Category: dating in New York


Girls Night Out: Arlington Club

March 23rd, 2014 — 9:03pm

I recently enjoyed a wonderful girls night out with my good friend Lauren.

We headed over to the Arlington Club, a swanky UES steakhouse with an interesting bar scene — a 40+ crowd, many of whom are very obviously on the prowl.

Arlington Club’s swanky bar area

As we watched the flirting unfold, Lauren and I fell into the easy conversation that comes when you’re kindred spirits and you’ve known each other for a decade. We talked about our recent travels, the fun of vacation romance and how a change of scenery can make all the difference when it comes to meeting new people.

Speaking of the latter, this was my first visit to Arlington Club. And it presented the opportunity for us to meet two charming musicians who livened things up with their talents.

Wes shared tales of life on tour with the likes of Norah Jones, mentioning that he savors quiet nights in watching NetFlix when he’s back home in Brooklyn.

It occurred to me as he spoke that he had an openness and down to earth quality that’s frustratingly elusive among New York men. Sure enough, Wes revealed he’s from Charleston.

Though i adore my hometown, NYC seems to breed an aloof sensibility that often permeates the singles scene here. I notice it even more whenever I venture out of Manhattan — that there’s a warmth and friendliness elsewhere which is so difficult to find when you’re trying to mix and mingle in the Big Apple.

I can’t help thinking that most of the epic romances I’ve experienced have been with men from other places—California, Illinois, England and Australia to name a few. And, on this 20th anniversary of my very first epic love, I also find myself wondering if it’s time for me to try out a new zip code.

 

| dating in New York, Girls Night Out, Upper East Side, Upper East Side restaurants

The Best And Worst Part Of Dating In NYC

October 27th, 2013 — 10:02pm

When it comes to being single in New York, the best part is there’s no pressure to settle down. As I’ve discovered time and time again, though, it’s also the worst part.

That double edged sword first sharply came into focus when I went on my Great Dating Blitz three years ago. In many of the cities I visited, the common trajectory was for people to partner up or at least be heading in that direction by the time they hit thirty.

Here, on the other hand, you encounter men who are 45+, never married and boast about the fact that they’re in no hurry to change that. Of course, why should they be?

As New Yorkers, we tend to pride ourselves on living life at a frenetic pace, cramming in as much as possible. This invariably carries over to our dating culture, where quantity seems to trump quality. Romantic chemistry is considered a disposable, easily replaced commodity.

Awhile back, I went out with a guy I met online. The evening was going well — flirty conversation, a post-cocktail smooch. His takeaway?

“You’re great, but I could go home, log on and find someone else great too.”

Indeed. In a city with so many choices, why bother committing to just one?

It’s hard not to let the noncommittal sensibility end up dictating how you approach dating. Except on those all too rare moments when you’re reminded there is a lot to be said for seeking out more than that. Like the fluttering feeling in your stomach that accompanies feeling a genuine spark with someone. Or reminiscing with an old flame about when it really felt like love could conquer all.

For now, never mind love — it’s first date fatigue I need to conquer.

| dating in New York, dating in your thirties, The Great Dating Blitz

BetaDater: A Singles Mixer With A Twist

June 16th, 2013 — 9:08pm

As a dating blogger, you tend to hear a lot about singles events – whether they’re mixers designed for mingling or functions related to improving your dating game. BetaDater offers both.

BetaDater is a feedback-based dating mixer. Over the course of three dates and a three course meal, you receive and give three pieces of feedback that are anonymized and aggregated into what they a call a Dating Diagnostic Report. After successfully piloting in San Francisco, BetaDater has come to NYC. Thursday night, I was invited to check it out.

BetaDater: A new feedback-based approach to mingling

The event was held at Tromba Restaurant, a cozy eatery with a rustic vibe on NYC’s Lower East Side. My three dates were a mixed bag — the result, no doubt, of BetaDater’s big age range (21-40).

First up, a thirty something software developer and NYC newcomer who avoided eye contact and had me doing most of the conversational heavy lifting. Then, a handsome, charming former journalist turned non-profit think tank manage – who was two days away from moving back to Geneva. And finally, a recent college graduate with (yikes) bad body odor and a penchant for four-letter words.

Though the event was supposed to last for two hours, it ended up running closer to three. Not surprisingly, I felt like I was running out of steam and sparkling conversation toward the end. This could easily be avoided if BetaDater kept things moving along — and increased the number of dates.

Having done speed dating a handful of times, I know from experience that it doesn’t take long to form a first impression about someone. While four minutes is too brief to provide effective feedback on a person’s first date skills, 30 minutes plus is way too long.

I think BetaDater would benefit from doing shorter dates and more of them in one evening. It also needs to reach more people. Apparently, several of the guys in attendance were pulled in last minute from a neighboring bar. A more targeted age range and larger number of dates would likely make the events more well attended.

Having said all this, BetaDater brings something fresh and valuable to the dating scene. Even while the kinks are still being ironed out, it helps you put your best foot forward on a first date.

My experience the other night also reminded me that New York is a city which inspires hope when it comes to being single­. Two of the guys I met said they moved here because of NYC’s many  opportunities to connect with new people. You never know when one of those connections is going to be of the romantic variety.

| dating in New York, Lower East Side, singles events, speed dating

Girls Night Out: East Village

March 31st, 2013 — 8:04pm

Thursday, I headed down to the East Village for a girls night out with my good friend Bobbi.

On my way to meet her, it occurred to me that I need to visit this neighborhood more often, teeming as it is with inviting little bistros and bars. Case in point: Giano, the cozy wine bar and restaurant I stumbled upon online.

Giano (Photo Credit: Dailydishblog.com)

Ideal for either a date or girls night out, Giano has rustic charm and an Italy-born host who makes every menu item sound buenissimo.
Over drinks and a delicious dinner, we talked about women who forget themselves once they’re married, our recent respective speed dating experiences, and increasing dating fatigue.

With the big 4-0 looming in 2014, I am definitely feeling a cumulative weariness from decades of dating. People often say love finds you when you’re not looking. That may be true but it has also been my experience that no one will find you if you’re sitting on your couch.

The question then becomes – how do you balance putting yourself out there with not getting worn out from it all? How do you remain hopeful about happily ever after when today’s dating culture (in New York especially) seems more accommodating of right now romance?

As I continue trying to figure that out, I also remain profoundly grateful for wonderful friends who make such heavy contemplation a lot more fun.

Happy Easter all!

| dating in New York, dating in your thirties, East Village, girl talk, Girls Night Out

A Fabulous Night In Harlem

January 13th, 2013 — 10:37am

Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of catching up with my Kansas City-based pal Stephanie. A foodie with a flair for cooking, Stephanie invited me to join her and friends Jim and Diego to experience one of NYC’s hottest restaurants – Red Rooster.

Stephanie and me

The signature Harlem eatery by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson doesn’t disappoint. Lively atmosphere and attentive service compliment the mouthwatering menu of comfort food. A nice touch — for $7, you’re given the option of choosing from a tray of small chef tasting plates. I enjoyed butternut squash soup with apple chutney and smoked salmon. For dessert, we all shared the heavenly Rooster Mud Pie served with mocha ice cream and whiskey caramelized bananas. Delish.

I filled Stephanie and the guys in on my return to speed dating this week, which was just as fun as I remembered the experience to be (seriously, ladies, give it a try!).

Fun Foursome: (clockwise from left) Me, Stephanie, Diego and Jim

Speaking of the search to find love, we fell into easy conversation about the ups and downs of it, especially here in New York. When I mentioned my Great Dating Blitz of a few years back, Diego shared his recent version of it – going out with a series of his exes again. And whether they’re gay or straight, we all agreed that men don’t make the first move nearly as much as we’d like them to anymore.

Case in point: the aforementioned HurryDate event this week. Of the four guys who said yes to connecting afterward, only two proactively contacted me. Thankfully, it was the two who I liked most.

Who knows? Maybe 2013 will bring a change in the tides romantically speaking. One thing’s for sure – I plan to have more fun along the way.

| dating in New York, HurryDate, speed dating

Lessons From Nominate A Date

April 7th, 2012 — 5:41pm

 Since starting Nominate A Date seven weeks ago, I’ve mentioned more than once how it’s proven connecting offline is much better. As I wind down this adventure, I find myself reflecting on a few other lessons I’ve learned along the way too.

Men will make the first move – if you make it easy for them to: Three bachelors actually nominated themselves as soon as they heard about what I was doing. And I think a big part of that was because I made it clear I was open to meeting anyone, and that this isn’t about putting the pressure of “are you the one?” on a first date. Speaking of which…

Sometimes dating is simply about having fun – and that’s okay: I went out with one Nominate A Date guy a handful of times. We enjoyed some laughs, smooches and great meals but the lighthearted tenor of our conversations made it clear we were only a temporary thing. Not every romance has to be a big love affair to be enjoyable.

There’s no way around it — dating in NYC is harder than it is anywhere else:  I guess you could say this experience, my third dating marathon, only confirmed what I discovered during the other two – Gotham is simply a tough town when it comes to meeting single thirtysomething men. Lining up dates was infinitely easier across the U.S. and in six European countries than it has been here.

Knowing what you don’t want makes it easier to identify what you do: In the interest of making the most out of Nominate A Date, I intentionally opted for a big age spread (27-47) and just say yes mentality. Because of that, I had the chance to meet a variety of men I would not have otherwise. In their own way, each of them confirmed what I can compromise about in a partner and what I cannot do without.

I’m looking forward to applying all that I’ve learned as I move forward in my single life. Especially when it comes to the having fun part.

| casual dating, dating in New York, Nominate A Date

An Eventful Saturday Night

June 24th, 2010 — 3:40pm

Saturday night, I headed down to NYC’s South Street Seaport for my date with Sandy.

A fellow public relations veteran, Sandy, 36, got in touch after reading about my dating blitz in the . He planned a great evening for us that began with a one-hour New York Water Taxi cruise around Manhattan.

Lady Liberty: NY Water Taxi’s cruise parks right in front of her

As we took in the glorious sunset views, Sandy and I talked about our similar career paths, our affection for live music and our disdain for the ups and downs of dating in New York.

Sandy mentioned a frustration I heard from several men on my dating blitz — that women tend to shy away from nice guys and don’t give them a chance. A Brooklyn native, he also confirmed my theory that settling down is more of a priority for men outside of Manhattan. He told me most of his friends are married or want to be.

After the cruise and a delicious dinner with Sandy at Mexican restaurant Red, I put in an appearance at my friend and former colleague Marisa’s going away party.

Catching Up: Marisa and me

Bound for DC to pursue her dream of working in green PR and be with her long-time boyfriend, Marisa was one of my favorite co-workers — a beautiful person inside and out.

During the party, I chatted with two of her friends — Ohio native Lexi and adorable Bostoner-turned-NYC banker Bob. We eventually got onto the subject of Cleveland (Bob lived there for four years) and what a great, friendly city it is.

I will always have great affection for The Cle. As I discovered during my blitz, there’s no city more welcoming to singles. Just ask the ladies from TV Land’s .

| Brooklyn, dating in New York, first dates, public relations, South Street Seaport, The Great Dating Blitz

A Chat About Dating With Two NYC Bachelors

May 12th, 2010 — 3:32pm

When you’re a single gal in New York, it’s easy to think men have an easier time dating. After all, unattached women here outnumber their male counterparts by more than 210,000.

A recent conversation with Mike and Steven, two of the porters in my apartment building, reinforced something I learned during my Great Dating Blitz — that finding love isn’t exactly a cakewalk for the opposite sex either.

Mike spoke about the financial pressures of dating in NYC, and feeling like you have to be at a certain income level to be in a relationship. He’s also found that singles here are always searching for something new or different, and that women are increasingly going out with younger men.

Steven talked about the ups and downs of being unattached in the Big Apple. Of the roller coaster ride that it is, he said poignantly–

“If there was a tax on broken hearts, we wouldn’t have a deficit.”

We eventually got onto the subject of communication modes and courting. Mike is a big fan of texting. Steven and I stated our preference for talking on the phone instead. No matter how many emoticons you type into your phone, it doesn’t replace hearing a person’s voice.

As we shared our stories of love and the search for it, I found myself appreciating all over again how New Yorkers can and do let their guard down when you take the time to engage them.

Just another reason why I’m so happy to be home.

| dating in New York, The Great Dating Blitz

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