When I first found out that I had made the cut for Elle.com’s 2015 “41 Most Eligible Bachelors” roundup, I was excited.

That may sound cocky, but it was true. I felt flattered by the idea of being seen as eligible and handsome after growing up as a nerd in high school and never really having a girlfriend.

Thanks in part to social media and my website, much of my life is already public. Being featured in an article didn’t make me worry about putting myself out there.

But after the article ran nothing exciting or new really happened in my life because of it. Mostly I got teased. I did have one or two dates from it which eventually fizzled out.

Before being on one of these Most Eligible Bachelor lists, I hadn’t thought of them much. At best, I thought they were silly popularity contests. At worst, I thought they risked objectifying human beings into sound bites and glamour shots. And today, after the cascade of sexual harassment complaints around Harvey Weinstein, Louis CK and others, I view them now with even more curiosity and confusion.

A female friend of mine told me recently that if she was on a female version of the list, she would have an even harder time being taken seriously professionally. I hadn’t considered the embarrassment factor until someone used it in my bio when introducing me to a room of over 200 Australian tourism professionals. I enjoyed the fun it added to my persona as a public speaker, but it’s also rare that I’m objectified in work settings — a privilege that many white men are now rightfully confronting.

Yet I wondered; what happened to the other bachelors? Did being on a list like this change their lives at all?

I spoke with more than a dozen of them and what I found surprised me.

Jon Levy

Founder of the Influencer Dinner, Behavior Expert, and Author (jump to Elle profile)

Photo Credit: Elle Magazine

Did anything come out of this article for you?

I think the funniest thing was when I logged into Facebook the next day, I had a lot of women friend request me but they were all five to 10 years older than I was. Other than that, when I would go out on an occasional date, I could tell some women had Googled me and found the article. It was amusing to see them try to subtly bring it up and ask questions, without directly saying they Google stalked me.

Did you meet anyone new or did any new personal or professional opportunities arise?

I don’t think I got a single additional date out of it, but I do think it upped my public profile. I was approached by two match makers, and several reality TV show casting people.

How is your life different now than when you were featured?

Within that year I was featured on three different bachelors lists Gotham Magazine, Manhattan Magazine, and Elle.com, someone even added it to my Wikipedia page, which I find incredible. I feel like I have fulfilled my bucket list experience of being an NYC bachelor. Besides that my life is more interesting, I do cool research out of C-Lab on human behavior, and I’m working on the TV adaptation of my book The 2 AM Principle: Discover The Science of Adventure.

Find Jon on Social Media

 

David Mendizabal

Director, Designer, Producing Artistic Leader (jump to Elle profile)

Photo Credit: Elle Magazine

Did anything come out of this article for you?

When the article came out I had just met my partner, Darrin George. We met on Tinder (#swiperight) and had just started dating by the time the article was released, so while he didn’t meet me because of the article, it definitely helped me in the early stages of dating. He’s still around over two years later, so I guess he was determined to keep me off the list.

Did you meet anyone new or did any new personal or professional opportunities arise?

The article came out at a particular moment in my growth as an artist. I’m a theatre director and I run a company, The Movement Theatre Company, with three other artists of color. We’ve been around 10 years and so the buzz from the article helped shed some light on the work we were doing, especially as we were prepping for our current main stage production AND SHE WOULD STAND LIKE THIS. They say all press is good press, so it was fun to be in the “spotlight” as an eligible bachelor. I’m used to being behind the scenes.

How is your life different now than when you were featured?

I’m in a long-term relationship and I live with my boyfriend. We adopted a dog and have built a beautiful home for ourselves uptown. He’s a textile designer and I love fashion, so we’re in the process of launching a men’s underwear line, el GALLO. Professionally my career is evolving. I directed my first off-Broadway play, TELL HECTOR I MISS HIM, this year at the Atlantic Theater Company, where I am currently the Artistic Associate. I also directed a play ON THE GROUNDS OF BELONGING at the Public Theater as part of their Public Studio. The Movement continues to grow and we have an exciting show playing in NYC right now.

Find David on Social Media

 

Moran Cerf

Professor of Neuroscience and Business at the Kellogg School of Business and UCLA Department of Neurosurgery (jump to Elle profile)

Photo Credit: Elle Magazine

Did anything come out of this article for you?

I think I was kinda the ‘odd man out’ on this list since everyone else was, to some extent, an artist/actor/influencer or social/public person, and I am the only scientist there. And… well… scientists don’t often appear in Elle magazine. So my appearance there actually did a good thing for the image of scientists. I think/hope that people don’t think all scientists look like ‘Emmet Brown’ from Back to the Future, wearing a lab coat all the time and have a white disheveled haircut.

Otherwise, no real effect on my life since the type of people who interact with me aren’t in the same circles, as the typical audience of a fashion magazine, for better or worse.

Find Moran on Social Media

 

Liam Alexander

Artist, Photographer (jump to Elle profile)

liam alexander

Photo Credit: Elle Magazine

Did anything come out of this article for you?

Funny enough, shortly after the article came out I met the girl of my dreams, (completely unrelated to the article) and shortly before you wrote me, we ended that relationship! So this article, and my top 40 bachelorness, kind of bookended the most amazing relationship of my life…Coincidence? Maybe…

Did you meet anyone new or did any new personal or professional opportunities arise?

The emails ranged from bizarre to quirky, to TMI, although they were all always sweet. Nothing came of it. I also was contacted by a casting agency to be on a Batchelor show, and I explained to them that I had found love, so they invited me to be a part of a surprise engagement show… it was one month into the relationship… so, I thought maybe proposing right now on live TV wasn’t the right move.. in hindsight… who knows!

How is your life different now than when you were featured?

Well, it’s funny when I was featured I was a true bachelor through and through, an absolute man about town. I was going out, going on lots of dates and I was sure that that was going to be my future. Just an endless string of dates till the end of my life, and frankly, if I tell the truth, I was miserable. Oh, I looked happy, but secretly I was resigned about that.

I found out what was missing when I met the girl I was telling you about. You see I met her, we hit it off, and shortly after we found out we actually knew each other. We had gone on a date three years prior. She never called me again. ..She [later] shared with me why. She said, “You know, I never went on a second date with you because I just got the vibe that you were a player, and you were seeing other women.” That’s when it hit me. Of course, she did.

It seems obvious, doesn’t it? But what was not obvious, that I realized in that moment, was that a woman of this caliber wouldn’t get within two feet of me. She smelled it on me, and after one date, she was out and that changed me forever. Back then I was resigned and wondering why I couldn’t meet the “right one.” I realized all this time I was meeting the “right ones” – they were just booking it in the other direction when they were meeting me!

Find Liam on Social Media

 

Marvin Amberg

Co-Founder Caseable (jump to Elle profile)

Photo Credit: Elle Magazine

Did anything come out of this article for you?

In a way. It seems like whenever I enter a new social circle, it doesn’t last long before someone finds this article and spreads the news. It is somehow a ridiculous list, but it makes for great and fun conversations. That said, it certainly raises some curiosity about my life in New York.

What really came out of this list was an absurd amount of recurring requests for me to cook Crêpe Suzette.

Did you meet anyone new or did any new personal or professional opportunities arise?

No, while I received a few dozen Facebook requests the week following the article, I didn’t end up getting in touch with anyone. On the other hand, a few girls I used to date reached out and wanted to catch up suddenly.

Professionally, apart from being featured as a bachelor in more magazines, not much happened. The reason may be that I was number 41 of a list of 41 and not too many people bothered to click all the way through ;).

NICK’S NOTE: I was #40 out of #41, so I like this reason for why perhaps I didn’t get more attention. I’m going with it!

How is your life different now than when you were featured?

My life changed quite a bit, as I spent the past year between Asia and Europe. But none of this is related to the article.

Fina Marvin on Social Media

 

Jack Tame

Foreign Correspondent for Television New Zealand (jump to Elle profile)

Photo Credit: Elle Magazine

Did anything come out of this article for you?

Only about a year of merciless teasing! I’m a TV and radio host in New Zealand, and I think the Elle article ended up making a few gossip headlines at home. My mom thought it was funny.

Did you meet anyone new or did any new personal or professional opportunities arise?

I remember I had a few women randomly contact me. It must be a balance to walk the assertive-versus-crazy line when you’re messaging a stranger in a magazine, but they were all much braver than I ever would have been. It basically just made me cannon fodder for my mates.

How is your life different now than when you were featured?

After five years in NYC, I moved home to New Zealand at the start of this year. I might move back to the U.S.A. at some stage.

Find Jack on Social Media

Adam Aleksander

Experiential Event Designer (jump to Elle profile)

Photo Credit: Elle Magazine

Did anything come out of this article for you?

I didn’t get much traction at all from the article. These articles never have the effect that one thinks they will. No supermodel contacted me out of the blue, etc. What did happen was that I was able to use it as a device to promote myself via social media. Many friends liked it and it gave me validation? I don’t know.

Did you meet anyone new or did any new personal or professional opportunities arise?

Last fall, I met up with a fellow journalist who ended up seducing me over drinks and a potential “job”. Later it slipped that she recognized my status via the article. It was pretty cool.

Find Adam on Social Media

 

Jeremiah Bitsui

Actor (jump to Elle profile)

Photo Credit: Elle Magazine

Did anything come out of this article for you?

I got a ton of props from friends and my network, however only a few messages from new gals mainly social media pings. What it did do is kind of warm-up to gals I already knew or in my immediate network, however nothing permanent and no Cinderella story. Actually, I met my current girlfriend around the same time period as the article and we met via Facebook. Hmmm, maybe it did work 🤔. I’ll have to ask her about that.

How is your life different now than when you were featured?

Life has changed quite a bit. At the time I was spending more time in-between LA and NYC with acting related endeavors. Yet more recently traveling on behalf of a new business, acting is still a priority. I’m just a bit more grown up and have more of a focus.

Find Jeremiah on Social Media

 

Kelvin Fernandez

Executive Chef (jump to Elle profile)

Photo Credit: Elle Magazine

Did anything come out of this article for you?

After the Elle spread I got a bunch of cool interviews, media opportunities and also good events out of it since I am a chef.

Did you meet anyone new or did any new personal or professional opportunities arise?

As far as the dating, no. Maybe I needed a better picture. I wasn’t too happy with the picture that was selected but oh well. Definitely got some professional opportunities out of it.

How is your life different now than when you were featured?

Not much different. Maybe they need to feature us again and put it in the magazine as well as the website.

Find Kelvin on Social Media

 

Dex Rob

NBA/NFL Stylist (jump to Elle profile)

Photo Credit: Elle Magazine

Did anything come out of this article for you?

So I actually didn’t do the article to find love, I did it because it was Elle and because I work in fashion just them recognizing me was dope, to be transparent. Plus, I love engagement and content that’s kinda my thing.

Did you meet anyone new or did any new personal or professional opportunities arise?

I actually did! When I the post went live my followers via Instagram went up slightly over the course of a few days (maybe like 90- 120 new followers). I did receive roughly about 20-30 DMs from different women who saw the post lol. Also, two of my ex-girlfriends reached out as well.😂 A few different production companies for reality shows reached out saying they saw me on the list but nothing really worth my time.

Find Dex on Social Media

 

Kaj Larsen

Correspondent for Vice News (Jump to Elle profile)

Photo Credit: Elle Magazine

Did anything come out of this article for you?

Well, I got a lot of heckling especially from my teammates in the Special Operations community. [Nick’s note: Kaj is a Lieutenant Commander and the United States Navy SEAL (Reserve)] They got a good laugh out of it. Romantically I definitely got the requisite slew of Facebook messages and DMs. It really does go down on the DM!

Did you meet anyone new or did any new personal or professional opportunities arise?

No real professional opportunities arose out of my celebrity bachelordom, but my office colleagues got a kick out of posting the article around the office. I did get approached by several professional matchmakers with celebrity clients. One I briefly considered accepting because I watched her show, but then I re-watched it through the lens of a potential set up, and somehow it seemed like I was likely to become part of one of her comedy routines, so I passed. Overall I still find it somehow unromantic when a stranger hits you up electronically.

How is your life different now than when you were featured?

My life is still crazy, lots of traveling. Working on new media projects. One of these days I’ll settle down with a good woman. One of these days…

Do you have any new projects that you want to plug or promote?

Currently working as a Senior Correspondent and Producer for NowThis News. Have several new shows in the mix.

Find Kaj on Social Media

Henry Hargreaves

Photographer and Food Artist (jump to Elle profile)

Photo Credit: Elle Magazine

Did anything come out of this article for you?

Some boasting rights and a cryptic message from an ex.

Find Henry on Social Media

 

Nick Gray

That’s me! Founder of Museum Hack (jump to Elle profile)

Photo Credit: Elle Magazine

As absurd as this may sound now, I had high hopes for the list. I thought that maybe this would introduce me to some new women outside of my social circle. Maybe, I might even find a girlfriend! But I soon found that the type of women who were interested in New York’s most eligible bachelors weren’t necessarily the same type of women I wanted to be in a serious relationship with.

Being on the list didn’t change my life. And even though I thought it was fun, it made me question that privilege that comes with being objectified, because it never really happens to me. I know that’s not the case for everyone.

Today, I’m a bit older. Hopefully, wiser. Still looking for a girlfriend. And I’ve learned that maybe there’s more to life than being on lists.

And thank goodness for that.

 

Thanks to Moira O’Connell for outreach, research, and editing on this piece.

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