Naturally, most women—no matter how self-assured—would be hesitant to date someone in the nightlife scene, because who wants their significant other constantly out drunkenly partying with other females. Having personally experienced the woes and complications of dating a nightlifer, I had become quite the scorned cynic. Taking to the dark and dirty streets to investigate, astoundingly, it turns out not all nightlifers are lecherous, two-timing douchebags.
Matthew Isaacs is a veteran of New York’s nightlife scene. He’s also a veteran of nightlife relationships. A native New Yorker, Isaacs entered the biz at the ripe old age of 21 in the late 90s as a club promoter, then moved his way up the ranks to nightlife owner of SNAP Sports Bar, STASH, and the late CV lounge.
Though currently flying solo, Isaacs has surprisingly been more of a relationship guy than a player throughout his career—his most recent relationship ending after an impressive four years. Was Isaac’s social lifestyle the reason for his past relationships’ demise?
“Some ended naturally, and some ended because it was too trying for my partner, whether it was the hours, jealousy, or temptation,” Isaacs says. “Even if you’re not a jealous type of person, you’re put in the worst type of situation where jealousy will evolve—late night, alcohol, and all these people that are interested in you in one way or another.”
Professional Party Boy Cody Pruitt of The Bespoke Group, a full-service event and party planning agency based in Manhattan, sheds light on dating the ultimate lothario—a club promoter.
[Looks like someone is closing the deal...]
Pruitt’s job is unique in that his well-being relies heavily on popularity, social graces, and flirting skills. The more people he recruits to his parties, the more he gets paid, and consequently, the more successful he is overall. His job greatly affects whether or not potential love interests perceive him as boyfriend material.
“It's a justifiable stigma… and I can't say that I'd feel any different if I were in [hesitant love interest’s] shoes, but I do wish that we were given more chances to prove that we're not the slimey, used-car salesmen, two-timers that people make us out to be,” Pruitt says.
“Some of us are genuinely good guys, and I would absolutely be a monogamous man for the right woman.”
Furthermore, Pruitt says he'd actually prefer to be in a relationship at this point.
For DJ Ricardo Lima, whose venues include the Dream Hotel, Hiro, Marquee, SL, and Griffin, his unusual work schedule and frequent traveling, has been more of an issue than anything else. It was also the cause for the termination of a previous long-term relationship.
“I’m an on-the-go type of guy. Not everyone can keep up with me,” Lima says. “When I was dating a 9 to 5'er, our schedules never meshed.”
So what does it take to date a nightlifer and tame the ultimate playboy? The general consensus is loyalty and trust.
“I'm not looking for a blind girl, but one who has let me earn her trust. Come out with me, see how I am with you, with my friends, with the girls who are out with us,” says Pruitt. “And the road goes two ways; while I'm out working every night, I can't see where she is and who she's with and what she's doing.” Basically, if you’re the jealous, possessive type, don’t bother.
But loyalty and trust aren’t always easy when there’s influential substances involved.
“Everyone is human and the temptation is really high,” says Isaacs. “There’s a million temptations that exist that wouldn’t exist if I had another job.”
Time and flexibility can also make or break a nightlife relationship. Between SNAP and Stash, it’s not unusual for Isaacs to work a 16 hour day, starting at 9am and ending around 4am the following day with a three hour break in between... doesn’t leave much time for his woman.
[It's 4am, do you know where your Nightlifer is?]
Pruitt says his ideal galpal is preferably more of a homebody.
“She shouldn't be a huge partier,” he says. “When I'm not working my parties, I'm a very private person, and would be looking for someone to share that privacy with.”
When not partying, Pruitt likes to do normal—even charming—things with his ladyfriend, like gallery hopping, dining out (he’s a foodie), and long walks on the beach. Who would of thought?
Even if you manage to tame a nightlifer for the time-being, and bring out the good in the bad boy, can it last forever? Can a nightlifer ever get down with settling down?
“Truthfully, I don’t know,” says Isaacs. “A lot of my friends were in the industry 7-8 years ago and left to settle down. But for a lot of people, nightlife is their career.”
Pruitt, however, does fancy the idea of metaphorical white picket fences and soccer games.
“No matter where my career path leads me from where I am right now, I without a doubt want to, and intend on, settling down and having a family.”
The general consensus seems to be that there is no general consensus. Nightlife relationships may really just depend on the individual.
“Some nightlifers are just not relationship people,” Lima says. “But I know a lot of people who have found love in the club.”
There's hope for us yet.
[Photos by Christopher James at WeKnowWhatYouDidLastNight.com]