a crazy atmosphere. It's the opposite of the city, and you're around the same people all of the time. We broke up when I was down there, and I packed up and came back to New York shortly after, and then he followed me back up here. Now we're stable and back together.

Was that the first time you lived with a boyfriend?
I lived with one other guy I was dating in college, who I also had worked with in the restaurant industry.

So you definitely have a type. Did you like living with your current boyfriend?
I think I do now, but he's so bad with finances that it made me realize that I don't want to ever actually marry him. He's just so bad with bills and everything, and just not responsible. It made me realize why I didn't really want to live with him before. I actually just recently asked him to move in again, though. We have opposite schedules and basically we only get to see each other when we're sleeping next to each other, so it seemed like it was easier to just move in.

Why do you think you guys keep getting back together?
I think at first it was the drinking. He's a severe alcoholic, and I'm a drinker but I don't have an issue. We got back together with the understanding that he would get sober, and he did, but it's hard dating someone sober. I work in a restaurant and I drink at the end of my shift. He's never been to my work or met anyone I work with, but that's fine because I'm very independent in that sense. I kind of like that it's separate. I want my life with him and my life with my friends.

Does it cause problems that he doesn't drink?
Yes, it's been a definite clash. He doesn't like to touch me when I'm drunk because he feels like there's no connection, and that's caused problems. I feel like it's just because it's only recently that he's actually seeing me drunk, since he used to be so wasted out of his mind. It's hard. Like right now we don't live together, so when I go home it'll be fine, but when he moves in, he'll know even when I've had half a beer.

Will it be a problem when you guys move in together again?
It's hard to say, but maybe. I hope not. He's been sober six months, so hopefully it'll be fine now.

What was it like before?
It took me a while to realize and understand that he had an issue, but he was in a different state of mind. He used to be a lot more social, and now he's not really that way, and doesn't like to talk as much. Overall, it's been really difficult. My life before him was so different, because I used to date like all of New York. I dated a delivery guy once, a guy I met at a sidewalk coffee shop who I hung out with for eighteen hours straight, and a Persian guy who owned a restaurant across the street from my restaurant. Just all over the place.

Why did you choose your boyfriend?
Because he was the first guy I felt incredibly comfortable with and who I could truly be myself with.