Words by Maria Mora. Photography by Stacy-Ann Ellis.
Finding love in New York City, whether it’s the thought or the quest itself, can be a challenge. In our five-part series, “Love in NYC,” three couples and two single New Yorkers share the good, the bad, and the ugly of dating in the city of dreams.
“Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.” Wise words by one of TV’s most beloved single New Yorkers, Sex and the City‘s Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker). Through out the years, being single has been redefined in a positive light in film and TV, empowering women to take charge of their lives and ultimately choose happiness. Stand-up comedian Glorelys Mora (known as Glory) sat down with ILY to discuss her experience with playing the “dating game” in NYC and shares what happens when ego leads in love.
Maria Mora: What is dating the city like for you?
Glorelys Mora: Right now, I’m in hibernating season. I’m tired and I don’t really have the energy to go out and meet someone when it’s cold. I haven’t had the best of luck in finding the person for me, but I also think that time and maturity wasn’t on my side. I believe that even though I haven’t dated the right people, I’ve really got to a better place that can help me find the right person.
Do you regret anything?
Not at all. That shit makes great stand up material. [Laughs] Sometimes, I don’t really know if my feelings are in the situation. New Yorkers are known to have a lot of ego, so I don’t know if it’s ego or pride or my actual feelings that are involved. I regret not taking my time a little bit more to better understand my feelings. I’m in a place where I’m not sure how authentic my feelings were for the people I’ve dated prior to having a better or higher level of self-awareness. Moving forward, I’m excited to take my time with the process of getting to know who someone is thoroughly, with a big focus on their mind and soul.
Do you think finding love in the city is possible?
I think sometimes you judge a person by their cover; you think you know someone when you really don’t. Because of your judgement, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to get to know them. I think that’s how dating in NYC can be. I think everyone has this judgement of the city like oh, it’s terrible. But, no. I think it’s just a different kind of challenge. If you don’t play the game, you might miss out on something really good.
Can you tell us about this “game?”
You know how they say “love is a battlefield” or “all is fair in love and war?” Once you start dating, you’re in the game. It’s not our choice whether we’re playing or not. If it doesn’t work out, nobody owes you anything. I think that’s what makes dating in NYC a little bit colder. There’s a lot of people that you interact with. Nobody owes you shit. Nobody is going to remember you. But, that’s the game. I’ve never played the game really well because I’ve been playing by my own rules. You win sometimes though.
I’ve won every time I chose my dignity over my ego.”
When I reflect back on my dating choices and the people I’ve gotten to know intimately, I realize I won every time I was rejected or when I ended a situation that I wanted so bad to exist, but didn’t work out. I took that energy and invested it in my personal development. It is such a blessing when you’re rejected or have endured a breakup; you get to learn about yourself and level up. I’ve won every time I chose my dignity over my ego. I am winning right now. I cannot imagine anyone that I’ve been with qualifying to be the partner I need at this very moment; or being someone that will support and love me the way I need to in order glow up in this comedy trajectory. You win every time you make the healthiest decision for your soul.
I’m going show up 100% of the time. I’m going to be my full self.”
What are your rules that you play by?
I’m going show up 100% of the time. I’m going to be my full self. Some people don’t do the double text, but you going to get this paragraph from me. I don’t do boundaries well. If I like you, that’s it. I also think the right person wouldn’t be afraid of my big personality.
Even if things worked out to a certain extent, I took a lot of that rejection personally as if something was wrong with me.”
How has your dating experience influenced the way you view yourself?
When you’re in NYC, you come across so many different kind of people that sometimes may not ready to handle you. It really took a toll on my self-esteem. I’m very persistent. I’m very solution-oriented, so I don’t see why we can’t compromise. Now that I’m in the space that I’m in, I see that when people’s personalities are not for you on a loving or bonding level, it’s just not for you. Even if things worked out to a certain extent, I took a lot of that rejection personally as if something was wrong with me. After processing all of that years later, its helped me come to a stronger sense of self. I feel like one of the most important parts of dating is learning how to end cycles, which I’ve been doing a lot. I date people that I went to college with or are a part of a networking circle that I’m a part of. I’ve never dated a stranger and I think if I was to go out there and date this new person with this new self-awareness that I have, I’ll be able to make better decisions and not take shit personal.
Do you ever find yourself compromising your core beliefs for the sake of being with someone?
When you go back and forth with someone, I think that’s a clear sign that you’re compromising on your beliefs because something isn’t working in that relationship. Compromising activities versus compromising who you are are two different things. From my experience, when I went back and forth with somebody, I was compromising parts of myself. It’s not that I didn’t want to do certain things; I didn’t want to do certain things until we got somewhere or until I knew that I had security. Sounds cliche, but in those situations where you don’t want to be alone, you end up feeling more alone and it really fucks you up. I just feel bad for people that don’t realize that until later in life.
What’s your favorite part about dating in the city? Favorite date?
I love getting dressed up especially when dating for fun, which it should be. You’re really there for a good conversation. I like to play devil’s advocate. I love to see what they would say and if they could keep up with that. I love the idea of dressing up and going to a new spot. I really enjoy the task of seeing the thought a person has put into curating the time we spend together.
If you really want to get to know somebody, you should go on a trip.”
My favorite date is my trip to Morocco. I know a lot of people like to wait but I believe if you really want to get to know somebody, you should go on a trip. I met him through a mutual friend. We had known each other for about two years at this point, but had only hung out once prior to going on a trip together. At that time, me and my former boo were not in a good place towards the end, so I was talking to this guy again. And, the week I hit him up he told me he was going to Morocco. He said to me, “if you’re a real one, pull up.” So, out of being upset with my former boo, and also trying to “live a little,” I took my ass to Morocco. It was so organic the way it unfolded. I paid for my own flight so he wouldn’t have any expectations, but I enjoyed the natural progression. We gradually got more comfortable with each other throughout the trip. It was finally that organic experience that I never let happen because I’m always in a rush. (New York City problems.)
What would you consider a successful date?
A successful date is you changing some kind of perception, you teaching me something or putting me onto something new. A successful date is memorable. I’m never gonna forget Morocco. One time, this guy took me to Oceana (NYC seafood restaurant). During that time, I was pescatarian and it was really cool that he considered that when finding a place to meet. I really like the experience and the thoughtfulness behind something. I also had this date where it was very laid back; we were talking for hours. It was dope. I want to feel like I could be your friend. I don’t like feeling intimidated by someone.
Do you ever feel pressured to date in the city? If so, how do you deal with it?
To be completely honest, the only time I feel pressured is whenever I see someone get engaged or announce a pregnancy on Instagram. Other than that, my life is great. It makes you feel like, oh my god, am I late on something? Obviously, I’m happy for everybody, you know? I’ve always wondered, because I’ve lived a lot of my relationship life offline, if I would ever even publicize my relationship. Now that’s become super personal to me and I ask myself, do I want to share that with social media?
I don’t want to settle. I’ll be damned if I’m bored in a relationship after all these years.”
I’m beginning to see myself for who I am and what I bring to the table. My features, my assets, my personality. I don’t want to settle. I’ll be damned if I’m bored in a relationship after all these years. I come from a culture where having a man is a status symbol and I think my family has moved away from that. I spoke to my dad about it and I said, “Dad, you might not have any grandchildren.” He replied, “oh, that’s a thing of the past.” I feel like if I didn’t have a career, maybe I would feel like that’s important. I need a partner–someone who embodies that 100%. I don’t want to date just any regular guy.