Dating in NYC: Settling versus not settling
Wed Nov 30 2011
Illustration: Dan Park
The case for settling
Paralyzed by choice: That's why you're still single. We get it; it's how you feel every time you get an issue of TONY. Sleep No More? The Frick? Dances of Vice? Living in New York City, the possibilities—whether you're stumped about what to do on a Friday night or whom to date—are seemingly limitless. Many of us have moved here for that very reason, others stay here because of it, and still others claim to continue to love NYC's endless variety while simultaneously griping about how it makes living here unnecessarily complicated. But does that mean you should spend your Friday nights at home, trembling with indecision under a Slanket? No, you suck it up and head to Le Poisson Rouge or Dutch Kills. You pick something, and you see where it takes you. So you have no excuse for being single.
New Yorkers, due in part to their many options, are picky. Many don't bother giving an iffy first date the benefit of the doubt by trying for a second one. They're holding out for something better. We get it. You want the best. You didn't make it to the big city from suburban Ohio or fight your way through public school in Queens to take second-best anything. Every time you have eye sex with a cute dude at the corner deli, you remember that the bartender at your neighborhood bar is cuter. Or you flirt with a lady in line at Trader Joe's—until you hear that she's been meaning to start an all-sousaphone band. You think, I could do better. Maybe you could; doesn't mean that you should. After a few dates, you might really get attached to that weirdo. And you found her first. How NYC is that?
Just make a choice. "Settling" for what may seem to be a semidecent date isn't weak, it's adventurous. You may get bored, you may get burned...but then again, you could end up having the kind of passionate, intense experience that makes us all want to live in New York in the first place. And it's a decision that we make again and again. The city gives you infinite choice; for your part, you have to actually choose.—Allison Williams