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So for now she’s in a friends-with-benefits thing with a New Bern bouncer.She’s pretty sure if she wants a relationship, she’ll have to move.
I didn't want to come off like I was on a sex-cation — cruising Tinder for a vacation hookup — or attract attention-seekers who’d get off on the idea that I might write about them.There was the young Marine who did an exaggerated double take before telling me I was the most beautiful woman in the bar.And the also-very-young hero who swooped in to rescue me when a woman was rude to me and held my hand as we ran through the streets to the next stop.New Bern was named by Market Watch as one of the top coastal towns in the country to retire to, so that leaves young, single people dating in the equivalent of a recycling bin.You will inevitably run into an ex, or many, at one of the town’s three main bars. ’ He ignores me.”New women on the scene tend to be in town for weddings; new guys tend to be Marines, though they’re strictly nonmonogamous, due to a pervasive fear that — I shit you not — any woman who wants a relationship is angling for what’s known among locals as a “contract marriage,” an emotionless ploy to snare access to his good military salary and benefits.“Downtown, there’s lots of friends with benefits,” says Paul, a 24-year-old sous chef.
“The women are, what’s the word, well-circulated.” John, a 24-year-old bartender, says that he’ll often have more than one waitress friend come by after her shift and ask if she can crash at his place downtown, and he’ll just sleep with the one who asks first.
Now imagine that feeling multiplied times a tsunami and you’ll know what washed over me when called up to see if I would travel around the country going on dates to find out if location really matters when you’re looking for love.
And the bassist who insisted I listen to 10 minutes of his music while he watched me react to it.
But he also lived in the beach town of Morehead City, nearly an hour away from New Bern, and his roommate had the car for the night, so could I drive to him?
We had a great night hopping from a seafood restaurant, to a cocktail lounge, to making out at a bar on a dock so close to the water you could dip your feet in.
Then I practically fell asleep at the wheel coming home.