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Finding love and romance in New York City isn't impossible, but it's also not always so easy. Here's what I've learned after a year of dating in NYC—the things that made it a challenge, but also fun. Have some feedback?


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The good, the bad But honestly? You will never come first. No, not in the way you're thinking though, honestly, probably that way, too.

Kiri
What is my age: 42
Service for: Hetero
What is my sex: Lady
Zodiac sign: Gemini
I like to drink: Tequila
Other hobbies: Dancing

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Things you should know before dating a new yorker

Thirty, 50, 70 years ago, dating in the city set itself to a different tune: There were phone calls! From landlines! Blind dates!

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Subway meet-cutes! Vintage charm aside, dating back then came with its own set of woes and stock complaints, as explored in popular culture with… some dedication. Which begs the question: Before the emergence of internet courtship, was dating better or worse? I had my first job teaching in a private coeducational school in Brooklyn. I was finally free from my strict Catholic family moores.

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I shared an apartment with a girl who was a social worker at the foundling hospital. It was a fifth-floor walk up and although I had very little money and none from home it was a wonderful time for me. This was really my first experience with serious dating and the freedom from scrutiny made it all the more enjoyable.

We held very inexpensive dinner parties in our apartments and cooked spaghetti and drank too much—which was all fun and well.

lonely miss Jazmin

There were no barriers except those one imposed upon oneself. It was a glorious time to be in New York. The war was over and there was a lot of optimism about the future and in my experience very little censure.

dirty sister Kali

We were always at the mall. It was where we would go on dates. It was where we would go to meet boys. It was where we would go to talk about boys. But at that time, I was in college at NYU, and it was just such fun. No better era for dating establishments. Also, you could smoke indoors — which was sexy for all the reasons it was terrible.

passion sister Lyric

When I was dating, I mostly met women at parties or in bars. I met my spouse playing on a recreational soccer team in Brooklyn, which is honestly a great story and I love to tell it.

The worst part of dating…

You can have conversations about dead parents, and mental health, and vibrators, and politics, without feeling shame or sheepishness. Most of what everyone does is, like, hook up. Mostly Tinder and Grindr. There are so many people our age who are close by. We did a lot of kissing outside of the house where no one could see. Girls in my situation were not encouraged to be alone with a boy at all, but I managed it somehow and never talked about it. Dances were scheduled by our single-sex schools and they were very uncomfortable, because the girls stood on one side of the room and the boys on the other.

The nuns and priests seemed to be everywhere and those affairs were certainly not much fun. I remember a retreat at my school which was in Suffern, New York. The priest drew two lines on the black board; one was short, about a foot long, and the other was at least three feet long. It felt like a glamorous time to be young in New York but that could make things feel very surface level.

For that reason, unless I was introduced by someone I knew, I avoided meeting people at bars and clubs.

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I think that was really the one thing standing in my way. I mostly frequented gay bars or parties hosted by gay men because it was easiest to guarantee that I would meet a guy who was out of the closet and who I actually enjoyed talking to. Those were also just…the people I really wanted to be around.

In my more recent dating life, I did most of my communicating via text. But before everyone texted all the time, we made phone calls. Now the purpose of dating has a much broader, much more complicated purpose. Is it about self-awareness? Is it for sex and pleasure? Is it ultimately for partnership? Dating apps have also changed how we meet people. I hate them, I want to know how someone carries themselves, what their voice sounds like, their gestures.

foxy babes Teresa

Its impersonal and superficial. Some people have success on them but to me, the banter is like a whole second job. When you watch movies, all of the flirting and dating stuff happens at school. I met my first husband, who was a photographer, on a photo shoot. We came from different countries and had very different home and family lives. But in spite of all our differences, we connected immediately. When he passed away seven years later I eventually eased back out into the dating world.

Of course, I was changed too, but the scene seemed less free, and more guarded, or goal-oriented. I feel like we were always doing something. Someone was in a show and we all had to go, and of course, there was an after party. So many bars here do a trivia night or a game party.

tight madam Noa

Shuffleboard is like…the cool thing. I once went to a murder mystery dinner party. The whole thing was in service of self-care, friends, exercise, and so on. Always the movies. If I was bothering to show up for a date at all I wanted it to be good and substantial, you know?

Once I went to four spots in one night: a three-hour dinner at a restaurant, dessert somewhere else, drinks a third place, you get the idea. Another time, I had a hour date that I made a vintage shopping itinerary for. Sometimes people come meet us and we all just hang out with our friends because the date will be awkward if we do it alone. We lived together until we married the following year. Earlier, though, our first serious date had ended with sex and disaster.

Then we went on to act opposite one another on many occasions in many different shows. And, well, he was my life partner. I thought I was going to pass out on the stairs. And once we were there, he made breakfast for dinner—pancakes and orange juice, with a record playing. It was such fun. We met playing on a soccer team together on the Lower East Side.

8 dating tips for gay/bi men living in nyc

Eventually, we determined that I was five years younger than he thought I was, and that he had two children…while looking shockingly hot for a dad. He said he went to a different school and had a different name and stuff and it was kind of a big deal. It was a whole thing. Graphics by Lorenza Centi. By Harling Ross. By Daniela Guerrero. By Amalie MacGowan. By Tess Garcia. By Team Repeller.