Author Mary Geneva On “Nicknames” and Dating in NYC


At Ladies NYC, we are all about supporting each other through both professional and personal advancement. In a work-centric city like New York it’s easy to neglect that personal component, but we’ve got you covered!

This Sunday, November 8th, we are very excited to have the hilarious author Mary Geneva join us for bottomless brunch and a reading from her new book, Nicknames: Tales from the Shallow End of the Manhattan Dating Pool.

Mary’s book chronicles her unbelievably funny but very true dating experiences in New York after her divorce at 26. If you’ve ever been single in New York, you will definitely identify with some of the weird and wonderful dates she’s been on. We took a moment to ask Mary a few questions about writing the book and life in NYC. Enjoy getting to know this wonderful author, and see you all on Sunday at The Crooked Knife!

After being in a serious relationship, a lot of people can be timid about jumping back into the dating pool–what inspired you to pursue dating with such gusto?

It took me about a year to start dating after my divorce. I was only 26 years old and I guess I felt like I missed out on my early 20s having seen my friends going out, dating, living up their 20s, etc. Online dating had just started to become popular back in 2007 and when I logged on I was flooded with all of the different dating sites! I almost felt like a kid in a candy store! I could pick how tall, location, interests, and check out! It felt like shopping on amazon- joking- sort of! It became quite the journey and still is.

When did you first feel that these hilarious dating experiences could become a book–were you always a writer?

I would come home after a date and think to myself, “wtf just happened?” It started out with one first date per week, then two, then sometimes up [to] three first dates per week. I got totally sucked into this online dating vortex and with all of the dates I was racking up came some unbelievable I-cant-make-this-shit up stories. I started writing down the evening’s events. After a few years of many first dates and short-term relationships, I had a binder full of emails, text messages and stories. With each story came a different nickname for the guy. A couple of years ago my friend joked around and said I had enough stories to write a book- so I did! I can’t make this stuff up and have met many many women with their own nicknames. It just felt natural to write a book. I conclude that the guy I don’t nickname will be the one I marry.

I have a full time career in healthcare and Nicknames became my creative outlet. I would write in the evening or whenever my schedule would allow. I currently have a column in W42ST magazine, which highlights a different date [each time].

What are some of the unique challenges of dating in New York that you see a lot of young women facing?

It is challenging to date in New York because many people are looking for instant gratification. The many dating sites and apps have made it very easy to log on and check out the next “better” option. A woman can have chemistry and an amazing first/second date with a guy but often times it doesn’t go any further because the prospect is logging back on to see what the next woman who emailed him might bring to the table. Then the guy does what I call the “Vanishing Act”.

After having written the book, what is your perspective on dating in NYC now?

I have always been a hopeless romantic. I never give up hope that the right guy will find me! I remain optimistic and positive whether I’m flying solo or have a partner.
I believe a guy is attracted to a woman who has it going on in her personal and professional life so I just continue to be me but have been much more selective about who I choose to go out with. In my experience, many guys in the city are here for their careers and some are not serious about finding a relationship; however, I do believe there are nice guys out there (they do exist) and the key is to not get discouraged!

We hear you’re into scuba diving! How did this come about and where do you go to enjoy this amazing activity?

I have always loved the ocean! Growing up my father would take me to the beach, fishing and snorkeling. I’ve always had a very deep connection with the ocean.

I became scuba certified over two years ago before I went to Australia and haven’t stopped diving since. I’ve been diving in Fiji, Grand Caymans, Honduras, Antigua; and two weeks ago lived on a scuba diving boat in the Bahamas where I dived with a nine-foot tiger shark!

Hear more from Mary this Sunday over bottomless mimosas at The Crooked Knife by signing up here:

You can follow Mary on Twitter @MaryGenevaNYC and learn more about the book at her website:


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