The City That Sleeps Around?: Why New Yorkers Are Perpetually Dating And Never Settling

I went to the second biggest high school in Indiana. I graduated with about 750 other kids in my class, and for the school, that was considered a pretty small group.

I’ve always considered this fact to be one of the reasons why I ended up wanting to live in New York City. There’s something about wanting to be the big fish in a big pond that I learned while in high school.

I didn’t want to just blend in; I wanted everyone in my school of nearly 3,800 students to know exactly who I was.

High school is also where I had my first real forays into romance. We clearly had a lot of options, romantically. It differed from the experience some of my good friends had at schools with only a few hundred kids.

There, they had a good chance of having classes with basically anyone they dated. At my school, for the most part, every single girl I saw was never in a class with me.

I was able to date and keep the girls at arm's length. This was great because when something went wrong, there were thousands of other options in the school and I didn’t have to sit next to Peggy Sue in every other class.

Ten years later, things haven’t changed much at all dating-wise. Living in New York is the city of far, far too many options. I never thought I’d say that but it’s true.

How many days have I wandered the East Village without being able to decide where to eat lunch? Not because there’s nothing good, but because there are too many great restaurants.

There are just too many bars, too many amazing neighborhoods and then, of course, too many girls.

This is a city of first dates. You meet someone out at a bar or a coffee shop or a bookstore or wherever really, and you get his or her number. You end up going on a date and it goes fairly well.

However, the truth of it is, one of you is usually into it and the other just isn’t.

There is no such thing as “just settling” in New York. Unless you’re both immediately head-over-heels for each other, you can just move on to the next one and pretty much never have to see the other person again.

Sadly, our generation uses the “just never text the person back again” technique, instead of being straight up and telling the other person we’re just not interested. Ah, what a glorious time of technology we live in.

Then, of course, you get to awkwardly run into that person at 9 am on the L train. Despite its depth, running into people you know in NYC can happen.

These days, my Facebook homepage is littered with wedding announcements from people I know from back home in the Midwest. There’s nothing wrong with that and I’m happy for most of them, but it always makes me wonder if what they’re experiencing is true love or simple complacency.

Did they just give up on dating because the market is so limited? Is it easier to just settle when you’re not in a city like New York? Probably.

However, for the residents of this insane city and me, settling isn’t an option.

We’ll just keep searching within the oversaturated market that is New York City. We’ll keep going on the first dates. We’ll randomly stop texting people back.

The good thing about endless options is that when you do find the right, perfect one, it’s going to be out-of-this-f*cking-world spectacular. To me, and all the other narcissists of the city, that is what’s really important.

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