Here in New York City, we do things a bit differently and play by our own rules. The same applies to dating in New York, where the rules of the games are so complex and ever-changing that an entire hit TV series was spawned based on the topic. Unfortunately, dating in New York isn’t always as entertaining or glamorous as Carrie Bradshaw made it seem. If you are a woman, alone, and frustrated with the dating scene, just keep these things in mind.
1. It Will Take Longer to Meet Mr. Right
Are you in your 30s and still single? Don’t worry – this is normal in New York. In New York State, the median age for a woman to get married is 28.4 (and we can assume it is even higher for women living in NYC). By comparison, women in Idaho are getting married and the youthful median age of 23.3.
Society has done a good job of telling us that we should meet certain milestones by certain ages: finish undergraduate by 22, get a paying job (not that endless internship) by 25, have a car, house and family by your 30s.
Well, that’s not the way it works in NYC!
Compared to places like Boise, Idaho, women in NYC have a lot of options. Not only do we have a bigger pool of men to choose from (and thus no reason to “settle” for the first decent guy who comes along), but we have seemingly endless opportunities for advancing ourselves, be it through our careers or other areas of self-growth. Sorry ladies, but the truth of the matter is that it is hard to have a real relationship when you’ve got to work 80 hour weeks so you can get that promotion. And kids are definitely bad for your career!
I’m not saying it is impossible to have both a demanding career, kids, and a stable, healthy relationship – but it is certainly a lot harder. So don’t beat yourself up if you are still single in your 30s or beyond. Instead, just look at everything you’ve accomplished (and all the fun you’ve had) and ask yourself whether you’d trade it in to be a 20-something married Idaho gal.
2. There Really Is a Shortage of Men Out There
Ever feel like all the good men are taken? Don’t let anyone bash you into thinking that it is your problem. There really aren’t that many men out there! The male to female ratio in New York City is 47: 53. If you live on the Upper East Side, then you are really out of luck as women outnumber men 2 to 1! Only Jackson Heights and Queens have more men than women.
Further, the median age for the sexes in NYC is 36 for men and 39 for women. This means that men have a lot more freedom to date casually and play the field. The numbers are in their favor.
3. It is Even Harder to Find a Smart Man
As a smart, accomplished woman living in NYC, you want a man that you can consider your intellectual equal. Well, sorry ladies – but finding an intelligent, educated man isn’t going to be easy. Not only are there more women in New York than men, but there is a strikingly larger amount of women with college degrees than men! According to The Atlantic, in the New York and Northern Jersey area, women with college degrees outnumber men with college degrees by over 30%!!!
Note that this isn’t just a problem which affects NYC women. Nationwide, women aged 25-29 are much more likely to be college-educated than men. At least we don’t live in Sarasota, FL where college-educated women under 35 outnumber college-educated men under 35 by 82%!
4. At Online Dating Sites, You Have the Advantage
I know what you are thinking, online dating?! Well, online dating isn’t just for social outcasts and losers anymore. Now, 11 percent of Americans have tried online dating – and the numbers are even higher for people in their 20s and 30s. One thing that ladies in NY will love about online dating is that, for once, the numbers are in their favor. It varies by site, but the male to female ratio on online dating sites is usually about 60:40. The only problem you will have is getting bombarded by messages from unwanted suitors. As a solution to this problem, you might try Tinder dating, which actually isn’t as hookup-based as you’d think.
There are plenty of online dating sites dedicated specifically to NYC. In addition to this, you’ve also got endless opportunities for meeting people at dating events, like speed dating and singles nights where women win the numbers game.
5. Don’t Try to Date Outside Your Borough
New York is home to approximately 8.4 million people, so that might seem like a lot of men to choose from. Really, your pool should be much smaller than this. Namely, the amount of men who live in your borough. What’s wrong with dating a man from Williamsburg when you live in Park Slope, or a man from Queens when you live in Manhattan?
While a subway ride might not seem like a big deal, in reality, it can feel like long distance dating. At first, it seems exotic and fun to be able to explore cool new pubs and bistros outside of your neighborhood. Then, it becomes a hassle just to meet for a quick drink. Consider the fact that, 25% of New Yorkers would never consider dating outside of their borough!
Aside from the logistical aspect of dating someone from a different borough in New York, there is the social and cultural aspects. People living close to each other tend to be on similar socio-economic levels. There are also racial aspects to consider. While New Yorkers tend to be better about dating across racial lines, let’s not naively ignore the fact that, in dating, race can matter.
6. You Don’t Have to Lower Your Expectations
There is no denying that dating in the millennial age is different. We have a hookup culture and, thanks to how busy we New Yorkers are, we don’t have time for the long, drawn-out courtships process that our parents did. Because of this, it is often suggested that women need to lower their standards. A New York Times article gives advice from two 20-something relationship gurus:
“Praying for that prince with a dozen roses and a dinner reservation for Friday night? Forget it. Clinging to your mother’s rules about waiting for his e-mail or phone call? So last century.
Their advice: Embrace all of the men in your orbit, whether they text or G-Chat, whether they’re hunky or grungy. Savor every connection — the drunken conversation at the bar, the casual sexual fling and the impassioned philosophical debate over pumpkin lattes — without worrying whether any of it will lead to love. And in the midst of this confusing, messy muddle, the young women argued, romance can (sometimes) bloom.”
For any woman who is still dreaming of a man considerate enough to open the door for her, or to walk her to her door without expecting to be invited inside, it can be tough. But lowering your expectations isn’t going to do you any good. Sure, you might find yourself dating more – but you aren’t going to have the types of dates you want! It’s about holding out for quality instead of playing the numbers game and going for quantity in hopes that one guy will turn out to be decent. We New York women are too busy to shack up with every guy who hits on us at a bar, so I’d rather hold out for a real man!
We can’t change men and magically bring them back to the era of knightly chivalry, but we can set the rules of the game. When making plans, we can establish that it is a formal date before going out (So, it’s a date then.”). We can casually ask, “So, when are you picking me up?” so they know that they are expected to go the extra mile (or subway stop) for us. We can avoid sleeping with a guy on the first date so he understands we are looking for a serious relationship and not just some fun fling. Remember, for men to live up to our standards, we’ve got to set standards for them to live up to!