Each and every year, twenty-something men and women flock to New York hoping to make it big, make new friends, and possibly fall in love. Like any new relationship, the first few weeks are critical. People come here and immediately fall in love with this place. Others just go with the motions, but they never really feel like they belong. The rest begin to hate this place and can’t wait to leave. Their love affair with the city, much like their search for love, either blossoms into a beautiful flower, or fizzles out like a half-empty pint of beer on a lonely bar counter. And even though I’m far from being a transplant here, there’s still something about this city and the potential for finding love that’s just so magical.
When I returned to the city after college, I had to become reacquainted with life in the big city as a twenty-something male as well as rediscover the art of dating. This city is far from being an easy place for dating – contrary to popular belief – and I’ve learned many things during my many trials and tribulations of “eligible singlehood.” As a guy, the first lesson that you learn is to make sure that you arrive well in advance of your date. It is completely unacceptable, under any circumstances, for you to be late to your date for any particular reason. Alternatively, if you’re a guy, your date reserves the right to be as early or as late as possible for any particular reason [lesson learned]. And, most recently, I’ve learned that you should ask lots of questions during a date, or else your date might think that you’re just not “all that” interested in them [go figure].
If anything, dating in the city has proven to be just one huge paradox. You think it would be so easy to find someone here given the fact that it’s such a huge place with such vibrant nightlife. But, that’s definitely not the case. Everyone here seems to be looking for love, yet not looking for love all at the same time [sometimes it’s hard to recognize the difference]. Ironically, as soon as you meet that one person who could potentially be the one for you, it just never seems to work out – no matter how hard you try. And, unfortunately, the person that you’re not necessarily interested in refuses to let you go [of course]. These days it seems as if dating and developing committed relationships have taken a life of their own, and no matter how much you try to cultivate them, they rarely seem to survive [what’s a single person to do?].
This city also seems to harvest so many distractions. Here, it’s very easy to get caught up in the labors of work, the vast nightlife options, and the act of looking for love. They say the thrill of the chase is sometimes better than the reward, and here is no different. In this city, it seems that everyone is single and looking. You have to question, though, are people really that adamantly looking for love, or are they simply enamored with the idea of looking for love? This seems to be what this city is made for – looking for love, but never finding it.
And just as a twenty-something man or woman discovering this city for the first time, love can be equally as difficult to navigate. And if you’re not too careful, you can either make it work or drown trying.