Ah, New York City. Bright lights, excitement, glitz and glamour. It's also where monogamy goes to die. Okay I'm kidding. You'd think in one of the biggest cities in the world it would be easy to find love. Wrong. We're all so busy and on-the-go that if you want to develop a real relationship, you need to actively prioritize it and set time aside for dating.
Although I've only been on the NYC dating scene for about 3 years, I've learned quite a lot.
Everyone uses dating app(s). And It's not weird.
The usage of dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble is nearly ubiquitous. Everyone from your co-workers, landlord, local barista, and their mother is swiping on one of these apps, I promise you. When someone starts a sentence with "So I was on this Tinder date last night..." it's not weird or considered lowkey embarrassing. Bottom line: New Yorkers are busy and we don't have time to meet people organically. For a city full of so many damn people, it's actually quite hard to meet someone.
"Let's grab drinks" and "Let's grab coffee" are two entirely different things.
One requires shaving. I'll let you decide which one I'm referring to.
The partying scene is way more fun than the dating scene.
As I mentioned, New Yorkers literally have to schedule time for dating and relationships. Understandably, we don't always feel like doing that. Choosing to go out and get drunk with your friends in Meatpacking on a Saturday night is way more fun than worrying if you have food in your teeth at an overpriced Soho restaurant. Plus the nightlife scene in this city is incredible.
Don't try and find love in the club. Just don't.
Take it from me, it's a waste of time. Men in night clubs want one thing- sex. The reality is men go to clubs to get laid and women go out to drink with their friends, dance, and take selfies. Go out and have a good time, but don't expect to find your future husband at 1Oak.
Location is everything.
There are endless date possibilities in NYC. Determining the location of your date reveals several things about how your night is going to go and what you need to expect. Are you going to that new chic restaurant in Nolita or a lowkey East Village bar? Location determines the dress code for the evening, essentially. Ladies, if you have a feeling you're going to be hopping around town, invest in a comfortable (yet cute) pair of heels. It's worth it. No guy wants a girl on his arm that looks like she's going to keel over from walking at any given moment. I once went on a date where a guy took me to 5 different bars and lounges in the span of one night, which was incredibly fun, but did a number on my feet.
Are you guys meeting there? Are you going to take the subway? Are you going to split an Uber? Better yet, is he going to call you an Uber? These are all things you need to figure out.
Age gaps are super common
Honestly, I can't recall the last time I went on a date with someone who wasn't at least 4 years older than me. Part of it is because I frequent bars and clubs where the men usually in attendance are older due to cover fees/bar tab requirements, and men my age are still buying $3 tequila shots at their local college bar. It's also common for older men to date much younger women, but that's not a new phenomenon.
Your standards in NYC are different than they would be anywhere else.
You have to take into consideration a few things: What borough they live in (aka how long does it take to get from their place to yours), their job, their schedule, their roommate situation, etc; No one likes a lingerer, I don't care if you live in the bowels of Brooklyn, don't expect to start crashing at my apartment out of convenience. You also have to think about how many roommates he has and how many roommates you have. What are the chances of a potentially awkward post-coital encounter/experience? Apartments are small. New York city apartments are smaller. Think about it.
Snagging a first date is not hard. Getting a second one is.
There's no shortage of single people in this city. Snagging a first date is actually incredibly easy, it's securing the elusive second one that's tricky. The thing is, no one's desperate because we have so many options. Consistency is rare because it's so easy to brush people off because we're all "so busy." A lot of us have this mentality that a better one will come along because there's a never ending supply of people to potentially meet. I myself am guilty of this, if the first date leaves me feeling unenthused I'm not wasting my time offering you the chance at a second. I'm too busy (See it works).
Typical dating etiquette doesn't apply.
He's not going to pick up at 6, smiling at your doorstep. He'll text you when he's at the location of your date with a "Hey I'm here" or even better "Hey I'm running late." The best part is most NYC restaurants won't seat you until your entire party is present, so that means standing awkwardly near the hostess stand and desperately refreshing your mail app in hopes of an important lengthy email to keep you busy.
Know the difference between going on dates with someone versus actually dating them.
Just because he buys you dinner once or twice a week and knows your dooman doesn't mean you're together. You may be at the top of his 3am call list, but if you don't answer, he's going down his lineup. Monogamy is an acquired taste for many New Yorkers, we really put the casual in casual dating. I know a friend who's been dating her boyfriend for 5 years and he just now got a key to her apartment. 5 years folks.
No one gives a sh*t about who you date.
One of the best parts about dating here is that you can go out with whomever you please without fear of judgement. LGBT couples, interracial couples, non-identifying couples, you name it. We don't care, do your thing.
I know there are great guys out there (let me know if anyone knows exactly where), but as for now, I'll be coming home to my cats and drinking copious amounts of vodka with my friends on Friday nights.