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Candid look at the single life in CNY through the eyes of a single woman

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Now in her mid 30s, Cassaundra Baber lost an entire decade of dating. The successful, well-dressed, trim, attractive single mom didn't date throughout her 20s, because she was busy raising her son, working and going to school full time.

Now, her son is 17, more independent, and that leaves a little independence-and time-for mom to date. And what an odyssey that has proven at times. It's a good thing parenthood instills patience. And resilience. Online dating lasted a week.

"And so I thought I was being polite by just writing them back saying I'm sorry I don't see us working out. Thank you so much. Good luck. I hope you find your match. And I will tell you that 80% of the people that wrote me back threw tempter tantrums," says Baber.

Still, Baber is not sour on dating in central New York, and says you shouldn't be either. And, she says, if you think the dating scene is any less challenging elsewhere....think again.

"People have this idea about dating in Utica that it's a bad thing, that you can't find good guys. That's not true. There are great guys here. My friends who are dating in other areas, I have friends all over the country. They have the same problems that single girls have here," says Baber.

Like many singles, Baber says that she generally enjoys her singlehood, but that there are certain times when it feels more like loneliness.

"When I walk into a wedding alone and everybody's there with a boyfriend or girlfriend, sometimes it's ok, yeah, I'm over this. I'm over coming to these things alone".

This single girl has compiled a list of things you never want to say to your single girlfriends. Among them, "He'll come along, just wait," which may run the risk of suggesting that your single friend is somehow deficient if they're not part of a couple. Also high on the list, "But you're pretty. I don't know how you don't have a boyfriend". Not far behind, the infamous, "You have your son."

"Well that's creepy. That's creepy, ok?" says a good-naturedly exasperated Baber.

A personal favorite of Baber's: "You're too picky. You want too much".

"I'm sorry I want too much out of the person I want to spend the rest of my life with," is Baber's quasi-sarcastic, internal reply to that gem.

Baber, who ended a three-year relationship a year and a half ago, says her life is full....great career at a local not-for-profit, numerous friends....a close-knit family. Still, she says, there's something to be said for being able to share all of those wonderful things with the right person.

"Humans are made to be with someone. People are made for companionship," says a single and leisurely looking Baber.

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