Hi. I’m not going to get overly-saccharine and try to claim that dating is always totally awesome!!!! and that living in New York City is like vacation every day!!!! Both can be incredibly challenging. (If one more delivery guy nearly kills me on his bicycle, I’m going to go APE SHIT YOU WILL SEE ME ON THE NEWS.)
Now. Some people think places like New York City (and Chicago, and DC and LA) can actually be the worst places to find love. But it’s all how you look at it, isn’t it? Are you going to see the glass half empty? Or half full? Do this with me! Let’s go here! Let’s see the glass half full! And while you are reading, please enjoy this They Might Be Giants Song:
2. No Designated Drivers. Most NYCers don’t even know how to drive — they rely on the many wonderful modes of transportation to get their drunk asses home. Whether it be subway, bus, cab, or… The Staten Island Ferry. This also makes booty calls much easier to go through with, since you don’t have to haul yourself into the car and drive to a faraway place.
3. The Subway Is A Party. You’re bound to eye one or two cute people when you’re crammed together with dozens of strangers on the subway. This is best done in winter months, when it’s not 105 degrees, but even then, don’t let some stinky pits get in the way. Say hello, ask someone for the time, it’s an easy in.
4. Diversity. Obviously the diversity in New York City is out of this world. You will find plenty of people who meet your random standards of unusual beauty. We have everyone here.
5. You’ll Never Have To See Them Again. And if it doesn’t work out, just turn around and disappear in the crowd. There will be someone new on the next block. And in a city of more than 8 million people, the odds of running into your ex are a lot slimmer than if you lived in, say, Cleveland, Ohio. (Trust me. I am from Cleveland, Ohio.)
6. Quantity – You’ve got more choices of people to date than you do places to get take-out. You can have your date eyes out at all times. (Even when you’re on a dud date.)
7. Whatever Kind Of Weird Shit You’re Into, You’ll Find Someone To Share That Weird Shit With. It’s hard to be the weirdest one in New York City. Every time I think I’m doing something off or worthy of getting stares, I run into someone doing something crazier, like wearing an umbrella as a dress or showering themselves in hot sauce.
8. “Give Me Your Tired, Give Me Your Poor, Give Me Your Huddled Masses.” I know Lady Liberty is officially talking to Immigrants, but I think her message applies to daters, too. Dating can be expensive and exhausting and it can cause us to go weak in the knees, to feel helpless. But The Statue of Liberty welcomes you to New York City with open arms (and, in my version of her message, a promise of love.)
9. Creative Dates. Where else can you go on a fondue taste testing tour, make your own drinks in a speak easy, hit up Midwest trivia night, play Skee Ball, eat free pizza, and get your nails done while drinking a Jack and Coke, all in a 5 block radius? This city isn’t just for daters, it’s for ambitious daters who want it all.
10. You Might Hook Up With A Famous Person Or At Least A D-Lister. Neil Patrick Harris bought me a beer once, and sure, he was with his boyfriend, but I felt the chemistry and mark my words — that is a story for the grandkids. Everyone in New York City has a meet-cute with some sort of celeb.
11. Being Gay Is Like Being A Brunette. Meaning it’s something nobody cares about. Lady Liberty might have added “Give me your gays,” because the gay dating scene in New York is alive and well. It’s alive and very well.
12. Visitors. Everyone wants to take a visit to the Big Apple. Sometimes that can be bad (Aunt Joan is visiting to do the double-decker bus tour again?) or good (my ex-boyfriend-who-I-still-hook-up-with-and-the-sex-is-so-hot is visiting again!).
13. Everything About Sex And The City Makes A Lot More Sense. Even though it’s dated and written for heterosexual females, you get those moments where you’re totally feelin’ bad for Carrie because whatever shitty thing just happened to her also happened to you last week.
14. There Are Four Seasons. This pretty much quadruples your selection of potential dates. Summer season dates (free outdoor concerts) bring totally different opportunities to the table than winter season dates (hot toddies and fire places.)
15. Fewer Fat Asses. Thank you Mayor Bloomberg! That soda ban is really doing wonders! And we know how many calories are in our Chipotle burritos. The results show in our thighs.
16. Everyone Looks Like A Million Bucks. Fashion is not something New Yorkers take lightly — they almost take it too seriously. If you’ve ever been dumped because of your no-name brand shoes, you know what I mean.
17. It Truly Never Sleeps. You can basically do whatever you want, at whatever time of day or night. Random things like yoga studios and bookshops are open at all hours, and wherever you go, there is always someone enjoying it.
18. It’s Full Of Ambition. New York City living isn’t always easy — the crowds, the flights of stairs, the reckless cab drivers. If you aren’t here to work hard and kick ass, you probably aren’t comfortable, and you’ll probably leave.
19. More Gay Bars. More gay bars is good for gay people, but it’s good for straight people too. It’s how my friend got picked up by her boyfriend. A year ago. They are still dating. That was his strategy.
20. Coffee Shops And Bars And Museums, Oh My! You could basically crawl from bar to cafe to museum from the tippy top of the city to the Statue of Liberty without touching the pavement. There are options on every block.
21. Love Is In The Air. Think of all the famous people who fell in love here! Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, that couple in An Affair To Remember, Woody Allen… the most famous love stories are being written here every day.
22. You Will Never Run Out Of Movies. Places like the Film Forum will keep your film schedule jam packed.
23. Rooftops And Bridges Are Romantic. And they are everywhere. And there are plenty of hot architects who can tell you which rooftops and bridges they are.
24. Beer Gardens. That is all.
25. There Is A Sense Of Camaraderie. By being a New Yorker you live in an unusual place, and that ties you to the other 8 million people here, no matter what your other differences are.
26. It’s Easy To Pull Random Acts Of Kindness. Which is an excellent way to flirt. There are people all over the place needing a hand carrying an AC unit, hauling a suitcase up subway stairs, picking up dog poop. (I am kidding about the last one — don’t pick up someone else’s dog’s poop unless you are officially dating.)
27. People Are Not Afraid To Make Out In Public. So you shouldn’t be, either.
28. It Is Legal For Ladies To Be Topless. The NYPD recently told the Village Voice that “The state’s highest court established long ago that women have the same right as men to appear topless in public.” If you are looking for a great relationship, I do not recommend going topless. But it’s always an option if you are desperate for even just the slightest hint of cat call.
29. We’re Upfront. Perhaps it’s true that Southerners are technically more polite, but in love, you need to hear the truth, straight up. We New Yorkers are too rushed to worry about hurting each other’s feelings.
30. That Guy You Went To Preschool With Probably Lives Here Now. Remember him? He ran away when you tried to kiss him in 1989, but he might be more up for it now that you are two adults living in New York City.
31. Hipsters are kind of easy.
32. Wait. So Are The Young Professionals Who Live In Murray Hill.
33. Now That You Mention It, So Are The Partyers In Chelsea.
34. Who The F*ck Am I Kidding? Most Everyone Is. Lots Of Liberals.
35. It’s Easy To Get Lost. Especially if you are in downtown Manhattan. Which is good! You can always ask a cute stranger for directions, even if you absolutely know where you are. If things go well, you can laugh merrily together as you explain to them that you actually live right around the corner.
36. Walk Of Shames Are Way Less Obvious. There are tons of questionably-dressed people strutting their stuff all over the city at all hours — some of them have probably just ended their night, even if it is 7 AM. So no one can tell if you just had a one night stand. Also, I had the worst walk of shame ever. And it actually ended up being the best walk of shame ever.
37. It’s Really Easy To Do Cheap, Cultured Dates. There are always free concerts, free movies, free classes, free theater. And it’s not considered weird or rude if your date suggests going to them because they are actually good free concerts/movie/classes/shows. The free entertainment in Ohio, where I’m from, is 80-year-olds playing the banjo on the central town square. And suggesting that as a date is a deal killer.
38. When You’re 20 Minutes Late ‘Cause You Were Busy Primping, You Can Blame It On The Trains. And your excuse will be met with a sympathetic “GAHHH, I know, I hate the mother f(*#$)@#(@ing R train.”
39. You Can Also Blame Flat/Frizzy Hair And Being Sweaty On The Trains. And smell. Basically, everything is the MTA’s fault.
40. Even If You Don’t Like Your Date, You’ll Probably Love The Music Playing In The Background.
41. Built In Plan Bs. Everyone has a backup plan every night and there is so much going on, if your date is a dud, you don’t have to go home. Go out! Make the most of the night! There are still plenty of places to be.
42. It’s A Win-Win. Chances are, even if you don’t meet your match, you’ve been entertained by another NYC weirdo. Oh, the stories you’re gathering up. You don’t even know. Hope you’re writing this down. There’s a book in this shit.
43. Celebrity Crush Central. Even if your celebrity crush doesn’t live here (and they might), they will definitely come here for one reason or another. So while you’re at the airport, you can say to yourself, “Kal Penn must use this airport, right? He could be here.” (If Kal Penn happens to be your celebrity crush, that is totally hypothetical.)
44. Dating Here Makes You Become A More Interesting Date. When you meet all these crazy/different people, you get pulled into their worlds and you take it with you into your next relationship. So you’re a little bit more into ska than you were before, or you know a little too much about Bravo shows because of a girl you dated for a few months last year. Your dates mold you into a cooler person.
45. Brunch Is A Given. Brunching is something that New Yorkers do quite religiously. (In fact, it often takes place Sunday mornings/afternoons, when people in other places are going to actual religious services.) Maybe there would be more church-goers here if they just served brunch at Catholic mass. Brunch usually lasts hours and might lead to a hangover. Suffice to say, it’s a great opportunity to shed your inhibition, meet some new people, and score a great date.
46. Expand Your Dating Horizons. I went to Morrissey Speed Dating once. With stuff like that, nobody has an excuse not to try dating — there is some mode of partner-finding for you. Some niche online site. Some strange trivia night, bar, or organization you can join.
47. Transportation Awkwardness, Gone. Thanks to the subways, there’s no need to be picked up for a first date. And if the date goes badly you can go your separate ways immediately rather than having to ride home in the same car.
48. International Lovers — Get One. NYC truly is a melting pot of hot, foreign lovin’.
49. People Actually Date Here. Dating is a hobby that people spend a considerable amount of time doing. They invest themselves in it. We don’t generally marry until we are 80 years old.
50. Even When It Sucks, Even When It’s Hard, you’ll have lots of other people to commiserate with. Because as much as dating in NYC rules, it can totally suck (like everywhere in the world), and everyone shares similar gripes. We love sharing all kinds of dating stories — even (especially?) the bad ones.