So I got off to an unexpected flying start in terms of dating in New York! I landed on a Friday and had my first date the following Tuesday – what can I say, I’m a fast worker!
Brief history as a bit of context. I was in a long term relationship (engaged, owned a home together, thought he was ‘the one’) from my early 20s, which bombed a year and a half ago. It was a massive shock to the system to be unexpectedly single in my early 30s. I spent a lot of last year healing, learning to be by myself again and had no clue whatsoever about dating, so I decided to throw myself in quite soon after the break up to see what was out there – and to build my confidence. I had some great dates and some average dates, but it was all a fun experience and made for some stories to share with my girlfriends!
Last year I put things in London – especially my love life – on hold as soon as I heard about NYC. What was the point of meeting someone when I was about to move halfway across the country?! I didn’t have time in my last few months in London to even think about dating – there’s so much involved logistically in moving and I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my friends and family before I left. You can read about some of my awesome leaving events in this blog post!
So it’s fair to say when I arrived in New York I was more than excited to dip my toe into the dating pool again!
As a 30 something Brit, like most, I grew up watching Sex and The City and wondering whether life in New York – especially dating – is anything like what we see on TV! I realise I’m less than under a month in the city so by no means an expert (yet!) but I’ve had a few first dates and a couple of second dates.
Here’s what I’ve noticed about the dating scene in NYC:
- It’s MUCH easier to meet a guy at a bar in NY than it is in London – I’ve met several men – and seemingly normal, interesting men at that – at bars here already and I’m by no means out here on the prowl (well not every single night anyway!) Guys here just seem more approachable and open to having a conversation. People look at and actually flirt with each other! Maybe this happens in London and I was going to the wrong places! But for me, there’s definitely something in the air in New York that makes it more exciting and open to possibility!
- Actually, its MUCH easier to meet a guy anywhere in NY than it is in London! Not just at bars, guys (and people in general) are just friendlier here. People take the time to say hello and flash you a smile, and lo and behold, you start to reciprocate! I’m certainly not programmed like that, after years of living in London, being spoken to on a tube strikes the fear of God in me as I wonder whether I’m about to be mugged, kidnapped or vomitted on! Don’t get me wrong, there seem to be a fair few kooks here too but in general it’s easier to strike up a conversation in NY.
- Dating apps work here like they’re meant to – I don’t know about you, but I got so frustrated with dating app etiquette in London. So many matches, so few conversations……. Or when a conversation did strike up, it was like guys wanted a pen pal rather than a date – what’s that about?! Here, I’ve found that in the majority of cases, guys initiaite a conversation far quicker after matching and also seem to suggest moving to a date IRL after a day or two’s worth of messaging – which for me is perfect.
- Guys know how to hold a conversation a bit better – So on the dates I;ve been on here, and maybe I’ve been lucky in this respect, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the conversation. I don’t know about you but I’m someone who definitely need to feel a physical AND mental connection to find someone attractive. If a guy’s witty, asks interesting questions and makes me laugh – he’ll have me eating out of the palm of his hand! Some of my London dates were just hard work. I’m chatty but I don’t want to carry the entire conversation the whole evening.
- The whole dating vibe feels a bit more mature in NY – For a start people date here, a lot. In London, you tend to end up with someone who might’ve been a friend first or in your wider scosial circle, suddenyl you’re in a relationship without really having dated them first. Generally people seem to expect you’ll be seeing multiple people at any given time and that’s quite normal. At the moment for me, that’s perfect – I’ve just got here, I definitely don’t want anything serious yet, I want to meet new people and expeirence as many new things as I can.
(A caveat to the above. I also think where you are in terms of headspace is super important and feeds into what sort of connections you make with people. Last year in London, I forced myself to date and probably earlier than I should’ve done – I needed the validation after a horrible break up and after being in such a long term relationship. Now, I’m in a much more positive place – emotionally and quite literally too! I’m so excited to be in New York, I’m open to meeting people as I’m starting a new life out here and I guess perhaps I’m attracting different people because I’m feeling differently about myself).
Despite my more positive energy, I’m still lucky not to have had any complete shockers….. yet – I’m definitely due a bad date sometime soon! I’ve heard some dating horror stories from my NY friends….. Ghosting happens over here as well (that weird experience where you’ve been seeing someone, think it’s going well and then they just totally disappear off the face of the planet without a word, this hasn’t happened yet to me personally but I hear about it so often I’m readying myself in preparation), some guys come on very strong (hint – if I haven’t responded to your last message yet you don’t need to send me another one, and another one….) and I do get the sense that because dating is so easy here, it might be harder to find an actual relationship if that’s what you’re looking for.
What do you guys think? How have you found dating in NY – any tips?!