February 23, 2011

Dating in NYC

New Yorkers are in love. With fashion, food, art, travel, music, baseball and coffee. With each other? Eh...not so much. Yes, love happens here, but oftentimes it's as rare as the heart-shaped egg yolk I recently came across.
The thing is, people don't move to New York to fall in love and get married. If it happens, cool. Mostly they come for adventure, career, and a completely different lifestyle than they're used to. A spouse, kids, and white picket fence don't always mesh with 9pm dinner reservations, 4am last calls, and 350 sq ft apartments.
Now don't worry, people do find love (some get married, some have kids), it's just not a priority. I attribute it to the "what's new and hot" culture here. New Yorkers are always in the know. We have several weekly magazines, blogs, sites, friends, e-newsletters to tell us what's new and hot. There's a new restaurant, new bar, new store - new guy, new girl - seemingly everyday. And when your mind is constantly working on what's "new" then it starts to apply to all aspects of your life, including dating.
So how does dating work in NYC? Usually like this: you meet someone, exchange numbers, emails or become Facebook friends. If they follow up it will be around 3 days later. If it's via phone it will be a text, inviting you for a drink on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Those are non-committal, non-serious date nights. If it goes well then the fake plans you both had after drinks are suddenly non-existent and you go to dinner. If that goes well then you follow up with each other and make dinner, not just drink plans. However, if you're unsure then drink plans are made again - and still on a Tuesday or Wednesday. So when does it become serious? Oh, who the heck knows...
A friend of mine was dating a guy for 10 months and when I asked, "He's your boyfriend, right?" she said, "I don't think so. I mean we haven't had that talk." 10 months!
A roommate met a guy who said he'd call her the next day. He did (?!) An actual phone call and actually when he said. Then he invited her for dinner on a Saturday night. (Again, ?!) I asked what was wrong with him. She said, "He just moved here." Well, that explains it.
I've always said the most unrealistic thing about "Sex and the City" is that the girls found so much time to get together. Dating-wise, it's pretty accurate. I once stood in line with a date outside a jazz club and watched, as after 15 minutes of both of us talking to the girl in front of us, my date got her phone number. We had only been out a few times so I laughed it off as another "New York story." After I was done laughing I asked him to pay for my $20 cab ride home, which he did. Go me.
Dating isn't hopeless in NYC, it's just very different than other places, and without a doubt, VERY amusing. And when you're ready to settle down a little bit here just remember to look for someone who's on the same page. But beware, that page can be turned very quick--