Pros And Cons Of Dating In NYC

There is nothing more horrifying and magical than dating in New York City. Here are the best and worst bits:

The Good Shit

1. It really is magical. The stereotype is true – New Yorkers don’t know how to slow the fuck down. We’re “in the zone,” so to speak. We walk down the same 20 blocks or so on a daily basis; we frequent the same subway stations and buy cigarettes from the same bodega, and we can do this all on autopilot without absorbing anything that goes on around us. But when we’re on a date with someone we like, we’re different. We suddenly become aware of hidden Dim Sum restaurants and alleyways we’re certain didn’t exist until five minutes ago. When you’re with someone new in New York, it feels like you’re seeing everything for the first time. In some ways, you are.

2. A good date doesn’t have a price tag on it. It seems like a date that requires an exorbitant budget is kind of… typical? Only a boring person would think that an expensive dinner is “fun.” Expensive dinners are what you do when your aunt is in town or when you’re proposing to someone. But a date? You should be stumbling around town because you’re drunk on booze and electricity; you should be accidentally walking over the bridge because you want to get closer to the moon. You should be at a dive bar listening to a shitty band called ‘Spider John and the Multiplication Tables.’ Any New Yorker worth dating knows this.

3. There are tons of options. There are just a lot of young, single people in New York. They all belong to one dating website or another, they’re out every night of the week, they’re going to the gym, they’re sauntering up to you while you’re trying to get the bartender’s attention. Of course, this probably becomes discouraging and a bit sad when two decades have passed and the scene hasn’t changed, but in your twenties it’s pretty rad.

4. Cab rides. There is nothing like making out in the back of a yellow cab. Nothing.

The Bad Shit

1. The Seven Degrees of Amy from Accounting. Real talk? Everyone knows everyone. New York is like a fucking college campus, down to catching your friend on her bi-weekly walk of shame while you’re on your way to work. You can hit it off with someone who seemed like they moved to New York specifically for you; just to be charming and interesting with a side of mind-blowing sex, but when you finally look them up on Facebook the reality is much bleaker than that. You have 13 mutual friends – the guy who broke your heart, Amy from Accounting, your cousin Mickey, the girl who interned with you in 2007, your next-door neighbor, your ex-boyfriend’s sister… it just doesn’t end. Who knew Prince Charming went to NYU with the Seven Dwarves? The incestuous nature of New York has several repercussions:

  1. You will run into this person at least twice a year, forever more
  2. You will hear stories about this person that will likely do nothing to nurture your fondness for them
  3. You will date people in each other’s circles

Look forward to this cycle until you move to another town, where social networking isn’t so prevalent. I recommend Madrid.

2. Buyer’s Remorse. Sometimes we get in a slump and date the first person that seems like they’re interested – and then, perhaps around Date #3, we meet their friend. Their friend! The one we should’ve been with our entire lives and maybe before that! In the before-life and the after-life! They are so perfect. They are so remarkable and hot and the perfect height and the gap in their teeth is wonderful and they smell like cold-brewed iced coffee and JESUS. WHY. The person you’re dating is always friends with your future spouse. Always. There are ways to make this work in your favor, but they all require emotional nudity and ~2 years to implement.

3. Been there, done that. When you have a favorite block, or restaurant, or bar, or neighborhood, it’s expected that you’ll share them with the person you’re dating. In turn, they’ll take you to their places. And you’ll create memories in those places. It’s all very romantic. Eventually, you’ll break up; you’ll meet someone new who will take you to different places. And then one day, you’ll be walking down St. Mark’s Place with a friend. “That’s where I did karaoke with Tom!” Ten feet later. “That’s where I was standing when John broke up with me on the phone!” One block later. “That’s where I had that awful blind date with the foot-fetish guy from OkCupid.” Two feet later. “This is where I got a tattoo with Sam.” “I met Marco at that bar… it used to be called something else.” And that’s when it hits you. You’ve been leaving memories all over the city like you’re the fucking Easter bunny preparing for an egg hunt. And those egg memories? They’re all spoiled and gross now. They leave a thick stench behind, one you know well. It’s the scent of failure. It’ll feel like there isn’t one block you haven’t desecrated with misplaced infatuation; it’ll feel like you’re going to have to do things you never considered before – like dating in Queens.

4. The Flake Game. Everyone in New York is either busy, a flake, or both. Even people who don’t have jobs are busy. “Oh, can’t today. I’m painting a live model in Central Park and then I’ve got a launch party at the Thompson. Maybe next week? Thanks for understanding.” The problem is that you never know what category people fall into. You will utter the words, “He’s just busy” so many times that even you don’t believe it anymore. By the same token, you’ll get a text while you’re rushing from work to post-work drinks, and you’ll read it and make a mental note to answer it later, and later comes, and then three days later comes, and you realize you totally flaked out on someone. This is the nature of the game; you are a bad, busy, flaky person. And so is everyone you date. Embrace it or die alone. TC mark

image – Bernd Untiedt

More From Thought Catalog

  • Rose

    YES YES YES. I feel like everyone can probably identify with this to some degree. Made me shake my head and laugh and miss exes. The easter bunny/spoiled egg memories metaphor is right on.

  • Reinhold

    Fantastic

  • Dan

    small town transplants: “ohhh new yorkkk, the buzz, the whimsy in the airrr.” gimme a fucking break

    • http://stephgeorge.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

      Caught me! I was born and raised in this tiny ass bullshit town called Brooklyn, NY. You've probably never heard of it… they don't even draw it on maps it's so small.

    • Elastics70

      Don't you hate people who are so cool they are even too cool for NYC? Give ME a fucking break…

  • Katgeorge

    NUMBER 2 in the bad shit. THIS HAPPENS TO ME EVERY TIME.

  • Guy

    The bad shit seems much more common for me than the good.

  • Ella

    Pros – Being walked home and making out in front of your building (or in the vestibule in the winter). In very few other places do you actually get walked home, and I love it.

  • Brad

    I've been on a few dates in Queens and it went much better than expected… can be a nice change.

    • ObliqueFetalFatal

      KILLA QUEENZ

  • Seymour Blake

    Make this a flyer and hand it out to people thinking about moving to NYC.

  • http://twitter.com/whoismau Mauricio

    My stomach hurts from laughing so much. You're one of my Thought Catalog faves.

    • http://stephgeorge.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

      Thank you :)

  • http://fastfoodies.org Briana

    ” You’ve been leaving memories all over the city like you’re the fucking Easter bunny preparing for an egg hunt. And those egg memories? They’re all spoiled and gross now. “

    what's this? a supremely clever, spot-on extended metaphor? :-D

    i would have just said something like 'everywhere you went to you took a giant emotional shit and now the whole city smells like poo'. #trueartist

  • coffeeandinternets

    I am only flaky when I'm not into someone, and I feel like it goes both ways. I have yet to date the busy/flaky/whatever guy who texts back three days later, but is actually super into me and just doesn't have the time to convey that.  I mean, I may be desperate but I'm not stupid.  Or, I may be stupid but I can learn from something if it happens about a thousand times.  The Flakes/Fade Outs are the Voldemorts of my dating world.

    But the other things are correct and can I say for those in Brooklyn, car service cabs are not the worst to make out in either.

  • Jelly Roll Morton

    I always thought it was weird how only NYC has taxis. #NEWYORKISNTSPECIAL

  • xra

    f'ing new yorkers

  • evillage2am

    Agreed with all except number 2 in the good shit. Dates in NYC, including the good ones, can be really varied and unexpected. I've often had fun in dives in and Michelin starred restaurants in the same week. Doesn't matter. A good date is a good date in NYC because it's new and exciting. Not cheap or expensive.

  • Minster of Comments

    Pros: Patrick Batemen. 
    Cons: Your neighbor writes for Thought Catalog.

  • http://www.guidetomenhattan.com Rachel

    Agree on all accounts.  As someone who blogs about dating in NYC (http://www.guidetomenhattan.com), the guys in this city can make you hate dating…until you go on one perfect date and you remember how effing magical it can all be. Vomit.

  • http://twitter.com/pvused Pacific Vacuum

    So incredibly glad I’m not from there.  Sounds horrible.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMR4BJSTFUFFRC4MBWWZ3RXU5E David

      It’s not that horrible. There are tons of hot women in the city. The trick is to weed out those that expect you to be at their beck and call. Simply move on to the next one and hopefully get a little action out of the deal.

      If you are a quality man, women will stick with you. There are an equal number of DBags on the male side as well

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMR4BJSTFUFFRC4MBWWZ3RXU5E David

      It’s not that horrible. There are tons of hot women in the city. The trick is to weed out those that expect you to be at their beck and call. Simply move on to the next one and hopefully get a little action out of the deal.

      If you are a quality man, women will stick with you. There are an equal number of DBags on the male side as well

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMR4BJSTFUFFRC4MBWWZ3RXU5E David

      It’s not that horrible. There are tons of hot women in the city. The trick is to weed out those that expect you to be at their beck and call. Simply move on to the next one and hopefully get a little action out of the deal.

      If you are a quality man, women will stick with you. There are an equal number of DBags on the male side as well

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMR4BJSTFUFFRC4MBWWZ3RXU5E David

      It’s not that horrible. There are tons of hot women in the city. The trick is to weed out those that expect you to be at their beck and call. Simply move on to the next one and hopefully get a little action out of the deal.

      If you are a quality man, women will stick with you. There are an equal number of DBags on the male side as well

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMR4BJSTFUFFRC4MBWWZ3RXU5E David

      It’s not that horrible. There are tons of hot women in the city. The trick is to weed out those that expect you to be at their beck and call. Simply move on to the next one and hopefully get a little action out of the deal.

      If you are a quality man, women will stick with you. There are an equal number of DBags on the male side as well

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMR4BJSTFUFFRC4MBWWZ3RXU5E David

      It’s not that horrible. There are tons of hot women in the city. The trick is to weed out those that expect you to be at their beck and call. Simply move on to the next one and hopefully get a little action out of the deal.

      If you are a quality man, women will stick with you. There are an equal number of DBags on the male side as well

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMR4BJSTFUFFRC4MBWWZ3RXU5E David

      It’s not that horrible. There are tons of hot women in the city. The trick is to weed out those that expect you to be at their beck and call. Simply move on to the next one and hopefully get a little action out of the deal.

      If you are a quality man, women will stick with you. There are an equal number of DBags on the male side as well

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMR4BJSTFUFFRC4MBWWZ3RXU5E David

      It’s not that horrible. There are tons of hot women in the city. The trick is to weed out those that expect you to be at their beck and call. Simply move on to the next one and hopefully get a little action out of the deal.

      If you are a quality man, women will stick with you. There are an equal number of DBags on the male side as well

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMR4BJSTFUFFRC4MBWWZ3RXU5E David

      It’s not that horrible. There are tons of hot women in the city. The trick is to weed out those that expect you to be at their beck and call. Simply move on to the next one and hopefully get a little action out of the deal.

      If you are a quality man, women will stick with you. There are an equal number of DBags on the male side as well

  • Tired just simply tired

    I didn’t even read the whole story but the 2 or 3 paragraphs I did read was on the money. I absolutely agree 110%. I don’t know how it feels for the ladies but as a guy dating in New York is really bullshit. The ladies constantly complain about the how its hard to find a good man and all that bullshit but they don’t even make time to date. They can’t even be honest and upfront. I have not been single in 12yrs. Being single again reminds everyday why I got married. I agree with Charlie Sheen point of view when it comes to dating in general especially in New York. I rather just buy a hooker its alot simpler and less expensive without the headache and fustration of dealing with these no account ladies in this city. 

  • http://twitter.com/shoshkabob Shosh

    It’s bad enough dating in New York City alone–try being *Jewish* in New York City. Double the mutual friends, and when you decide move back to your hometown across the damn country, you’ll probably still run into them and people who know them.

  • Joelle

    Bwahahahahahahahaha! This was hilarious! … But true. :-/

  • http://eastcoaststyle.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/1019/ eastcoaststyle

    […] I stumbled upon this article about dating in NYC, and instantly one such night came to mind: my first New York City date. […]

  • Thought Catalog
  • http://taoofindifference.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/required-reading-dating-single-moms/ Required Reading: Dating Single Moms | The Tao of Indifference

    […] Pros And Cons Of Dating In NYC […]

blog comments powered by Disqus