If you live in New York City, you know this is not the city in which you find love. This is the city you go on series of dates in and never get a call back.
Why? How do I know? Aren’t I a twenty-something year old? What do I really know about dating in NYC? What do I really know about dating in general?
I was afforded the luxury of having older siblings that have quite an age gap, and essentially ARE my best friends. They never treated me like a kid and because of that I know I have a sense of wisdom. And sure, chronologically I am in my early twenties, mentally, I’m practically senile.
So this is how I know you’re thinking.. “Umm.. so what do you know about relationships?” And the answer is.. I’ve been on way too many dates and have been disappointed way too many times than a woman would like to admit, whether being in my early twenties or a senior citizen.
What do I know about dating? Hmm.. Not much. But, here is the little that I did observe…
My very close friends and family often berate me on my dating life. Oh, inquisitive is an understatement when it comes to these folks- “Why are you single? But you’re so great? Why didn’t it work out? Is he an idiot? You have so much to offer, I don’t get it?” Trying to dodge these questions is equivalent to trying to escape a torture chamber while being bound and gagged. How do I even begin to reply to these questions without sounding repetitive? Hey guys! I literally just answered all your inquiries which really just feels like an interrogation a month ago. Can you let me live?
Well, lets start off with what my ideals were when first moving to NYC. I walked into this urban jungle with a pep in my step and had this overwhelming feeling that I can conquer the world. Just about every woman in the United States watched the famous HBO show Sex and the City. And any woman that denies it (because she thinks she’s above it) is a fucking liar!
Sex and the City was a bonding experience for my older sister and I. She took me in while I was studying for my undergrad. We lived apart for about five years and it was a way to get to know each other again. So, we would sit and watch the lives of these four seemingly women unfold in front of us with a tub of ice cream and anything chocolate. Sometimes there were tears, but not really.
For the men who kind of have an idea on what the show is about, watched one or two episodes because there was nothing interesting on ESPN and for the few women who lived under a rock and have no freakin’ clue what Sex and the City is; here’s a little snippet of the main characters of the show and their achievement of ever lasting love in New York City:
This is Charlotte.. The never ending optimist who thinks love will ostensibly find her as long as she puts herself out there. And it does, twice. She married, divorced, married again, adopted and birthed.
Lastly, there is the protagonist Carrie who is the most delusional of all the women! She’s a writer, owns endless amounts of designer clothing, shoes, and accessories. But lacks basic life skills like cooking or budgeting her finances. A lot of the show is based off of her experience with love in NYC and how there is a revolving door of men in her life. She had a tumultuous relationship with a big time money man for 10 years; but finally scores. After all the pain and bullshit she gets to marry him. You go Carrie Bradshaw!
Now back to the point, Sex and the City was what I thought dating would be like in NYC. I was exhilarated and terrified at the same time. However, my expectations were sorely shot to shit. This HBO hit was not a “How to..” or “What to expect..” guide on how to date in this particular city. And I know a lot of women when delving into dating were incredibly disappointed because they had the same expectations as me. A lot of which were due to this show.
However, I blame my own idiocy for thinking this glamorized depiction of dating would be anything like what I would experience. Honestly speaking, dating for as long as I have, I still don’t know what to expect. But one thing I am certain of, dating in NYC sucks.
Why? Men and women equally have a sense of entitlement in this city. I’m stating things generally, so if you’re reading this and you think this does not apply to you, maybe it doesn’t. But a lot of times it does and you’re just out of your mind for thinking otherwise.
Men and women alike feel like there is a sense of due that is owed them. You, as an individual have these qualities about you, that you feel should be either met or surpassed. Great! You’re an investment banker for a big time company. You make well over six-figures, you have a summer beach house, and you’re semi-good looking. You deserve a super chic girl who has so and so career, but is completely adaptable to your lifestyle. I’m not going to lie.. I’m guilty of this as well. I’m 23, educated, and have a career. I felt that I was entitled to find someone who matched those qualities or perhaps did better.
NYC has this embellishment on love and dating thanks to a lot of Hollywood films like When Harry met Sally, You’ve got Mail, New York, I love you, etc. Films and TV series’ show trials and tribulations with relationships in NYC, but they’re not realistic. We come into this city a lot of times thinking we will find someone, we’ll have this whirlwind romance, and they will meet all of our ideals like it’s shown in these movies and television programs. Sure, there will be a few bumps along the road, but you’ll fall in love in this crazy city and you’ll live happily ever after. And then you’re you, and you don’t and it’s not as easy as you think. Especially after its been 2-3 years and you’re still single.
Again, it’s that sense of entitlement. People think just because someone does not meet their laundry list of expectations, they’re settling. It’s not settling at all. It’s learning and experiencing things together and appreciating one another for who they are.
How do I know? Like I wrote earlier in this blog, I’ve dated a lot more than I’d like to admit. I’ve met people while having a night out with my girls, met men at the park, and used dating sites. I’ve done the whole thing, so to speak.
No matter how or where I meet these individuals, my experience does not differ. Men that you meet on a dating site are no more interested in dating you seriously than a guy you’d meet at a bar, surprisingly. And I’m sure it’s the same for the opposite sex.
We often fall under this false assumption that just because we date someone that we met off of a site, they’re more sincere about being in a relationship. If a guy is not digging you, he will not call you. If he’s just interested in sex, that’s all his interests will be. You cannot coerce him into a relationship. Ladies, you do not meet his laundry list of unattainable shit!
For that cute guy you met at the coffee shop, had a great conversation with, had an awesome 1 or 2 dates with and you’re wondering why he hasn’t reached out- “Why didn’t he call? I thought we had a great time? He laughed and smiled a lot. Where did I go wrong?” Yeah.. that dude doesn’t give a crap either; not any more or less than the guy who paid to be on a dating site to meet you.
This is not me man bashing; women are culpable for this kind of behavior too. Shame on all of us!
Sincerely, I think to be successful in dating in this city you just have to come to terms with the fact that the real ideal match for you won’t fit those characteristics you so seek. I think your match is meant to surprise you and with that amazement you build, respect, and acknowledge each other for who they are. He or she should not have a check-list of impossible virtues you think you deserve to be with. Once New York City as a whole gets on the same bandwagon, I believe this place wouldn’t be such a shitty city to date in. Actually, it has every capability to be fun with the endless amount of things you can do here.
I am not a love guru or expert by any means. I am merely an empathetic New Yorker who is going through what a lot of New Yorkers are.