Dating in NYC: Settling versus not settling
Wed Nov 30 2011
The case for not settling
Somewhere along the line, the life calculus that has gotten you to this point just stopped working. You did everything right, but while you were busy finding the perfect career, apartment and countless avenues of cultural stimulation, your coupled friends (the same ones whose sad provincialism you once scoffed at) began to make judgments about your empty, cosmopolitan ice kingdom. And you? You're no closer to romantic nirvana than you were when you moved here. How did this happen? Likely, you assumed that, eventually, you would find the perfect partner the same way you may have found your dream job or an apartment you've vowed never to give up: by going through a steady progression of less-than-ideal possibilities and trading up. Life in New York City has trained us to believe that this is how things work.
But does that mean you should tie yourself to the first boob who comes along? Is being single in New York worse than settling for someone like, say, Dennis Duffy, the Beeper King of New York? Dennis is 30 Rock's Liz Lemon's sometimes boyfriend of convenience. He brings our heroine fast food and requires sex only once a week, but he also refers to her as "Dummy" and would push her in front of a train if it meant that the Islanders would win the Stanley Cup. Dennis is fictional, but he's also a fairly accurate archetype. He's the kind of person you could end up with if you decide to lower your personal standards, just to have someone—anyone.
Being single in New York allows you to enjoy, with impunity, everything the city has to offer. When you're in a relationship, your spare time gets eaten up quickly, and if being with that person isn't more fulfilling to you than spending an entire afternoon wandering around the Met or playing on your intramural dodgeball team, you should rethink your relationship status. And the idea that all of the good ones are taken is false. Consider this: There is a constant influx of new people drawn to NYC's endless parade of options, many of whom are as single and intent on meeting someone as you are. Just because it seems like everyone is spoken for today doesn't mean it will be that way tomorrow. New Yorkers love nothing more than a challenge, especially when it comes to love.—Drew Toal