New York man has 600 first dates: ‘I don’t mean I’m picky’

He estimates he’s been on at least 600 first dates, but this man from Manhattan is still looking for “The One.”

“I would love to meet someone,” Joey Batista, a 43-year-old businessman, told The Post. “I know how good it feels when you’re in love.”

Batista, owner of Joey Bats Cafe on the Lower East Side, claims to have gone on hundreds of first dates since moving from western Massachusetts to New York City in 2013.

His phone is filled with the phone numbers of more than 1,000 women, whom he’s connected with over the years on sites like Tinder, Match, Bumble, and Hinge.

“Once I moved to New York and changed my location on, the floodgates opened. I was getting all these messages from women. I’m a super social guy and I was new in town. It was very revealing. I was meeting so many interesting people,” said Batista, who once went on three separate dates in one day.

Batista is a prolific dater.
Tamara Beckwith/NY Post

Not surprisingly, Batista has dabbled in reality television and even appeared in a commercial.

He also appeared on the 2017 NBC show “First Dates” and in 2019, he was on “Kate + Date” where he went on two dates with former TLC star Kate Gosselin.

“She was sweet to me. They picked me for the second date,” she said. “I say ‘Yes’ to everything because I’m single.” (At the time, Gosselin observed, “Life seems so much less serious to him.”)

In the end, it was not a match.

Batista dated Kate Gosselin for her TLC show, "Kate + Date."
Batista dated Kate Gosselin for her TLC show, “Kate + Date.”

“I don’t want to say I’m picky, but I’m honest about wanting to feel a certain way. There have been times when I’ve been more interested than the girls,” Batista said, adding, “But I’ve had very few bad first dates. I like meet new people.”

But don’t call it commitment phobia. He was in a 10-year relationship with a girl from his house, which included five years of marriage. They divorced in 2011.

And in 2016, in the midst of a dating spree, he met a younger Colombian beauty who caught his eye.

“After a few months, we were serious. It took me by surprise because I was only in the casual dating mode. We were together for a year and a half,” she said. (The term.)

With such solid experience in the dating department, Batista has a type.

Batista appeared in a commercial.
Batista was an avid user and was even asked to be in their commercial.

His parents are from the north of Portugal and he is fluent in their native language. He also speaks Spanish and is attracted to bilingual women from South and Central America.

“I think that when you speak another language you are more open-minded,” Batista said, adding that he prefers tall, athletic brunettes who know how to dance.

Their turnoffs include picky eaters and negativity.

“I’m always in a good mood,” he said.

On a typical first date, take the woman out for a drink. If they hit it off, he suggests they move somewhere else for another drink and maybe a bite to eat.

For a second date, try to satisfy the woman’s interests. “If you like animals, maybe we’ll go to a horse farm. I took a girl on a hike and then to dinner,” she said. “It has to be something fun like seeing a live salsa band and dancing.”

Batista poses outside on the Lower East Side.
Batista poses on the Lower East Side, where he lives.
tamara beckwith

While in New York, the Lower East Side resident now mostly uses Bumble and Hinge. “I feel like Tinder has too many fake profiles in New York. However, I will use it when I am on the road.”

Lately, she’s slowed down her love life, adding a Chelsea Market location to her namesake cafe, which sells pastéis de nata, a Portuguese egg custard tart.

And next month, it’s due to officially open Gama Lounge, a soccer-themed cafe on Avenue B.

“Work takes up a lot of my time right now,” he said. He is also very close to her mother, Isabel Fernandes, who works at the café but does not give him any love advice or bother him to get married.

“She’s super nice to everyone, until she thinks you’re dating me,” he said. “She’s super protective.”

Batista with his mother Isabel Fernandes.
Batista poses with his mother, Isabel Ferrnandes.
Tamara Beckwith/NY Post

And with so many past dates on the books, how would women rate it?

“If I had to guess, they’d say, ‘Joey was a gentleman and he’s funny. But he’s not serious.’”

But Batista insists that he is sincere in his goal to settle down one day, even if he is not willing to settle for a life partner.

“I want to get married and have children. I want to feel that way. She may be an astrophysicist and beautiful, but if my insides don’t feel it, then I don’t go,” she said, adding, “She always follows your gut.”

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