My Dating Experience In New York City

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Before moving to New York, my only knowledge of dating in the city came from the iconic female-led sitcom Sex and the City. The fast-paced culture of dating strangers from bars and upscale events, and the glamorous, romantic look into Manhattan was enticing. It made me want to venture into sultry clubs and elegant Bon Appetitworthy restaurants to meet a handsome, strapping young man who worked in the Financial District.

Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to find a Mr. Big. In fact, I can honestly say that my dating experience in New York pales in comparison to Carrie’s illustrious list of dating endeavors.

Dating NYC

Maybe it’s the difference in time or maybe I’m looking for men in all the wrong places. Who knows? All I know is that my dating experience is nothing like what you see in Sex and the City.

After moving from the vast, southwestern desert of Albuquerque, New Mexico to the bustling Brooklyn streets, I spent days visiting restaurants and bars to find potential friends and a potential boyfriend. Sadly, these public spaces were filled with couples. It was like I was a weed walking into a field full of blossoming relationships. Sitting by myself at the bar felt awkwardly uncomfortable, and I’m sure the waiters and bartenders at the establishments I visited felt sorry for me.

Although I felt let down from being the single party waiting for a table, I wasn’t ready to give up hope. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I downloaded Tinder. (Yes, I know it’s an app known for hookups, but I couldn’t help it. I was lonely).

Dating NYC

I swiped left and right and messages upon messages started to appear on my feed. Some were for a lack of better words, to the point, and some were rather genuine. Did I reply to every single message? No. But I did make a list of the ones that interested me, and I replied to them. Some fell off after a few texts, but others became full-fledged dates.

From going to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden to having a drink at a local Fort Greene bar, I went on several dates but none stood out to me. Most of the guys were hoping to hook up for the night and the rest weren’t that interesting. To be honest, Tinder made me question the idea of being in a relationship. It made me question whether or not I was ready to date especially in an environment known for its hustle.

Dating NYC

You might be wondering if I’m giving up on love, and the answer is no. At the moment, I need to know what I want from life in this new place I’m living in. New York is a big city and I think love will find me when it finds me. In the words of Carrie, “Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.”

Sharmaine OngCOLLEGECANDY Writer
Sharmaine Ong is a graduate student at St. Joseph's College Brooklyn and she's currently working on an MFA in Creative Writing. On her free time, she likes to walk around the city to find the best latte art.
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