15 Differences Between Dating In L.A. And Dating In New York

As someone who has spent the majority of his adult life in Manhattan – but now lives in Los Angeles – I’ve discovered that both cities are equally rewarding and frustrating when it comes to the dating scene. I’ve enjoyed observing (well, for the most part) the differences that LA offers compared to New York City.

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Nathan Congleton

1. First dates.

In New York: A first date is like a job interview – What do you do for work? Where are you from? What part of town do you live in? What’s your five-year plan?

In L.A.: A first date is like freshman year college orientation – You’re from the East Coast? Me too! We should be best friends.

2. Tinder profiles.

In New York: Women list the places they’ve previously lived.

Example 1: Emily, 27: Originally from NJ, went to school in Indiana, been in NYC for 4 years
Example 2: Alison, 28: Ann Arbor… Tucson … NYC
Example 3: Olivia, 23: Portland —> New York
Example 4: Anne, 25: OH–>Boston–>NYC
Example 5: Kelsea, 25: Arkansas to NYC

In L.A.: Women self-promote their social media accounts and plug their personal websites, and have very impressive “followers” to “following” ratios on Instagram thanks to random Tinder dudes. (I don’t want to post any actual Instagram handles or websites, even though I’m sure it would be much appreciated.)

3. First date plans.

In New York: You meet for drinks or dinner at a bar or restaurant.

In L.A.: You hike Runyon, play mini golf, or explore The Magic Castle.

4. Preparedness.

In New York: You fly by the seat of your pants. If the date goes well and you want to extend the evening, you walk a couple of blocks and end up at another trendy spot.

In L.A.: If the date goes well, where are you going next? If you don’t figure out the logistics ahead of time, you’ll be talking to Siri while your date disappears.

5. Costs.

In New York: A first date will cost upwards of fifty dollars. Fact.

In L.A.: Spending less than fifty bucks is possible, but you’ll be pissed that you had to pay five dollars for valet parking.

6. Most common careers.

In New York: If you’re a writer, musician, or artist, it’s code for being unemployed or that your parents still support you.

In L.A.: Most people work in “The Industry.”

7. Distance.

In New York: It’s an almost tolerable subway ride.

In L.A.: If you’re dating someone who lives more than thirty minutes away, the person you’re courting becomes “geographically undesirable,” as my buddy Marcus says. It’s more or less a long distance relationship.

8. Transportation.

In New York: You’re weird if you have a car. Why would you spend that much money on a parking garage every month? When do you even use it? Just take public transportation. Do you think you’re better than everyone else?

In L.A.: You need a car. And then are judged on the type you drive. Driving a Prius or a fancy foreign car means you’ve made it. Driving anything else means you’re riffraff.

9. Dietary restrictions.

In New York: It’s a common courtesy to ask your date if they have any dietary restrictions, but not a necessity. Usually, he/she will tell you if they have a special diet anyway.

In L.A.: You MUST ask your date in advance if they have any dietary restrictions because they may assume you’re a vegan or vegetarian, too. L.A. leads all cities with 474 vegan restaurant listings within a 15-mile radius.

10. Date attire.

In New York: Men and women dress for success.

In L.A.: Men and women dress down to show they’re a success.

11. Conversation.

In New York: You talk about art and culture.

In L.A.: You talk about movies and TV shows.

12. First impressions.

In New York: Your date has a stable career, but might not be all that nice.

In L.A.: Your date is nice, but might not have a stable enough career.

13. Going home on the first date.

In New York: It’s stressful thinking of reasons not to go home with someone you connected with on a first date – I totally want to, but do you think he/she will judge me? I’ve been walking around a lot today. Will my feet be smelly?

In L.A.: It’s stressful wanting to go home with someone you connected with on a first date – Will I find parking? If I find parking, will I be able to understand the sign and not get a ticket if I sleep over? How many miles will I have to travel back to my place in the morning?

14. Second date approach.

In New York: It’s very forward (and possibly creepy) to invite someone over for dinner on the second date.

In L.A.: It’s almost somewhat of a normal invitation. Most parties and gatherings take place at homes anyway. If you want to leave, you can just get in your car and go.

15. Last minute cancellations.

In New York: “I’m stuck at work” means the person is actually swamped with work.

In L.A.: “I’m stuck at work” means the person doesn’t want to see you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Justin DeMarco

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