The Dating Manifesto - Part 1

Dating in New York City is a bit of an endangered species these days. The days of meeting someone, asking for their number, and then eventually engaging in courtship are mere memories. While I think the rest of the country is gradually saying goodbye to dating, the geography and lifestyle of New York City is sending dating as we know it to an accelerated death.

For anyone who has ever looked at a map of New York City it would seem that everyone who lives in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, or the Bronx (we don’t include Staten Island) would be within a short drive of dating each other. But in a city where over 50 percent of the people take public transportation and almost nobody owns a car, nobody is a short drive from anybody.

People in the city tend not to date anybody who lives more than 2 trains away. In other words, if you have to transfer trains more than once to see somebody, odds are you are not going to date that person.
And for people like me who live in Queens, I am considered G.U. Geographically Undesirable. It’s like Manhattanites think I was outcast to Queens because I’m a polygamist or I have the Mutaba virus. In a city of 8 million people you can understand why traveling more than 15 minutes to see somebody might seem unnecessary. 

Sometimes when I tell people I live in Queens I feel like I’m telling them I live in Kazakhstan. The facial expressions alone are priceless. Usually people jerk their head back a little bit and say something like, “Oh… How do you like it?” They say this because they don’t want to say “HOLY CRAP WHERE IS THAT?!”
And I’m fine with that, because I love my place. I don’t have a roommate, and I can walk around with no pants on whenever I so choose.

My place is awesome. It looks like a man lives there and I TOTALLY want to be a man one day. But I do live in Queens, and while I have been told owning an apartment makes me a “catch” it’s kind of hard to drop that into a conversation with someone the first time you meet them. Certainly you can’t just slide it in without seeming like a complete a-hole.

Girl: Hey I’m Carly
 Me: That reminds me of this time I was paying my mortgage.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Just meeting people is really the hardest part. Those outside the New York City area might not understand. They might think since there are so many people, you must meet people everyday. And you do, but those are one-off interactions. You are not making friends every time you bump into somebody on the street.

The social set-up is such that you can’t really hang out with anybody without spending money. Friends typically don’t just hang out at each other’s apartments. Probably because everybody lives in a different corner of the city, or they have 3 roommates they can’t stand or because their living room is the size of a Bran Muffin. Most hanging out takes place at a pub after work or at a bar on the weekend. And that gets expensive.

Sometimes a friend will say to me “Hey Rich do you want to go get a drink after work?” But because drinks are so expensive in Manhattan, what they are really saying to me is “Hey Rich do you hate money?”
My answer is almost always yes. It is a necessary evil of New York City, and I have come to accept that because I love my friends more than I love being fiscally sound.

If you take into account the fact that most hanging out is taking place at bars and add the common opinion that you don’t meet quality people at bars, then meeting quality people becomes a fundamental problem.
While the people you meet in bars seem normal enough and may even be attractive, there is always one question that triggers the nuclear bomb of crazy to get dropped. You might ask them what they do for a living and you find out they run a rescue shelter out of their van for gay cats. Ohhhh, ok, no thank you.
So where are the attractive quasi-normal people?

There are so many beautiful women in the city, but I rarely see them out in the places I enjoy hanging out. I see them walking past me on the street, at the lunch spot, or on the subway. They just never end up at the same place as me during free time. No, I only go to places where you can find school buses full of obnoxious troll women.

It just doesn’t make sense because Manhattan has beautiful women in droves. Actresses and models prance through this city like its their playground. How come I can’t find out where they are hanging out?
Sometimes when I pass the beautiful women on the street I want to stop them and ask them where they are going. Not because I want to follow them in some creepy way (I kind of do) but I just want to know where their people go out. Like that meatpacking plant full of models on Seinfeld.

And though I may see a beautiful woman on a bench, or on the subway, the only people who talk to strangers in this city are either homeless or clinically insane. I on the other hand try to conceal my crazy.
So what can we do? What options do we average folk have? If we are not trolls and not models, is there some last resort for meeting humans in a city of anonymity?

Surely there must be.

To Be Continued.