"I don't want to be stereotyped."

Age 29, New York City.
Equity research


Tom Rinaldi '95
Photograph by Robert Adam Mayer
How do you meet people? "Mostly at bars or being set up through friends and family members....The problem with meeting women in bars is that they sometimes view you with suspicion, like you are some sort of player. So you start off with what might be the opposite of the benefit of the doubt in meeting someone." With "set-ups, if you don't like the date, you risk offending the person who introduced you. One friend accused me of being too picky....I have dabbled in on-line dating... stopped in at Drip Café, but never completed the profile." Speed dating? "I would be willing to try it."

Ideal way to meet people? "At parties, which do not happen as much as they should....You're not meeting people out of the blue. There is some understanding that you are not a crazy person if you're at someone's Christmas party."

Best date? "It's best when the time goes by quickly and the conversation is good. I usually try to go to a place after dinner where talking can be done easily and seating is comfortable. A good date can go from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m."

Worst date? "I decided we'd go see Saving Private Ryan, and she was shuddering during the opening sequence when all these people are being shot. I really didn't think that one through—it was not the most conducive date movie and things weren't far enough along between us that I could really comfort her."

Who pays? "It's expected that the men pay. Any ideas of splitting are oversold. Two people with similar career situations who start seeing each other on a steady basis may evolve to splitting things. The check comes and there's that gratuitous reach and 'Oh, let me'...and I say, 'No, let me.' That's been my experience. And my female friends have confirmed the gratuitous reach."

When do you know if you want a second date? "I think you usually know right away. There are times after a first date I need another date because I'm on the fence. But definitely by the third date, I know whether this is someone I would consider getting into a relationship with."

A major concern when dating? "When people set me up, I think I am often introduced [to the prospective date] as 'He went to Harvard and Wharton and he has a really good job.' And I don't think those are reasons people should have to want to go out with me. There's a set of assumptions made about a person then that are very superficial—that you're an aggressive, Type A personality. I don't want to be stereotyped."

What do you want from the dating process? "To find a steady relationship—but not necessarily with the intent to get married on a certain timetable."


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