Tuesday, January 5, 2016

25 going on 30

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 2:29 PM

In case you’re wondering, I survived New Year’s Eve celebrations. I ended up on Montford, yet again, with an all-access pass to Southside and Angry Ales for $95. My goal was to drink my money’s worth without being hungover all day long or find myself hugging the toilet before the clock hit midnight.

And somehow, I managed to survive.

My cousin came to visit for the celebrations and extended weekend, so a lot of our time was spent reflecting on our childhood and relationships past.

We laughed about the exes who we thought we were going to spend the rest of our lives with and how we don’t give them a second thought now.

We talked about our fears of having to stay in the dating game for a while and going through early menopause.
Needless to say, we’re not quite where we thought we would be 10 years ago — which we accredit to our partners not being ready for the responsibility.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not necessarily ready for marriage or the five kids that M.A.S.H. — the paper and pencil game we played as kids — predicted. But at the same time, dating in Charlotte has been lackluster.

Even though it’s a big city, all the rumors you’ve heard about there being a lack of real estate — read: potential people to date — is most certainly true.

Even when I was single and exploring the dating scene, I found it extremely difficult to actually connect with someone. And what’s worse? I’m hearing the exact same thing from other single friends in the area who are older than me.

As if not actually marrying the Rock a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson and having his children before the age of 25 isn’t overwhelming enough, now I’m find out that dating is more challenging as you get older.

From having to consider someone may be married or have children to not being sure whether or not someone is of drinking age, the Queen City dating scene can be a minefield for the young professional. Not to mention, the consensus among peers is that there aren’t many nightlife venues that cater to the 30 and up crowd.

I know I’m not 30 yet, but seeing how quickly the years have come and gone following 21, I’m definitely feeling like I’m 25 — soon to be 26 — going on 30.

I no longer feel like I belong in the crowd of mindless make-out sessions I reveled in shortly after graduating college at venues like Dandelion Market and Prohibition Bar characterized by slippery floors and humans falling down the stairs.
But I also don’t feel like I belong in the Ballantyne nightlife crowd, where cougars and sugar daddies unite at Bradshaw’s or Hickory Tavern — not that I can’t use any sugar, especially if it’s coming from Dwayne Johnson.

So, where do the late 20’s-to -mid-30-something’s go and experience nightlife in Charlotte?

Unless you live on the outskirts of the city, like Ballantyne or Lake Norman, chances are you’re not making it a point to head to a bar in those areas. And even if you do, what are the chances you’ll meet the person of your dreams?

Everyone I know that lives in these areas either suck it up and pay the $60 Uber ride to Uptown every weekend night or is married with kids and uninterested in staying out until 2 a.m.

In conversations with others experiencing the same dilemma of being in between stages of life, it seems as if nightlife in the Q.C. could benefit from adding a few venues that balance the allure of a club atmosphere and the intimacy of a lounge.

Every venue I’ve been to that attempts to do this either lacks in size, is more appropriate for date night versus meeting people or is centered on food.

Am I missing something? Or is there truly a gap in nightlife designed for the young professional that’s no longer considered a “post-grad” but not quite ready to walk down the aisle?

I don’t know, now that I’m even saying this out loud, I feel like I’m beginning to toe the line of sounding like I want to meet swingers!

You tell me, is Charlotte nightlife ignoring a critical demographic? If not, share with me the best places for young pros 25-35 to spend their nights in the city!

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