The 33 toughest things about being single in New York

Forward this to your smug married friends to show them why it ain’t easy being a single guy or gal in NYC



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Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Couples picnicking in Central Park. You do it and you're just a strange person sitting alone in the mud eating a frankfurter.

2. The walk of shame out of a doorman building. Good morning to you, too, sir…

3. When you order in Seamless and they automatically give you three sets of chopsticks. "No, it's just me, all by my lonely self. And yes, I do need that much sushi. Fuck off."

4. You don’t have the excuse of living in a small town and having a smaller dating pool: Over 8 million people live in NYC. That's 8 million people you have failed to impress.

5. Summer. Everyone's relaxed, happy, maybe feeling frisky. People are wearing a little less. Unless you can get un-single pretty damn quick, you're in hell.

6. One late-night phone call that involves crying and SUDDENLY you're Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.

7. There's always the chance that the person you get set up with is a blogger/personal essayist/xoJane contributor. Get ready for your terrible attempt at oral sex to end up in their sassy dating memoir. (If your rep is truly terrible, you may end up in Time Out's Undateables section.)

8. Hearing about other people's blissed-out romantic vacations. How nice for you. I took a vacation this weekend too: from going outdoors, cooking, speaking or showering.

9. Knowing your couple friends can afford to live in a much nicer apartment, because they’re splitting the mortgage.

10. Witnessing other couples’ slow crotch-grinding at sad indie gigs.

Photograph: "Caro

11. That vicious circle of thinking you should lose weight to improve your odds, then eating your feelings because it fucking sucks being single. Hi, is this Lucky Burger for delivery?

12. Running into people you've had bad one-night stands with around the city. Why does New York suddenly seem to shrink to a tenth its regular size when you’re trying to avoid someone?

13. Showing up at a dinner party when you are the ONLY single person there. I know those smiles are pity smiles and I hope you choke on this beautiful seafood risotto that you and your partner prepared together.

14. Dogs. Only couples get dogs.

15. The omnipresent "we." Clueless couple friends no longer have identities of their own—there is no more "I," only "we." And when you get bitter and angry about it, you’re the crazy one.

16. The vomit-inducing sham of Valentine's Day. What the hell, New York? You're meant to be cooler than that.

17. Even when you’re enjoying being single, you can’t talk about it, because it sounds like you’re protesting too much.

18. When people you're not into hit on you, then dislike you for saying no. Even worse, when you hit on people who are not into you and then dislike them for saying no.

19. Making the mistake of confusing reality for what's just going on inside your head, because you have no one around to tell you otherwise.

20. Long train rides home, alone, after a night out. Or the morning after.

Photograph: Ian Dagnall / Alamy

21. Trying to seem interested, but not too interested. That already describes our entire lives as New Yorkers, does it have to be a part of our dating lives, too?

22. It's like being at one long audition for a part you're not even sure you want.

23. Ice cream shops. Nowhere makes you feel lonelier. NO, I DON'T WANT FUCKING SPRINKLES, OKAY?

24. Watching romantic comedies about dating in New York. Dating in New York is neither romantic nor comedic: It’s more like Gladiator, where every potential date is the emperor, giving you the thumbs down and feeding you to the lions.

25. Cooking for one. Not only less fun, but God, groceries are expensive in Manhattan.

26. Anyone who lives more than ten stops away on the subway might as well live in Narnia.

27. Shopping alone at the couple central that is Bed Bath & Beyond. Why yes, I am buying SodaStream canister replacements in bulk, and I will drink it all by myself, thanks.

28. There’s no one to save you if a murderer climbs up your fire escape.

29. Dates who seem normal, then introduce you to their three blind/deaf/dumb/incontinent cats.

30. The takeout delivery person noticing the frequency of your orders (and no one else in your apartment), and thinking you must be attracted to them.

Photo: Shutterstock

31. Having no one to pay your cabdriver when you inevitably (and drunkenly) lose your ATM card.

32. Absolutely NOBODY believes you when you say you actually prefer being on your own.

33. One word: Tinder. Anyone that's spent more than five minutes on this app knows that it was most likely designed by extraterrestrials to break the spirit of the human race in advance of an oncoming invasion.

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Users say

reut z
reut z

I absolutely LOVED the article. I was amazed how true it was for me, that I shamelessly shared it on Facebook, declaring loudly that I'm single :-) Great writing!


This is dumb. I am single and depressed about it often but for almost none of the reasons listed. Is the writer actually single in NY? It seems to me that everyone around me is single and hiding their relationship if they are not...and I'm in my mid-thirties. I actually think this should be re-phrased, because being single in NY is not hard at all as long as you don't live in stroller land (see park slope or the more baby ridden parts of Williamsburg). At least not for these reasons. It's hard b/c it's an endless merry-go-round of dates, would-be-dates and dateables, and yes okay lots of one night stands or those only seeking that... It's hard b/c there are too many options, and people here are children who are obsessed with their narcissistic careers. That is all. This articles sounds like why you are sad about being single in NY after a phone call home to the midwest.

Nck W
Nck W

Thanks it is that bad on LI also Help!!!


It is just about a bit of luck in the meeting and matching process to find your mate, even your soul mate.  There are great folks out there who, for one good reason or another, have remained single but who will make for great company.

Java L
Java L

Not written by a NYer, #9 is an outright lie. Mortgage ?!?!
 9. Knowing your couple friends can afford to live in a much nicer apartment, because they’re splitting the mortgage.


This post was obviously written by a woman


Women in NYC always hang out with the wrong dudes


@MrJulioLuna y'all hear that? Make sure you ladies run your dating options by MrJulioLuna first because he knows "what is best" for you

Rebecca C
Rebecca C

@Anastasia G haha same here! after awhile dating seems like an exhausting interview process yet with more loose ends and frustration.