Amy Schumer is ambivalent about marriage.
She’s witnessed her parents go through three each, some of them fleeting. “I’ve had UTIs that lasted longer than some of my parents’ marriages,” she writes in her new book of essays, “The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo.”
She knows how hard it can be to share your life with someone when you’re used to being independent. Schumer writes: “You have to ask questions like ‘What do you want for dinner?’ or ‘Can I have more of the blanket?’ or ‘Can I have more of your dinner?’ or ‘Can dinner be pigs in a blanket?’ “
And she’s strong in her belief that women should keep their standards high. After a particularly bad setup from a matchmaker, she writes: “I wanted to run to the top of the Empire State Building and make an announcement to all (single women) … that they don’t need to wrangle some warm body to sit next to them just so they aren’t alone on holidays. That they should never let a magazine or dating site or matchmaker monster tell them they’re in a lower bracket of desirability because of their age or weight or face or sense of humor.”
Still, she has panicked about growing old alone. “I started making pacts with my male friends that if we were still alone in our forties, we’d get married and allow each other to see other people but keep our commitment to grow old together.” It’s an arrangement she envisioned as a “reverse Big Love situation — a bunch of real live brother-husbands.”
Then, out of nowhere, “the fear I had of growing old unmarried just faded,” she writes. “My life was feeling full.”
What does that fullness look like for the Emmy-winning actor and comedian? “I was settling into my thirties,” she writes. “I was dating a little but was not as at all consumed with it as I had been in my teens and twenties. The days of He didn’t call me today and it’s three p.m. — what does this mean?! were truly behind me. I realized that nothing was missing. I felt pretty and strong in my own skin. … I was feeling like I had it all.”
In her eyes, she “had it all” without a partner or a child. When Schumer reached this zen-like state of singledom, “Trainwreck” had been released, she’d hosted “Saturday Night Live,” filmed an HBO special with Chris Rock, and Barbara Walters had labeled her one of the most fascinating people of the year.
In other words: It was a good time to be Amy Schumer. Her days of sharing a studio apartment with a roommate and paying comedy clubs for stage time were behind her. A self-described introvert, Schumer felt just fine on her own. “Being alone is sometimes a great place to be,” she writes, “but people are always trying to correct this ‘problem’ for you, even if you yourself don’t have any kind of problem with it.”
It was around this time that she ventured on to a dating app and met her current boyfriend, Ben Hanisch. (She’s refuted rumors that they met on Bumble and doesn’t name the app in her book. But it sounds like Raya, an exclusive app that draws celebrities and creative types.) She calls the dating-app experience “very discouraging.” Schumer complains that the men were too attractive and therefore her competition would be too steep; most of them had very similar profile photos, she writes, of European or tropical vacations.
But one guy stood out — her first match. “He was dancing with his grandmother in his profile picture at what looked like a wedding. … He wasn’t an actor or photographer by trade like all the other guys — and he didn’t live in LA or New York. He was a Chicago guy. We sent each other very simple hellos and short, funny messages.”
Like many an online dater, Schumer was worried she was being catfished. “He was funny, kind of odd, and interesting, and that made me paranoid. This must be a trick. I’m a celebrity, and I will be reading this whole conversation on some trashy website tomorrow. I had slowly worked myself into a full frenzy. I told him that I wanted to FaceTime to make sure I wasn’t being catfished by a basement-dweller with a comedy podcast.”
They ended up talking the old-fashioned way — over the phone — and she enjoyed it. “I thought he seemed cool and that I’d like to meet him at some point, but I didn’t think much more about it.”
In the meantime, Schumer writes, she messaged with a few other men on the app and made plans to meet up with some of them but never followed up. “I took my profile down in under forty-eight hours,” she writes. “The experience was too intense, and if I saw one more guy looking off into the distance on a boat, I was gonna open my wrists and get into a warm bath.”
But it turns out she didn’t need to keep messaging with models and photographers. Schumer and Hanisch met up in New York a few weeks later and have been together since.
Schumer is cautiously optimistic about the relationship. “Maybe we’ll grow old together,” she writes, “or maybe we’ll be apart before this book is on shelves next to Godiva chocolates and gift cards.”
Now the book is on shelves, and they still appear to be going strong. In a photo booth shot from a wedding they attended last weekend, a guest is holding a sign that reads “husband material,” pointing it at Hanisch.