Finding your perfect mate in a city of eight million is in no way easy. If you’re living outside New York and a fan of the typical rom-coms based in Manhattan (girl meets guy and despite 90 minutes of unrealistic obstacles, they live happily ever after), you might think the options are endless and fairytale endings are the norm. But ask any single girl in Manhattan—because they’re not.
In the diverse dating world of New York City with more single fish living along the shores of the East River than in the deepest waters of the Atlantic, where do the available get connected? And perhaps a better question is, are women ‘out there’ trying to meet men, or are they staying home alone every Saturday night watching Dateline instead? Or maybe they’re looking in the right spots but they still can’t make that love connection. In NYC, where is the best place for a girl to find a mate?
Ann, a 27-year-old reporter who lives in Manhattan, has met her dates through friends or family, and online, but she’s living proof that even ‘set-ups’ can be unsuccessful. Recently, she had a blind date arranged through a cousin: "We met at a swanky restaurant where he wined and dined me (emphasis on the wine) and everything was going great. He was a successful sales guy, smart and charming. We moved the date to a lounge and had just shared our first kiss, when things got weird. I made a harmless (or so I thought) joke about him being a sales guy, "Don't you try to use a line on me." He became grossly offended and agitated. He was furious! I tried to explain that I was joking, but he kept saying ‘No, no, don't try to back track!’ The more I tried to apologize, the more upset he became. There was literally no reasoning with him. He became so confrontational that I actually walked out on the date. The next day my cousin called us both and said that he barely remembered what happened because he drank too much. Yikes! Now I know why he's never been married."
Since then, Ann has moved to the online dating site OkCupid with success. "I am currently dating three handsome, successful men, each with qualities I would look for in a long-term match.
Lauren, a 32-year-old marketing professional has tried the online route with no success: "I don't believe you get that spark that makes the beginning of a relationship exciting if you know you're both looking for a relationship at the same time and planning to merge your lives." Lauren tried several websites for singles, but wouldn’t go back to online dating. "I got turned off from it enough to never do it again."
Amara, a 28-year-old furniture consultant, has met most of her dates in bars, and a few through friends, but she refuses to use dating websites too. She got into a serious relationship through OkCupid that ended abruptly: "We dated about 6 months. We went on a vacation together and it just didn't work out after that. He wasn't sure what he wanted and I was mad because he wasn't affectionate on the trip, and so I ended it. All he gave me was, 'I don't know what I want.' That’s a cop out — and I couldn't make him want more from me so I walked."
As a former single woman, I have to ask the question, "If you’re living in New York and on the hunt, isn’t any place the right place to find love?" In reality, it can happen while walking down Broadway, grabbing a caramel macchiato (skim, of course) at Starbucks, or taking a Pure yoga class. Are city women simply too shy about their needs for affection and companionship? If the ladies are putting themselves out there and sharing their solo status with friends, family and through social media, shouldn’t every independent woman in NYC have a weekend date if she wants one? Or, are big city girls burying themselves too deeply in the world of internet dating?
Meeting a guy may be simple enough, but connecting to the right 'one' for a long-term relationship isn’t a cinch anywhere, and especially in a city the size of New York. The guy of your dreams may be out there in one of the five boroughs, but finding him isn’t going to be a walk in the park --- or is it?
I asked a few more single women about their dating experiences in the Big Apple. I received a mixed bag of answers.
"Every time he had an orgasm, he laughed. He got the job done, but I had to do a lot of the work. We didn’t last very long. It was really awkward." D.Y. -West Village
"There was the guy who listed himself as 'Jewish -- but not that serious about it.' Everything was going great for a couple of months... until he told me he really had to end up with a Jewish girl. That was of course after we’d slept together." C.A. -Financial District
"My last serious boyfriend is engaged now to a Plain Jane---a sign he wasn't for me. I'm a whole lot to handle." A.E. -Hell’s Kitchen
"I went on my first ever online date with a guy right after I broke up with my long-term boyfriend. The waiter pressured him to order a bottle of wine... and then another. That's when it all came out that we both had just gotten out of horrible breakups that we still weren't over, and we were only forcing ourselves to "date" to get our minds off of it. It was the most depressing date of my life." C.G. -Midtown West
"I've used Match.com, eharmony, and OkCupid. Eharmony delivered the nicest guys who were really interested in relationships, but weren't great matches for me, and Match.com --- whatever. OkCupid had cheap guys looking to get laid without paying the cost of a dating site membership." W.B. -Astoria
"When your boyfriend has a male chastity cage around his penis and gives you the key, it’s time to move on." H.H. -Upper West Side
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